What Kind Of Day Has It Been?

In all four of his television series thus far, Aaron Sorkin has named an episode “What Kind Of Day Has It Been?” It was the name of the first season finales for “SportsNight,” “The West Wing” and “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip,” and it is the name of the upcoming series finale of “The Newsroom.”

The reason I love Sorkin so much, and particularly “The West Wing,” is that he writes for intelligent people and doesn’t assume that he has to dumb it down to meet the lowest common denominator (with the exception of the first four episodes of “The Newsroom,” in which every woman was a drippy damsel in distress, and every man a douchebag trying—and, somehow, being allowed—to be a knight in shining armor). It’s also witty when it’s right to be witty. “The West Wing,” in particular, is my go-to when I need comfort viewing. Something about it is the visual equivalent of macaroni and cheese or mashed potatoes, the entertainment equal to being wrapped up in a cozy blanket with a mug of hot tea on a cold night.

Today has been an odd kind of day.

It started with me reading, for reasons passing understanding (big Sorkin phrase), a blog post on cocktailsandchemo.com that I saw posted on a friend’s Facebook feed. I have read posts on this blog here and there before, and it has always been a mistake, but, like a moth to a flame, there I was, and I was destroyed for 15 minutes when I should have been drying my hair. It’s heartbreaking. It’s about a very young man who is dying of colon cancer, and it is written by his wife. They have a daughter who’s not even two. Don’t read it. I swear, you’ll be done in from the combination of love and ache and beauty and sorrow and hope and anguish and just don’t.

At work, my colleague and I finished the last of the eight phone interviews we were conducting for a vacant position. They went fine, and we were able to solidly eliminate three candidates and put one on the bubble, leaving us with four we felt confident bringing in for face-to-face meetings. But as anyone who has conducted interviews knows, doing eight in a week pokes a bunch of big holes in your days, and between them and your meetings, you tend to feel like you haven’t gotten anything productive done. I kept trying to get a foothold, and being able to do little more than toe a few emails.

Then there was an absolutely ridiculous issue with a publication that really should not matter in the slightest, but required another redesign and another round of new copy after the clients had agreed on the design and sent the supposedly final final final copy. My vice president wound up involved in a way I’m not aware of, and as far as I’m concerned, she can handle it the rest of the way, because I am pretty tired of trying to do things for these particular clients and getting split decisions, too many revisions, and still hot breath down the back of my neck to get the final version to them in time for them to send it out when they didn’t give my team any time to do it in the first place. The real killer of this whole thing is that the designer spent four days hand-drawing this publication after all parties had agreed on a design concept, and now it’s scrapped entirely. I find it terribly disrespectful of someone’s energy, time and talent, and these clients do this constantly.

A bit before that, Facebook told me that my dear friend Sam is leaving and moving to Indianapolis to take a job. Sam helped me through a lot of really difficult times in my last job, listened and asked with great interest about my love life or lack thereof, gave me great advice I actually took, bantered with me Sorkin-style in solidarity to our shared affinity, gleefully played my political wonk game, and generally has been a precious friend. Nearly a year ago, he told me about something really difficult that he was struggling with, and five months ago, he stopped talking to me altogether. Nothing happened between us, no argument or conflict… he just stopped answering messages of any kind and never reached out again. It has always made me sad, and now that he’s leaving town, it makes me even sadder. I’ve sent him a message to congratulate him and let him know I miss him and hope to see him before he goes, but I don’t know if I’ll ever hear back.

At the end of the work day, as she was leaving, my coworker declared quietly that she was going to go get gas in her car and deal with her lingering depression. She wasn’t kidding. It was awkward, if not surprising. Most of us know she is struggling, and what makes matters worse is that she’s not terribly well-liked. I don’t know which begets which. I have always found her lacking in self-awareness, which leaves me torn between concern and irritation, which makes me feel awful because I know she is in pain.

But the weirdest part of the day, and that part that, along with Sam’s announcement, has me the most untethered, was around two this afternoon, when my friend Angie found my blog.

As many of my readers know, I am completely anonymous here, and none of my real-life family, friends or acquaintances have ever known I write a blog. I wanted it that way, because the anonymity gave me permission to speak freely, to blather on about things my friends might already be bored by, to say what I want about whomever I want, and to feel like I had a safe place to do it all. But today, after I quoted a particular song lyric in an Ohio 5 group message, Angie Googled it, and somehow, a blog entry in which I had also quoted it came up. She outed me in the group message immediately, and even told our other friends how they could find the blog.

I can’t describe the feeling I had. My heart pounded. I don’t log into the blog on my work computer, but I did today, first having to change the password because it’s cached in my computer at home and I couldn’t remember it. Then I had to quickly go through all my posts to see if my friends would be upset by anything. I will admit that I deleted posts that I thought would upset them enough to cause friction.

I got a message from WordPress that my stats had skyrocketed. Eighty-three hits to the home page.

That seemed excessive, even for my friends.

I worried that they might have shared it with a few other people we’re close to. It wasn’t really narcissism, any more than writing a blog is narcissism. It was just that I suddenly felt like I had lost the ability to protect something tender.

I’m not angry at Angie; She was shocked, after knowing me so well for nearly 20 years, that there was something I had managed to keep from her for three and a half. Her impulse to tell the rest of our friends was reflexive. Thoughtless and inconsiderate, but not malicious. She has apologized for it, admitting that she searched through all of it looking for her name so she could see what I have said about her. Meg has apologized for trying to find the blog after learning it existed. Joey, after finding the home page and reading the glossary, has promised not to read anything else, acknowledging that there’s a reason none of them ever knew about it and that he would respect that. Will came late to the conversation; I don’t know if he’s seen the blog or not.

I’m not holding it against them. But I feel exposed, like my clothes have been torn away on a busy street. I don’t have anything to be ashamed of, but if I was already feeling a little raw, now I feel like my diary lock has been broken. I know that sounds silly when I post things on the internet for anyone to read, but the pages in the diary don’t really contain anything these friends don’t know. What they do contain are some expressions I feel embarrassed for them to see, and empty pages where a certain freedom I had cherished has been taken away. There’s no lock to keep all of that safe anymore.

