My unadventurous week

I have not been having any adventures this week. I have spent most of my time grading papers. My brain is completely fried.
We did have some excitement this evening. I took CC to the vet today for her annual checkup and I was sent home with a kit to collect a “sample” to take back for analysis. This is standard procedure. I’ve handled it lots of times over the years. The hardest part is waiting for one of them to leave a “sample”. Apparently, it doesn’t matter which cat it is since they all live in the same house and would probably have the same parasites.
CC took pity on us tonight, however, and gave us a fine “sample”. I have never been so excited over poo in my life. It was actually a little bit sad how excited my husband and I were that she gave us a sample so readily. Sad and yet funny.
Today was very weird all around. I went to the dentist and it turns out I have two cavities. Minor ones, but cavities nonetheless. I almost made it to thirty without any! I know that may not seem like a big deal, but my cavity-less status has made me a minor celebrity among my family and friends. Really.
Also, I forgot my book that I was going to read in the waiting room and the X-rays didn’t come out the first time, so I had to bite down on those uncomfortable cardboard things AGAIN and have all but one of the pictures redone.
Finally, there was the vet trip, which went smoothly, but CC meowed the entire way there and back. Plus, we managed to get away without doing her bloodwork, so there will be another meow-filled ride back to the vet on the other side of town in the near future. Good thing I love her little Siamese voice.
The weirdest thing about this day was – it was FUN. I love my life. I love doing the mundane, ordinary, everyday things. I love taking care of my kitty by making sure she’s healthy. I get a huge kick out of watching A Baby Story and Bringing Home Baby on TLC and bawling my eyes out along with the new parents. I love every, darn unadventurous (this week) detail of my crazy life. That’s all I ever really wanted and I’ve always had it, except for a few, dark years when I decided it was my prerogative to complain about everything that had ever gone wrong with my life. I think that’s all any of us want and we ALL have it. No matter how many glamorous places you visit or achievements you make, you are not going to be happy unless you let yourself love the mundane details of everyday life. We all need to learn that. Or remember it if we let ourselves forget, as I once did. You really can go back to a childlike delight in everyday experiences without a near-death experience. It can be really, really hard to get back there, but it IS possible.

Limited by choices

I know this might sound really weird on the surface, but I hate the fact that the Pill is so fool-proof. At least, in my current situation.

I know that’s crazy. I know that, if it were to fail us, I would never feel safe again when I really wanted or needed it to work. And yet, at this point in my life, when I really want a baby, but I’m not 100% sure we’re completely ready … It seems to make it easy for people to give in to fear about not having a baby. Or to endlessly raise the bar as far as how much money they will need to feel secure before they have one, etc. I think the very fact that we can plan births so well is paralyzing for some of us. Plus, it takes a little of the mystery and serendipity out of the whole thing. When you know you want it, but are still just a little bit afraid to take the plunge, wouldn’t it be nice for it to just happen? Maybe that’s the baby-lust talking, but that’s how I’m feeling these days.

It used to be that people got married and they expected to have kids. Soon. Many of them wanted it that way. It seemed like a sign of success or that they were doing the right thing. However, there were many that felt trapped like that. They wanted to wait or they didn’t want to have a whole litter of them. They wanted more space between them. For them, family planning was a godsend.

Our society just does not seem to be good at synthesizing diverse ideas, especially when it comes to family. We’ve gotten a lot better, but in this case, it just seems like the pendulum has swung completely to the opposite side. Now, it’s the accepted thing to wait. It’s the smart thing to wait. And you’re afflicted with moonstruck madness if you actually choose to have a baby right after marriage. The experienced ones will nod wisely and say, “Wait. It’s so hard on your marriage. It’s just so hard being a parent.” Yes, all of that is true. It probably is easier if you wait a little while. But it’s always going to be hard no matter what. If you were in the relationship for over a year before you got married (Hence, getting plenty of “us” time.), you marry later in life (Hence, getting plenty of “me” time.), one or both of you has a career you like where you make good money, and you’re both out of school, why do you need to wait if you don’t want to? Why is waiting suddenly the right thing for everyone? When did it go from pitying glances at those who are still childless after a year or two of marriage to pitying glances at those who seem to get in to it too fast? Neither one is nice.

This is, of course, just my viewpoint. I’m not advocating that everyone rush out and get pregnant right after they get married. Everyone should do what is right for them. Which is exactly my point! If someone wants to wait, don’t bug them about having kids. If someone doesn’t want to wait, for pity’s sake, stop telling them, they should! No one should ever be made to feel crazy or guilty for either decision.

Bedroom misadventures

My cool husband and I had a very interesting evening last night. We actually did end up screaming in bed at one point, but alas, not for the reason we (or any readers out for vicarious thrills 😉 ) might have wanted.

Last night at about 2 a.m., we were indulging in our nightly ritual. I was reading and putting on hand lotion and my husband was watching television and rubbing my back.  (Yet another reason he’s so cool.) I was reading Glamour magazine and you know what the articles are like in there. I was reading one about, well, how to scream in bed quicker, longer, etc. You get the idea. Naturally, being two healthy, young people this article was quite interesting to us and I had not managed to get to the end of it before we were making out.

