I keep going to write a post for the blog, then realizing that all I ever talk about anymore is the baby and being pregnant, then NOT writing a post for the blog because I’m worried y’all are bored, and then just not writing anything ever, and then wash-rinse-repeating the whole cycle pretty much on the daily.
So, basically, what I’m saying is that I’m probably just going to be talking about pregnancy and the baby for a while. Maybe one day something will happen to me that is not related to either of these two things, but I think it’s safe to say that that thing will not happen in the next nine weeks.
Side bar: I only have LESS THAN TEN WEEKS left of my pregnancy? What the WHAT? Who decided that was a good idea?
That was a novel’s worth of preface, so let’s get down to brass tacks.
A sweet friend who also has a daughter recently offered me a bunch of baby stuff she and her girl had outgrown. It was your standard stuff: clothes, a baby carrier (actually, this is not standard, those thangs are pricey, and I’m so thrilled to get one as a hand-me-down!). Then she asked if I would be interested in her previously used breast pads, which she said were much more comfortable than the throwaway kind and would obviously be washed. Or, she asked, did I think that was weird?
You guys. It hadn’t even occurred to me to think it was weird. This is what happens when you become a parent: Nothing is sacred anymore.
And I think pregnancy is to blame.
Bowel movements? Discharge? Gas? Weight gain? When you’re pregnant, these things (and thinking about these things) are all part of your everyday life. You HAVE to talk about it with your doctor, and, to be honest, your girlfriends often want to know the sordid details, whether they are commiserating because they’ve been there or they are curious because one day they will be. By the time I pop this baby out, I will have completely lost sight of what is TMI.
The sad part is that I used to quietly judge parents who did this. Like, nobody wants to hear about your baby’s poop!
But you know what? If I’m telling a story, and part of the story involves the baby pooping, I already know I’m just going to say that and keep going with the story. No shame. (Though I promise not to take or make you look at photos of it. I’m not an animal.)
The fact is, pregnancy tends to wipe away a lot of insecurities (at least for me), which also removes a lot of your boundaries.
Don’t even get me started on the loss of modesty. I mean, you have to be mostly naked in front of another person several times during your pregnancy. (And, I don’t know if you know this, but someone is allll up in your junk when you actually have a baby.)
It’s gotten to the point where I pretty much start stripping down in my doctor appointments before anyone even asks me to.
No, Justine, you can keep your pants on this time.
I like to think at some point I’ll balance back out, but that’s probably wishful thinking. Besides, being able to discuss poop, gas, and weight gain now will just make it easier when I need to discuss poop, gas, and weight gain with Vivi’s doctor later. Moms can’t be grossed out by anything, you guys.
To all my baby mommas out there: Can you relate? Will I ever blush at bodily functions again?
No matter how old I get, these three things will probably always be a mystery to me:
1. Why it is so difficult to roll over a 401k
2. People who are mean to dogs.
3. Stores that won’t sell you something off the mannequin.
I don’t know about you guys, but there is nothing quite like going to the doctor to make me feel like I’ve committed a crime.
I think it has to do with how they welcome you. You walk innocently in the front door and BAM! Paperwork. And not just any paperwork. Invasive paperwork.
Do you smoke? Drink? How often? What kind? When was the last time you were here? WHERE WERE YOU ON THE AFTERNOON OF OCTOBER 26TH?!?
And the third degree doesn’t end after you hand in the clipboard.
Oh no, now it’s time to sit on a pedestal and be prodded. Oh sure, just lean back in this reclining dentist chair. Comfy? Good.
NOW I WILL POKE YOUR GUMS WITH A METAL HOOK NOT DISSIMILAR TO THE KIND SERIAL KILLERS HAVE INSTEAD OF HANDS.
During consultations of any kind, I always find myself trying to sit “casually.” Do I lean back? Or will that make the good doctor criticize my posture? Do I hold my hands in my lap? OR DOES THAT LOOK GUILTY?
I also find my voice comes out sounding weird. Like I’m hiding something.
ALL RIGHT ALL RIGHT, I’M ALLERGIC TO SULFA AND I TAKE A MULTIVITAMIN, OKAY???
On the upside, there is nothing more satisfying than being able to give the doctor healthy answers. “Actually, I’ve never smoked before. Nope, no recreational drugs, not a problem.” (She preened as she smugly smoothed her hair behind one ear.)
But no matter how much of a healthy specimen I believe myself to be, I always breathe a sigh of relief when it’s finally time to leave the exam room. I’ll give a little wave, hop off the table, and try to ignore their ominous calls of “see you in six months!”
