October 17, 2012
So, it looks like I am going to put in an offer on this house tomorrow. It is the second house I looked at and I looked at six. I know that houses are not all chandeliers, claw foot tubs and rose bushes, but this is what I know about the house now. There is nary one cosmetic change I would make to the place — lighting fixtures, floors, window treatments, paint, dog-proof fence, landscaping, appliances — all range from beautiful to serviceable. Now, they just have to accept the offer, then, I hire an inspector and find out about mold and hot water heaters and plumbing and electrical. And the roof. It is, afterall, just a 1912 bungalow, susceptible to the ravages of time, like we all are. If only hot water heaters had dozens of delicate petals with veins like a vulva, maybe I would be more interested. Or informed already. Alas, I am not.
I have talked to my mom and am emailing furiously with upwardly mobile college friends who are telling me to find a good inspector. I had a friend who was a mortgage banker during the bubble, he will also be getting an email from me. And I have my first of two homebuyer’s classes on Friday.
I would like to be more thoughtful and contemplative, talk about my feelings, etc. But, it’s late and my toes and ears are cold. Wish me luck. And insight. To battle love’s blindness.
March 9, 2012
Me: “Why do you want a family?”
Her: “Why does anyone want a family?”
Me: “What do you think you’ll like best about it?”
Her: “Coming home.”
Her: “Does that make sense?”
Me: “It’s the only thing that does.”
March 8, 2012
1- How have you grown, changed, or evolved from the woman you used to be?
Last year, my wife left me and I turned 34, so I’ve spent some time reflecting on the growing-up process, to put it mildly. MLK said “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice,” so, I’ve been trying to decipher my own arc and in what direction it is bending, I’ve tried to detect threads, what are the most meaningful themes being strung again and again from my childhood, through to my teen years, young adulthood and now my middle age? I’ve noticed that I am both softening and opening, but also becoming angrier and that my anger is becoming more dangerous. Martin Luther King Jr also said, “Life at its best is a creative synthesis of opposites in fruitful harmony.” My opposites seem to be infinite compassion coupled with some white hot rage.
The revelation of the extent of my anger actually started with the abandonment of sarcasm as sport. As a young social worker, I quickly realized that sarcasm just didnt translate with my clients, it was a cultural thing, I figured, and I stopped, but without reflection. I remember how it felt, though, to see someone hurt, or confused by something I said. It struck me. When I was a snide bitch to my parents, they got angry, my friends laughed at my slings and arrows, but the dismay I saw on my clients’ faces was altogether new and slightly shocking. At some point, I ran across the idea that sarcasm is an expression of anger, which had never occured to me – I thought being sarcastic meant I was smart. But gradually it did make sense to me. I grew up with a drug addict. There were some things to be mad about and sarcasm was the best defense when all you are is a 13 year old with a vocabulary. As the sarcasm has dissipated, though, it was replaced by a different kind of anger – a cool, removed intellectuallism. Ani DiFranco’s lyric about her mother teaching her to “fight a cold war with a quiet charm” had a particular place in my heart. “I don’t get angry,” I told myself for years, as Iwas dreaming about hitting my partner, or getting drunk and doing it, or hitting the dog or being icy to the point of cruel with customer service representatives. Now that I know I am angry, now that I know how it feels coming up my back, then out of my hands, I have started talking about it. I’ve become less ashamed about it. I’m reading the classic book about woman’s anger called ”The Dance of Anger”, I’m not drinking alcohol. I’m seeing how it goes.
Conversely, over these last 20 years as a woman, from my first period to my seventh grey hair, I’ve also experienced an opening, a softening, a widening of my heart; my table has become impossibly long. I have, on occassion, through dreams, meditation, bearing witness to death or the being the beneficiary of the dumb luck known as romantic love, experienced moments of transcendence, either of my body, or my sadness, that I can only call spiritual. I seek out the company of old people, I introduce myself to men who harrass me on the street. I crave organized religion. I’ve always been concerned with matters of meaning and purpose, but as I’ve gotten older, these concerns are best expressed silently on Sundays in the company of other silent people. And while the word “God” still doesnt float my boat, I like to hear other people say it.
Finally, I came across the idea that evolution is not necessarily progressive, and change isnt, by definition, good. There’s this implicit assumption that the changes one goes through as one ages are “good” and make you a “better” person, but really they just make you the next person. The 24 year-old me was just as wise and lovely as this me. No heart ache has made me “stronger” or opportunity helped me “grow”. This perspective helps me maintain an appreciation for my younger self and the young people around me. But, it also just seems to be true. I don’t know if the moral arc of the universe is bending in any particularly direction, it just is where it’s at right now.
5- What is something you do to regain courage when the fear sets in?
When I get afraid about what to do, or say I run back to my values like a kid to his mother’s knee. My values are love and hope. I ask myself if my decision is actively moving me closer to love and if the answer is no, I change my decision. I ask myself if my decision is actively moving me toward my hopes, and if the answer is no, I change my decision.
7- When you close your eyes and see yourself living your dreams, what do you see?
When I close my eyes and see myself living my dream, I see family, a home, a neighborhood and a town. I see homecooked food, dirty dishes and friends. I see myself doing one or two big things, well. I see myself keeping my promises, to other people and myself, even the small ones. I see myself making fewer promises. I see contientious decisions to nurture myself, to buy clothes, to save, to decorate my house, to listen to music, to do two or three of these things at the same time once a week. I see sex and travel. I see tradition and ritual. I see unconditional love and forgiveness. I see a time when I have all these things and I can let go, when I am free to take it all for granted with a reverence matched only by my relish.