We seem to be going through a clumsy phase, because I somehow managed to poke my husband in the eye with my glasses. (Yes, we had been so eager to get to each other that I didn’t take them off.) He made a face that was just so damn funny that I am still fighting the urge to laugh as I write about it. It was like an exaggerated wink mixed with a grimace of pain. I laughed until my stomach hurt. I think it was better than a hundred crunches, that’s how much I laughed. I managed to calm down and we started kissing again, but I burst out laughing again a few minutes later. It was like trying not to laugh in a Catholic church. You’re doomed, whether you look at your little brother or not. (More about that in another post.)

I manage to sober up (which is very difficult to do while still staying in an amorous mood) and I leaned towards him to kiss him again. Unfortunately, he leaned again as well bringing my knee into unfortunate alignment with his groin. I did not connect, because my husband realized what was going on and reeled back in pain when my knee had barely grazed the area in question. Seriously. He is very protective of the goods.

Undaunted, we leaned over to kiss again (Being very careful of our knee-groin alignment this time.) when suddenly, a huge, black blur came out of nowhere, flew over our heads, and landed on top of us prompting a loud “AHHHHH!” out of both of us as we flew apart yet again. The blur promptly retreated to the sound of furiously pounding kitty paws. We are not sure, but it seems CC attempted to join us on the bed and picked a very unfortunate time and location on which to attempt to mount said bed.

After we checked on CC, Fudgie, and Earl Grey (Yep. All were traumatized.), we returned to our boudoir, laughing our heads off. That seemed to be the only exercise we were destined to get that evening.

Whether it was or not, dear Reader, I am not at liberty to say.

How I became a kittymomma

I am a proud mom to three cats. To protect their identities (and mine), I will give them online aliases. Henceforth, they will be known as Fudgie, Earl Grey, and Cookies and Cream. (Or CC for short. My husband wanted to call her C+C Mew-sic Factory. Dear reader, choose whichever you most fancy. It’s still CC for short.)

Wow, those are cool names. Is it too late to change them? They don’t seem to know their current ones anyway.

CC was my first fur-child. My sister-in-law’s family used to raise Siamese cats and one of them came up to the house with two little kittens one day. They didn’t think she could have kittens anymore, so they were pretty surprised. There was a girl and a boy and I picked the girl. (I always wanted my first baby to be a girl.) It took me two weeks to name her and I ended up calling her “Baby” the whole time. That’s still the name she responds to the most.

It was just the two of us for a long time. She really saved my life. I was going through a rough time in grad school and she was a little furry ray of hope. Secretly, I thought of us as something akin to the Gilmore Girls, except we lacked the cute outfits. However, our repartee was pretty snappy, albeit one-sided. She has not followed the stereotype of the chatty Siamese cat until relatively recently.

My fluffy Earl Grey is another story. He talks ALL the time. In fact, he’ll do a cute little trick where he meows when I say “I love you”, like he’s saying it back. It’s adorable. People love it. However, he won’t always do it on command. I adopted him about a year and a half after CC. He was from a feral cat colony, but he was rescued as a kitten. Oddly enough, he is the most domesticated cat I’ve ever seen. A real homebody. He hates to leave the house and really hates to ride in the car. He actually did calm down and remained completely quiet when we played classical music during a long car ride to my parents’ house for Christmas. However, that didn’t work on the way home or since.

It’s unfortunate that he likes to stay home the most, because he’s the one who ends up having to leave the house the most. He is the most accident-prone little kitty and has to visit the vet a lot more than the others. He had to have three teeth out a few years ago, because he essentially got cavities. Recently, he broke one of his canine teeth and had to have it removed, plus some roots that hadn’t resorbed from the other teeth that had been removed. Plus, he gets battle scars from his bouts with Fudgie. Fudgie never seems any the worse for wear, but he is totally black, so he is able to hide it better.

Fudgie has already butted his way in to the story (Just as he butted his way in to our lives.), so we’ll go ahead and do his biography. He was a stray at my last apartment complex. I had never met a cat like him in my entire life. He wasn’t quiet like most strays. He would wander around that apartment complex and meow at the top of his lungs. It was like he was saying, “Hey, you stupid humans! It’s your fault I’m in this fix. Somebody better do something about it! Love me, dammit!” I did fall in love with him and fed him everyday until I moved in with my future husband. I couldn’t bear to leave him there and, although my husband is slightly allergic to cats and had just acquired two, he went back with me a few days later to get Fudgie. I said he would be a stray in our neighborhood, but I think we both knew he would find his way in the house and never leave. We brought him in to recover after we had him fixed and he has indeed never left. He has grown fat (19 pounds) and happy and is the most gorgeous, crazy, splendid boy you ever saw. I don’t know how we ever lived without him. He and my husband have developed an interesting bond. It’s like a buddy comedy, except with a man and a big, black cat.

