Jealosaur.

I used to be a really good friend.  In college, if someone needed a pregnancy test and was too embarrassed to buy one, I would walk right into the tiny convenience store on campus near the dorms and purchase it, making sure I looked directly into the eyes of the person behind the counter, for maximum awkwardness.  If a friend needed housesitting or animal sitting or a ride across the country or money or food or several visits or a kidney, I was all about it.  I gave and gave and gave to the people around me and I was happy (and maybe a little proud) to do it.  My friends were my life, and I gave of my life according.

However, as time has kept marching mercilessly forward, and I’ve gotten consumed with the really important and super stressful workings of my adulthood, I haven’t had the time or the energy or the life force to really give to my friends that way I used to.  I struggled with that for a long time – what does it say about me as a person that I can’t, with any regularity at all, return the phone calls of the people I adore?  I have weekends free – why can’t I visit them?  They need a kidney, Sarah – get on it.

There are people in Los Angeles County, who live a grand total of ten miles from where I live/work, who I haven’t seen for nearly a year.  The way I feel about them hasn’t changed at all – the simple truth is that I am tired.  I am tired and old and after work I like to come home and drink a glass of wine while sitting in the very center of my couch (where the cushions bow in, under the weight of many such nights), watching whatever TV show I missed the night before, when I fell asleep at 9 pm.

So, most of the time I’m still the nice, giving person I once was, just burdened by responsibility like every other schmuck in the world.  Until, of course, May and June roll around, and everyone starts posting photos of their graduations from all their insane law school or med school or grad school programs, while I sit here and rot in my graduate school prison, still unable to graduate until I can convince the people around me that I am worthy of an email reply.  I feel like grad school, for me, has been one bureaucratic or personal or financial nightmare after another, and I’m not above admitting that I am overwhelmingly jealous of people who have positive experiences – so, the end of school year can be a cruel mistress.

Basically: I’m sorry for being such a shitty friend, everyone.  But that’s pretty much all on you guys, for being inconvenient and not living in my house, and for graduating from programs that are going to actually benefit your life.

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Submitted as proof that I have graduated from a university once. You know, just in case I never graduate again.  

 

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The 24-Hour Friendship.

A few days ago, I received, and ultimately approved, a Facebook friend request from a guy I haven’t spoken to since I graduated from high school in 2004.  As is the very odd and all too common case in this digital age, I was content just to add him to my pretty stagnant “friends” list, happy to have him silently waiting for me, in case I ever wanted to find out who he married or how many kids he had.  (This just in: social media is gross and so am I.)

However, this particular new friend did not stay silent long.  Almost immediately, my newsfeed became cluttered with tons of unapologetically offensive nonsense, posted on the hour, every hour.  In the instant I approved his internet friendship request, I had gone from completely forgetting this person existed to being visually assaulted by all the very many ways in which this person hates everyone.

For example:

Racist Magazines

And this:

Gay Athlete

And finally, la piece de resistance:

Daily CurrantAmazeballs.

It’s safe to say this dude’s Facebook activity made me a little emotional.  It made me have some feelings.  And I have obviously felt the need to express those feelings here.  However, my actual point is not that I think he might be a horrible guy (although, he totally is).

It is this: I let this person, who, upon further review, is someone who kinda scares me a little, have access to all my personal photos, my cell phone number, the names of all my friends and family, where I attend graduate school, and where I work, simply because we went to high school together nine years ago and we both have Facebook pages.  We would never be friends in the real world.  In fact, I can’t believe a person like him exists in the real world.  So, why then was I so quick to “confirm” my friendship with him?

1) Because I’m a bit of a voyeur and I really wanted to see what he’d been up to – eventually, you know, when I got around to it.  (Chances are, though, if he hadn’t started unleashing racism and homophobia all over my home page, I wouldn’t have investigated him ever.)  And:

2) I, like a lot of people (I hope), thrive on the validation that comes from having a large online presence, be that by having a lot of Facebook friends or, say, by writing a blog post that gets shared a billion times.  As those brave souls who’ve been following me for months well know, I love attention, especially in the form of internet communication.  I was so thrilled that this guy I hadn’t spoken to in ages thought to add me online that I didn’t think twice about vetting his page before confirming our connection, which, in retrospect, is at best really pathetic, and at worst really stupid.

In the end, I defriended him exactly 24 hours after accepting his request, making our brief moment of rekindled friendship, with its political tensions and ulterior motives masked in social networking, a super depressing example of (my) life in the twenty-first century.

