Saturday, February 28, 2009

Taughannock Falls

I'm in high school and the boy I've been fooling around with walks by my home room class, even though his is on the other side of the school, with his arm around another girl. Just to show me how cool he is. Just to show me how things are. Just to show me my place.

Oh wait....that's not it. I'm not in high school. I'm an adult. I'm in my late 30s. Or so I thought.

This morning I logged into Facebook to see that J had updated pictures. Of him and his wife and dog. Perfectly acceptable, I've seen pictures of both of them before. And then I noticed the background. Of a waterfall. Of this waterfall.

My waterfall. Twenty minutes from my house. I sat and stared in disbelief. The pictures were from the summer, but he never mentioned that he was here. Even after the fact.

Why post them now? Perhaps a little tete-a-tete to my FB status the other day. "Ellie is reminded that if he wanted it to happen, he would make it happen."

This from the man, who five years ago, when he was telling me about his upcoming trip to Italy with his wife, said he didn't know if he could do the whole Bridge of Sighs at sunset thing because I had just told him that was my romantic dream ever since I saw the movie "A little Romance" when I was 9.

And I pressed him on that, why not. And he took my hand and said, because I'd be thinking about you.

I don't even know what to feel, what I'm feeling. Bubbles told me I have one week to delete all contact information from my phone. "Pretend he's dead, oh didn't you hear, there was a horrible accident on 695 today."

I know that's the right thing to do. But I'm not ready for that. For whatever reason, I'm not ready to let him go. I know I just need to move on.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Bubbles Puts it All in Perspective

"How in god's name can you feel like you are unwanted. You fucked a Yankee!!! He came to the bar....he showed up. He wanted to see you and he made it happen!
UM HELLO...What do you and and MA freakin DONNA have in common!! Fucking Yankees!!!"

And regarding J, she reminded me of yet another lesson we learned when we saw He's Just Not That Into You. "If he wanted to see you, he would make it happen. He would figure the work thing out. If he really wanted this to happen, he would. It's not going to happen."

So harsh, but so true.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Two Minutes Walking...

two minutes running. I did this for 45 minutes tonight. I was running off frustration, and sadness, and even a little confusion. So remember when I said I was healing? Yea, maybe not 100%. But I'll back up.

For months and months, it's been about nothing but trying to get pregnant. And then I was, and then I wasn't. And when I wasn't, it was about healing and waiting. But there wasn't much to focus on. And then there were some distractions of the male variety.

One who I said I would be kicking to the curb (or trying to, at least -- yea it didn't work) and one completely new one. How fun! And just as quickly as I got sucked in with both of them -- all long distance -- it ended. They got bored? They had other commitments? Who knows....all I know is I felt like I got punched in the stomach. Twice.

E (the new one) -- whatever. It was a fun distraction. No feelings, no expectations, though if it ever actually panned out, wow! But J. I know, I know. J.

J of Baltimore texted me last week and reeled me back in. And I felt like I was in the power position. I really did. How silly of me. I told him that I wanted one night, no drama, no distractions, no other commitments or client meetings. One night. Falling asleep and waking up. And he agreed, he would make it happen.

When we talked later that same night, I told him now was the perfect time. No injections, no pills, no hormones, no doctor appointments. My body, which has been betraying me for all these months and months, I just wanted to use it for something I knew it could do. I wanted to feel like a woman, I wanted to feel like a wanted woman.

I wasn't quite that dramatic with him, but he got it. I thought. I went in on Monday for my blood work. Last week it had dropped more than 300 points to 71, so logic and math would dictate that I should be back to 0 this week. Apparently my body can't even do logic and math. My hCG level was still up -- 19.

So another week of waiting. Another week of not knowing. Another week of limbo. But...I had a distraction. I had something to look forward to. I texted him the results and told him we had about a three-week window to try to get together.

And the text I got back was very formal (for us) and not very warm. "Sorry Linc (he calls me by my last name, sometimes), I'm slammed at work for the next couple of weeks. I'll mail the baseball to you." (He had gotten a baseball for my nephew.)

I ignored him. I had a friend over for dinner, we were finishing off a bottle of wine, my low tolerance had me completely buzzed. He texted again, and we went back and forth. I told him I wanted to talk to him. He said tomorrow.

I cried myself to sleep, mostly from the wine, I'm sure. But also because I got distracted. I lost focus. I shouldn't let boys get to me this way. Even boys who I have had an undeniable mutual physical attraction with for almost 10 years. Even those boys. And especially boys that I'm not supposed to have feelings for.

And unfortunately, J falls into both of those categories.

