Friday, February 27, 2009

Week 16 tummy + big news!

I really wanted to draw this week's baby for you. I was, however, hampered by my (lack of) talent and some of the details.

This week, week 16, it's an avocado. And it has toenails.

Which is to say, my attempts at a drawing mostly looked like those toe fungus commercial cartoons.

The envisioning of which in my uterus makes me completely grossed out. Plus it's just not how I want to promote my progeny.

Also, in big news, it has a penis. Because, turns out, it's a boy!

I mean, of course, big news on the gender front. Because I don't suppose one actually has any idea how big until, well, when? Puberty?

I'm already embarrassing him. I'm sure of it.

But in any case.

This would make my drawing a slightly pornographic toenail-having avocado.

Not suitable for work at all.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Choices. Or, suddenly, in the canned fruit aisle, it all became clear.

I had an epiphany at Harris Teeter last night.

All those years of just not finding the right guy? It was me, all about me.

But not in the ways I've thought.

It wasn't that I wasn't smart or pretty or thin enough, or don't have an Ivy League degree, or an impressive enough resume or whatever. I mean, for some of those guys it was.

What it really was for me was that I chose wrong.

And not in the way I've been thinking. I mean, sure, I gravitated towards some very damaged ones, and one really mean one. But for the most part, they were just nice, normal guys.

Which, it struck me last night, was precisely the problem.

We were in the cereal aisle, looking at low-fat granola. With raisins? Without?

And suddenly I was all, raisins! I must have raisins!

So I abandoned Nick in cereal and headed out in search of the raisin aisle, which is not as easy to find as you might think. Nick found them with the canned fruit and such.

On a sidebar, the groupings in grocery stores are never what I expect. I mean, I wouldn't put avocados and figurines together, but things like popcorn are never where I think it should be.

Anyway. Back to my revelation.

We found the raisins. And Nick, who is not so much on the fruit, was all, "Raisins? What are you going to do with raisins?"

Eat them. Duh.

"Well, sweetheart. I thought I'd wait till you're asleep. And then I intend to insert them quietly and gently, one by one, into your anus."

Nick, who didn't even bat an eye = good choice for me.

Attractive probably-totally-normal guy who, from the look on his face, clearly found himself in the canned fruit aisle at the wrong time = bad choice for me.

See? Choices.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

I'm all, 40 days? Try 40 weeks.

If you're religious, maybe don't read this one. Also, if there's a Hell, I am probably on the express train.

My calendar says Ash Wednesday, which made me realize two things.

One, I have never had any idea what Ash Wednesday is about. And two, this is the first day of Lent.

Lent is something I find fascinating. It's something so many people who aren't actually good-in-their-soul kinds of people do. And then they talk a lot about what they've given up.

At least, this is how it seems to me.

Having been raised a heathen, I think I first learned about Lent in college. Which was also the first time I saw people my age going to church voluntarily, instead of bitterly being dragged by their parents to Mass like we were for those few years.

Not having been raised with a religion - or really, having been raised with four years of hurry-up-cram-it-in Catholicism, which didn't stick because I was too old, I just don't think I'll ever actually get organized religion. Or Christianity, anyway.

And then in the Peace Corps, all the Catholic priests we worked with in our communities were such hypocrites. They were all preaching goodness and sharing - not to mention telling women that they weren't complete human beings if they weren't mothers - and they were mostly kind of crappy people.

Even the young, dynamic one I really, really liked as a person spouted the official "have more kids, birth control is wrong." And eventually it came out that he had an entire secret family in another village. They all did. And the archdiocese knew about them, and always looked the other way.

All this to say, I've not been raised with or developed a whole lot of respect for the only church I know anything about.

If you're not religious, there are a whole number of things you can give up for Lent.

And so when someone who doesn't really know me asks me if I've given up anything for Lent - and bizarrely, if rarely, this does happen - I tend to say wicked things like, "Jesus," or "Mass," or "tithing."