All of this begs the question: is he the terrible person or am I?

(That was a trick question.  HE IS, obviously.)

Baby Fiece!

First things first: yesterday, at 1:12 pm, exactly twenty minutes after Fertile Myrtle sent me an update text letting me know that she “might start pushing soon,” Baby Fiece was born, weighing 6 pounds 12 ounces.  So, all of you pregnant women and new moms following her here (or here!) can now totally hate her for the rest of time.  Five hours of labor and ten minutes of pushing, apparently.  As a childless old crone, that means very little to me, but I know enough to realize Myrtle’s giving me a very skewed perspective on what childbirth is like.  My mom’s 36-hour labor with me ended in an emergency c-section, so there’s that.

I went up to the hospital immediately after work and met Baby Fiece, who, at three hours old and less than 7 pounds, was the smallest baby I’ve ever held.  Therefore, I was really nervous and careful with her and absolutely did not hold her in one arm while using the other arm to take a photo of myself:

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Nope.  Not what happened.

She is extremely adorable, and is essentially a carbon copy of her older sister, the Fiece:

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Family resemblance always boggles my mind because while my brothers and I all look like white people with faces, we don’t have very much else in common:

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For example, they are both super tall (this photo was taken in December 2009, and since then The Baby, on the right, has gotten much, much taller), and I am a pathetic, normal 5’6″.  In this picture, I believe I’m even wearing heels.

I really wanted to thank Fertile Myrtle very much and then take the baby home with me, but unfortunately, there are enough crazy people in the world who have actually attempted such a thing that Baby Fiece had to wear an ankle monitor like she was Lindsay Lohan on house arrest:

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The closest I could get the Fiece to her new little sister was this:

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She was really interested in soothing the baby when she was crying, but 100% of the rest of the time, Fiece used a stethoscope to make diagnoses and entertained herself by climbing onto hospital beds, only to then pretend to throw herself off of them, giving all the adults in the room panic attacks.

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Nutcase.

So much love.  I am so very happy for you, Myrtle.  So very, very happy.  Rum and cokes and root beer floats ASAP.  (In high school, FM and I used to write a lot of poetry and share our work, which is how I got to be so good at slant rhymes.  Cokes//floats!)

In addition, I found out today that LOS ANGELES APPROVED MY RECORDS REQUEST AND I CAN START MY THESIS RESEARCH!  (I cannot NOT scream that in all caps.  I submitted the request paperwork at the end of January and have been waiting with baited breath for three months.  This resolution is HUGE.  IT MUST BE YELLED.  THIS BLOG IS MY MOUNTAINTOP.)

Love Fest.

I hope you all didn’t miss me too much during my three-day hiatus.  One of my best friends in the world got married yesterday and beginning with her rehearsal on Friday afternoon, the entire weekend was a whirlwind.  I just got home from the final wedding event, a brunch up at their Malibu hilltop venue, and am now prepping to eat a bunch of chocolate, watch a bunch of shows, and lay down for the next 16 hours.  Aside from my own, obviously, I had never been in a wedding before, and I’m almost convinced that being in a bridal party is more exhausting than being the bride.  And my friend, dear Z, didn’t ask us to do anything for her other than minor detail management before the ceremony.  There were no insane parties to plan or vendors to coordinate with or late-night crafting sessions (at least not for me) and I am still totally spent.  I am also so completely thrilled for her and her new husband, who is incredible.

The wedding was gorgeous and my friend looked amazing.  On Friday, the weather was hazy and cool, but by Saturday, it was overcast, and as the day wore on, the fog from the ocean rolled up into the mountains, until we couldn’t see over the cliffs anymore.  This is touted as every bride’s worst nightmare – rain on your wedding day! – but it was actually incredibly beautiful.  There was mist curling around the trees and by the time the ceremony began, we were all literally inside a cloud.  As her maid of honor, I sat in the front row next to her mom, trying not to lose it.  It was so fabulous.  I am so happy for her.  The photographer who shot my wedding and who is responsible for offering me my first and only modeling gig was there with her crew, so I have no doubt the professional photos will be stunning.  However, here are some poorly cropped pictures I took over the weekend:

photo 1-1 photo 3.PNGphoto 2 photo 2-1 photo 1photo 5.PNGScariest part of the day?  Being responsible for getting the groom’s ring down the aisle.  And for holding onto the vows before the ceremony.  I had them both in my little clutch, which I luckily did not leave in a bathroom stall this time.

