Monthly Archives: November 2012

filthy lucre

Money just fucks everything up, doesn’t it? I am well acquainted with the constant anxiety of not having any — it was not too many years ago that we were in the middle of “there is $71 in our bank account right now and the car insurance is due, so thank god we have a credit card” — but it is news to me that the presence of money can be a problem as well.

I don’t think I’ve written much about my dad in this space. About twelve years ago he and my mom started what ended up being a really messy and drawn-out separation and divorce process. I really don’t want to get into that except to say that the divorce was caused by my dad’s infidelity and that he is now married to the woman with whom he was cheating on my mom. Not a new story, not a particularly interesting story, but painful all around.

My brother and I reacted very differently to what was going on with our parents. My brother has not spoken to my dad in probably ten years (I can’t be sure, but it’s likely that the last time they spoke was at my wedding). My dad has never met his grandchildren, my sister-in-law has never even spoken to her father-in-law, and my nieces don’t know they have another grandpa. My brother knows I still have a relationship with my dad and has asked me repeatedly not even to mention him or his kids. My dad doesn’t ask, I don’t offer, and there is this gaping hole in the conversations we can have.

My mom has been trying for years to get me to say … something … about my dad and how I feel about the whole mess. Honestly if I could figure out what she wanted me to say I would just fucking say it, but I don’t and so she keeps asking. And this is the worst part — I know that by continuing to see my dad and talk to him, I am continuing to hurt her. My brother has made the “right” choice and has sided completely and irrevocably with her, whereas I have been … I don’t know … insufficiently angry, maybe? I just don’t have it in me to cut him out of my life like my brother has done. When I talk to my mom or my brother I feel like a traitor, like a failure, like some kind of morally suspect foreign body.

And this is why I don’t post about this — I’m getting pretty far down the garden path here, and it’s hard for me to get my thoughts about it in order.
I’m going to try to get to the point here soon.

Recently my dad gave me some money. Like, a lot of money. Like, a lot of money.* He says he knows we can use it now and he doesn’t see the point of waiting till he’s dead to give it to me. I asked him if he wouldn’t rather set up some kind of a trust for the baby, but he said that sounded complicated and it was easier just to give it to me.

It is going straight into a new bank account to be the start of a college fund, but I know it doesn’t really belong to me.

Half of it belongs to my brother.

My husband and I are in total agreement that however angry my brother is, however dirty this money would seem to him, his kids deserve a boost in their college funds too.

So here’s where I need some advice. We are going to be seeing my brother for Christmas, and I want to bring him a check for half of the money at that time. But I REALLY, REALLY don’t want to ruin the whole visit by fighting about this money the whole time, so I feel like I need to talk to him about it in advance just so he’s prepared. But I also don’t want this to be the final straw that makes him decide to cut me out of his life too.

What on earth do I say?

I have been putting this conversation off for several weeks now, and we are getting closer and closer to Christmas and I just can’t figure out how to bring it up. My husband and I agree that if my brother refuses it (which is a possibility), we will hang on to it and make a gift to each of our nieces when they turn 18. I just don’t want to fight about it. I’m so tired of fighting.

* I know we all have different ideas about what constitutes “a lot.” This definitely qualifies for me.



the worst pregnant lady ever — a sordid confession

I had to go on a little internet diet for a while there due to Reasons. (Explanation below, but first the short version for those who were worried.)

Still pregnant. 10w4d. Still shocked every day that I wake up and it hasn’t all gone to hell.

Last week I was a featured artist at a music festival. I committed to this almost a year ago, before we had even done the IUIs, and it never occurred to me that I might show up pregnant. Let me tell you, it was HARD. I did lots and lots of bad-pregnant-lady stuff to get through it. In fact I think I may be the Worst Pregnant Lady Ever, and if there is a live baby in my future I am quite sure he or she will come out shaking his or her tiny adorable fist at me.

If you’re still trying, be warned — there is some Ungrateful Pregnant Bitching and Moaning ahead. Were I in your shoes I would either click away or start pre-emptively rolling my eyes.