So, not to be dramatic, but in a way, today was a season finale. There’s every possibility and even likelihood of more episodes, but the anonymity was a major character in this series, and that character is gone now. Everything will be a little different from here on, if not for you, then at least for me. I will think twice where I never thought twice before. I am already wondering if my friends will read this post and be upset by it. In “SportsNight,” after that season one conclusion, S2 Ep1’s title is “Quo Vadimus.” It’s Latin for “Where are we going?” While I’m sure I’ll still try to be witty when it’s right to be, and I won’t dumb anything down, it’s going to be a while before I feel comfortable again.

In the meantime, I think I need some mashed potatoes.

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This Is Not Yet 40

“Are we old enough for this?!” the Ohio 5 tends to ask each other. We’ve kind of morphed out of “We’re too young for this,” because we’re pretty much not too young for a whole lot anymore. But the nuanced former question comes up with somewhat surprising frequency.

It’s not really because of our own respective, and relatively minor (though increasingly surgical), maladies. Two are married with children, two are aging, single gays (oh, they would just hate me for saying that), and then there’s me. Our lives, in general, while happy, are fairly banal.

I have had occasion to think about a lot of things in the last week or two. A lot of very heavy things. Thinking about heavy things makes me feel old and tired. It’s lovely to avoid that. Being an old soul who has recently found a sort of invigoration of forgotten youth, I have been able to shut out some heavy thinking. I needed to develop that ability.

But if you’ve been reading my blog long enough, you have come to know that I can be both incredibly shallow and really pretty deep, sometimes at the same time, and I can’t have one without the other. I would like to believe this is true of most, if not all, of us. If not, I imagine this must be maddening to try to understand from a not-me perspective.

And so it is with the stuff I’ve thought about for the last couple of weeks, alternating between a cavalier thought, a smart-ass comment, and a stare-at-the-wall-for-an-hour bout of What Does It All Mean? There’s the shootdown of MH17 over Ukraine. The actual warring there. The warring in Israel and Gaza and who is the more murderous party (I have my thoughts, and turn them over, regularly). The chaos in Libya. Ebola in Liberia. Endless instability and insurgent takeover in Iraq after more than a decade of American blood and treasure to save it from itself.

There is the House GOP deciding to sue the president for delaying something they’ve been screaming about being against, anyway. The refugee/immigration struggle and its heartbreaking human toll.  The disappointment, even for a lot of his supporters, that is President Obama. The general nightmare that is Congress, which nobody likes anyway, but now likes even less. There is what I see in the streets of my city every day: generational poverty, lack of education, joblessness, ill health, homelessness, lack of opportunity, lack of respect for self and others. I think about that a lot. Every morning on the way to work, and every night on the way home.

I thought about this stuff when I was younger, but usually from the perspective of an impassioned academic or idealistic observer. Now I think about it with a sense of connection I didn’t have before.

My cousin, already a single mother of a ten-year-old, is pregnant. Her father—my uncle—died of leukemia 14 years ago. She just finished putting herself through school for her BSN and got a job as a geriatric nurse. She moved out of my aunt’s house. She’s pregnant by a… well, I won’t call him what we call him in today’s vernacular; I’ll just say he’s a casual partner, who already has two other children. In this twisted world and her struggle of a life, sex in a car that she swears did not result in his satisfaction has somehow resulted in her conception of fraternal triplets.

I understand biology as much as the next person, but what. The. ACTUAL. FUCK.

I wonder sometimes, as a relatively spiritual person, how God or the universe or whatever you want to call it can be so overwhelmingly mysterious on a good day and just really messed up on a bad one as to govern a world in which so many people despair of their inability to have a child while people who could not possibly want one less can wind up conceiving three at once and announce their intention to keep all three. (Unspoken risks remaining unspoken.)

You might realize already that the news of her pregnancy led me right back to the generational poverty/lack of education/lack of opportunity/lack of respect for self and others thing.

My dear friend Will’s father died yesterday. He’d been in the hospital for six weeks with diabetes-related heart and kidney problems. Thursday morning, he arrested. They did CPR and intubated him, and Will jumped on a plane from Seattle. He arrived in Ohio just after midnight. His father died 14 hours later, as hospital staff were transferring him from a bed to a gurney to take him to inpatient hospice and take him off life support. Will had gone to carry some things to his mother’s car. Will’s father is the third parent in the Ohio 5 group to die. None have been older than 65. Two had diabetes-related heart problems.

My friend Kyle’s father was just diagnosed with a rare duodenal cancer. He is 51.

Amanda learned she has a stress fracture in her femur from the tumor and her weight. She has to find out whether she needs surgery to stabilize the bone, and whether that will derail her weekly chemo treating stage IV metastatic triple-negative breast cancer. She is 43.

My former coworker, Cedric, also died yesterday. Out of nowhere. He owned a gym, which is where his wife found him right after he collapsed, surrounded by personal trainers using the portable defibrillator. She’d had a funny feeling and doubled back on her way to work. He was 45.

Also, Facebook crashed yesterday. For like an hour. It was awful. I could not post pithy status updates about Facebook being down because Facebook was down.

Some of our brighter citizens called 911 about it.

Did not make that up.

I don’t really know where all of this is going. I started writing this post last night and then, bleary-eyed and exhausted from so much of life’s thinking, went to bed and left it to marinate. Today I find myself with even less direction. The initial plan to get as many of us to Ohio from our far-flung reaches for the funeral, with the understanding that Joey couldn’t be there that day, but would see the family a few days later on a trip he’d coincidentally already planned, has morphed into a plan to converge 36 hours later because Will would prefer that we could all be there at once. (This, for the record, never ends well.) We have joked more than once during funeral plans (we’ve had one every year since 2009) that it’s our version of “The Big Chill.”

That movie is 31 years old.

So I guess we are old enough.

All It Has To Be

The message popped up on Facebook a week and a half ago, the day after I’d gone to Paul and Elaine’s house for game night with some other neighborhood folks.

“Paul and I just ran into one of Paul’s old friends, and we thought we’d love to introduce you. He’s a really smart, good looking, nice guy. Sorry if we’re out of line here, just tell us to back off if so here’s-his-facebook-pagecheckitout.”

Alright, so that last part with the words all running together isn’t how she wrote the message, but it was how I read it because I know her, and this was probably how she tried to just casually toss out that I could view his photo.

Well. Hello Liam. What might be wrong with you?

I know it sounds terrible, and I know it’s probably what other people think when they’re first introduced to me as an available woman in her mid-30s (I’m not quite 37 yet). But Liam is 40 (I know because his apparent sister mentioned it on his page) and single, attractive and professional, and seemingly never married. Which generally means fucked up in some hidden but very significant way.