But this time around I'm all, "Giving up for Lent? My whole fucking life is Lent."

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

In an effort to make things very clear

I have been thinking about this documentary on dwarfism I saw years ago.

With all my frets, dwarfism has not been among them. But it popped into my mind the first time someone asked if we're going to find out the gender and what I am hoping for.

I know you're supposed to be all, "Either, as long as it's healthy."

So this is what I go ahead and say, even though for me, it's a lie. I mean, yes, healthy is absolutely the most important. And you kind of don't want to admit you're hoping beyond that, in case it's not.

And at this point, we'll get health results and gender all at once. And really, with the things they're looking for, the gender information is the least critical piece.

So in the documentary, the focus of one storyline was on this couple who both had the same kind of dwarfism. The wife was pregnant, and because of their genetic makeup, there were a number of outcomes for the baby.

According to doctors, there was a 50% chance that it would have their kind of dwarfism. There was a 25% chance that the baby would be a regular-sized person. And there was a 25% chance that the genes would match up in a bad way and the fetus would die.

They were hoping for dwarfism.

I get very invested in stories like this. I was really rooting for them.

My then-boyfriend came over at the tail end of the documentary. So I tried to give him the full picture - the chance that their baby would die, the worry that it wouldn't be like them, the. . .

Being a data person, he wasn't into in the human interest details. "Yes, yes, fine. Anyway. What kind of baby did they have?"

I had to think about how to phrase it so that he'd understand the variables.

"A not-dead-dwarf baby."

Monday, February 23, 2009

Like it would ever occur to me

I'm extremely untidy. If you know me, you know this.

I don't leave dishes - dishes make me crazy. But there are always piles of stuff about. I'm a piler. And a stuff-leaver.

My father, who is both incredibly tidy and a control freak, used to tell me that if any man ever saw the state of my place before I'd cleaned up for company, he would never, ever marry me. This started young, and as a 6th grader, whether some man might or might not marry me was of little concern.

But this was raised continuously over the years, and added to my mental stockpile of possible reasons nobody would ever love me. But size of thighs was always higher on the list, and anyway, cleaning is boring, and so I would always opt for exercise over tidiness.

But despite my messy, messy ways, eventually someone great - a very tidy semi-control freak - decided he really wanted to marry me. Even with the knowledge that order would be a struggle.

And then, as you know, he knocked me up.

So I had the amniocentesis on Friday, and it wasn't so bad.

I mean, the idea of a long needle poking through my belly and into my uterus and sucking out two teaspoons of baby juice totally freaked me out. But the reality was that I didn't watch, that it felt kind of crampy and creepy, and then it was done.

They give you this sheet of instructions for 24-48 hours, including: staying off your feet, no heavy lifting or exercise, and no sex or sexual activity.

That last one I found kind of interesting, and of course in my mind wondered if that meant that if you were into S&M, or a dominatrix or something, could you not give non-strenuous spankings? Or apply nipple clamps or hurty underwear, or I don't know what-all, as long as you didn't exert yourself or get off in the process?

I kept this to myself. I really was kind of terrifiedly worked up. No ability to joke. Even though I was sure everything would be fine. Right?

But still. Big needle, belly poke. Scary.

It did all go well, and the actual needle-fluid-sucking part was very quick. And the office is so friendly.

So once it was done, they made sure I'd read the No Instructions. The doctor was very clear on no exertion and no exercise - not even walking - Friday or Saturday.

She said, "One woman felt fine, so she went home and vacuumed. And then she called us with terrible cramps. Vacuumed! So don't do anything - not even vacuuming!"

Nick leaned forward, "I can absolutely assure you that there is no chance on this earth that Lisa is in any danger of vacuuming."

Saturday, February 21, 2009

And to top it off I was genuinely considering using Britney Spears lyrics for a title

It turns out that when you add uncontrollable hormonal crazy to someone who feels like she already spends a good deal of effort trying - with varying degrees of success - to walk the normal line, it's practically soul-sucking.