And so tonight at the gym. I started walking for four minutes, running for two. And I replayed the past week in my head, reread the texts and e-mail exchanges, recalled the phone conversations, and just wanted to run. Suddenly, four minutes was too long of a wait to run again. And after about 15 minutes of that four-two, I started running after two minutes of walking. And then I started running after one minute of walking.

Anything to tire me out. Anything to help me sleep tonight and not think about the boys in my life and why I let them get to me like this.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

You Never Forget Your First

Ironically on the same day that I ate a piece of Dove chocolate with the wrapper message "remember all your firsts," I found one of my firsts on facebook. Jamie was my first older man, among other firsts.

I was working at a TV station is Rochester as the receptionist, he was a client. This was in a world where voice mail for everyone wasn't commonplace. They talked to me, if who they needed wasn't there, they talked to me some more and I took a message, wrote it on my pink pad, and schmoozed with them.

I was good at my job. I recognized all their voices, knew who their AE was, could make small talk. Jamie was flirtatious. And in his early 30s. To someone right out of college, he was more than exciting.

We had a three or four-month fling. And I can't even remember how or why it ended. Maybe he moved away? Maybe I met someone else? I don't remember.

I remember our first kiss....on the roof of the TV station.

I remember the first late night in his office...I'll leave it at that.

And I remember the smell of his cologne...Safari by Ralph Lauren (it was the early '90s after all).

And yesterday, there he was the friend of someone who had just friended me. I clicked "Add as Friend" and added the message "Hi, remember me?"

It was sweet that he responded, "how could I forget?"

We've played the catch-up game, back and forth with a few emails, and now that he's back in Rochester (he had moved to Florida, and that's why things ended?), he would take a ride to Ithaca sometime soon and buy me a drink.

It would be nice to see him. As an adult. Because I wasn't when we were together. Not really. I was 22 or 23, at best, playing an adult game of a relationship. I had so much ahead of me. So much living to do, so much exploring to do, so much to experience.

And looking back now, I'm so glad that I didn't take what we had seriously. That I just had fun with it. We were in such different places, that it would have been ridiculous to start anything more.

He had already been through his 20s -- and all that that brings -- it was still ahead of me like a long and mysterious path. My 20s, and hallelujah, my early 30s, when I really started to experience and explore and have fun.

And so now, here we are 15 years later, and it will be so nice to see where that long and mysterious path has brought each of us, and how it has brought us back into each other's lives.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

I'm Back

and I'm healing. I had the best workout at the gym tonight. I started doing one-minute sprints after four minutes of walking -- I did that for 20 minutes and then just started running during the chorus of the song on my iPod.

Shorter running times, but more frequent. It was great. I told Adam to remind me of this night. The next time I'm not feeling it, I want to remember this runner's high. I feel great.

The Definition of Insanity

"Doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result."

Yea...that's me. Leaving it at that for now.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

He's Just Not That Into You

Last week, while I was in Baltimore, Bubbles and I went to see "He's Just Not That Into You." And it was as if someone followed us around and wrote down scenes from our life.


The scenes between Scarlett Johansson and Bradley Cooper (who is married to Jenifer Connelly) were especially weird for me to watch. From the first innocent meeting between the soon-to-be femme fatale and the married guy, it was me and J. The innocent flirting. She called him. He freaked out. And then he thought about, and he called her back a week later. Even the conversations, the escalation in flirtation were eerily familiar.

We laughed, we pointed, we editorialized. We covered our mouths in horror and fascination as it played out before us. And then I said, "oh my god, I'm Scarlett Johansson."

From the very first scene on the playground, when the mother tells her daughter that the little boy was mean to her because he liked her -- who hasn't heard that before? Even now, in our 30s, we hear it. We think it. We still figure they're playing that game, so we have to, too.

And we keep that message going. The little boy on the playground who pulled our pigtails because he liked us, is now all grown up, and he doesn't call because he likes us.

We analyze -- over-analyze -- every small touch, every text message, every word. We analyze what time of day he called, how many days between texts.

We think about every happily ever after story we've heard.

"When I met him, he was happily married, but now look. He left her. He's divorced and now we're together and it's great."

"She pushed back and told him that if he couldn't make a commitment, she would leave. And the next day, he proposed."

"He didn't call, but I thought, why does he have to call, so I called him after the day, that night. And we've been married five years."

When really, what we should be telling ourselves, is that these happily ever after stories are urban legends. Fairy tales to give us hope. To make us more neurotic. When really, what we should be doing...we should....what should we do? Someone tell me, because I sure as hell don't know.