I’m not saying that’s not the case for me as well. Seuss probably had it right when he said we’re all a little weird and if we find someone with whom our weird is compatible, we fall in mutual weirdness and call it love. Therefore, I do subscribe to the belief that some people just have a hard time finding their Compatibly Weird Person. But by and large, in my dating life, I have found that if a guy is never-married and not with someone at this point, there’s a reason, and that reason is eventually going to make me really sad or really bitchy. Possibly both.

And so I wonder what might be wrong with Liam. But hey, it doesn’t hurt to meet people and I have no real reason to avoid it. Just last week I found out that Jack sold his condo two miles and a body of water away from me, and now lives in Gwyneth’s house, one mile and a park away. This affirms that I will eventually run over them nearby.

Into. I mean into them. Damn. I always make that mistake. *shifts eyes*

The point is, the last guy I loved is dangerously close-by and, by some absolutely insane twist, married—to a child, comparatively speaking—and I know he’s Fucked Up In Some Hidden But Very Significant Way. The last time I had a date that I knew was a date was in April of 2013. Javier is still with Lydia and is presently visiting Colombia (without her), and it’s been relatively easy to dismiss his mild advances as unconvincing. I’ve learned some pretty important lessons. And I’ve been really comfortable not-dating and not-looking. I’ve enjoyed that. What harm can it do to meet someone? Especially if he’s been endorsed by friends who have known him for years? We don’t have to date.

Stll, the winds of fate seemed a little dramatic when they decided we should meet the night of an epic snowstorm and preceding Valentine’s Day by 12 hours.

Elaine had decided to have us both over for dinner. My only question was whether Liam knew this was a set-up, because how awkward would that be? But she replied yes, he’d seen my picture and heard their descriptions of my personality and wanted to meet me.

So I slopped two blocks through a snowy mess, wearing jeans and an enormous, heavily-pocketed, highly unflattering coat (hood up to defend against large drops of freezing rain) out of necessity, carrying a spare pair of shoes in a bag along with a bottle of Bordeaux, and praying my armpits wouldn’t sweat through my curve-appreciating but cleavage-covering shirt. (Hyperhydrosis of the underarms. Thanks, Dad. Cool trait.) Dramatically misjudging how long this walk would take, I got to Paul and Elaine’s a few minutes early. Liam arrived a few minutes late, having caught a cab from his house because the idea of finding parking in our neighborhoods right now is nothing short of hilarious, and a mile is too far to carry a six-pack of craft beer through slop to get to a set-up dinner.

The liberating thing about having been through the six-bladed blender of misguided love is that it makes you stop trying so hard. I looked as nice as I could under the circumstances, but refused to obsess. I was with other people I knew, so I couldn’t act like anyone other than myself. And I honest-to-God could not have cared less if this guy wasn’t into me. Beef stew, sourdough, multiple tiny cups of amazingly delicious mousse and some red wine were all perfectly lovely reasons to spend an evening with friends and their friend, and I didn’t need it to go beyond that. I quite literally have no fucks to give. So I guess thanks for that, Jack.

Result: zero awkwardness, zero discomfort, zero anxiety and only a teensy bit more wine than I maybe should have had in this circumstance. Which was Elaine’s fault, and barely had an effect on me at all, while Paul was rather suddenly overtaken by Dr. Feelgood. Always best for the hosts to get blitzed and the guests to remain comfortably in control of themselves.

Things were casual and maybe a little cautious before dinner. Dinner itself was delicious and comfortable. The after-dinner showing off of the delightfully retro basement saw us divided girl-girl and guy-guy for conversation, but without any sense that something was going wrong. Sampling the mousses Elaine brought home from an event she organized was a stand-up affair, and maybe the first sign that there was a little chemistry; Liam seemed to deliberately cross to my side of the kitchen-to-dining-room pass-through, to stand next to me while we faced Elaine, and only hesitated for a second when I offered for him to get a spoonful of the chocolate coffee mousse I was trying not to wolf down like a fiend. He recommended that I try the chocolate-chocolate-chocolate version he’d just eaten. He loves chocolate and coffee. Excellent.

After dinner, sitting in the living room, the conversation continued to flow freely and we got to talk about his travel (he’s in international sales, which means I am madly jealous of his trips) and my music (a previous topic had revealed to the room my classical training, and Paul had been trying insistently to convince me to sing with his rock-blues band). I was embarrassed by my passion as I described a moment singing Mozart’s Requiem in a Parisian church, but Liam seemed to fully appreciate it and reciprocated with other interests.

Also we talked about how the skeleton event at the Olympics is fucking insane, and then discussed which slightly less crazy things we’d want to do. He thinks it’s nuts that I’d do time in a cage while sharks swam around me. Elaine said everybody thinks they want to parasail until they see a guy get hanged by the cords and watch the crew reel in his body.

That was a kind of weird moment.

As we were re-suiting ourselves in winter paraphernalia to gird against the sleet that was now pummeling the neighborhood, Liam flat-out asked if he could call me sometime. In front of Paul and Elaine. This is the kind of stuff most guys don’t do; they try to play it a little quieter. But I guess since we both knew this was a set-up, he didn’t feel the need. I babbled about how my phone isn’t working as a phone at the moment so he wouldn’t be able to hear me if he called me, and he said, “…Okay, but I can text you, right?” and I told myself to stop talking and just say yes and give him my number.

But the best part is that I’m not waiting for the text. I had a lovely evening with friends and their friend. And that’s all it really ever had to be.

It was almost like a Thomas Kinkade painting around here.

I spent New Year’s Eve doing one of the things that makes me the happiest in life: cooking and serving a big meal for a bunch of people.

Before I bought my house, I couldn’t really have a bunch of people over. Now, I can have maybe a dozen before it starts getting really cozy. (And by “really cozy” I mean “more than two people sitting on my stairs to eat.”) I had 10 Tuesday night. At least five of them were mystified by the countertop roaster I was using to make the three pork tenderloins I was going to serve. (It had occurred to me that every item on my menu needed to be roasted and I only have one oven. Happily, when I mentioned this to my parents during my Christmas visit, they offered me use of the roaster I forgot they had.) Before I’d turned it on, people were slowly approaching it, lifting the lid and and gazing at it like it was the eighth wonder of the world. It’s a Hamilton Beach contraption, and it doesn’t look particularly old. I don’t know when my parents bought it, but I believe it was so they could make two turkeys for either Thanksgiving or Christmas to feed our crowd, which varies between 22 and 34 people, depending on who’s spending which holiday with which side of their own families. They used it for Thanksgiving; my aunt and uncle used it for Christmas, and the morning after, my uncle delivered it back to my parents so I could take it.