I am so fucking sick of being pregnant. And I'm not even halfway done.

You can hate me for saying this. Go ahead. I feel like a huge asshole for feeling this way.

But I do.

I want my body back. I'm tired of feeling thick and bloated and ugly, and not having any idea what might or might not fit tomorrow.

Or today. I haven't gotten dressed yet. Because I can't stop crying enough to leave the house anyway.

I am tired of my body being totally out of my control. I want to go for a really hard run. I want to lift weights, but not the oh, careful, low-weight-high-reps that I'm doing now. I want the kind of workout that leaves you totally shattered exhausted and feeling good about yourself.

I'm tired of not ever feeling good about myself.

I want to shit with some regularity. And to stop having to worry in the office that someone is going to drop in right after I've farted - which is like, all the time - and I'll die of embarrassment before they die of asphyxiation.


It's not like I had all that great a grip on my emotions before, you know?

I have been crying hysterically, and I mean HYSterically, all morning. I cannot stop crying. Typing this makes me cry. Thinking about it makes me cry harder.

I suppose on the upside, I have a lot of practice with crying. So even sobbing, I can make a kick-ass cappuccino.

But I had plenty of crazy before this started. I have enough variability in my emotions without adding the pregnant. I have always cried enough. I was never the person you'd turn to when you wanted a rational answer to an emotional situation.

And now?

I feel insane. Like, losing a grip insane. Not just, ha ha ha, I'm mad at Nick for using Splenda when I wanted sugar.


More like, I'm so fucking tired of this I hate this maybe I can't do this maybe I am just not the right person for this job.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Week 15 tummy

Today is amnio day.

I have to say, I'm relieved. I stressed about this endlessly, and eventually, I kind of fretted myself out. I think it's going to be fine, I really do.

You're supposed to arrive with a full bladder. Although this time, I'm going for moderation.

The last time I went in for an ultrasound, I'd chugged almost a liter of water (they said full, right?). And I had another half-liter at the ready, in case I wasn't full enough for them.

Turns out I was. They had to keep stopping and sending me to the bathroom, because the little lemon wasn't in a great position and didn't really have room to move.

It was kind of wild. She showed me my bladder filling (all that insidious water, continually sneaking in). And then she'd send me off to pee again.

In case you have to have one of these. A liter is overkill.

I assumed the full bladder was so that the baby would get pressed forward so that it would be easier to see. Like, you know when you were a kid, and you mashed your face against the airplane window, trying to see what's below, or count clouds or whatever? Admittedly, I still do this.

Anyway. That's what I was picturing.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Thanks, anonymous. Because most days, pregnancy doesn't screw with my sense of self quite enough.

I don't know what other (more rational, less hormonally mindfucked) bloggers would do with the following anonymous comment.

Me, I started out by stewing over it for days.

For what it's worth, I've been a happy reader of your blog for the last two years or so now. But since you have gotten pregnant, you have totally lost me. And no, I'm not some single guy who doesn't want to hear about pregnancy and babies. I am a 35 year old woman with a 3 year old and currently 5 months pregnant. But your constant whining about how fat you feel (my stomach is ALWAYS larger than your tiny one) is really hard to swallow. And how other babies aren't interesting to hold (maybe try and open your mind up on this one!), how you won't change diapers, etc. is just so petty and juvenile. Ever think that maybe it would give a break to the other parents to hold their baby? Or change a diaper? Or make them feel good that you are interested in their child, or that they might have something to teach you about raising a kid?

I know that your blog is a place to vent and be honest, but perhaps consider that these thoughts aren't ones to so proud of and keep repeating here. Just a thought from someone who is pretty close to being an ex-reader.

Initially it made me feel terrible. I'm a bad person. I'm whiny and petty and juvenile. And then it made me mad.

And then it made me all, seriously? I am whiny and petty and juvenile. But these are the reasons you're choosing!?