Am I the only one who feels this way? Am I just too tightly wound? ARE YOU FLOSSING REGULARLY?
I am a terrible liar.
I’ve said this before. Even when my deception is for a good cause (like planning my parents’ surprise 25th anniversary party, for instance), I’m still unable to fib with any conviction.
In a way, this strongly affects my stance on beauty.
Am I the only one who often finds herself doubting a certain beauty decision because she views it as a lie? I’m not talking about covering a pimple or two — I mean flat out turning yourself into something you’re not. (A la this.)
We all know I fully own to being a medium-maintenance gal, but my motto when it comes to any style enhancements is always that I want to be the best version of myself. I highlight my hair, but the first words out of my mouth to my stylist are, “I want it to look natural.” I’ve spent hours of my life seeking the perfect foundation, concealer, and nude lip colors. Even so, I rarely wear much makeup unless it’s a special occasion. It took me years to feel comfortable with manicures because I used to hate the look of colors on my finger nails. (Total disclosure: I still get painfully self-conscious about bright shades after a day or two.)
The line gets blurred when my best version deviates sharply from what I might currently have, like those pretty blonde locks currently inhabiting my noggin.
When you pride yourself on being a genuine human being, it can feel like a betrayal of self to adopt any disingenuous beauty habit.
I dread the question, “Is that your real…?” when I know the honest answer is “nope!” It’s a big part of why, as much as I wouldn’t be mad if parts of my body woke up different sizes or shapes tomorrow, I don’t think I would ever take surgical action to make them change — I’d still be the person I am, and being anything else feels a little bit like cheating.
Fortunately, in most cases, I’m not embarrassed when someone “catches” me faking it. When it comes to my hair, I actually like discussing the myriad things we find to do to those poor strands of dead protein on our heads. And, honestly, I’m not really ashamed to admit that at some point in my life I’ve had fake nails, a fake tan, fake eyelashes, fake eye color (this one is on my mom — she wanted to see what my eyes would look like really green), and even fake hair (anyone else remember those faux hair scrunchies you used to be able to buy at Claire’s to create a messy bun in a snap? …anyone?).
The point is, I try not to take beauty too seriously. At it’s most intense, it’s meant to be a form of expression and experimentation. (And these under-eye circles that seem to have taken up residence on my face aren’t going to hide themselves.) But I never want to become someone who feels like she needs to look like something or someone else to be happy.
So spill: Am I the only one who stresses about turning into a big, ol’ phony? I mean, I’m not exactly getting Real Housewife casting calls yes, so I’m probably fine, but y’all know I love when we share neuroses.
I am not what you would call a “scattered” person.
One of the things I have always known about myself (and that my friends and family have come to love…right, guys?) is that I have a type A personality and it affects the way I live. (For more specific information about my personality type, I refer you to this satireperfect article.)
I’ll give you an example: I can tell you with alarming description the exact location of almost every item in my apartment. Right now. With little hesitation. My mutant power manifests itself in acute awareness of every single bit of stuff that surrounds me at all times.
Yeah, it is a little scary.
There are few things in the world that stress me out so much as the few pockets in the apartment that I have not organized within an inch of their lives. (Lookin’ at you, front closet, crawl space, and filing cabinet.)
I hate not knowing exactly what is in there. Being forced toLearning to live with the stuff of another person, even if I don’t understand or like that stuff, was by and large the hardest adjustment of married life for me. (Sorry, babe, you know I love you. Just not your piles and piles of papers ;))
So, in short, I am a freak. It may concern or, at times, annoy others, but in general, knowing where just about everything is at a moment’s notice a pretty useful skill to have.
Which is why I bug out when I can’t find something.
Because, you guys? There is only one place I would have put it. And that’s the place it belongs. So if it’s not there, I am left with very few options:
1. It has been stolen.
2. Our apartment is haunted and it was spirited away.
3. I AM ACTUALLY LOSING MY MIND BECAUSE IT SHOULD BE RIGHT HERE RIGHT HERE RIGHTHERERIGHTHERE.
As you can see, this is how civilizations break down.
In the last two months, I have lost (in chronological order) my wedding band (oops), my favorite pair of leggings, and my watch. About a week ago, they were all missing at the exact same time. And I may have considered tearing the apartment apart with my bare hands to find them.