Everyone had dressed up. This was such a delight. I had planned to be dressy because I’ve never hosted New Year’s Eve and I haven’t been to a NYE party since 2006/7 (And that one was boring, featured me overhearing someone tell my then-boyfriend-of-two-months, Mitch, “Your wife is hot,” and hearing him reply, “She’s not my wife. Yet,” and ended with his brother-in-law, who I had met one time before this, drunkenly hugging me goodbye and saying, “Please love him.” I should have known then that Mitch was a jerk.) But I hadn’t told anyone what to wear; I truly wanted it to be whatever they liked. Eliza texted me earlier in the day:

E: Attire?
Me: I’ll probably be dressy because that’s my mood, but wear whatever you want.
E: So, pajamas.
Me: Totally acceptable. I might change my clothes at some point. Toga? Possible.
E: Bikini.
Me: That would make things interesting…
E: Why not?
Me: It IS nye…

When I opened the door to their knock, Eliza was in an awesome cocktail dress, hair did, makeup on, heels, her glasses reflecting the twinkle of the lit garland around my door. Her husband was in a sportcoat and tie. They looked dashing. As did everyone else who showed up without asking at all what to wear. I was honored that they wanted to look nice. Even wee bitty Rosemary, all of two years old, was in a pretty dress and tights, walking around sipping ginger ale from a plastic champagne flute and saying “Cheers!” to everyone.

It’s possible that her father, Blaine, scoped out the situation when he came over early to drop off the veggie tray. I was already dressed. He may well have gone back and reported to Erica that the dress code was fancy. He was in a suit. A full-on suit. The man has a master’s degree in physics and is unemployed (cruel twist to being super-smart and educated). I have no idea the last time he wore a suit.

My tree was lit up, almost every light in the house was on and my friends were complimenting my Christmas decor while Rosemary played with the sheep in my nativity scene. (I had wondered if I should put it away – Rosemary tends to be sweetly destructive – but how could I hide the nativity scene and still call myself a good Christian woman, all sins to the contrary aside?) There was so much good cheer I could hardly contain myself.

Then Rosemary got hold of the remotes and now I can’t control my TV with any of them. The evening included about 30 minutes of four people trying to figure out how to get it to respond to button-pushing. I was crouched behind-beside it, maneuvering my wrap dress to stay wrapped while reaching through a tangle of cable-box-blu-ray-player-phone-TV-router-modem cords trying to sort out which was which so I could unplug the TV, hoping it might re-set. Because kicking it to make it work is probably ill-advised when you’re dealing with a TV. Is what the four of us had worked out. This includes the guy with the M.S. in physics.

My grandmother, when she hosted holiday meals, always served Pepperidge Farm Piroutte cookies… little, buttery, crisp, light straws streaked with chocolate. I remember them clearly from my childhood. When I had been shopping, I came across them and thought they’d be a pretty addition to the berries & sparkling wine I planned to serve for dessert. The berries went into my grandmother’s sliver-rimmed bone china bowls, topped with a little bit of still-fizzing bubbly, and I laid a Pirouette across each one. It was so simple and so pretty, and it made me smile to know that my grandmother was with us, even if I was the only one aware of it.

She probably smiled too, but she prefered the sweet Asti Spumanti to the Gruet Brut I was serving. We buried her with a bottle of Asti. True story. My cousin accidentally bumped the casket during the viewing and the bottle loudly clunked to the bottom, sending my cousin shooting away from my grandmother’s remains with an expression of terror. It was hysterical. I believe my mother and several aunts peed themselves a little.

When the countdown clock ticked down to midnight, old acquaintance was not forgot, but these friends of mine in this home I’ve made lifted plastic flutes of sparkling wine and bade each other good for the year, after being a very big part of what made the last one good for me.

Here’s to 2014, and friends. And family who linger long after they’re gone. Eat, drink, and be merry. Show love.

And occasionally, knock a bottle of cheap booze around a dead body. Can’t hurt.

Prom Night

It’s prom night! I’m doing my nails! I know what I’m doing with my hair and everything!

Tonight is the fundraising semi-formal gala for the neighborhood association. We call it the prom, but really it’s just another neighborhood party in a different location for which we get to dress up instead of come-as-you-are. There’s dancing. It’s just like high school, except with Spanx and an open bar (wine and beer) and a silent auction, a pre-event dose of ibuprofen so my back can handle the night, and an instant spray-on tan from a can instead of weeks of seven-minute increments in a tanning bed. And nobody sneaks off to get high afterward.

That last part might not be true.

I’ve been mentally preparing for The Colombian to be there with Lydia for a month, so it’ll be totally fine. It’s nice to be able to go to prom and not feel like I have to have a date, or feel like a loser for not having one. (I did have dates to my proms.) So why was it a tiny little poke in the gut when Rick, who never posts on FB, posted about his gallery showing yesterday and thanked his girlfriend for making it so special?

That’s awesome, by the way. I’m glad they’re doing well. I’m just a little jealous that nobody says such sweet things about me.

While electro-chatting with Angie about the upcoming evening, a text came through. Javier, from whom I haven’t heard in two weeks (when I was in the mountains and he simply asked if I was in town and then not another peep). “Pre-drinks, my house, 7pm. Bring bubbly but not required.”

Well, hell. You’ve gone ahead and invited me over (I’m not the only invite—an hour later, Gaybor Steve told me without prompting that he’ll be there) and even beaten me to the “what can I bring?” punch by telling me. If my former coworker had been able to bring me my latest wine shipment, I’d have bubbly at home, but that hasn’t happened yet, which means now I have to go to the store.

I’m currently smelly, sans makeup, greasy hair pulled back in a haphazard ponytail, and wearing entirely too much ironic fuscia velour in the form of yoga pants and a zip-up hoodie given to me by my Crazy Aunt for Christmas a few years ago. It’s what I wear when Honey Badger don’t give a shit. Now I either have to shower early and put on real clothes to go out in public or I have to go get the bubbly when I’m all gussied up.

Oh, wait! That gives me the chance to cruise by The Colombian’s house early and scope it for signs of Lydia’s car. Then, since I haven’t replied to the text, I can toss off going to the pre-party if I don’t like the look of things.