You can tell me I'm wrong about almost anything; I will freely admit I am. Just about the only thing I know I'm right about - and it's taken me a lot of years of work, not to mention a fuckwad of cash for help with said personal work - is my feelings.

So whether or not my abs are smaller than yours, I'm allowed to feel fat out loud on my blog. And when I gain eight pounds in eight weeks, of fucking course I'm whiny.


Did anyone who has read any of my weight posts in the past think I wouldn't lose my shit about my ass tripling in size? Does anyone think this is only about the growing size of my everything rather than a whole bunch of other fuckedupness?

Did anyone who remotely knows me think I would be all, oh, pregnancy! It's just like being wrapped in rainbows, kissed by puppies, and visited by Jesus every day! And the only unfortunate thing about the Jesus part, aside from explaining it to my husband, is that all the bread and fish makes me queasy!

And you can call me petty and juvenile - I often am. But for the love of Pete, would you do it for behavior that actually is?

Like, I can understand if you think I'm petty for collecting bugs to put in my boss's office. Or juvenile for getting really drunk and behaving badly on dates. Or for removing my clothes in public.

But getting all worked up because I don't want to hold other people's babies? That I'm not using them as "learning opportunities" - that's what you're going to chastise me for?

I'd rather walk someone's dog than hold their baby. We all have our preferences.

I spent a lot of years doing what other people thought I should, and trying to feel the way other people told me to.

I held that fucking baby for most of my life. Maybe I'm just not your cup of tea.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

In foulness and in health

I'm not saying I believe you have to be married to have a kid. I'm not even saying I think you should.

I'm just saying that I'm really glad Nick is legally locked in at this point.

Because while overall things have gotten a lot easier, there are some pregnancy parts that suck a tremendous amount of ass.

For me, it's not the tiredness, although I do sleep a lot more than I do anything else besides work. And Nick is amazing about picking up the slack at home. While I'm curled in a ball, sound asleep.

It's not even the out-of-nowhere (but in the moment unstoppable) bitchiness - "Would you say that the last five songs that have played are representative of your taste in music, or is this just a particularly annoying streak?"

And it's not the lack of desire - "Keep that thing the hell away from me. That's how I got here in the first place." - although I hope to all that is holy that this passes sooner rather than later. Because isn't the second trimester supposed to be a sextravaganza?

Nick may disagree with me on what's most dreadful - I haven't asked.

But for me, the worst of it is the gas that honest-to-Christ could kill farm animals.

It's much like the horrendously humiliating Turkey poo experience. I am just so thankful that it would take legal intervention and some amount of cash and hassle to sever this currently malodorous union.

See, pregnancy makes you poo less. So that your future progeny can suck out as many nutrients as possible as the food travels through you. Which, it turns out, results in the kind of gas that should be bottled as WMDs.

I swear to you, I woke up last night, turned over, and was blasted with the foulest stench. And I was all retchingly offended. "Ni-i-ick!"

He woke up enough to say, "Lisa. That's been you. All. Night."

It was terrible. Truly. The kind of terrible that makes the flight attendant rush toward you with air freshener.

And this just makes you want to crawl under the covers and die.

Although you realize that considering the gaseous composition festering under there, that would in fact be the likely outcome.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

In other words, it's best to have the wheel when traversing all this pastoral charm

As we were driving from his parents' house to his cousin's place for brunch, Nick took a detour past a graveyard on a hillside that he loves.

He pointed to an old farmhouse.

"Wouldn't you love to live there?"

He knows full well I wouldn't.

"Wouldn't it be perfect to come home and sit on the porch, and watch the sun set behind the hill?"

Nick would love to live way the hell out in nowhere. And I'd rather spoon my eyes out than live in some bucolic area, beautiful as much of New Jersey may be.

"You can buy that house with your next wife. Your next wife will love that kind of thing."


"Yes. And your next wife will never get upset about your food choices."

"My next wife sounds fantastic."

"She'll never worry about your cholesterol. In fact, she'll eat bleu cheese-stuffed, bacon-topped burgers and fries with you. And instead of getting upset, she'll suggest seconds."