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My husband couldn’t come with me last night because he left early Friday morning to chaperone his second wilderness adventure (for which the compression sack and mummy sleeping bag were purchased).  As luck would have it, the one weekend he really needed to be local was the one weekend he was out of state.  There was something a little sad and lonely about celebrating love and family and partnership without my partner, but I met so many fabulous people and had so many high school friends there that I didn’t have a lot of time to be a sadsack.

Much like his trip in October, my husband is so far out into the wild that he doesn’t have cell reception, which means that on top of his missing the wedding weekend and being gone all this work week, I can’t even call him.  I may be writing him nightly emails, even though I know he won’t get them for days.  This time, I wasn’t even excited by the prospect of having time to myself.  I missed him before he left.

Goghing to the Getty.

Today, I went to the Getty Center with my dear friend A, her husband and their adorable son, Little Lord L.

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When our friends have children, my husband and I are always respectful.

The husband, who I sometimes refer to as my “first child,” opted not to come with us to the museum, because 1) he feared spring break crowds and 2) just today, he received his compression sack in the mail and he wanted to spend a few hours putting things into it, compressing them, and then taking them out again.  You know, really riveting and important work.  (I told him I would never speak to him again if he didn’t meet us for dinner and he replied, “Promise?”  He talks a big game, buuuuut he came to the dinner.)

A and I met years ago when we were both working at a baby boutique in the city, and we were instantly bonded by the trauma of working retail in Los Angeles.  I absolutely love her and wish we could see each other more often.  A only lives a county away, but I am a terrible friend and can never go visit.  This is sad for many reasons (like, for instance, her son is four months older now than he was the last time I saw him), but it is most tragic because she and I are so very similar – it’s upsetting to get so little face time with someone I am so in tune with.  (Example of our telepathy: she and I showed up wearing the same shoes today.  Not the same kind of shoes.  The very same shoe.)

I am so happy I got to see the three of them today.  We had a picnic, wandered the grounds, encountered a close-talking, extremely intense old man who whispered the location of a “secret” da Vinci in the museum directly into my face, and were guided to the front of many lines because we had a stroller in our party (yet another reason to have a child ASAP).  I feel relaxed and fulfilled and I’ve only been on vacation for a day!

I’m also glad I got such awesome photos.  Thank you, iPhone, for making me as skilled an artist as these men who spent their entire lives learning how to paint still lives.

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I knew this one!  Van Gogh!

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I bet you didn’t notice there is a monkey in this painting.

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This is replacing “Grimacing Baby” as the image I see in my head when I hate something.

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A-mazing.

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This is an admittedly horrible photo. However, can you believe that someone did this WITH PAINT? I mean, it’s incredible.

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There was a stubborn marine layer today, so it was a little hazy, but gorgeous nevertheless.

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If you ever find yourself in LA, you must visit the Getty.  I almost feel like the architecture and gardens and overall experience are more of a draw (pun intended!) than the artwork inside.  Then again, I know nothing about art and am a sucker for the outdoors.  There truly is something for everyone here.  They even sell booze!

Facebook Page.

This just in: I started a (very basic and currently very boring) Whiny Baby Facebook page, for the following reasons:

1) All the cool kids are doing it.

It currently has zero “Likes” because I am still too terrified to let most people in my life know this blog exists.  Too terrified, in fact, to even like it myself.  However, maybe if you all “Like” it, my confidence will grow and I will finally be able to be totally, freely honest with all the people I know and love.

No pressure, though.

Public Relations.

I’ve been wrestling with a tough decision for the last few weeks: to announce the existence of this blog to my legions of fans (read: people from college dorms and ex-jobs) on Facebook or not to announce the existence of this blog.  I kept it secret when I thought I’d only be writing about conception attempts, but now that I find myself with far more to say, I want to open up the readership a smidge.  In struggling with this monumental decision, I have discovered that I am, in fact, way more comfortable with the idea of discussing the contents (or lack thereof) of my uterus with the entire world than I am with the reality of boys I had crushes on in high school having access to what, despite all my attempts at levity, amounts to a carefully crafted period journal.  (Sometimes it is hard for even me to believe I am an adult married woman.)

Also, I told my mom off-hand the other day that I kept a blog and she asked to read it.  I want to let her so she’ll tell me it’s fabulous and I should write a novel.

In the words of The Cat In The Hat, what would you do if your mother asked you?

