topic change

I’m finding it very difficult to write, talk, or think about anything other than pregnancy right now. I’ve hit this very strange phase where this baby is taking up a large enough portion of my body that it’s virtually impossible to stop noticing it all the damn time. Even my dreams are all about babies. I think I’m probably somewhat annoying to have a conversation with at this point.

So instead, I am going to focus this post on other people I know, and none of this has anything to do with this little baby girl that I’m gestating. Although some of it might be related to other people’s offspring.

* There’s someone who I’ve been friends with for several years, but lately I’ve decided that I’m tired of living in her little self-absorbed world where she “accidentally” hurts my feelings on a semi-regular basis. She’s the type of person that I would’ve drifted apart from ages ago, except that we have a mutual friend in common, which keeps us in contact with each other. Still, in spite of Mutual Friend, I think it’s time to cut my losses and move on.

I mentioned this over on Shannon’s blog yesterday, but my sister has a friend who uses this analogy: “Your friends are like a flower garden; you have to constantly tend to them to keep the friendship alive and growing; you have to love and nurture them so your friendship can bloom and flourish… And sometimes, some of them just gotta get weeded out.” I think now is the time to weed this person out of my Friend Garden. It sucks, because it’s hurtful to close a chapter of your life that way. Also, it sort of puts Mutual Friend in an awkward position. But in the end, I think it’s for the best.

* Speaking of Mutual Friend, she and I seem to be going through a sort of weird/tense phase. Part of me thinks that it’s the married-versus-single thing, which I hate. This is someone who I thought I would always be able to relate to, but lately it just feels like we’re in two very different places. She can’t seem to understand why I never want to go out dancing anymore, and I don’t understand how she can stand to go to those types of clubs and not feel like the “old person” in a room full of 21 year-olds. Oh, and have I mentioned that none of my cute downtown club clothes fit me right now? Dancing in maternity jeans and sneakers (because let’s face it, heels aren’t going to happen) is not my idea of a perfect Saturday night.

I’m not too worried about that, because this friend and I have been through tense phases before, and they always blow over eventually. Right now I just find myself missing our usual rapport.

* On a much happier topic, I have a dear friend who I have known and adored for over a decade. She’s one of those people that I can lose touch with for months, or even a year, and when we talk again, we just immediately pick up where we left off. We have such an easy, comfortable vibe, and I love that about her. She and her husband started trying to get pregnant around the same time that Dave and I did. So they’re going on a year with no success, and she’s had all of the up-and-down mood swings that go along with that. She’s been charting her cycles for the past few months, and right now she’s having some very strange “uh, WTF?” symptoms that could possibly, maybe, hopefully be signs of very early pregnancy. But it’s too early to take a home pregnancy test, so she basically has to sit on her hands and wait for the next few days, which I know is agonizingly frustrating. I’m crossing every finger and toe, making wishes, saying prayers, and sending as many positive embryo-implantation-vibes that this is finally it for her. She and her husband would be fantastic parents, and I want this for them so much.

(See? That doesn’t count as me “talking about pregnancy,” because I was talking about someone else’s, not my own. So there.)

(Aside to Shannon: this friend lives in the DC area, so I keep thinking that I need to set up a “playdate” for the two of you or something, because I think you’d totally hit it off. But she isn’t a blog reader at all and I don’t know if that would be weird.)

* Have you seen my cousin’s baby yet? Because she’s really, really cute. I can’t wait to meet her in person. (Next March or so, yes?)

* My mom told me yesterday afternoon that she thought she was getting a bladder infection. The way she described her symptoms, and knowing what I do of her medical history, I told her that it sounded like a kidney stone and that maybe she should get that checked out. Like right then. She said, nah, she was sure it was just a plain ol’ boring UTI. She called me back at midnight her time (10:00 here) to let me know that she and my dad were on their way to the ER. And guess what? She has a stone. Ouch. I partly feel a little “I-told-you-so,” but mostly I feel bad because I know she’s in a huge amount of pain. Poor mom.

* My sister is a bridesmaid in a wedding this weekend, and as such, she has to give a toast. The bride has specifically requested my sister for this task, so there’s no worming out of it. I’m having a preemptive anxiety attack on her behalf. (I know my sister doesn’t have nearly the same fear of public speaking that I do, but still. That sounds like hell to me.)

* Dave has now been in a good mood for two days in a row, so we can all say a little *hallelujah!* for that. It wasn’t really his fault, he was just having some weird sleep issues for the past couple of weeks and it made him a major crankypants. Last weekend, I was all jittery and wanting to talk (about nothing in particular), so I sat next to him on the couch babbling about lord-knows-what. Finally, he kind of gave me this icy glare and said, “Do you need something??” Ooookay. I’m just gonna go in the other room and watch TV, then. But he’s back to his normal sweet, funny, lovable self right now, and I’m very grateful for that. I was starting to miss the sound of his laugh.