Jesus, it is just like high school. What the hell, me? Get it together. We are too old to care about this shit.

And we are going to look gooooood tonight. If we find the right Spanx. I have to find the full-body bust-to-thigh one so I don’t have to wear the other one, because the other one has a band at the waistline that’s totally discernable if someone puts a hand on my back. Of course, the full-body one has a tendency to cheat its way south at the top, which means I have to reach in and pull it back up over my boobs. I didn’t have these problems in high school. I weighed more then, actually, but I had less trunk jiggle and the shoulder-to-ankle royal blue sequins on my dress were good cover for any less-than-smooth bits I might have had.

I could just wear that dress. It would be my second ironic outfit of the day. I still have it and it still fits. In case you haven’t noticed, I apparently have trouble letting some things go. But in my defense, the reason I still have the prom dress is totally because I like occasionally slipping it on to confirm: *fist  pump*Still fits! I might do that anyway, just to bolster the confidence a little. And then when it no longer fits I can burn it and pretend I have no idea that I ever had a prom dress.

Maybe I should start drinking now.

 

 

 

Lesson 1 of the Week: Sociability

It’s possible that I had the good fortune of a really cool week.

Last Sunday was a designated Funday. Sunday Funday Part I: brunch with my girls. My former co-worker girls, that is – who I hadn’t seen in three months. We usually do lunch once a month, but we were negligent in our schedulings since April when I left my old job.

Anyway.

We caught up on all the gossip from the place I fled like my panties were on fire (after sitting there burning in them for 4.5 years) while drinking mimosas and bloody marys like they were going out of style. (Are they going out of style? I’m bad at keeping up with those things.) We found out all about Alicia’s trip to North Carolina to vacation with her whole family and Amanda’s ridiculously amazing cruise to Alaska.

I decided I want to go, but not on a 15-day trip with Disney Cruise Lines like a quadruply long version of my trip two years ago, because 10 full days at sea on a ship full of children is liable to involve somebody going overboard because whoa.

After about two and a half hours of stuffing our faces and swilling alcohol deemed acceptable before 2pm, we parted ways. About 15 minutes later I hung a hairpin turn, misjudged the curb and parted ways with my front passenger tire.

Since I was so near to my former place of professional toil, I called them up and asked them for the number for the guys who handled the work vehicles. An hour later, said guys found me. But since it was such a nice day (once you adjusted to the literally  eleventy-two degree temperature and suffocating humidity), I was perfectly content to sit in my crippled car amusing myself with my internet-connected phone until they arrived.

The only reason I hadn’t changed my own tire to the spare from the trunk was that I was physically incapable of doing so. My back was still angry after its latest rebellion and I was wearing a dress. And everyone knows you can’t change a tire whilst wearing a dress. But when the towing company guys arrived, I felt guilty about my decision.

The guy who wound up doing all the work while his early-20s protege stood there picking his nose was probably in his mid-50s and had spent a good portion of those years in hard living situations. He was big-bellied, sweating like Pat Robertson’s pregnant teenaged daughter and short one belt for his pants. There was a lot of grunting and blowing of sweat from his upper lip while directing NosePicker to get this wrench and that jack and the other thing from the truck.

With the spare on, I limped the 50+ miles home on back roads to avoid highway speed. This means I got to take the scenic route through the west side of town. By “scenic route” I mean “route that makes you want to never come to this city ever again and is that a gun by the way?”

It took an hour and 20  minutes. I left brunch at 2:30 and got home at 6.

So I downed a glass of water, mixed a clear cocktail in my 24oz reusable water bottle and took myself on down to the free concert playing nearby. There were dogs and people in ironic summer clothing and sundresses and the temperature cooled off and it turned out to be a really lovely night.

Monday night: last-minute dinner out at the yuppie neighborhood hangout (not to be confused with the hole-in-the-wall neighborhood hangout) with a couple of neighbors. An embarrassment of cheeses – I really must find their vendor – and good wine, and some accidentally amazing peoplewatching. What would you do if you saw a guy walking down the street with six bags of cotton candy? And then he went and loaded himself up with like 20 more bags of it from the trunk of a Nissan Maxima? You would take a picture and post it on Facebook, that’s what you’d do.

Tuesday night: While I was preparing my calorie-conscious salmon filet for baking (the sociability of my neighborhood directly correlates to the recent expansion of my waist and ass), I got an electronic invitation from Blaine and Erica across the street. “Hey, Jay and Eliza are over. There’s pizza. Come.”

Salmon went in the fridge. Where it proceeded to stink up the joint until I threw it out three days later. Three days later, I say, because Wednesday Ali texted: “Dinner my place!” We’d been trying to get together for two weeks. “Bring Moose Tracks ice cream for Gavin.” So I went to dinner at Ali’s and 11-year-old Gavin got his ice cream.

Thursday: I was going to stay in, but then Eliza messaged me that she and Jay were sans kids and up half a bottle of wine they weren’t going to drink, and they would love to see me. Well… how do you argue with that? So we shared stories about singing, drank wine and homemade limoncello (highly flammable), and maybe broke up an attempted rape. Hard to say. Either that or the girl who was screaming while three guys carried her and two others helped really was their cousin, as the boys claimed. And then I forgot to tell time and wound up walking home at 1:30am. Sober, but late.

Friday I stayed in. Shockingly.

And then there was today. Today, Alicia and I spent six hours on a free winery tour. Yes, I said free. A bit of a road trip led us to three wineries, 21 wines, some really cool people and the absolute lack of either of us losing our shit or yelling anything inappropriate. Unlike last time she went to wineries. Which was last weekend. And which ended in her yelling the same infamous quote from a local politician repeatedly.

I came home with three bottles because I’m running low in general and I’m totally out of white and it turns out my sociable neighbors prefer white in the summer months, like I do.

Tomorrow: singing at Mass, lunch with Mama-Friend (the woman I would choose to be my mother would that be possible), a trip to Target and then possibly a street festival with food on sticks.

Because nobody doesn’t like food on sticks. Including my expanding waist and ass.

The Question

Over the long holiday weekend (the university closed on Friday, too – is this real life?) an old friend from grade school – grade school, I say – was in town with his wife and three daughters on a whirlwind road trip, so we got together for brunch. 

