I am SO not pregnant.

When I was in college, the thought of having a child seemed frightening. At the time, I saw kids as expensive, time consuming beings that robbed you of all your sleep. Naturally, I assumed that this fear would subside with time, and I would soon grow to a level of maturity in my adulthood that I would see past superficial obstacles like a lack of sleep, and place a higher value on having a family. It seemed obvious that eventually I would make more money, have more free time to devote elsewhere, and would be so enamored at the idea of becoming a parent that the sacrifice would be worth it.

Well…here I am. Financially stable, approaching 30, getting off work at 5pm every night, and the idea of having a child has grown even more terrifying. I look back to the naivete of my youth, and sometimes find myself secretly wishing that the accidental pregnancy I always feared through most of my twenties had happened so that I wouldn’t be sitting here having to actually pull the trigger of my own free will.

What they don’t tell you is that all those benefits that age brings to your life also bring a hidden consequence to having a child, an added resistance to change. To illustrate:

I have more money in my bank account than my younger years.

Pro: I don’t go into a panic every single month when my phone bill comes in. And I can enjoy things like beach trips and manicures and Vegas weekends.

Con:  I have come to enjoy things like beach trips, manicures and Vegas weekends. I don’t really want to trade them for diapers, onesies and exorbitant baby-sitting fees.

I am more educated on the realities of childbirth.

Pro: Let’s just say, I am under no false pretense that this will all be rainbows and magic. Consider me adequately prepared.

Con: I have heard, in excruciating detail, the physical effects that labor has on your body before, during, and after labor. I have learned that there are parts of me I am not even aware of that will tear and stretch in the process. I know that a doctor could have her entire fist inside me during labor, that I will need to be “stitched back together” afterward, and that it is likely I will have issues holding my pee when I do jumping jacks for the rest of my life. 5 years ago I was die-hard about having a natural childbirth. I would now like to be gassed and unconscious through the entire process, thankyouverymuch. You can just wake me up when the kid is out of diapers.

Through years of roommates and owning my own animals, I have housebroken more dogs than I can remember.

Pro: I am no longer uncomfortable cleaning up feces.

Con: Been there. Done that. Over it. Any future dog in our family will need to arrive house trained, and in a perfect world I would place the same restriction on human additions to the family.

 I no longer work 12+ hours a day.

Pro: I finally have free time to spare during the workweek. And by spare time, I mean time spent reading magazines on my couch, trying out new recipes, and sleeping 9+ hours a night.

Con: I guard my free time like ants guard their queen. The mere thought of losing it makes me die inside. That baby is gonna have to be hella cute to pry me out of my bed and/or couch.

I actually like my body & how I look.

Pro: After years of struggling with your average body dysmorphia and worrying that I was too fat, my boobs were too small and that my nose is too big, I’ve finally come out the other side and am actually happy every time I look in the mirror. Hey body – you and me? We’re cool.

Con: Seriously, I JUST achieved contentment with my looks. The last thing I want to do is totally wreck it with stretch marks, extreme hormones and parts of my that may not go back just right. See above: The realities of childbirth.

In conclusion.

I am not pregnant. I am not trying to be pregnant. I am almost 30.

If a family is really something I want to have while I’m still relatively young, one of these things has to change soon. If only it could be the third option.

Farewell, Oh Captain, My Captain.

This is not the first time I have witnessed the passing of a celebrity, but it is perhaps the first that has moved me in a real way. Robin Williams was a dominate fixture through much of my childhood, from watching Mrs. Doubtfire & Aladdin at every sleepover for years, to obsessing over Hook to the point of memorizing the entire film. I can even pinpoint key moments in my transition to adulthood while watching Dead Poet’s Society, What Dreams May Come, and Good Will Hunting. It is hard not to feel that along with the star, a little bit of the magic from these movies has died as well.

Even bigger than Robin Williams’ death itself is the message that it sends about the seriousness of depression and mental illness. It is sad and frightening to think that a man who gave so much laughter and hope to strangers was incapable of doing the same for himself. Perhaps it is that thought that makes his death haunt me so. I wish him peace, and that his family can eventually find it as well.

To select my favorite clip from Robin Williams’ career is a certain impossibility, for there are too many to even count. But this is the one that fits best for me.

Thanks for teaching me how to fly.

Thanks for teaching me how to be a friend.

Thanks for teaching me how to love. 

Thanks for everything, Oh Captain, My Captain.

Why No One Likes Interns

We have an intern working at our office this summer. If you’ve never worked with an intern before, they are basically there to learn all about the work you do and make you feel old. A sample conversation:

Me: My friend’s kid has this long blond hair, he basically looks like Garth.

Intern: *blank stare*

Me: Do you know who Garth is?

Intern: *blank, confused stare*

Me: ….like…from Wayne’s World?

Intern: *blanker stare*

Me: Seriously?? I’m looking it up right now, surely you’ve seen Wayne’s World before!

I pull up the poster image of Wayne’s World on Google. The intern takes a look, and asks, “Is that like an 80s movie or something?”

Me (highly indignant): No, this movie was made in 1992!

Intern: Oh, well I was born in 1994.

*long pause*

Me: Get. Out.