I'm still clinging to the he left his wife because he decided he couldn't live without me legend. (Not entirely, but for the sake of this, we'll say that's the case.)

I've heard the urban legends. I've told a few, I'm sure. And if I stopped to think about it, I would actually believe that it was more than a friend of a friend's cousin, that I had direct knowledge of the happily ever after relationship.

The movie laid it all out there. "No matter what he says to make you feel bad about it, don't fall for it. You just got dumped." "You are the rule, not the exception." And of course, the title of the movie.

For the majority of this two hour and nine minute movie, it was the self-help book every single girl needs to read, the tough-love therapist every single girl needs to listen to, the older, wiser sister we need to go to for advice.

It was telling us to stop being foolish, to have some self-respect, to stop thinking about the white knight coming in on his horse. To date, to move on if he doesn't call, to date some more.

And then it came crashing down. As only Hollywood could the last 10 minutes, they forgot their own core message, they forgot what they were peddling, and tied up every relationship with a neat little bow. Happily every after.

And so if you go see this movie, get up and leave after Jennifer Aniston tells Ben Affleck that it's okay if they don't get married, she just doesn't want to lose him. Right there. Leave. Out of the theater. Don't look back.

Because after telling us for two hours that we are the rule, not the exception, this movie shows us that Jennifer Anniston is the exception, not the rule. Giving us hope on that urban legend that you can give him an ultimatum, and even if the very core of his being is against marriage, he'll give in.

At least Scarlett Johansson doesn't end up with Bradley Cooper, or I might be packing up and moving to Baltimore.

Friday, February 13, 2009

I thought nothing could upset me more than the octuplet mom and her brazen disregard for her children and how she's going to support them.

And then I read this headline: "Baby-Faced Alfie Patten is Father at 13"

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


Wow....three nights in a row. I'm trying to make up for all my time away. This will just be a quick update to my doctor appointment the other day. I drove up to Syracuse on Monday morning for my follow-up to the D&C.

They took some blood and did an ultrasound. Still some fluid in my uterus, so maybe a little more spotting this week, but it all looked like it was healing the way it was supposed.

The tech told me that as long as my hCG levels were back to negative (showing that all the pregnancy hormones were out of my system), I could try again with my next cycle, if I was ready. Oh I'm ready.

My blood came back that afternoon, and my hCG levels were 393 (they had been over 31,500 on January 20). I will go back for more blood work on Monday (I can do it at the hospital lab here, I won't have to go to Syracuse) to see what my levels are. At that point, I'm not sure if they will put me on the pill for a month to regulate my cycle or just wait.

They also gave me more medicine (all injectables -- yeah!) to help support a pregnancy. So in addition to the baby aspirin I was taking to prevent miscarriage, I will also be injecting a blood thinner and the progesterone in oil (the big-ass needle). I dropped off six prescriptions yesterday -- four of them for syringes.

It felt good to be almost back on track, but I still have my moments. I went back to the gym last night. Did 45 minutes on the treadmill and felt great. Tonight, barely 30 minutes and then I cried on the way home. And I know that I'm using food as a comfort, and that it needs to stop, because it's not making me feel better. I'm going to give myself through the weekend, then hopefully try to get back to normal with that too.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Weekend Update: J

I knew that J wasn't going to be at the museum event, he had another event for one of his clients. But he started texting me once the Bash started, asking if we could meet for a drink after both events.

I told him to meet me at Pickles, that's where we were all going. "Can't do that place. Meet me now at the Marriott on Eutaw."

"I'm not walking four blocks alone. Come pick me up."

"Sorry can't do that place."

"Come get me at the museum."

"OK...leaving now."

And then he texted me almost immediately. "Gotta have a drink with the staff. give me 20?"


My event was over, my friends were all headed to Pickles, so that's where I went. A block from the ballpark and museum. I was drinking and talking, meeting Dwayne, flirting with Dwayne, and then another text.

"Where are you?"

"Pickles. The Bash is over."

"I'm not going in there." That should have been my first red flag. You're not coming in because you don't people to see us together?

"I can meet you out front."

"K....half hour."

And then I left with Dwayne. He texted me that he was out front and I left Dwayne's and walked the block back to Pickles. And then I realized I had no purse. I got to Pickles and called J, rather than text. "I have to run and check in with my friend. Be right there."

And so I went in, realized Tim didn't have my purse, checked the bathroom, asked the bartender, and then went back outside. No J. No J's car. I called him and it went right to voice mail.

I had bigger things to worry about and couldn't deal with his ego. But as I was sober the next day, I did start to worry. So when I got to Bubbles, I texted him: "sorry about last night. I thought my purse was stolen and totally freaked out. Sorry my crisis impacted us getting together."