He looks exactly the same as he did in eighth grade. No, really. Exactly. Even his wife agreed that he hasn’t changed since she met him in high school. She and I are Facebook friends, which is how this whole thing went down (we went through three years of HS together before I moved). And honestly, you would think there would be awkwardness when you meet for brunch with the guy you had a crush on when you were eight through 14 and who you haven’t seen in 19 years, but no! No awkwardness at all! We chatted endlessly for like two hours! Including that usually awkward time when you’re standing around waiting for your table because the joint is crowded.

The only thing I really didn’t understand was that Jenna and the girls all ordered lunch food. I never understand ordering latter-hour food when breakfast is an option. I’m a breakfast- all-day- long kinda girl. David backed me up, though – ordered almost the exact same thing I did.

His midwestern gentility and kindness haven’t changed, either. Then again, that’s probably because they still live in Indiana. About four miles from where they grew up, actually. He teaches at the Catholic grade school around the corner from where my family and I lived (which was not, to be clear, the one we went to – that was 15 minutes away). Whatever else one can say about the midwest (and I’ve said some stuff), its residents are just good people. I’m pretty sure, in the 15 years I was in Indy and Ohio, the only asshole I ever knew was me.

Oh, wait. I forgot John Kasich.

john kasich

Seriously. I met him on election night 2000. He’d been voted out of  Congress in 1998 and wasn’t yet employed with anything else and he was still incredibly rude. What a dick. Now he’s governor of Ohio. For some reason.

David caught me up on all the folks we have shared history with – some we went to grade school with and some from high school. He and Jenna have dinner once a month with a few folks. Seems everyone’s married with kids, doin’ the midwestern living thing, suburban tract houses in the same zip code as their parents, all things I just can’t relate to. And then he, very pleasantly, asked The Question.

“So! Did you ever get married?”

Wait, you know what? Let me back up. That’s not The Question. The Question is actually one of two:  “Why aren’t you married?” or “are you seeing anyone special?” It struck me that this Question was actually past tense. As in, “Now that we’re on the downward slope of our mid-30s, are you divorced or what?”

None of our friends from Indy are divorced except for one that I can think of. She just bought a house on the street where I lived, which is down the street from her oldest sister, who has lived with her husband in that house for about 25 years. I used to babysit their kids.

Anyway.

I smiled around the inquiry because he was smiling and he was totally meeting my eyes, which told me it was an honest to goodness curiosity and not a judgment. “Nope,” I replied with the return smile. “Never married!”

“Just livin’ the single girl life, huh?” he grinned, nodding.

“Yep! Just…” I was looking out the window at the view of the city from the table, trying not to use those exact words in my response, thinking about how much I actually like being single here, and how much better it is than being single in Indy.

“Well I would guess with your old job, the schedule would have made it hard,” David offered as an explanation for my marital status.

“Well, yeah,” I cooperated, “because the hours can be crazy and you work holidays and stuff. Actually, you wind up dating people you work with, or at least people in the same field, because they understand, you know.”

David’s head was set on Affirmative Bob.

Do this right, I was thinking. Talk just enough, but not too much. Too much sounds kind of pathetic. Don’t let your indignation at perceived judgment make you go into how you’d like to get married someday but you’re nowhere near it right now and you’ve had kind of a rough end to a complicated relationship not too long ago but apparently he’s getting married which what the hell is THAT about and you’re not really interested in having kids even though they would be nice to have around when you’re old if you don’t do such a bad job at parenting that they’d rather smother you with a pillow which you’re pretty sure is why you haven’t had any and hey why are your daughters suddenly crying?

Every time someone asks me one of these Questions, it feels odd to answer. I guess that’s because I always infer judgment from it, when that’s only the case some of the time, and fairly often it’s probably wonder at what life is like when you don’t get married and pop out offspring by 25. It’s a totally different life and people like a glimpse of the other side. Those who are married with kids rarely get that glimpse because all their friends are also married with kids.

It’s like the Rare Species exhibit at the zoo. “Wow, look at that! Do you see it? It’s single and childless. It seems just like the other ones, but there’s something so different about it!”

We moved on smoothly from that and it really was lovely to see them all and catch up. That evening I spent several hours with other members of my own species (I’m so glad I moved into this neighborhood). Saturday Sister and BIL 1 and Twin Nephs came to visit for the first time since I bought my house. A few of my neighbors – none of whom had been at the previous night’s gathering – stopped by late for drinks as Twin Nephs slept soundly. Three of them belong to the other species, but they’re cool with my genus. When all is said and done, I like both varieties just fine almost all the time. But it’s nice to have other members of mine around… even if we never get around to propagating the species.

 

The Gift of Enough

For a long time, I’ve been kicking around the idea of a post about what women are to women. It never completely gelled, which is why I haven’t written it. And I suspect this post won’t be a full gelling of the topic, either, but it seemed a good one to explore on a day when so many other posts would be of the “Roses Are Red” variety. Understand that my thoughts here aren’t meant as blankets. They are noted patterns, and of course there are exceptions.

Of all the struggles women encounter in daily and more broadly-defined life, I think none is as challenging, heart-rending and sometimes crippling as the struggle to know what is best for them and their families when it comes to work. In the “old days,” most women stayed home and raised their children, generally regardless of whether they wanted to or not. It was expected of them. They were greeted at the end of a long day by a husband whose further expectations, be they real or perceived, were only more wearying. Some men did help. Some expectations were merely societal and not personal. And there were fewer single mothers then.

It was nearly unheard-of for a woman to say she wasn’t sure she was cut out for it. Not sure she was doing the best job. Not certain she wasn’t supposed to be doing other things that might enrich her life, make her happier. She felt, well… a little trapped, maybe. A little let down that the “dream life” turned out to be kind of banal and maddening sometimes. And she felt guilty as hell for not being completely pleased to stay home and raise the children she’d always wanted and deeply loved… even when she thought about leaving them in a store for good.

Now, things are different. A lot more moms work. They do it because they need the extra income, or they do it because they’re the only income, or because someone invested in their education and they don’t want to waste it, or because children came later, or because they know they’ll be happier women, and therefore better moms, if they get out of the house and away from their children. They tell each other and themselves that they can handle it, that they can do it all, with help from friends and supportive partners. Or without. But always, they go to bed feeling they’ve fallen short somewhere in the day. And they feel guilty as hell for not staying home all the time, or for not wanting to stay home all the time.

These are stories to which every woman can relate – even those, like me, who don’t have children. Somewhere above is at least one thought that has crossed all of our minds, that has kept us awake at night, whether because it was our reality or our considered possibility. And with all this inner conflict, with all this uncertainty, with all this fear and worry and unspoken aching, what do we women do for one another?

