Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Christmas '09 In Review

The good...

* Christmas Eve was great. I drove up in the afternoon and met my Virginia family at my sister-in-law's parent's house and went to mass with them. After that, we went to my niece's house for the evening. My niece and her family, my sister and brother-in-law, and my brother, sister-in-law and niece sat around and munched and drank and laughed. The boys opened presents and got sufficiently wound up from wrestling with my brother.
* I spent all of Christmas weekend in Syracuse -- did day after Christmas shopping with the family and played with lots of Moon Sand with the boys. Sunday, most of the family came back out to my niece's for brunch before everyone scattered again to their own lives, including the Virginians who would be heading south the next morning.
* As much as I enjoy being in Syracuse and hanging out with my niece and the boys, and there is nothing like an uninitiated hug from a two-year-old (you know you're loved when you get a hug for no reason, without asking for it), it was good to be back home, to sleep in my own bed, to turn my heat on as high as I wanted it.
* And about 11:30 on Christmas morning, my phone beeped. A text from E: "Merry Christmas gorgeous. hope you have a great day."

The bad....

* a rare snow storm in the mid-Atlantic region halted my holiday plans for Baltimore the weekend before Christmas. I was going to see Bubbles, Wanda and her family, Tim and the girls, Jan, and visit the Museum. I was also looking forward to testing myself by being in the city and NOT reaching out to J in any way.
* I handled Christmas day the best I could. And by that, I didn't really acknowledge my new niece, born over the summer. There were 14 other people to dote on her (and they all converged on her two feet behind me as I was doing dished when she first arrived). If she were older and would have noticed the slight, I wouldn't have done it. But she's six months old. There was a little tension with her mother, another one of my niece's (we all the know the story) -- or maybe I imagined it. Maybe the hurt feelings over her wedding, over the way she told me she was pregnant, made me think there was tension. In any event, I didn't really talk to her (thankfully with such a large family, it wasn't possible to have a lengthy conversation with everyone).
* At one point, I felt the tears coming on. I was grating cheese and fought the tears back. I wanted to let loose, I wanted to start bawling, but was surrounded by my family. A family who doesn't really understand the pain I sometimes feel around a baby. I tried to explain it to one of my sisters and she said, "but you're around babies all the time." Not really, and not really the point, but my response was "yes, but those are babies whose mother's are nice and supportive of what I'm going through and understand that their happiness might cause me pain." I was met with a blank stare, so I changed the subject.
* The family pictures! Ugh....almost as much as seeing my niece's baby, I was dreading this moment when my sisters would make a production of doing "family unit" pictures. Not just a picture of everyone who was there, or even random photos throughout the day, but posed pictures of each little family unit. Brother, sister-in-law, two kids. Niece, her husband, two kids. Sister, brother-in-law, niece, her husband, two kids. Etc. Ever since it was suggested that we frame these sorts of pictures for my parents' 50th anniversary a few years back, and I contribute a picture of me with my cat (seriously!), I've avoided these little set-ups. I stayed in the kitchen, and thankfully no one called me into the living room to pose in front of the tree, either alone or with my parents.

The weird...

* Thankfully there wasn't really any ugly. My sister got me a strange present, and while she thought it was funny, it's not exactly the way I would have handled it. As she explained it, she ordered two day planners from the Smithsonian gift shop and was able to get one monogrammed for free, so she got hers done with her initials. When they arrived, she started filling hers out, and only then realized that she had started writing in the non-monogrammed one. Rather than give me the one she had started to write in, or get me something else and write this one off as a loss, she gave me the one with her initials. So instead of having LAW (my true initials) on a day planner, I have for the next year (should I decide to use it) KLY. I know, it's the thought that counts. But I find it weird. And again, given lingering tensions over her daughter's wedding and the way that was handled, I think I'm finding more wrong with it than if it had come from my oldest niece or even my sister-in-law in Virginia. Because I'm closer with them, because I would have found it funny, and because I know that that's not how they would have handled it.

And so all in all, the Christmas I was dreading, the Christmas I wasn't really looking forward to....I survived. It's over. The family drama, the tension, the feelings of inadequacy (because of singledom and childlessness)....it's all over. And so if I'm still childless next year, here's hoping Richmond is an option. Otherwise, I think Bubbles and I should be finding ourselves on a beach somewhere, drinking margaritas and ignoring both of our families.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Merry Christmas to me

I went up to Syracuse yesterday for my belly massage and a facial. First, I stopped next door to the FG's office to drop off all of the meds that I won't ever need again. All in all about $20,000 worth.

I asked Pati if she'd heard from the other recipient, and she said she was going to call her that afternoon and tell her that she needed an answer before Christmas.

"But what if she says no?"

Pati gave me a hug and said, "we're still moving forward. We'll figure it out. Go enjoy your afternoon."

And so I went and got my internal organs massaged (no, really, that's what happens). And when I was waiting for the facial, one of the girls who works there came in and said Pati was on her way over to talk to me.