Introducing: Hendersonville Yard Sales page (HSY)

YOU. GUYS. I belong to this group on Facebook called “Hendersonville Yard Sales,” (HSY) which is basically like Craigslist for our small town (we’re too small to have an actual Craigslist page – true story). Here’s the thing, if you’ve ever searched through Craigslist, you know that typically there are some bizarre ads up there, not to mention atrocious spelling & grammar, and sometimes you wonder, “what kind of people respond to these?” The beauty of a Facebook page, is that you can actually see these people. You can read every comment, you can see photos of every person posting, which makes this the most entertaining thing to come out of Facebook. Ever. Every struggle I have ever gone through in this move was worth it, since it all led me to join this page. Where I can see gems like this:

Puppy ransom

Is this guy selling a puppy or holding it ransom? By the way – NOT ONE of the ELEVEN comments referenced the fact that this photo looks like a terrorist situation. Unless it is a terrorist hold-up, in which case I probably shouldn’t be making fun of it on the internet. Except that if all you’ve got as a hostage is a puppy, you’re probably doing it wrong. OR – someone caught up to the fact that while no one cares when a person dies in a movie, they ALWAYS freak out when the dog dies. So maybe this guy is actually a genius. But for now, I’m gonna go with “probably not” on that one.

BTW – you can try to join the page, but there’s a wait list. Yeah, exactly. Screw your big-city clubs, this is the place everyone actually wants to be.

Lame omens

This isn’t a real post. It’s more of an announcement that the internet has officially made me feel old. Did you hear that internet? You win, so slap yourself some high-fives and lay off for a while. See, I’m 29. 2-9.  I still proudly tell people that I’m “in my twenties,” when in every other way I relate more to people in their 30s. Case in point: As an attempt to avoid actual work last week, I looked at this link:

30 Hashtags Every Thirtysomething Actually Needs

And I was like, this post is speaking to me (except the being single stuff. Thank god I accomplished something society asked of me. That thing about turning down music? True story.) Then I looked at this link:

20 Hashtags Every Twentysomething Actually Needs

And I realized – I cannot relate to any of these anymore. I have vague recollections of what it must have felt like to be this person, but now she’s gone. (Side note – I’m sure there’s a much sadder conclusion to be drawn about me judging my life stage by BuzzFeed lists, but let’s just let is slide for now.)

Also – THIS. THIS is when I realize I’m older than I ever imagined. Continue Reading →

First Signs of Spring

Forsythia Tulips 2

Forsythia 2 Tulips

There are few sights more welcomed than those first forsythia buds struggling to bloom, or the green tulip leaves peaking out from the remnants of last year’s garden. It means the end is near, that is, the end of a depressing, soul-sapping winter and the start of a warm, joyous Spring. Someone make sure Mother Nature got the memo. That woman is forgetful.

Embracing the imperfection

If there is anything I’m tired of hearing myself say, it’s “Sorry I haven’t called/texted/remembered your birthday/been a decent friend, I’ve just been really busy.” Which is unfortunate, since it has become my personal mantra the last few months. I find myself constantly looking forward to “next week” like a beacon of hope, as though all I need to do is get through to the next few days and then I’ll have time to get organized/make a meal plan/return phone calls/write blog posts/look like I have my shit together. I have been waiting on this magical “next week” is since last fall, and it has stood me up like a bad date.

This video may have come at the perfect time, and made me realize that instead of resisting the constant, unending flow of life, perhaps it’s time I started to embrace it. I may never be the person who keeps her kitchen spotlessly clean at all times, or has all her meals planned out weeks in advance with a corresponding grocery list, and I am almost certainly going to be late with a few more birthday gifts. But maybe it’s in the pursuit of this unattainable goals that I can find my best self, even if it is less than perfect. And that may be just fine after all.

Our pre-marriage counseling missed a few things

Conversation from last night:

Me: I recorded, “Home Alone.” Don’t you love that movie?
Chase: ehhhh, it’s okay.
Long pause.
Me: Sometimes I feel like I don’t know you at all.

Taking into consideration that Chase also hates Winnie the Pooh (!), I’m pretty sure this is grounds for divorce. We’ll file it under “irreconcilable movie preferences.”

This is why people have children

Since moving back to this small town I have joined a women’s club in an effort to “engage with the community.” But really, I only joined in hopes that I would meet someone my age who didn’t have children, which I accomplished at the first meeting. Since then, I have come to believe that these clubs exist just so women can stand in a room and one-up each other with who has the busiest schedule. First, the career women will lament their deadlines or clients in a slow build of one-upsmanship that builds as each working woman comes in late, demanding a glass of wine in rising levels of exasperation.

Children, of course, outweigh any job, and mothers are in a different bracket all together. Those with children in school are slightly lower on the totem poll, since hey, they have days free, right? However, your rank will go up if your kids are old enough to be enrolled in 20 different activities per week, but are still too young to drive. Kids under 6 months of age are a trump card. The mere reference of a 6-week baby is enough to evoke gasps and sympathetic faces from everyone within earshot. Game over.

There is of course a purpose to all this, beyond the general feelings of superiority that must be felt by those that are “doing more” to hold their schedules together. Our club purportedly benefits the community with our good works, which means that at some point, someone actually has to do work. Your ranking in this pecking order is what will establish the level of participation you will be required to put in. Which is why I and the only other childless member found ourselves wrapping a large pile of Christmas gifts for needy children by ourselves yesterday afternoon. It is also why I found myself halfway through a bottle of wine before 5 PM. Of course, the moment we began finishing up the other club members finally showed up with excuses ranging from pushy clients, to a son’s basketball practice to a crying baby.

If I end up pregnant in the next year, it won’t be due to a pull towards motherhood. It’s because I need an excuse to get out of this shit in the future.

I Am Not Hibernating

Conversation at home this morning:

Me: This shirt has gotten really tight.

Chase: You’re probably putting on some hibernation weight.

Me: It’s too early in the morning to be mean.

Chase: No really, we all put on some extra weight to get through the winter.

Me: Ummm…I think that you’re referring to bears.

Chase: Well, we’re not that far from bears.

Me: Actually, I think people are pretty fucking far from bears.

Chase: I’m like a bear.

Me: Oh really? Explain to me what you have in common with a bear.

Chase: We both have hairy chests.

Me: …I can’t tell if just won or lost this argument.