Colorless Green Ideas Unintentionally Amusing In Person
Friday, January 03, 2003
Back from the doctor…
And I’m totally in love with my new doctor. I adore her and want to get pregnant while I still live in Portland, just so she can be my doctor.
But right now I have to do some work, so getting pregnant will have to wait.
And I guess I would have a little difficulty getting pregnant right now anyway, since I’m at work and my boyfriend is at home, and the other people in my office are women. Oh well. I guess I'll just work then.
I decided yesterday that instead of spending the money I got for Christmas on the entire Time-Life set of The Best of the Muppet Show (only $99.96 plus shipping for 10 DVDs!), I am going to use Christmas money to buy a food processor and start making some of the wonderful-sounding, healthy, vegan recipes I found on Conscious Mother. I made this decision because, even though I really don’t like to cook, and it’s not my job to force myself to learn to cook, or pretend to enjoy cooking just because I’m the girl (I’m not the fucking cook!), I do think that ultimately it would be better to spend money on something that may well improve the overall health level of our lifestyle, and may provide some real-life activity that we enjoy, rather than procure another huge chunk of TV-based entertainment. We already have all of the Disney Treasure DVD sets, 3 seasons of the X-Files, and about 40 movies on DVD—it’s not like we’re hurting for sedentary fun on the boob tube.
And dairy products are the current bane of our food lifestyle (we’re already vegetarian). My boyfriend doesn’t really like fruits and vegetables, he likes potatoes and bread and cheese. He’s a carbohydrates person. This is, admittedly, better than being a red-meat-and-carbohydrates-person, as several of his relatives are—these relatives being the ones who are now getting recreational bypass surgery—but is still setting him on the path to adult-onset diabetes, which is what his (vegetarian-but-still-unhealthy) mother was just diagnosed with. And he carries his excess poundage in his chest and stomach—the very worst place for it to be. Now, don’t get me wrong, I need to exercise and lose weight too, but I am only about 30 lbs over, and put my excess poundage on my hips and breasts (lucky for me!), which, I’ve been told, is “benign” fat placement, and is much easier for me to disguise with creative costuming choices. (It’s called voluptuousness, honey.)
So during the new year, my boyfriend and I are supposed to start going to the gym before work (ewww 6 am!) three days a week, and I am supposed to be more consistent than I’ve been for the last month about riding my bike to work, and we’re supposed to eat better, and we’ll both get really healthy and wear Barbarella and the Angel costumes for Halloween this year. That’s the plan.
And the food-and-diet plan is important, because it’s part of the larger plan to become the kind of people that we want to be, and not just talk about it. And it’s important to make strides in that direction, because we need to be those people in order to be the parents that we want to be (if we become parents, which we may or may not). And if we’re going to do all this stuff we should get moving, because we’re getting within 5 years of either having kids or not having kids, and five years is not really very much time.
And the reason that I am thinking about this today is because I am going to a new primary care provider tomorrow, for my annual, and she’s also an Ob/Gyn, and I’m sure she will ask, since I am a 28-getting-on-towards-29-year-old woman with no children who has never been pregnant, and therefore should be considering when I want kids, if I want them.
Though I still find the fact that I consider issues like this at all very odd. It makes it sound like I am a Grown Up, which I can’t possibly be. I would have noticed something like that, wouldn’t I?
I am going to make a very strange and probably stressful phone call. See, I have this friend, and this friend, among other things, has a variety of chemical dependency issues that have caused her to disappear from the radar for periods of time ranging from a few days to over a year. This friend is someone I love very much, and someone I want to be healthy and happy and not chemically dependent on anything.
This is a girl that I was best friends with from second grade through graduating from high school. This is a girl whose tendency towards emotional dependence I may have inadvertently encouraged by being the eternal “responsible friend”—the designated driver, the holding-your-hair-while-you-puke-friend, the person who pays for lunch and finds a way to fix things, often at the cost of some personal annoyance, who never criticizes you for acting like a jerk or forgetting that you had plans. (I dated alcoholics all through high school too, so there you go.) As a result of all this emotional, financial, and practical support, my friend may have been a shoe-in for an abusive, emotionally manipulative boyfriend, I don’t know.
