Yes, I am feeling my womanliness a great deal lately--both in terms of the biological hand nature has dealt me (yes, I continue to
Wait, don't go! This is not one of those theoretical wanker rants. Just a bitch session amongst us ladies (and enlightened males) OK?
I've been horribly negligent of all things bloggy lately, and this is probably compounding how I am feeling. Stressed, overworked, blobby and pissy. One of the main reasons I've been absent is because work has taken every last ounce of my energy lately, and even though a good blog can restore the spirits, so can a comatoze evening in front of Battlestar Galactica 2.5 on big Fuck-Off Television (and if you are *not* watching BG, you crazy).
I spent the main chunk of last week in Illinois at a conference/workshop that took up a great deal of my time and energy over the last month. I won't bore you with the details, except to say this was one of those meetings with a demographic that is largely white and male and overeducated.
And, it seems, ad hoc experts in all things prenatal....
Let me tell you, there is nothing like going to a reception populated by several dozen complete strangers, and realizing that the only other woman at the thing is the head-honcho's wife, and she's busy making sure everyone has napkins. She offers me a glass of wine, and as I think "uhm, HELL YES." and demurely request a "small glass" a nasal voice from behind inquires "Are you allowed??? Phnar-phnar-phnar"
It was one of those moments where you find yourself in the face of a complete stranger, fumbling over "uh, it's the last trimester, and uh..." "HAHAHA! I'm European! HAHAHAH" and "well, studies show....blah blah" and so forth. When instead what you should really say is "Mind your own fucking business, and go ask your colleague if all that cheese dip is good for his prostate health."
And I wish I could say that this incident was an isolated one. But judging by the number of times my choice of beverage or food was questioned, you'd think I must have made short work of poisoning my unborn right now. That Coke after lunch, the coffee at the 8am meeting, the tuna croissant. Poison I am telling you. I could now provide you with a litany of rationalizations--that I am not really a Coke drinker, but it was that or drooling slack-jawed at my seat; that I drink coffee in the morning, but not again in the day; that I eat tuna, but avoid it more than once or twice a week... I do drink wine now and then, not in the first trimester, and always with gobs of food to absorb it--But fuck that shit... It's my business.
One thing I love about being pregnant is how complete strangers can show support and kindness towards you. I am always delighted to tell the cashier, if she asks, when the baby's due and if it's my first. That it's a boy, and yes, he has a brother. I don't even mind if a fellow gal pats me on the tummy, and makes a kind remark about how I am glowing (even though I am not). In fact, at this conference, I met some women that I'd corresponded with via email, and their first response was to give me a hug and delight in my bump. T'was a nice and "bondy" moment.
One thing I loathe about pregnancy, and this is part and parcel with the above, is how you become a form of public property. How the control over your body becomes a collective process, in which everyone, it seems, has a stake. Or at least, people seem much more comfortable with voicing opinions about how you should, or should not, be behaving right now. For the most part I can let these comments roll of my back--I am pretty secure in myself, and am acutely aware that although the lore surrounding pregnancy might often have all the trappings of medical fact, it ain't necessarily so...
Sushi? If it's good enough for Japanese women, it's good enough for me. Fresh mozzarella and brie? (see above on "being European"). But that's me. I also know that for some women, peace of mind stems from knowing that they've done everything by the book--and I respect that. Whatever works for you, baby. And while I might like a bit of cabernet now and then, I do draw the line at getting good and lubed (see how restrained I am?) This latter fact might indeed account for some of my pissiness of late.
I fear this cavalier attitude will induce a nice bout of botchilism and a hospital stay in the next few weeks. And I'll be eating my words. But on the other hand, there's a whole cornucopia of angst to be had over "what might happen" that are related to things you can't control. And I don't have the energy to get worked up about them (much). No, instead these days I apparently prefer to direct my energies by losing it over the stupidest of things.
(like bursting into tears because the dishwasher's not been emptied, or spending the morning frantically looking for my sewing machine manual, because apparently I cannot even thread the fucking needle without poring over the "how-to" guide. Did I mention I am making curtains right now? Well, I have made 1 curtain of 6. Only more evidence of my insanity. This project was selected as a relaxing respite; but I now realize that the very act of measuring, cutting, and pinning the things to the right size on the floor while I lumber and sway on hands and knees is an athletic feat in itself. But 5 more are coming, so help me....)
So yeah, you could say I am a real gas to be around right now. It's nothing that 4 or 5 margaritas wouldn't help out, but for now I must channel my stress into the simple meditative pleasures of sewing. Or bitching. Online. Yeah, that'll work.