Much like the loss of a person, there are emotional stages to the loss of an object:
1. Indifference – “I’m not going to freak out…I probably just left it in my other bag.”
2. Denial – “If I don’t check my other bags, I won’t have to admit I don’t know where it is.”
3. Determination – “Today is the day I find it!”
4. Frustration – “Ooookay…I’ll check my other bags. I know it’s in one of them.”
5. Panic – “It has to be in this bag! Okay, no, then it HAS to be in THIS BAG. IT HAS TO BE IN ONE OF THESE BAGS.”
6. Paranoia – “Someone stole it. My husband moved it. PEOPLE ARE ALWAYS UPSETTING MY SYSTEM.”
7. Depression – “It’s lost forever. How could this happen? I’m a failure.”
8. Acceptance – “It’s lost forever. I will learn from this and NEVER LET IT HAPPEN AGAIN.” (Cue an additional mental complex.)
8. ELATION (possibly coupled with an inflated sense of accomplishment) – “I FOUND IT! I KNEW I would.”
I went through literally all of these steps with the three things I had lost. I didn’t help that they were three of my favorite possessions.
Fortunately, one by one, each piece materialized. The ring had fallen out of my jewelry holder and was hiding between my wardrobe and the wall. The pants had just fallen down behind the bigger pile of pants in the wardrobe. The watch was — get this — with all my other bracelets.
The fact that two of these things were technically exactly where they were supposed to be and I just didn’t see them might be evidence that I am, in fact, losing my mind. BUT THE SYSTEM STILL WORKS.
Does anyone else completely lose it when they can’t find something? Or have any mental tricks to recalling the location of an item? Help a (possibly insane) girl out.
And that’s how I wound up naked in a building in the middle of Manhattan.
Hmm? What’s that? You find my Tarantino-start-at-the-end-and-work-your-way-back-to-the-beginning-style of writing alarming?
Well, DEAL WITH IT. It’s called a hook. Consider yourself hooked.
Anyway. Though it ends with me in the buff, this is a story that starts with trying to get buff.
As I may have mentioned, I recently joined a gym near my office. It’s a bit pricier than any other gym I’ve ever paid for (in my life), but it’s actually moderately priced for the area thanks to an employee discount I get through work, and it’s so dang convenient that I can’t even get home without passing it. Which, as we learned from my Brooklyn Y experience, help ensure I actually go on a regular basis.
For the last couple of years, I have been a staunch evening exerciser. While I would prefer to start my day with a trip to the gym, my crazy-long commute prevented that from being a viable possibility. (Unless I wanted to get up before 5 a.m. Or die at the hands of a (possibly) homicidal homeless man.)
Thanks to our recent move, however, my commute is much, much shorter, meaning I don’t have to wake up as early unless I want to work out.
I think you can imagine where this is going.
For the last couple of weeks, I’ve been telling myself that it would be a good idea to wake up earlier, go to the gym before work, shower there, and then walk the four blocks to my office. I’ve been telling myself this, but had yet to actually act on it.
UNTIL THE FATEFUL MORNING I DID. Also known as…this morning.
For the record, it had always been part of the plan that I would shower at the gym. And this is not the first time I’ve showered at a gym. It had just been a really long time, and I had completely forgotten how unbelievable awkward it is.
To be perfectly honest, I rarely even change at the gym. I’ll usually change my clothes at the office, in the privacy of the spacious handicap bathroom stall, before making my merry way to work out.
I mean, on one hand, I know I’m being silly. I know pretty much everyone averts their eyes awkwardly just like I do when I see someone half- to fully naked in the locker room. But I just…I don’t know. Nakedness. In front of people. Ehh.
I’m a prude, is what I’m saying.
Today, though, it just had to be done. Lest I want to become known as the “sweaty girl” in the office. (Not a very clever nickname, but it still stings.)
So after working out, I stripped down only to discover that…
1. …GOOD LORD those towels they provide are tiny. Who are they made for? Toddlers? I normal-sized woman can barely keep her dignity in one of those.
2. …few things make you feel less like a grown-up than showering in flip-flops. Though I was grateful I remembered to pack them.
3. …those hairdryers you’ve been seeing in the locker room for weeks and telling yourself “are so convenient!” because now you don’t have to pack your own? They suck. You still have to pack your own.
4. …showering at the gym is not your favorite thing.
Plus, as we covered in the first sentence, there’s something about being naked in the middle of the city that just makes you feel more…exposed.
So! My fellow morning gym-goers. How do you survive showering at the gym? Do you skip it? Do you bring fancy shampoo to make yourself feel more human? Tell me your secrets!