"I'm going to love her so much."

"And then you can come home after your artery-clogging meal, and sit on your porch together and unbutton your tight pants and fold your hands over your bellies. And then at some point she'll get you another beer, and then a bowl of ice cream."

"That sounds wonderful."

"And then you'll go upstairs and have all kinds of anal sex."

"Yeah. For like the fifth time that day. With you."

"Me? I'm not there. I'm in Italy."

"No, you're there. We'll have regular threesomes with you. Even though you're in a coma."

"I'm not in a coma."

"You absolutely are. You're upstairs in a coma. But I still love you anyway."

"Am not. I'm on the Amalfi coast with Giancarlo. Fondling his incredible abs."

"Not in my fantasy."

"This isn't your fantasy. Give me back my sarcastic story."

It probably goes without saying, but I just feel the need to add. . .There's something very wrong with us. I'm well aware of it.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Week 14 tummy!

You know how the Wizard of Oz starts out in black and white and then when Dorothy opens the door in Oz, it's all brightly colored?

That's kind of what happened to me mid-week.

Suddenly, I began to remember that I actually used to like my life. Suddenly, 10 hours of sleep a night actually started to feel like enough. Suddenly, I could believe that I would have the energy to leap out of the way if a speeding bus were hurtling towards me.

Because until this week, I'd have had to just let the bus hit me. I was that tired. All the fucking time.

Suddenly, I only feel nauseated on the metro or when Nick is driving particularly hurky-jerky. Or when I really think about chicken.

But! And! Most importantly!

I have a little baby house on the front of my front!

It might not be big enough for some of you. But it's my baby and my tummy and I love it.

I could never have predicted how excited this would make me. Tej came by the office Tuesday afternoon, and saw my belly and said, "That wasn't there Saturday. You popped!"

Really, it wasn't. And suddenly on Tuesday afternoon, it was!

Pregnant! Belly!

I love it.


Thursday, February 12, 2009

The flashing game

It's been a while since I participated in TMI Thursday. Today seemed like as good a day as any.

And Dad, better you skipped this one. You won't be happy.

Maude made up the flashing game years ago.

We found it highly entertaining throughout our 20s. And maybe a little beyond. Truth is, I can't promise we've matured to the point where we wouldn't still do it, but now we live continents apart.

She's the person who used to push me into the most ridiculousness. I miss that in my life, I really do.

The main skills you need are the following. Wait, first of all, you need breasts - which I realize aren't skills. They don't need to be big - our little cupcakes worked fine. But you need some.

Starting there, then you need lightening quick reflexes, and the ability to scan a room in an instant. Or anyway, I imagine they'd be helpful.

Because if you lack those, you really just need the ability to shrug at the noticer and laugh at yourself.

The game is simple. You catch the eye of your friend. You then look around the room, waiting for the moment where nobody else is looking at you. And when that moment happens, you flash - shirt, bra, all up - the other person. Very quickly.

You then return to normal, pick up your drink, do whatever you were doing before. As if nothing out of the ordinary had every happened.

And here I should mention that we would do this at parties. Around adults. Not, like, at the mall on a Sunday.

You're winning if you're the last person who flashed. You're really winning if it's a crowded crowd and you get away with it.

Although you are not competing for anything, you feel slightly smug if you went last and suddenly the situation gets difficult.


It's about getting away with something in public. Something that can really shock other people. I suppose, if it comes down to it, it's about exhibitionism (me?). But if nobody catches you, you're not really exposing yourself.

There is, however, always the danger that someone will. I learned that guys tend to find it hilarious and women tend to disapprove. I did once apologize to the friend of a boyfriend, who really wasn't supposed to see me, and who looked so shaken I really felt the need to.

Years later I got to know him and was able to harass him. Because really? Who has to apologize to a straight guy for showing him her boob?

I'd say the only time I was really embarrassed was when a woman at a party caught me, and then said, loudly enough for the whole room to hear, "WHY did you do that?"