We pretend to support each other while we tear each other apart.

We judge each other. Stay-at-home moms are weak, less bright, less driven, more dependent, more likely to become depressed, less likely to be truly happy with motherhood because they’re not fulfilling themselves intellectually and professionally. Women who work are selfish, arrogant, controlling, unfocused. They don’t love their children enough to make a less self-glorifying choice.

In the absence of those particular judgments, there is jealousy. Those who work and don’t malign stay-at-home moms envy them instead. Those who stay home and don’t malign working moms wish they could go to work, too.

I’m not sure I’ve ever met a mother, of any persuasion, age or station in life, who was truly happy with her place. With her choice. With her options. I’m not sure I’ve ever met a mother who didn’t sometimes wonder whether she’d done the right thing.

And then there are those of us who don’t have children. Some of us can’t, and dread the moments when friends or relatives ask when we’re having babies or why we haven’t, carrying in our wombs the ache of that which we want but cannot do. Others of us choose not to have children, whether it be because we don’t feel we would be good mothers, or because we’re not solid in our partnerships, or because we don’t like children, or simply because we’re not sure it’s what’s right for us. Some of us are childless as a matter of timing and a long search for the right partner. We all listen to the clucking of our loved ones musing that time is running out. We hear people accuse us of being too focused on our careers, as if being childless and destitute would be the better option. Or we endure the supposedly inspiring cheerleading of our “empowered” friends who insist that we put aside our “fears” and believe in that which our bodies are designed to do. They urge us on and insist that we can do it, without ever asking us whether we want to do it. And if we don’t want to do it, well… there must be something wrong with us.

All the time, what I hear and read and see is a battle of women against women. I believe, by and large, it is no longer men who hold us back, be it in the workplace or the home. It is the voices of our mothers, our sisters, our friends, our envied counterparts, our own doubting selves, making us believe that whatever we are doing is not enough.

I’ve long wondered why women are so hard on each other. For all that wondering, I have come to believe that the answer is simply that we criticize in others that which we do not like within ourselves. In the end, if we strip everything away, the problem we have is not with that other woman, that other mother, who does the opposite of that which we do. The problem is that we are afraid that, after all our self-convincing, all our preaching, all our liberation, all our choices and all our acceptance of whatever comes… we were wrong.

We are afraid that we are not enough.

That the voices are right.

That she is better.

That we have failed.

Failed our partners.

Failed our children.

Failed our parents.

Failed ourselves.

This Mother’s Day, I ask every woman to shut out the voices that tell her she is not enough and listen to her own. I ask her to ignore what tells her she is not enough, and to decide for herself and her family what is best.

And I ask all the other women who are not her… to mind their own damned business.

On the Second Day of Christmas

On the Second Day of Christmas, I wished I could wear pajamas to work. But since only one boss was around and she dresses very questionably on a good day, I settled on jeans, a comfy sweater, glorious cushiony flats and a pair of Christmas socks. They don’t light up or anything. They just have red and white polka dots on them. They’re festive. I also wore the Christmas watch that Santa gave me, which features a holiday-colored tartan wristband and snowflakes on the very large face. It will make my moth–uh, Santa– happy to know I wore it. Santa is always wasting her money on little “extra” gifts that my sisters and I will never, ever use or wear. It’s cute, in a useless way. She makes us all wait and open that particular gift at the same time so there’s no big reveal that ruins the tartan wristband snowflake watch surprise for anybody else, and then all four of us look at each other while trying to summon a face that doesn’t disappoint her. Poor Santa.

On the 26th, I had no food in the house other than superfluous cookies which I didn’t even want to look at. So at work, I ordered miso soup and lettuce wraps for dinner like a Jewish girl who’d misplaced her calendar. (What? Two of my [six] bosses are Jewish. They said it too.) I happily slurped and munched my Chinese food because it didn’t contain a single carb or fried thing or cream cheese-based substance, and therefore, like Christmas itself, it would lead to salvation. Though not so much from sin and damnation as from the stuff I had mindlessly nibbled the day before while pirouetting around my parents’ kitchen playing sous-chef and sommelier to a huge holiday meal. When my dad swore at the turkey and asked when my generation was going to take over, I told him the whole crew is welcome to schlep the road trip to my place and back for the sake of not having to prepare the meal… just as soon as I buy a house. Minutes later, he told the grown-up table that he and my mother would host Thanksgiving in 2012.

I think he’d been too much into the wine and cold medicine.

Speaking of being too much into the wine… Jack and I managed to do Christmas on the 26th since he begged off on the 25th, citing prohibitive discomfort from a meal much heavier than what his marathon-running system is used to. He came over when I got done with work Monday night, bearing a wrapped box of happiness: six bottles of yummy wine. “I had help,” he told me. Jack is not a wine drinker, and therefore has no earthly idea what’s good and what’s not other than by guessing from the price tags. So, God love him, he asked the guy at the liquor store for guidance and stocked me up with excellent choices.

I think he’s trying to take advantage of me.

Might work.

Jack is one of those guys who doesn’t want anything he doesn’t have, and if he does, he’ll buy it for himself, so finding a gift for him is a challenge every year. Fortunately, I’m learning to key in when he says he likes something. In this case, it was a photo I’d taken during a little autumn shoot on a nature trail. He runs on the trail, and when he saw the shot, he told me how much he loved it. As in, he had a litany of thoughtful reasons. Score. Blow it up, buy a pre-fab frame, wrap it, put a bow on it. You’re done. This resulted in what I find to be one of the best things about Christmas: watching a loved one adore a gift you’ve picked out especially for them. The dear man even graced me with the assumption that I’d had the frame and matte custom-made.

Oh, Target. You are my best friend.

I couldn’t let him think that, though. He’d feel bad about the expense. So I fumbled my way around the reality – that I bought the pre-made frame at Target – and came up with “I didn’t go that route.”

Sometimes the lesson of Christmas is how to be graceful about being a cheap-ass.

With the running and rush of the holiday over and the day at work behind me, the Second Night of Christmas glowed in the light of the tree and the candles, and the quiet joy of a gift well-received and a companion well-loved. After the chaos and commotion of the day before, we spent the evening in calm relaxation. In his Christmas sermon at my parents’ new church, the priest had told us that the night of Jesus’ birth was almost certainly not silent. For Jack and me, the night after it was blessedly close.

If You’re Not the Doctor, You Don’t Need To Know

Thank God my friends did not tweet the birth of their child.

