Technically, I shouldn’t even be writing this. I’m only 10 weeks pregnant and all of the Alarmist Manuals on Pregnancy tell you not to disclose (to anyone other than your baby daddy) the fact that your new pooch o’ Roo is actually your Great Expectation. And not a pooch full of your recent binge on Nutty Bars. Although, if you wanted to do a sampling of my new pooch, in addition to finding a placenta and a fetus, you would probably also discover assorted Little Debbie treats, an inexplicable lot of popcorn, and Wolfgang Puck himself.
The Alarmist Manuals say that’s all normal. Eating the GDP of Australia, that is. ‘Tis normal. The Alarmist Manuals are good for saying that. They tell you every behavior is normal. Nothing is original. Growing a third eye ball? Suddenly speaking in tongues? Normal. Normal. I’m subscribed to as many listservs on pregnancy as exist in the English language. They all say the same thing. You’re barfing up all your organs? That’s not unusual. Just deal. You’re not special. You’re just pregnant.
And yet. When I speak with other pregheads, or others who have been through the experience, they quickly resound, “But every woman’s different! And every pregnancy is different!”
If that is the case, then why does every symptom I experience seem completely, diagnostically abnormal? Now, admittedly, my symptoms have been very minimal. Had I not peed on a stick over a month ago, I probably would have gone about my usual exercise routine, maintained my usual bedtime, sent the remiss Aunt Flo a postcard – “Wish you were here! If only for my piece of mind.” Since I don’t drink or eat shellfish anyway, my lifestyle has not changed much as it is. And yet, I am profoundly different in every way. I have kept a huge secrets from the people I am closest to in my life. I have felt exhausted by 9:15p.m. I have eaten Wolfgang Puck! What is normal about that? Nothing! It’s highly unusual behavior for me! Craving Korean dishes with all of my might and wondering if this is because I am now carrying a human bean that is 50% Korean inside of me? THAT IS NOT NORMAL.
That is just pregnancy. And everything about pregnancy has evidently already been written. And therefore, my state is normative. Even though something so wonderful and mysterious and oftentimes confusing could never be normal in my eyes. Just as the Wee Baby Lee that I so look forward to meeting in 30 weeks time may be described by some as “healthy” and “normal.” But he or she will be everything extraordinary in my eyes.
1.) My husband, John, aka Lovey Loverpants, is a Canadian citizen whose ethnicity is Korean. Therefore, he is a Canasian. I am an American and my ethnicity is Irish/Italian. Therefore, I am boring.
2.) I met my husband at a training program in college for Resident Advisors. Our first person-to-person conversation was about the camp where he had spent his summer. I told him that I wanted to work at that camp. The next summer, I tried to work at a camp, but my mother wanted me to stay at home for the summer and help her out. I eventually conceded and also worked at Bob Evans and as a tele-marketer and e-mailed with my future husband. Sometimes, in other words, it is good to listen to your mother.
3.) Whenever we drive through the FAST LANE on the Mass Pike and NY Turnpike, we say aloud, “Looooove the EZPass.”
4.) When our refrigerator lacks the following, we become mutually cranky: soy milk, cheese, pita and hummus.
5.) When we were first dating, John and I went on a camping trip in the Shenandoah Valley in mid-March. The short version is that we got lost, we lacked adequate water and food — oh, and a match with which to build a fire. We spent the night on the forest floor fending off frostbite. The whole night John said with chattering teeth, “I-i-it’s o-o-okay if you br-br-br-break up with me.” The next day, we went hiking again.
6.) John loves the mountains and I love the beach. Our dream vacation home would be somewhere with access to both.
7.) The way our families celebrate holidays is vastly different. This past Christmas was the first I had not spent with my family – whose celebration resembles the Griswold’s – and I had to force myself to believe I had been orphaned in order to not wear a pouty face at my in-laws where we spent the holiday eating wasabi nuts and watching Korean dramas.
8.) My husband and I loathe when people say, “It is what it is.”
9.) I have never treated my husband so poorly as when we were planning our wedding. He coordinated almost every aspect of it. My contributions were in the form of daily tantrums over not getting my way. I eventually thanked him for the most perfect wedding day ever. And apologized for going all bridezilla during the entire 9 months of our engagement.
10.) Our joint passion is rock-climbing. John became a convert because he loves physical challenges. I become a convert after John bought me some orange climbing shoes with monkeys.
11.) I worry that I will be the first one to die. I made John promise me that he will not become a recluse if this is the case.
12.) John proposed to me in his snowmen pajamas while cooking pierogis in his kitchen. I, in turn, shook. He never asked me to marry him, but rather said, “I want to marry you.” I shook while saying, “I want to marry you, too.” He tied a string around my finger because he did not have the ring yet.
13.) John always knows how much he has in his checking and saving accounts, as well as the balances for the bills that he manages. I am relatively aware, but am want to be off by a few…cents, dollars, hundreds of dollars.
14.) John uses far more hair product than I do.
15.) When asked a question, John responds encyclopedia-cly. He is more likely to explain how a clock is made when asked for the time, whereas I am more likely to respond with a highly embellished story about my first watch.
16.) We go to church every Saturday and typically find that our outfits match without any pre-planning. We are involuntarily disgusting.
17.) My biggest peeves about my husband are that he is mildly sloppy and makes inferences that are based on his own misunderstandings. His biggest peeves about me are probably that I am incapable of multi-tasking and that I continuously use the wrong utensils and tools for cutting and fixing things.
18.) One of the biggest surprises for me since getting married is that my husband will not wake me up even if I am lying on my stomach like a homicide victim in our bed and taking up all but a sliver of space.
19.) My husband calls me Furnace Ass because I radiate heat, even in the winter.
20.) We have traveled together to the following cities: Ann Arbor, Cleveland, Calgary, Chicago, Denver, London, Paris, Pittsburgh, Washington DC.
21.) I really miss our ability to stay up late and talk and laugh. We are old now, but we are careful not to become the people who wear socks to bed.
22.) Our DVR records the following which we will not watch without each other: “The Bernie Mac Show,” “Everybody Hates Chris,” and “Scrubs.”
23.) Every year, we host a White Trash Weekend with our friend Walter. This entails, among other non-activities, spending the weekend in pajama pants, watching football and bad VH1 programming, and eating homemade wings. It is not possible to do these things with as much flair and gusto without our Walter.
24.) We try to pray together every night.
25.) We are preparing to become parents to a Wee Lee in January 2008.