She came with a packet of paperwork for me to fill out. The other recipient is not ready to move forward, so Ginger is all mine. For the price of doing a split cycle. I hugged her again. "Merry Christmas, you've been through enough. And think about how many embryos you're going to have!"

Holy shit, that's right. Ginger's previous donation cycles have produced 9 and 14 embryos.

I tried my best to just enjoy and relax during my facial, and I pretty much did. I called Hope when I left and talked to gave her the update. Then I called Jill, who kept saying she was so happy she couldn't stop smiling. This is the way it's supposed to be. Everything that has happened to this point was supposed to.

I pulled out a Christmas CD that I had made last year, but haven't listened to yet this year. I knew that it started with lots of instrumental church music (a good 2 minutes worth) before my favorite Christmas hymn would begin. And as soon as Amy Grant started singing "Angels We Have Heard on High," I started to cry.

It's really going to happen. A year ago today, I got pregnant. And I was so full of hope last year for Christmas. This year? So hopeful that this is going to work. I ran over to church between errands this morning to say thank you.

Monday, December 21, 2009

John Mayer is deep

Another post I'm borrowing from Advice from a Single Gal. I'm sitting in front of the computer, pretty Christmas tree lights on in the background, reading this quote over and over again.

John Mayer has a twitter account that I check in with every once in a while. Last week, he made a comment that's stuck with me ever since. I have it up on a sticky note and I keep looking at it. It's stuck itself in my psyche. It's a truth I'm going to keep on reminding myself:

For all the times we punish ourselves, very few times have we actually done something wrong.

Nightmare Before Christmas

I need to stop eating Christmas cookies before bed. The other night, I partook in a few yummy bits of sugar and frosting and had thee weirdest dream. Ever.

I was at my friend Jill's house. Her home office was suddenly much larger and it had a futon. I was smooching with her hot brother, but rather than being the sweet single 34-year-old that he really is, I made him married (go figure). And not only married, but married to Chris's wife's sister. So suddenly my worlds were colliding.

And because Chris's life was suddenly so much closer to mine, I knew when something tragic happened to him. And Jill went to the funeral to support her brother's family, and I went along too.

The weird thing is, I wasn't sad about Chris. In fact, it was more abstract. We didn't actually go anywhere in the dream, it was more that we just talked about it, in the very way that I just described it.

I woke up very disturbed. And I wondered what it all meant. Does it mean that Chris is now "dead" to me? Could be. I've accepted that I'm done with him, that I'm finally ready to move on from him.

More disturbing, and perhaps more telling? That I "made" David be married in the dream. I'm not going anywhere near that. I'll save that for the next time I get my head shrunk, I guess.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Strength and Peace

Please give my "sister recipient" the strength to make a decision she will be at peace with and my the strength to accept her decision, no matter what.

That was what I prayed for tonight at church, one day after hearing the FG's office that the other woman I will be splitting the donor eggs with is on the fence, and not sure she's ready to move forward.

I was pissed when I heard it yesterday. I didn't, and still don't, understand after all we've been through, not taking that next step, not wanting to move forward. I know I should, I know that it could be me, but I don't and it's not.

And so, again, I just have to be patient.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Attitude Adjustment

My mother told me last week that my niece (and her new baby) would not be with us at Christmas. She would be spending the day with her in-laws. It made me not dread the day quite so much.

And then tonight, "Erica will be coming to Christmas."

Terrific. So looking forward to it.

I've got a week to figure out how to make the best of it.

Monday, December 14, 2009

I'll have a blue Christmas....

I thought about writing yesterday, but was in such a fowl mood I thought I would spare you all. It was raining. And cold. And dreary. I sat in the dark with nothing but the Christmas tree lights. And thought about how much I've really come to hate the holidays.

The preparing for them? Love! Shopping, buying presents for other people, wrapping them, decorating the tree, the Christmas specials on TV, baking cookies. Love all of that. And then when I do it, I start to think about who I'm not doing it for. Not doing it for my family. My own family. Not my husband or kids.

And then I start to feel sorry for myself. And I wonder when this joke that the universe is playing on me will end. I talked to Bubbles, who is in a similar boat, although at nine years younger, not quite as desperate as I am.

Somehow I'll make it through. I'll survive Christmas, this year with most of my family rather than the lovely say in pajamas I usually spend in Richmond. I'll survive New Year's Eve, mostly because it will just be nothing more than a Thursday to me. And six weeks later, I'll survive Valentine's Day.

But I shouldn't have to want to "just get through" the holidays. Should I? Am I missing something bigger? Something greater?

Thursday, December 10, 2009

So now we're going to try to be friends

Real friends. Professional. Platonic. We'll see how long that lasts.

I thought about texting J over the weekend to tell him about my promotion. Actually the evil Ellie thought about texting him that I had news and to call when he could. And then good won out over evil. "I got the interim director position!"

He texted back with congratulations and then asked if we had gotten any snow, that they gt a few inches (which in Baltimore is like a few feet), etc. Back and forth. Snow and work. That's it.