Nothing. About 40 minutes later, I texted him again. "Wow you must be really pissed at me."

"Why didn't you just tell me that instead of jerking me around?"

So yea, I guess I bruised his ego. Time for damage control, although I question why I let him made me feel this way. "I'm sorry. I was panicking, I was drunk. And I think you know me better than that...I wouldn't jerk you around."

Bubbles and I left for dinner, and my mood was definitely effected by not hearing back from him, but I said what I could, and I had to let him cool off. After dinner, waiting for the movie to start, the familiar beep beep beep beep of my cell phone, signally a text from him.

"Hey, I can't meet you for drinks tonight, but what time are you leaving tomorrow? time for coffee in the morning?"

We went back and forth, decided on coffee at 10:30, he would text me in the morning with details, and then some teasing back and forth.

When I woke up Sunday, I just wanted to get on the road. Why didn't I think this through better. I had a five-hour drive ahead of me. But I waited it out. I watched TV with Bubbles, took a shower, and about 9:30 broke down and texted him "are we still on?"

And then....nothing. Son of a bitch. Just like the time I sat in a bar in Mt. Washington, when I still lived in Baltimore, for an hour waiting on him. I finally called him and he said he was sorry, he couldn't make it, he got rear-ended.

Just like the time I sat in my car, reading a book in front of a restaurant downtown, after I had moved back to NY, was on my way to Richmond and was supposed to have lunch with him. He didn't answer his cell and when I finally called the office and got his assistant, I was told he left for an appointment. So I figured it was me. I waited for another 45 minutes (yes, I'm stupid). And then I left. The next week, he told me some bullshit story about his dog getting sick.

Just like the time we were going to have breakfast, again after I was in NY and on my way to Richmond. He texted me 10 minutes before we were supposed to meet to tell me he had a client meeting.

There are at least three or four other incidents in the eight years we've known each other. And each time, I get a little pissed, but I tease him more than act angry. It's part of my "everyone has to like me, don't make waves" complex, I'm sure. Lucia would have a field day with this.

And so, Sunday it was 10:00, and then 10:05. And finally at 10:10, I looked at Bubbles and said, "give me a hug, I'm leaving."

I drove north, I could have been on the road two hours earlier, but I stupidly thought I owed him from my thoughtlessness of Friday night. I watched the clock as much as I watched my speed....10:30.....10:45....11:00....and then finally at 11:20, four beeps.

"I suck...too many martinis last night. I'm just starting to move. Next time we'll get it right and neither one of us will screw it up."

I was pissed, but laughed, because it is so typical J. I couldn't text, as I was driving about 80mph on 83 North, less than 10 minutes from Harrisburg. So I called. It rang twice and then he must have pushed me to voice mail. Yes, let's not answer my phone call in front of the wife.

"Hey, it's a good thing you're so predictable. I've been on the road for an hour. And yes, neither of us will screw it up next time, but you have a lot more screw-ups to make up for than I do. Talk to you later."

And that's my J story from the weekend. I'd like to say that I'm completely done. But there is part of me that wants to make sure we're okay, that he's not mad. And I want to explain to him about Friday night. I didn't get that drunk just for the hell of it, and yea, it might be a little cheap to use my miscarriage as a sympathy factor, but any other weekend, I would not have had that much to drink, I would not have been that drunk.

So go ahead...tell me I'm a door mat, tell me I'm stupid for letting this idiot get to me. I know it. I just don't know what to do about it.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Weekend Update: Friday

Disclaimer: There were a few things I did this weekend that I don't condone, and had I been more sober, wouldn't have. But it all worked out in the end. :)

I left on Friday morning about 8:30. The weather was beautiful, I had sunny skies by Scranton, and it really warmed the car. There were a few times in the car, when I had some weepy moments, I wondered if I could really go through with the evening, acting happy, etc. But I figured I could fake it if I had to.

Once I got to Tim and Sonja's house, I was better. I played Sorry, Candyland, Hi-Ho Cherry-O and memory with my god-daughter and then got ready to go out with Tim and his buddies. We got to the museum a little after 5:00, and as we pulled into the parking lot, I saw my former "friend" (BB) and almost jumped out of the car. Until I saw his wife.

When I walked into the museum, BB was standing with Johnny Z (my absolute favorite person in the world). Arms wide spread, I said there's my favorite man, and hugged John. He told me after that BB's face just about dropped. I hugged him pretty quickly too, but he wasn't getting my first hug.

I saw so many people -- and was actually surprised at how excited people were to see me, how good they thought I looked, and how many people remembered me. I saw media people, Orioles people, members, volunteers, board members, a few athletes.