My shirt was back down before the whole room turned and looked at me.

I don't remember what I did, besides cringe.

But really. What kind of response can be appropriate in that situation?

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Monday, February 09, 2009

Two unrelated reasons not to pick your nose in public and to wash your hands after traversing bridges

I'm offering up two completely unrelated things that were brought to, and captured, my attention recently.

The first is a visual adventure and completely non-bizarro. And the second is all about sex. With objects.

A friend of mine sent me a link to this site with this amazingly detailed photo of the crowd at the inauguration.

You've got to check it out. Click on the picture. And zoom in and zoom in and zoom in.

It's one of the coolest things I've ever seen. While I was in the way way wayback of the crowd, behind the Washington Monument, a number of people I know had tickets. So I feel like if I had time to look at the entire picture, eventually I'd find someone I know.

Even if not, it's just incredible. The detail is astounding.

Now for the sex.

So, I'm generally of the opinion that if you're not doing anything with children or animals, and you're not hurting anyone who doesn't want you to, then what you get up to in your private time is all fine. And this holds true for me with the following.

But this story on Jezebel about Objectum Sexuals is fas-ci-na-ting.

Because it's about this small group of people - all women - who fall in love with objects. Like fences. And the Eiffel Tower. And the Golden Gate bridge.

And when I say they fall in love with them - they fall in love. They imbue them with personalities. They assign gender to these objects. They have sex with them.

One woman becomes a world-class archer because she falls so deeply in love with her bow. In fact, her relationship with her ex-boyfriend ended because she liked the bow more than she liked him. And ultimately, the bow got the sex that the boyfriend wasn't getting.

While she and the bow were hot and heavy (their relationship has since cooled), the sex, according to her, was fantastic.


There's a short video on the site that explains and has brief interviews, and there's a link to a longer documentary.

I found watching it kind of uncomfortable - a mix of feeling embarrassed for them and feeling sad, because clearly relationships with objects is just safer than relationships with humans. But I don't think these people are necessarily unhappy, so who am I to feel sad for them?

There is, however, this piece that makes me twitch.

I am not fastidious, but I feel a lot more comfortable with the idea of "love" with personal objects you store in your home and keep clean than with amusement park rides or the Empire State Building.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Week 13 tummy

Let me just start out by saying that my goal with the stomach posts - which I plan to do weekly - is to have a record of progression.

That was taken this morning. I think you can still see the sleep-shirt creases in my skin.

In response to last week's post, I got a number of comments and emails about how small my stomach is. I got some eye rolling and snide comments from friends. I made a couple people feel fat.

I hate knowing that. I'd never try to do that to anyone.

I know my stomach isn't big yet. It's taking a longer than I anticipated, but it makes sense. My stomach is the last place I gain, ever. Well, except for my boobs.

My stomach isn't the main reason I don't fit into my pants. My pants don't fit because my thighs and ass have expanded at a quicker rate than the area of my body surrounding my uterus.

I get that we're all built differently, but that, that I hate.

Weight and body image are difficult issues for me, and I have a long history of hating my size and shape - my legs in particular. Anyone who has ever had a complicated relationship with food and body knows that it doesn't have to do with how big or small you actually are.

It's mainly, I think, about how you feel about who you are in your head. But there are so many layers to it.

I think I've almost figured out what's currently going on, though. I just need to take some time to articulate it.

So there we have it. A tummy-a-week. Because I'm interested, and because I'm comfortable enough with that.

You don't, however, see me posting up-close pics of my thighs. And you never will.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Various and sundry items


The leggings have taken up far more time and energy than I believe they merit.

The first outfit I put on, leggings with the only long sweater I have and boots, Nick said I looked like I was on ski vacation. Definitely not professional enough for the office.

The other leggings outfit I came up with - this super cute graphic sort-of T-shirtish top but longer and fitted, with different boots - was also no. He said I looked like a Japanese teenager.