I have the easiest job in the world, which consists of sitting in a cubicle and making shit up.* So work isn’t super stressful, but while I was preparing to do the festival it was just about all I could handle to get my sorry ass to work, come home and practice. I think I said it in a previous post, but I didn’t know tired like this existed. I will be very interested to see (presuming we get there) how tired-because-newborn compares to tired-because-pregnant. I suspect they are quite different. So. Work, then lying on the couch trying to get up enough energy to practice, then bed. I was a Fun, Fun Lady for a few weeks there.

I did exactly what I needed to do to get through it, which included giving in to cravings and aversions, and eating things that I would not have believed possible a few months ago. Like, for instance, did you know that food comes in cans? As in, you don’t have to stand in the kitchen smelling all the food smells that used to be amazing and now are terrible, but can instead just tell your husband to open said can and heat up the contents? And did you know that sugar exists? Because for a few weeks there I was eating sweets like they were a new invention. This is deeply weird for me. I’m one of those sanctimonious make-it-from-scratch whole foods assholes, and that all went to hell when my nausea got bad. I couldn’t stand to be in the kitchen and I let a lot of perfectly good food spoil because I couldn’t bring myself to cook or eat it. So I sent my husband to the grocery store and he came back with things I would have rejected SO HARD before.

The Wise Internet says that the proper response to nausea is to ease into the day, not getting up too early, then to eat a wholesome breakfast consisting of whole grains and fresh fruit. After my lovely breakfast I am to do some appropriate low-impact exercise (yoga, or walking, or swimming). Either before or after the exercise I am to spend at least ten minutes quietly thinking about, or talking to, the fetus. Only after I have accomplished these things am I to go to work, where I am to take a walk at least once an hour.

Yeah, I didn’t do any of that.

I stayed in bed as much as possible, then ate frozen french fries and canned soup and apple slices and popsicles and cookies (so many cookies). For weeks. I am apparently four years old.

And that’s where the Bad Pregnant Lady stuff comes in.

  • Rolling out of bed for work? Check.
  • Processed food? Check.
  • Too much sugar? Check.
  • Not enough (OK, any) exercise? Check.
  • Inability to believe there is a live fetus in my uterus? Check.

And then I got to the festival.

Shockingly, my nausea did not magically go away just because I had to be on stage six times over the course of three days. (I know, right?)

So what did I do? I POUNDED diet ginger ale. Lovely fizzy gingery chemicals, settling my stomach right the fuck down and likely poisoning my fetus.

Then we got home and I felt a lot better. I’m hoping the worst of the nausea is over, and I even cooked twice this week (yay!), but then The Craving hit. It needs to be capitalized because it goes so far beyond any desire for food I’ve ever felt before.

All I could think about was Japanese food.

A Japanese restaurant just opened in our town,** which is amazing and delightful (“ethnic” food here means homestyle Italian and truly appalling “Chinese” buffet), and I want so much for them to NOT CLOSE DOWN. I have brought this up at least daily over the last week, and I know my husband is really ready for me to stop talking about cold soba and seaweed salad and pickled ginger. And sushi.

Lovely fresh clean delicious cool sushi.

I think you can see where this is going. We decided to go to dinner at said Japanese restaurant last night, and I called my doctor’s office to check on The Sushi Question. It seems people are divided on this, and of course no one in Japan stops eating sushi just because they’re pregnant (or so went my rationalization), so I thought it was worth a try to see what they would say. The nurse was frank: “We don’t recommend that you eat that.”

And we got to the restaurant and I ate it anyway.

I had two lovely, melt-in-your-mouth pieces of salmon sushi.*** It was quite possibly the most amazing thing I have ever eaten.

And now guilt has overtaken me. I am not sure if I am looking to be reassured, judged, or both — but these (the cookies, the processed food, the diet pop, the sushi) are the things I have done to get through the first 10 weeks.

Maybe I will be able to do better starting in week 11.

* Seriously. It’s totally bizarre. I got promoted from data-entry land to something more creative, and every once in a while I look up and say, “They’re paying me for this?”

** Strangely, the craving started before I knew about the restaurant. I got a flyer in the mail for this new place that was promising exactly what I wanted SO MUCH, and it was like mailing drugs to an addict.

*** I did check on mercury levels — salmon is supposedly one of the better ones.