Anyway, she got an abusive, emotionally manipulative boyfriend, who successfully isolated her from me (and most of her other friends), and I went away to college, and Amy began to slide downhill faster and faster, until all I could find out was that a friend of a friend of a friend heard that she was doing crystal meth somewhere in the gutter.
I felt really bad for a long time, like it was my job to take care of her and I’d failed somehow, but eventually I was forced to deal with reality. Because what it comes down to is this: I could spend my whole life watching out for Amy, and paying her way, and taking care of all the practical stuff, but that would eat up my entire life, and I can’t spend my life taking care of other people if I want to have any life left for my hopes and dreams and ambitions.
I know I have hyper-responsibility issues, and I know that I am just super at feeling bad for anything and everything that could possibly, on any level, have been prevented by some act of mine, regardless of how intrusive or inconvenient or expensive it would be for me. This is something I have to try hard not to allow to take over my life, because I don’t want to be responsible for everything all the time. It’s stressful and no one ever really likes you for it except during those moments when alcohol makes them maudlin (You’re so nice…you’re such a great person…I’m sorry I am such a rampant flaming asshole to you when I’m sober…).
A few years ago, after I had called and gotten no information about her about a thousand times, Amy climbed out of the gutter on her own, and I was thrilled, and tried to keep in touch with her and support her efforts, but she never returned my phone calls, so it was hard to offer much assistance. Then, a couple of years after that, she got married, and I went to her wedding, even though she never got around to sending out invitations, and I got her some sort of gift—I don’t remember what it was—and gave her my phone number and told her to call, and she never did. I call her every time I go to visit my parents, and take her out to breakfast or something, but she never calls me. I send Christmas cards to her and her family, and I never hear back. And then, about four months ago, my mom told me she had run into Amy’s mom in the grocery store, and that it sounded like Amy was having problems again. I called the number I had for Amy, and it was disconnected, so I called her mom’s house and left a message. I left my home phone number and address, and my office number, and left my parents’ number too, just in case, but I didn’t hear anything back. And I thought, "Okay, so we’re back where we started. I can feel bad, and I’ll try to check in regularly, and eventually I’ll hear she’s back, or I’ll have to go to the funeral. I can handle this."
But last Friday, when my parents were here on a post-Christmas drive-by visit my mom said “Oh, Amy called our house and left a message for you,” like it was no big deal, like it happens all the time. And I have now called back a total of four times, and hopefully will actually talk to Amy when I call in just a minute.
The problem, of course, is that I have no idea how much of the Amy that I knew is left this time.
I think that it is strange, and possibly horribly unfair, that in addition to noticing all the endearing, sweet, touching little things about the person you’re in love with, you also notice all the incredibly annoying little things that drive you totally bugshit.
It is also possible that this tendency of mine to notice my boyfriend doing terribly irritating things is due to the amount of stress involved with the holiday season.
What do you mean you want your mom to make lasagna for Christmas dinner in addition to everything I’m making?! You think I can’t do it myself! (bursts into tears)
What do you mean you have to make one more phone call before you come over for dinner?! I said five o’clock and it’s ten after now! Everything will be ruined! (bursts into tears)
What do you mean Dad got two fleece vests and needs the receipt for the one we got him?! Dad doesn’t like my present! (bursts into tears)
I’m absolutely certain that none of this has anything at all to do with the fact that I have not been sleeping very well (as a result of my unmatched skill in worrying all night), or the fact that my period was due (and duly arrived) yesterday.
In spite of all this drama, I think that the holidays went okay, and I am very glad that they are over. I also think that we absolutely need to get a place with a guest room before we have guests for more than a couple of nights again. I just don’t really like having sleeping people cluttering up my living room. It cramps my style.