Friday, October 15, 2010

The Many UN-expected Joys of Pregnancy

Some things women have been taught to expect in pregnancy. The puking, the moodiness, the fatigue, the backaches. Other little joys are just an added bonus.
Because my job is awesome, I get to spend a lot of time in the creepy, dark basement. And, being pregnant, I have recently (perhaps not surprisingly) spent a LOT of time in the basement bathroom.
To save the earth (or more likely to save money) but mostly to add to the creepy ambience of the basement, the bathroom lights are on a motion sensor. Occasionally some other poor soul has spent enough of their life in the basement to need to use the basement bathroom and the lights are actually on for me. Most days, I walk in, they flutter on as I pick out my stall and life goes on as expected. As my bladder currently holds 10cc or less, the bathroom and I are on great terms these days, and I no longer hesitate even a stutter step’s worth before heading on in.
But even the bathroom loves a good joke now and then. Hey, life in the basement has got to be pretty boring, ya can’t blame a guy for wanting a laugh.
And so not once but TWICE this week, I’ve peed in the dark. Absolute pitch-black dark.
At least it was reassuring to discover there is a smoke detector in there.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

I Bought a Bridge. And It Was Worth Every Penny.

I answered my phone one day to an angelically sweet voice asking me hadn’t my Much-Older-and-Ridiculously-Talkative cousin we will heretofore refer to as Motormouth Mary told me she was going to call?
In the 2.7 seconds it took me to respond that No, in fact, Motormouth Mary had NOT told me to expect her call, I had decided that as Motormouth Mary is a teacher, and it was the beginning of the school year, she must have met this new young teacher who had just moved to the area and was lacking a social life and thought of me, as I am clearly more this young voice’s age than Motormouth Mary herself, and thought I could act as her social director.

I’ve got a good imagination. But I was totally wrong. Way, way, way wrong.

Her name was Ida. Who names their kid Ida? It should have been my first clue. She just wanted to give me a quick presentation. 15 minutes, no more. Nothing to buy, I promise. Just get me some credits. It’s for a scholarship. Motormouth Mary said you were so sweet, Penney, I just thought you’d say yes.

I said yes.

First words out of her mouth were, “I’m not a salesman.” Should have been my second clue.

There were scissors. But who NEEDS scissors that cut pennies in half anyway? Of course, the cutting with ease of that terrible indestructible plastic surrounding children’s toys was way cooler.

And there were knives. Knives that sliced through carrots like butter. Knives that chop like the chef does on the Food Network. In MY hands. Knives that cut bread slices in thirds. The thin way. For real. Clearly this is something we all need in our lives.

I bought three.

She was a damn fucking good salesman if you ask me.

When the knives hadn’t come two weeks later, I got buyers remorse. Like WOAH. Because these WEREN’T cheap knives. And we have really nice knives already. REALLY nice. And an electric sharpener. So even though the really nice knives are a bit dull, it should take us approximately twenty-eight seconds to sharpen them all. Not three hundred dollars.

And how exactly would I tell the Unsupportive Louse that I no longer thought the fantastic purchase I had made was most definitely worth the fantastic amount of money I had spent? I’m pregnant. So I didn’t. (This excuse works for numerous things, you should try it sometime.)

The knives finally showed up.

You know how you make a gorgeous homemade loaf of bread and then when you cut it it gets all squished down and kinda torn up and the pieces are still way thicker than they need to be? Not with Cutco’s bread knife.

You know how tomatoes squirt all over the place when you try to slice them? Not with Cutco’s knife.
You know how much of a pain in the ass it is to make that first half cut through a watermelon? Cutco’s butcher knife makes it child’s play.

Yes, I thought, they were indeed a good purchase.

Then I bought a couple pie pumpkins. Jokingly (though admittedly I was the only one in on the joke), I hacked the butcher knife into one a la Freddy Crougar…and cut the damn thing straight through.

Worth every penny.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

I’m So Smart, I Don’t Even Believe Myself

First time pregnant ladies are told a lot of stories. This is simply a proven fact. Stories of someone’s pregnancy, of their wife’s pregnancy, their friend’s pregnancy, their mother’s pregnancy. Most of the stories come with a heavy load of advice. Some simply come with a “you’re fucking screwed” chuckle.

Now, any pregnant woman would go insane if she fully concerned herself with everything that could possibly be taken from these stories - all the things that could go wrong or just go the way pregnancy goes - much less if she tried to follow all the unsolicited, and often conflicting, advice.

But, me being me, all throughout my first pregnancy there was also this little arrogant voice in my head that said, “Yeah, but THAT woman was a dumbass. I’m WAY smarter than she was.” Because, obviously, I’m smart. And spend far too many daytime hours reading pregnancy and health and science and baby and medical studies (all work-related if daytime hours happen to include work hours, of course.) So, it’s clear to me that I know more than the average preggo, and knowing more, am without a doubt treating myself and my parasite – er, fetus – better than all those “normal” women out there. Duh.

Interestingly, I haven’t gotten nearly as many of the un-requested stories or unwelcome advice this time around. I’d like to think people are keeping it to themselves because they know I’ve already been there, done that. More likely though, I’ve just gotten bitchier in the past three years. I’ve probably already forgotten that I ate an annoying storyteller or two and the rumor has gotten around. (I have the slightest touch of pregnancy brain – I walked two blocks past my bus stop the other day without ever wondering where I was going… So really, anything is possible.) Pregnancy brain and digested storytellers aside, it’s not like I don’t remember all the stories and advice from last time around. I do.

But dude, I’m SMART. Even smarter than last time. ‘Cause I HAVE been there, done that. And let’s face it, most of those jackasses were EXAGGERATING. Like…a lot. Scare tactics, you know. I'm almost positive I remember that.

But, while telling myself it wasn’t going to happen to me because I’m smart enough to….drink enough water/eat healthy/not gain too much/not gain too little/keep exercising/blah blah blah…I STILL freaked out about certain things. But it doesn't matte, because looking back, I clearly remember all those stories being way over the top. Swear to it. If everyone were perfect like me they’d be fine. Exaggerated. All of it. Not untrue, no. But definitely exaggerated.

Even my own stories.

See, I remember this ridiculously impossible story where I loudly cursed out my ever-loving Unsupportive Louse for his jackassishness of walking FAR too quickly up the GIGANTIC hill that was the grocery store parking lot.

This is a fantastically embellished tale. Must be. First of all, I don’t curse. Ever. Certainly not in public. Or loudly. And never at a loved one. Ever. Really. Just ask the Unsupportive Louse.

Secondly, and much more importantly, (and perhaps slightly more honestly) I’ve always walked fast. Significantly faster than my 6’5” tall husband. Enough so that sometimes he even whines about it. It would make no sense for me to have slowed down THAT much in just a few short months.
Third of all, after years of walking this same Meijer parking lot…there is no hill. At all. Maybe if you got down on your hands and knees and look at it straight on you could delude yourself into seeing a slight incline. Very slight.
So, as seems to be the case with all pregnancy stories, this one too, must be exaggerated.

Except…suddenly I’m no longer at the head of the crowd when walking away from the bus. And suddenly I’m noticing that a bit of a hill has developed on the way home. A hill I’m almost certain hasn’t been there for the past two years.

And now, I’m slightly terrified. Because maybe that story isn’t so exaggerated after all? And if it’s not…what about that whole labor thing...??

Do I really have to go through with this?