We’re not entirely sure that Fudgie’s history with us began with him meowing his head off around the apartment complex. On a freezing day just before Christmas of 2005, I was walking to my car to go to the bank. A small black kitten with big green eyes came meowing around the tail pipe. He looked up at me and meowed insistently. I hesistated, because I could not afford more cats and furthermore, was not allowed to have more at my apartment complex. I could not resist the plea in those eyes, so I compromised, scooped him up, and carried him to the apartment complex’s office, in a desperate bid to keep him safe from the cold. They promised to let him run around and one of the workers even said that her husband would probably be ok with keeping him. I left after making them all promise that they would not let him outside and telling them I would be back before 5 to take him home if none of them could.

When I returned, the beautiful black kitten was gone. It was hard for me to hide my anger when they told me they let him go outside. I asked why, through gritted teeth, and they told me that “he wanted to”. I hope to God none of these people are parents. They said he would come back, but I knew he wouldn’t. However, a lanky, mid-size black cat showed up outside my apartment a few months later, only to be chased off (temporarily) by the orange stray that was wooing me at the time. The black cat had very green eyes and, although he stayed safely away after the orange stray routed him, he was just biding his time. He knew he had found his home and he would wait. He had faith. More than I did at the time.

So, that is the capsule version of how I became a kitty momma. Adopting the three of them changed my life and I can never repay them for the countless moments of joy they have given me. But I will keep trying.

The popcorn collector

I know this may seem weird, but I can always tell if my boobs have fluctuated in size by how much popcorn gets lodged in there at the movies. I went to see The Other Boleyn Girl with some friends last week and had managed to drop three pieces in there before the movie even started. I attempted to extricate it all after I got home and thought I had been successful.  I still left a trail behind me in the house.

I guess the fact that my cleavage had so bravely held on to so many kernels of popcorn throughout the car ride and my first hour or so back at home means indulging in too many sweets the past few weeks has its advantages. 😉 The fact that overindulging in chocolate and ice cream makes my boobs bigger would be so awesome if it wasn’t for the fact that my derriere and thighs follow suit.  

My husband is so cool

I discovered tonight that I truly have the coolest husband in the world.

Of late we have been seriously discussing when to have our first child. We’ve only been married a couple of months. Although we are at a bit of an impasse with me being “overeager” and he “undereager”, we’ve agreed to postpone reproduction until after an academic conference at which I am presenting this summer.

However, we are keeping an open dialogue going about it and things took a turn for the hilarious tonight.

It amazes me that there was no wine involved, because we got incredibly silly and began discussing, well, poop. I really hate using that word generally, but when I am in a very silly place I can start throwing it around with abandon. (The word, of course, not the actual substance.)

The trouble started when I asked him if we were getting too comfortable with each other. Ah, the paradox of marriage. You want to be totally comfortable with each other, but too comfortable is very, very bad. Our number 1 promise to each other (besides lifelong fidelity and all that) was to never use the toilet in front of each other. Unless one of us is very, very ill and severely limited in mobility or we are very, very old and severely limited in mobility. Basically, only if we are severely limited in mobility and need help. And I mean, really need it. Although my husband offered to hold my hair when I thought I was going to be sick to my stomach when we had only been dating for about a month, neither one of us wants to be witness to anything dealing with the other end. He actually offered to tether me to the toilet with a rope (In case of mobility issues) and have me holler when I’m finished rather than have to bear witness to it. That’s how modest we usually are.

That brings me back to the very big decision we will eventually make about having a child. Which, of necessity, involves that other end. I reminded him that he might have to bear witness to the very thing we’ve promised each other never to subject the other one to in childbirth. (Hey, it sometimes happens. If you don’t know that and you’re contemplating having a child, well, I’ve done you a favor.) Technically, I wouldn’t break my promise, since there would be no toilet involved, but still, no one likes to contemplate losing control of that vital function in front of others. Even though the embarrassment at the time will probably be minimal to nonexistent due to the distraction of the extreme pain you are experiencing.

My husband pondered this and then said, “Well, baby, I will be right there with you. If you need me to, I will totally drop trou and make a delivery of my own right there in the delivery room.” (He’s not only selfless, but witty.)

Now I know my modest, gentlemanly man would never actually do this. But it’s just an example of how very cool and funny and supportive and wonderful he is. Also, of the fact that poop jokes are universally funny for some reason. Hence, the fact that my husband and I joked about taking pictures of the new baby next to his, um, symbol of solidarity and laughed until we couldn’t breathe. However, my wonderful husband is also a stickler for accuracy and he had to point out that many cultures would never find those kinds of jokes funny. (Which I already knew, but he likes to tell me things anyway, so I listen. It makes him happy.) He said some cultures actually call it “dirt” rather than referring to it directly. Unfortunately, he asked me why I was messing around with my shirt right before he told me this and I told him some dirt had gotten in my bra when we were playing catch earlier. (I’ll leave that for another post and let your imaginations run wild.) Well, he was thinking of the other meaning of “dirt”, which he shared with me and we both went off in to gales of laughter again.

Don’t worry, folks. We are waiting awhile before we have that kid. And we will be a lot more grown-up by then. Or maybe we will be the coolest parents EVER!!


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