I took that as a compliment, and will definitely try it on a weekend.

So I am wearing them under a dress in lieu of tights. Tights would look better, but the ones I have strangulate my belly. As leggings, though, I don't see the point.

Please bear in mind that I'm feeling all pregnanty fat and bitter.

Health update/public service announcement for the day

Because I don't know if you've read this totally random and tragic story about the Brazilian model who started out with a UTI, which turned into a blood infection. She wound up having to have her hands and feet amputated. And ultimately she died.

I'd read about the amputations, and thought man, I wonder if someone that young and beautiful, whose career is entirely based on her looks, would want to live with no hands and feet. Even not that young and beautiful, with no modeling career, it's hard for me to imagine that I would want to.

And then if you go Googling, it turns out that septicaemia, or blood poisoning, as it's apparently commonly called, is not actually that uncommon. Fret material.

Your mother was right when she told you not to hold it. Also, remember to pee after you have sex.

The cocksucking cold

I know this only feels like the longest winter of my life. I have had longer, I know I have. There have been ice storms in April. But man, I just feel like is this one ever going to end?

And if it's not, when the fuck is the pregnancy increased temperature going to start? Do you know how fucking tired I am of being cold all the time?

The Twilights - and if you have not read book four, skip this one

Holy crap! I'm in the middle of Breaking Dawn, and she's pulling it together so nicely! I love it! If I could stay up later or didn't have to go to work, I'd be long finished.

Also, I still love Jacob.

And finally, however much I do not love being preg, I am very thankful I'm not having a monster half-vampire baby.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

At least I'm wearing cowboy boots.

I was going to say you can't take me anywhere, but that's not really accurate.

Because we shifted cultures and settings so often, I genuinly can walk into just about any situation and behave like I'm comfortable. I doesn't mean I am, but I can fake it when I have to.

I grew up attending events at the ambassador's residence in whatever country we lived in. I've been to parties in honest-to-god castles. And on the flip side I've spent days on a camel and nights sleeping on the sand under a disgusting camel blanket (like, the blanket that the saddle that separated me from the camel rested on) in the desert in Rajasthan.

(Thank goodness I had no idea about tick-borne illnesses then.)

But back on topic.

While I'm generally happier and more comfortable on the fancy side than the camping end of the spectrum, it can be problematic, depending on the setting. Or rather, I can. Because, well, you just are who you are.

But I can always look the part.

Like, for example, at dinner at the Metropolitan Club.

I have this conservative blonde bob. I can dress all reserved-like. My makeup is understated. I even have conservative shoes. From the outside, I can blend.

If you've never been there - and I hadn't even heard of it before meeting Nick - it is grand. It's a beautiful old building, with sweepingly high ceilings, marble floors, elegant furniture, huge flower arrangements, lovely fireplaces.

It is not somewhere I would ever, ever go, except with a date, and not least of all because you have to be a member. But also because it is so far from my personality, from the kind of atmosphere that makes me comfortable.

But it is beautiful and elegant and as a place to dine, absolutely charming.

So we had dinner there the other night with Nick's colleagues and spouses. There were 10 of us, and we were at a large table in the center of one of the main dining rooms. There were maybe six or seven other tables of two to four people.

It is mostly an older demographic. Conservative, sedate. People know, or at least recognize, each other.

You don't pull out cash; you sign for things. The staff is extremely friendly and proper. It's all very understated and dignified.

I was seated next to a guy I've gotten to know and really like over the last year - and totally coincidentally, he and his wife are close college friends of Wendy, my high school friend.

He turned to me and said, "Nick shared your blog with me the other day."

Which I found surprising, but it's not a secret, so OK.

The entire long table, non-blog-readers all, turned their attention to the blog. And to me.


"Lisa has a blog?"

"What does she blog?"

"Lisa, you have a blog?"

And so I, I addressed the table all at once. "I do, I have a blog."

I didn't notice at the time, unfortunately, but this got the attention of the genteel-ly populated room.