Brad and I have been super-close for a decade. I wrote a whole ode to our friendship in a post back in April. We’ve seen each other through all kinds of drama: work, family and relationship-oriented. We’ve spent countless hours on the phone. We Facebook IM every day before I go to work and email each other once I get there. There’s absolutely nothing romantic between us; we’re just lucky to have each other as friends.

Yesterday, Brad became a daddy for the first time. His wife Carrie delivered baby Max after about 24 hours of quasi-labor followed by the real thing.

And not a word of it transmitted on the internet, until after little Maxwell arrived.

I knew Brad and Carrie would never go for the social network method of childbirthing, because neither one of them have the stomachs for that. Neither do I. A coworker has told me more than once about the person she had to nix from her online life because he was offering up regular transmissions about his wife’s dilation, effacement and station. The fact that he did this made my co-worker pretty sure he had some other significant character flaws.

Nobody wants to know that stuff.

Seriously.

Or at least, so I thought.

I spent Tuesday night with minimal sleep, waiting for a message on my phone (I had been promised a direct message, as opposed to learning about the child’s birth via Facebook, which I would have tried to be a big person about, but would have definitely hurt my feelings). I had dreams about it. When I got up in the morning I had to check the phone to make sure that Brad hadn’t actually called me and told me they were worried that the baby was breech, and that I had lost track of reality in some fuzzy sub-alert state (indeed, it was just a dream). Hours and hours and hours went by. Brad had told me around midnight that the doctors were going to induce Carrie because her contractions weren’t regular enough, and by noon I was wondering if they had done it right away or let her sleep for a while and then did it, or what. It could be hours and hours, I told myself.

I had flashbacks to when my sister was in labor with my nephew. That was hours and hours, though not as many as Carrie. The whole time, I was resisting the urge to pick up the phone and send a text: “Update???” Read: “Um, yo, bro-in-law, that’s my sister you’ve got there trying to squeeze that kid out, so if you wouldn’t mind letting us know if she’s still alive, that’d be great. Thanks.” But I didn’t do that. Delivering a child is sort of a hurry up and wait situation and no anxious father-to-be and exhausted, pained mother-to-be need to be bothered in the process. It’s an experience that’s between them. Much like the conception. They’ll tell you when the kid is here. Leave them alone.

So I left Brad alone, which I had promised I would do; he was already in a high state of agita with his in-laws and his mother at his house. They drive him crazy on a totally normal day.

It’s this “Leave Them Alone” philosophy that resulted in my tremendous annoyance when, hours and hours into this whole delivery effort, I found that some other people – mutual friends – did not share my viewpoint. I had decided it wouldn’t hurt if I checked out Carrie’s Facebook page to see if anything had been posted that I missed. I wouldn’t post anything, of course; I just wanted to see if there was an update. She and Brad had posted nothing, but a small cadre of friends had.

“What, no update in the middle of labor? We’re waiting!”

“Yeah, we’re waiting!”

“You should be keeping us posted!”

“Get the drugs!”

People. Are you kidding me with this?

First of all, there’s a reason neither Carrie nor Brad had posted anything on their respective pages about Carrie being in labor. There was no mention of it on the pages at all until our friend and former co-worker posted that first one. But he goes and posts it and now everybody sees that Carrie’s in labor. Which means everybody chimes in, sends messages, sends texts, whatever. Because people think it’s all about them. And they apparently never think of the possibility that something may have gone wrong, that something tragic may have happened. It didn’t, thank God, but it always could, and then they’d feel like total jerks. And they would be right.

I mean, who posts on a laboring woman’s Facebook page that they want an update? Basically all you’re doing is broadcasting personal information to hundreds of people she didn’t want to be informed. She’s not going to see the page until at least the next day. She doesn’t exactly have her laptop in the delivery room, or her smartphone in her hand. She’s sort of preoccupied with trying to deliver a child and then trying to wrap her head around the fact that this little bundle is here and needs her for everything and all of a sudden she needs him for everything, too, and the nature of her marriage and her life has just completely changed. She’s got some stuff to digest. So she maybe doesn’t want to be answering Facebook messages right now.

As for Brad, maybe there aren’t many of us who truly know how he is in major life-changing situations. His anxiety level is high on a regular basis, but he’s really good at hiding it, so maybe the circle of those who know not to make this crazy life-changing situation any more manic is fairly small. But as one of the people who does know this, I feel the urge to protect him from the mindless people who don’t.

I found myself drumming my fingers on the keyboard, dying to post something snarky under all these people’s idiotic musings, something zingy and pithy, directed at them, in hopes that they would get how stupid and thoughtless they were being.

But… I took a deep breath and employed the Thumper Rule instead. If you can’t say nothin’ nice, don’t say anything at all.

Brad was going to be annoyed enough at them later, though he’d let it go because he’d be holding his newborn son when he read the messages.

We could talk about them after.

Finally, at 4:30 or so yesterday afternoon, I got a text informing me that one of my dearest friends in the world was now the father of a healthy, 8 lb 12 oz boy named Maxwell. I yayed out loud at work. Which was awkward, because at the time, I was on the phone with a co-worker friend who was telling me about how his neighbor’s home had been robbed.

“So these kids just came in in the middle of the day, broke a window and got in–”

“OH YAY!!!”

“…Yeah, I’m gonna assume that’s not in response to the robbery.”

Oops.

I spent the rest of the day checking to see if pictures had been posted… and they were, here and there. I won’t post them in this entry because he’s not my kid and I don’t have the copyrights to him. But he’s beautiful, and he’s got his eyes wide open most of the time, it seems. Much like his father, he appears to need entertainment.

This morning, while I was still practicing the Leave Them Alone, This Is Family Time philosophy, Brad sent me a text and a picture of little Max, wide awake and ready for action. “This is one alert dude,” Brad told me.

“How are you?” I asked.

“Good. I cried for about 20 minutes,” he said.

I loved that text. It told me so much about our friendship and his life in those few words. It made me cry to read it.

We exchanged a few more messages – everything went really smoothly, Carrie’s hurting but doing okay, they’ll go home tomorrow (the hospital has a minimum two-day stay at $750 a night – and I think that’s just the room rate). I know we’ll talk soon, and I can’t wait to meet the little guy.

But I’m so glad the whole cyber-universe didn’t have to read about Carrie’s cervix.

Well done, Brad and Carrie.

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Featured image from gawker.com