The beer was tasting too good. I need to remember when I only drink once every six or seven months (I haven't had any alcohol since the end of July when I went out with my Yankee), I need to alternate water or soda. Didn't think about that until the next day.

At one point, I saw BB standing alone and went over to him. And then saw his wife sitting behind him. " are you?" So I had to by-pass him and go do hug-hug kiss-kiss with her, and catch up on the past four years. By the time that conversation was over, he was talking with other people.

I walked around the museum, took lots of pictures with some of my favorites, and kept drinking the beer. And then I saw my chance. I walked by him and just tugged on his sleeve, and kept walking. He grabbed my hand and pulled me back, continuing to talk to the man he was standing with, and then turned his attention to me.

"Hi look great. I think about you a lot."

I leaned in for a smooch and said he looked great too. The man has not aged. For someone who is going to be 59 in May -- holy shit. He's like fine wine. He looks exactly as he did the last time I saw him, four and a half years ago.

"We had good times together, didn't we?"

I smiled and said yes. "I miss you, sunshine."

"I miss you too. More than you know." And it's the truth. For the type of relationship we had, I never felt cheap, I never felt used. I always felt special and cherished.

And that was that. And it was perfect. It was exactly what I would have wanted for an encounter.

When the event was over, we headed over to Pickles Pub. I was drunk, and probably could have continued with my buzz drinking water the rest of the night, but it never occurred to me to stop. Something made me think I could still drink the way I used to.

When we got to Pickles, a beautiful black man came up to me and told me he saw me at the Bash and wanted to come up to me, but couldn't figure out which guy I was with was my husband, but he had to tell me how beautiful I was. Okay....I know now, it's a line. But having not dated in a long while, having focused almost exclusively on baby felt good to hear.

We stood around and chatted. I convinced him I had no husband, I had no boyfriend. After about an hour or more, he asked if I would go back to his apartment with him, which was only two blocks away. Now we can all think about what the right response to this is. In fact, there are probably several correct responses. I didn't come up with any of them.


We ended up walking to his apartment, doing some smooching, and then Tim called my cell to tell me my 10 minutes at the cute boy's apartment were up. So I headed back to the bar. Halfway back, I realized I didn't have my purse anymore. So I hit redial, thinking I was calling Dwayne. I called Tim. "Do you have my bag?"


Oh....okay. So I didn't go back to Dwayne's. Tim had my purse. But when I got back to the bar, I said, "where is it?"

"Your bag? it's home."

Not my over-night bag, my purse! And then Dwayne wasn't answering his cell, so I couldn't be sure where it was. So I sat outside and called and canceled a couple credit cards until my phone beeped.

It was Dwayne. My purse was on his counter. Such drama that I really could have done without.

I'm of course leaving out the whole J of Baltimore story, which gets interweaved into this one, but that will be for another night, because the J storyline continues through the weekend, all the way to my drive home on Sunday.

So that's Friday. Had a blast at the Bash, loved -- absolutely loved -- seeing so many people that were such a huge part of my life in Baltimore and reconnecting with them. Could have done without the drama and the blurriness of after the Bash, but Dwayne and I did text a little yesterday, so who knows what that will lead to.

Next: the J story, Friday to Sunday; and a movie review of "He's Just Not that Into You"

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Baltimore Bound

I'm going to Baltimore tomorrow for the weekend. I'll celebrate Babe Ruth's birthday tomorrow night (an event that I used to organize and run), spend Saturday with Wanda, and Saturday night with Bubbles.

Hopefully it will be a good excuse to relax, let loose, and otherwise forget the events of the past 10 days. I'll try not to think about that I was going to tell Z that I was pregnant. Next time.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Finally someone in my family gets it

My mom asked me if I was going to tell my brothers and sisters (those who didn't know I was pregnant) about the miscarriage. I told her if she wanted to, go ahead, but that I didn't really want to talk about it.

So little by little this week, she told my sister in Watertown, my sister in San Diego, my brother in Syracuse and my brother in Anchorage. And while I appreciate that they have honored my wishes and not called, seriously....they can't even send an email. No "thinking of you."

I shouldn't be surprised given how much support I've gotten from them through this whole infertility ordeal. But then, this morning, I got the following email from my oldest sister:

i just heard about your continued journey.....i know it will be
difficult to talk about i will spare you having to....i just want you to
know...that you are in my thoughts....and if you need someone to yell
at...or laugh with or just say here....i am hoping for
better days ahead for you ....hugs me

That's all I'm asking for. And I appreciate the thoughts.