I am trying to goad Redamancy Lit into doing more personal writing, so I will tag her.
March 4, 2012
Since last month, when I went into donor meltdown, there have been a number of developments. First, the first donor is not out of the running. He replies to my messages, albeit slowly, we are aiming to sign a contract next month. Second, the second donor is still considering it. We will sit down face-to -face next week to talk. Third, the third donor, said yes and we are trying this month. Third donor. What? Who? Huh, you ask? Well, I asked my high school boyfriend if he would be willing to consider donating. Not only did he say yes, but he bought a plane ticket and will be here in 8 days.
I know, right?
So, this donation situation is different from the others. First, there is an emotional connection between us in the sense that he and I have a sentimental spot for one another. Also, in terms of emotions, he has said yes because he also wants children in his life, but he wont be having any of his own soon. This all might be hard to navigate, but, so far so good. Second, he envisions an alternative family arrangement, like the one I’ve always wanted, where the donor plays a role in the child’s life — vacations, graduations, birthdays. Third he lives a few hundred miles away, so logistics are going to be expensive. Finally, he can only donate for a few months before school starts in September, so the arrangement is going to be short-lived. (I am going to keep talking with the other two donors as back-ups.)
So, my new donor. He needs an introduction and a blog nickname, right? First, he and I met on-line when we were both 16. He wore lipstick and combat boots and dated boys. Please imagine, for a moment, the insane long-distance phone bills I wracked up before the age of the cell phone and the amazing fights I got into with my parents. Also, please picture your teenaged author lying to her parents, telling them she was going to a sleepover and then getting a ride into Baltimore to take the Greyhound into Port Authority. he would meet me there and then we would ride the subway deep into the heart of Flushing, where I would find myself laying on his bed listening to Joy Division and the Cure and feeling impossibly scared and free and young and old, all at the same time. It’s been super strange and wonderful to watch him grow up. He’s black and Native American. Our mothers have the same problem. He’s outgoing, off-beat and blindingly intelligent. He is between jobs and relationships right now, coming off of a teaching gig and applying to medical school, getting over a star-crossed love and bringing a rebound relationship to a close, all of which makes him available for this particular adventure. After dropping out of high school and working in IT for a few years, he just got his undergraduate degree last year. He researched addiction and rats and took movie-making classes, did fellowships at prestigous schools, got scholarships and studied abroad. From high school drop out to biomedical researcher, with the combat boots still in the closet, I’m sure. He is just one of those strange, wonderful creatures that only New York City can create. His blog nickname will be Dice because that’s what he went by when we were precocious kidlets all those years ago, blowing up Prodigy and skipping school to hang out in chatrooms.
I’m so grateful to like the person that’s giving me sperm and to have another person to truly care about this little creature I’m making. He’ll be staying for 9 days on this first visit, so we can get reacquainted and he can enjoy a vacation and do some soul-searching. I’m excited to introduce him to my girlfriend and take him to birth collective meetings. (I’m still wrapping my head around this new reality. (The human spirit does nothing if not bounce, right, kids?))
February 16, 2012
1.) Today at the dog park, I ran into one of the ladies that founded the birth collective whose meetings I have been attending. We talked about our hound dogs.
2.) On my way to Quaker Meeting, I stopped by the Starbucks at the mall. I have an acquaintance who works there. He has a queer spirit, amazing eyes, nice teeth and says stuff like, “The centrifuge of capitalism spins phantom gender norms.” I want his sperm. He happened to be working, which I hoped he might. I said, “I want to have a conversation with you, what’s your number?” He said, “Sure, but gimme a hint.” I said, after looking over my right shoulder, then left, “I am going to ask you for your sperm so that I can make a baby.” He said, “I’m totally open,” smiled and gave me his digits. He has since promptly returned two texts scheduling a date and time to talk.
3.) My girlfriend *cough*, who’s in medical school <blink>, started her OB/GYN rotation on Monday (meep!). Tonight, she will deliver her first, then her second baby.
November 6, 2011
October 20, 2011
The barrier to total egg domination this month was my work schedule. I got the positive OPK on a day that I was working and had to wait a full 24 hours before making the drive to Charlotte to inseminate. That being said, I did happen to inseminate 36 hours before I got the positive OPK because it was the last day of my weekend, and I could make the drive in a leisurely, daylit, well-slept kinda way. In a perfect world, I wouldve, and could have, inseminated 12 hours before the positive OPK, but I just couldnt bring myself to do a pressured drive in the dead of night with no sleep with no guarantee that the egg was coming. I know better intellectually — that before the positive is always better than after, that I was probably going to ovulate on cycle day 13 since my cycle is 27 days long these days – but emotionally, I guess I was just hoping that I would get the positive just one day later and I could spare myself the kamikaze drive.
Alas, it did not come later, but right smack dab in the middle of my work week. I drove the two hours, in the pitch black of early morning, having gotten zero hours of sleep in the previous 24. Then I drove back to work. By the time I finally went to bed the next day . . . I can’t even keep track of the crazy hours of sleep I didnt have. At a certain point, all this hypothetical arithmetic, it gets boring, and that point for me was . . . last year. But anyway. Above you will find my super handy-dandy, totally definitive chart as to whether or not I am pregnant.
Also, I cannot believe I am trying to conceive a baby again. How motherfucking lucky am I? Seriously? I mean, seriously. Think about it.