"What's it called?"

"Lemon Gloria."

Blank looks all around the table. It is, I realize, a totally random name.

And so I explained, once again to the table, but really, as it turned out, to every single diner in the place, "It's a variation on my porn name."

I believe a couple of my dining companions - most notably the guy who'd organized the evening - actually had to resist the urge to cover their faces.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

And so it's such a good thing that I rocked the 80s when I did

One of the best pieces of advice I have ever received is as follows.

"If you were there for the trend the first time, you should never, ever repeat it. No matter how cute you think it is."

I got this from my boss at the time - a beautiful, fit, funny woman with a great sense of style. I'd just gotten back from a trip to Spain, where everyone was wearing the jeans tucked into boots look. I wanted to try it.

She talked me out of it. Which I think was for the best.

And so it has been with the leggings. I've been living by that rule, and have staunchly avoided them, no matter how sorely I've been tempted.

Recently, however, at a commenter's suggestion, I bought a pair of maternity leggings. They're in the closet, tags on. I haven't yet figured out how to wear them.

I remember loving the leggings - and the stirrup pants - in the 80s. But that was back when I loved oversized sweaters and bought men's button-down shirts, size large, in which I swam. I remember having a long pink cotton sweater that I wore with my stretchy white stirrup pants and my perfectly-matching pink loafers.

Cannot. Be. Repeated. Not even remotely.

So I went searching on various sites for leggings, to see what they might pair them with.

And found the leather leggings above.

Leather! Leggings!

Why didn't we think of this in high school? We were in India - there was leather galore, and cheap. I had a fabulous leather mini-skirt. And don't think I didn't consider a snakeskin one as well; boy, did I.

If I were embracing leggings for the first time, oh, they would be fun!

I arrived at the certainty that if I were in my early 20s, I would find some way to wear the leather leggings. And to justify the expense.

Which tells me that in terms of age, it's probably better this way, all around.

Monday, February 02, 2009

This one is not pretty

I am having a huge meltdown.

I am freaking out about being stuck. And when I feel stuck, I feel like I'm drowning. I panic and I flail.

It started innocuously enough, as Nick pointed out the river, how pretty it looks, and how the ice has melted. And then I noticed how one of the bridges was reflected in the water, and how it was hard to see where the bridge stopped and the reflection began.

Which led me to European bridges, and how gorgeous the bridges on the Seine are. Which immediately became if I were single I'd be going to Paris to visit friends for President's Day weekend. And since I'm married and knocked up and Nick will work that day whether or not they have it off, my big outing will be, I don't know, Pentagon City?

Recognizing that it's not like I flitted off to Europe every long weekend when I was single. But I did occasionally grab a super-saver fare and go. Because I could.

I've never been in something I couldn't walk away from. I've left plenty of jobs, and places, and people. Even marriage, you're not stuck. Even if you feel stuck, you aren't actually.

But a baby? A baby is forever. You can't really come up with a way to serve stuck more stuckly.

Nick tried to help by making light of it, which only served to root me more firmly in my stuck-stuck-stuckity-stuckness.

It is physical. I get near tears. And it feels like I'm in a trunk, with a heavy lid closing. Panic. Huge, huge panic.

And it moves fast.

Suddenly, I go from not only never having the option of going anywhere interesting ever again to having a life entirely comprised of the following: Getting up at the crack of dawn in order to get the kid fed and hauled to day care, so that I can get to my extremely ordinary job on time, get through my tasks, and leave in enough time to pick the kid up from day care, get him or her bathed and fed, and get to bed in enough time to get up early enough to start the entire bleak process over.

And this, this hamster wheel cycle is suddenly the rest of my life. With maybe an occasional big outing to the Eastern Shore.

It's not that I don't love Nick. It's not that I don't want the baby.

I just suddenly feel like my life is on a very narrow, pedestrian path, and the walls on the side are very solid and high. And the direction it's taking is totally beyond my control.

And this, this lack of control makes me completely lose my shit.