We can do this.

And then the next night, he texted again. Something about the Giants game. Okay, we can still do this. He started to veer off course when he asked what I was doing and told me he had been drinking martinis all afternoon.

I kept it on the up and up. And honestly was thinking about texting "where's the Mrs.?" But I stopped myself. I'm not sure why.

He asked me if I would be in Baltimore near the holidays. My response? "Yea, for a few days, but I'm not going to bother to tell you when, you'd just blow me off anyway."

"Ouch...you dick."

"But so true."

He must not have liked that, or the Mrs. showed up, because that was the last I heard from him that night.

I need to be the good one, and we can have this friendship.

It's Winter

Maybe not officially, but I guess this is what I get for living where I do. I woke up yesterday to four inches of wet, heavy snow. And while it was pretty, it was a pain to deal with. I went out in my pajamas to shovel and brush off the car, and then waited for the plow to go down my hill before I headed out to work. By this point it was raining and the roads weren't that bad. But it's only a matter of time before it's much worse.

But even with the snow on the ground (or what's left of it), it doesn't feel like Christmas is two weeks away. I've got most of my shopping and wrapping done, most of my baking completed, but I'm just not in the same Christmas spirit.

I won't be going to Virginia for Christmas this year, as I normally do. My brother and his family will be coming back up. I'll head down to Baltimore for a long weekend before Christmas and then head back north for Christmas with the majority of my family. Is it awful of me to say that I'm really not looking forward to it?

Yea, it probably is. Oh well.....

In work news, it is official. I'm the interim director of my department. Everyone, or mostly everyone was really excited. And those who probably weren't at least put on a good show. The next few months will be interesting, for sure.

Monday, December 07, 2009


It's time to comment on Tiger.

No, he shouldn't have cheated, but anyone who thinks that professional athletes don't cheat as a rule are naive. The athletes who don't cheat are the exception for sure.

Here's the scenario. For most of his life, he was told that he was the greatest. That he had an ability few had. That God actually touched his arm and gave him an ability to hit a golf ball better than anyone one else. He was idolized and people wanted to be around him. Men wanted to be his friend, would do anything for him. Run when he wanted, fetch when he wanted. Women wanted to fuck him. Always. This was a way of life. The only way of life he knew.

Maybe he fell in love, maybe he thought he fell in love. Either way, he got married. But men still wanted to be his friend, would run and fetch when he wanted. And women still wanted to fuck him. And the men who hung around him wanted to help him get away with fucking as many women as he wanted.

This became his new way of life. It worked for him. And maybe it worked for his wife. "Do what you want, but don't bring any diseases home, be a good father and provider, and don't make me look like a fool." I've heard of several wives -- of professional athletes and powerful men -- who had those rules or something similar.

Whatever the agreement between Tiger and his wife is between them. Whatever his wife knew or didn't know, or pretended not to know, is a moot point.

Cheat, don't cheat, but be smart. Tiger's arrogance got the best of him. Where is closest circle of friends (not the hangers-on) were people he vetted, people he trusted, his circle of mistresses should have been the same. And that was his fatal mistake.

He protected his private life, his inner circle, but he was willing to risk it all for sex.

And don't even get me started on these whores who are willing to sacrifice whatever self-respect they had left for 15 minutes of fame on the cover of the National Enquirer.

I'm not a perfect person, I've made my mistakes and committed my sins, but never would I air my dirty laundry, never would I sell conversations, never would I purposely hurt someone I once supposedly cared about (even if I hated him).

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Holding the Ship Steady

That's the way it felt this week. After a good ultrasound the previous week, I'm just holding steady waiting for Ginger Spice (what we have decided to call my egg donor, so much better than referring to her as "the donor") to get her period this month for her mock cycle. Once that happens, I should have a better idea of the timing for January.

So until then, I hold steady, take my prenatal vitamins, do my abdominal self-massage, go for the abdominal massage every other week, and wait until it's my turn.

I truly believe in "everything happens for a reason." And finally things are maybe starting to make sense. I lost my pregnancy last year. If I had had the baby, I wouldn't have applied for the development position. I didn't get the development position, but interviewing gave me a confidence in my job I haven't had since I left Baltimore.

And that confidence helped me land the interim director my department, following my boss's recent departure. And so for the next six months, give or take, I will be the head of my department, with a chance to shine and a nice pay bump.

And so, even though it's temporary, it's going to give me the opportunity the build up the nest egg that has slowly dwindled over the past two years. It will give me the opportunity to enhance my career.

Best case scenario.....I am the interim director until June, a new executive director is hired and I help with his/her transition, and then a few months later, go out on maternity leave.

Everything happens for a reason....and maybe, just maybe, it's starting to make sense.

Last night, while I slept restless most of the night, thinking about how some people in my office will react to me getting the appointment of interim director and them not, I also had a dream about a baby. A little girl, with red hair and blue eyes. And she was mine. And I felt a peace I've never felt. And I believed it. It was real...or it will be.