 

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Hey ex-boyfriends! Wanna know all about it?

Showered.

This week was a doozy.  With the end of school and various family gatherings, every second of my life has been scheduled and I am exhausted.  Just yesterday alone, my husband and I attended a wedding shower and a 16th birthday party.  So.  Tired.  And we’re slated to go to a (late) family Hanukkah party tonight and to host Christmas brunch on Tuesday, so we’re frantically cleaning the house and getting gifts wrapped.  I guess that’s what happens when you work right up until the 21st of December.  What do non-teachers/students do?  How the hell do you all get ready for the holidays without a break?  Holy moly.

Despite how crazy it was to be out and socializing from 11 am until 9 pm yesterday at two different, back-to-back parties, I am so glad we went to the wedding shower.  One of my best friends from high school is marrying her boyfriend of eight years in April and as they both attend medical school on the east coast and are both from Southern California, they decided to take advantage of winter break and have an early shower in Malibu yesterday. I knew in advance that a bunch of people I hadn’t seen since high school were going to be there and I was insanely anxious about it.  (I may or may not have gone out shopping for new clothes and tried on several different outfits beforehand.)  I have a not-so-secret complex about what a huge failure I am for being eight years out of high school and not running a corporation (or being a huge financial success), so the prospect of taking that insecurity out and displaying it in front of people who have been working in research and development since graduating from college or who have learned Arabic and worked in the middle east or who are getting their Ph.Ds in Biology made me want to throw up all over myself.  (I rolled with a lot of overachievers in high school.)

As it turns out, as always, living your life by comparison is a pretty stupid thing to do, as everyone had complaints and I think we are all feeling the squeeze of aging out of the blissful idealism of our early 20s.  I had anticipated feeling like total crap about myself and I ended up having really engaging and wonderful conversations with my high school friends and their significant others.  (Also, I was able to trot out working as an osteologist at an archaeological excavation and had a moment in the sun.)  Even my husband, who didn’t have the benefit of having history with these people, had a great time.  We stayed late, sitting outside in the light rain under space heaters and talking for hours.  We closed down the party and I left feeling like I was beaming light.  It was really was such a warm, wonderful experience, both because my friend is marrying someone who is made for her and because I realized time hasn’t changed any of us.  It was so fun.  I can’t wait for the wedding.

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After my last negative pregnancy test, I decided I can drink on special occasions. Notice I am wasting no time in this photo: at one point, I had a Taj Mahal AND a huge glass of white wine at the same time.

Another unexpected joy yesterday was that I finally started my first, non-medicated period in over two and a half years.  I knew something was up when the right side of my chin completely exploded after weeks of relative quiet, but I know well enough by now not to try to predict what is going on with me.  I think I’m going to use up the rest of my ClearBlue ovulation tests this month, to see if I might have a normal cycle happening here.  And also, for science.

UUU Part Deux

Let me begin by saying that the title of this post makes me feel like the most hilarious person in the universe.  Don’t judge.

In other news, yesterday was full of exciting pregnancy updates – for other people.  I just got a frustrating and slightly annoying negative morning test result (yes, I did not make it to today without wasting a stick).  However, this frustration and annoyance is very obviously tempered by the fact that the people who announced this baby-related news are my closest friends, so I am absolutely thrilled for them and this makes me less of a jealous monster.

1) My friend trying for her second baby, who had her IUD removed on July 13th (as in, one month ago), had a positive result yesterday morning (…we may have planned to take them at the same time.  Not ashamed).  I saw her tonight and she handed me her ClearBlue digital ovulation tester, as she doesn’t need it anymore and I’m most definitely using it next month, should I ever get my period.

What my bathroom counter looks like now. So much for not being an obsessive weirdo.

2) One of my best friends in the world went into labor late last night and had her first baby, a boy, this morning.  She did it naturally with the help of Hypnobirthing, which I will learn and post all about on Sunday, when I steal all of her materials after meeting her son for the first time.

In the meantime, I’ve just been having cramps all over the place: very low abdomen, hips, lower back.  I am notoriously terrible at “reading my body,” but I’ve gotten familiar enough with myself that I’m aware of what symptoms precede a period and these definitely aren’t them.  Also, I’ve been experiencing them for about six days now with no sign of my period, which is pretty much unheard of around here.  This could simply just be the start of my first non-medically-stimulated cycle since birth control, so conception progress made this week?  I could either be pregnant or not pregnant.  So glad I’ve narrowed it down.