6 thoughts on “topic change

  1. a couple comments:
    * your friend in the DC area is what sharon likes to call a “perennial” in your garden. she doesn’t require regular attention as much as some more needy flowers in the garden, but she comes back just as lovely year after year. that’s one of my favorite parts of the analogy (since sharon is a perennial for me), but yeah, sometimes you get those people in the garden who NEVER flourish, no matter how much you give them — and those must be weeded out.
    * clarification: i have to give a SPEECH, not a toast. apparently a toast can be very brief, but a speech — well, you know what a speech is. so, even worse. and btw — i DO still hate public speaking. so thank you for the empathetic anxiety. . .

  2. I love the friends analogy. It’s much more poetic than anything I use, which basically amounts to sorting people into three categories: good friends who you can rely on for anything; friends who are fun when you see them, but that are not integral to your livess; and shitty friends, who are more trouble than they’re worth. I’m weeding out the shitty friends, it would seem.
    So much nicer to say I’m weeding my friend garden. πŸ™‚

    You could totally set up a “playdate” with your friend in DC. It can’t be much weirder than having people come help you move who you’d only met one time, who you really “know” through e-mail and blogs. (although I know them much more in person now) Plus, if she is pregnant, it’s always helpful to have people around who have gone through the whole gestating thing before.

    Hope your mom feels better.

  3. Ooh! I love giving wedding toasts! Wedding toasts are my THING! Oh. Except I see your comment now. It’s a speech. That’s okay! I can write about speeches, too. I’ll give you a few ideas from cool things I’ve seen people do at my clients’ weddings.

    Okay. Idea #1: This is a nice, easy start for people who don’t like the spotlight. I saw a Best Woman pull this off at a wedding in August. She started out by quoting John Lennon. As in, “Good evening, everyone. I’m T, the bride/or/groom’s (cousin/best friend since 5th grade/insert relationship here). There’s a lot of love in the room tonight. So I just wanted to say, in the words of John Lennon, “All you need is love.” (pause) “Love is all you need.” Then sort of deadpan, “doo doo do do.” She sort of kept going with more lyrics from “All You Need is Love” while the room cracked up, then wished them well, told them she loved them, and sat down.

    Idea#2: If the bride is changing her name, start out by suggesting “that we all help the bride and groom get used to hearing their married names together.” Invite everyone in the whole room to stand up, raise their glasses, and on the count of three, chant their names together, three times, i.e. “Adam and Eve Jones! Adam and Eve Jones! Adam and Eve Jones!” It gets a good energy flowing in the room, and it gets everyone focused on a task that doesn’t involve staring at YOU, the speech giver. Then, invite them all to sit. I’ve done this twice. Once, I preceded the chanting thing by gently joking about the groom’s family’s name being hard to pronounce. The second time, I started out with the script above, then segued into a thing about how there were three “Mrs. Smiths” in the room now- my sister the bride, the groom’s mother and the grandmother. They got all weepy with it; I expressed my gratitude at how lovingly my brother-in-law’s family has embraced my sister (true) and went from there.

    Idea #3: Pull out something from the past. Depending on how long you’ve known the bride, maybe you can find an old snapshot of her dressed as a bride for Halloween when she was 5. Make cheap color photocopies at Staples, cut out the little photos and tape one under every guest’s seat in the reception hall. (Or get your date to do it while you’re being photographed.) Talk about how your friend has also been a romantic, (or a very practical person who put her heart before her head for the first time when she met the groom), blah blah blah. As you wind down, invite everyone to check under their chair. They find the photos, laugh with surprise, and you say, “Congratulations!” and sit down. This also works with a photo of your friend dressed as a nun in her high school’s production of “The Sound of Music,” etc.

    4.) Less complicated from #3, tell a story from the past. Just keep it short and not too snarky. My friend Heather’s sister gave this great toast that started out talking about how Heather always wanted to marry Lavar Burton from “Reading Rainbow” when they were little. They found out he was already married, and she (the sister) was devastated. What was Heather going to do?!?!”

    I did something similar with my friend Kristen, talking about how we went to Girl Scout Camp together in 3rd grade. Once day she was screaming in a latrine, and my sister and I hesitated at first, because she had been in there for a minute already. Finally we yanked the door open, and she had been stung by what I remember as an entire swarm of bees, but was probably three yellow jackets. Then I talked about how she was a blue cap swimmer at camp, which meant she could go in the deep end without a counselor. I was a green cap, which meant I could go anywhere, too, if I were with a blue cap or a counselor. My advice for the groom was, “If you see Kristen in deep water, jump in. She’s a very storng swimmer. But if you hear her screaming in a port-a-potty, pull her out.

    5. Finally, plagarize from J.Lo in the movie “The Wedding Planner.” There’s a scene where J.Lo feeds a best man his speech through a headset. It goes something like this: “May you always have enough family to keep you close, enough friends to keep you laughing, enough money to keep you comfortable, enough children to keep you busy, enough romance to keep your passion, and enough love to keep you going.”

    When in doubt, be sweet, be brief and be seated. And you can always close with: “This is your heart’s true happiness, and it’s everything you deserve.” Hope that helps, a little.

    β€’β€’β€’β€’β€’β€’β€’β€’β€’β€’β€’β€’β€’β€’β€’β€’β€’β€’β€’β€’β€’β€’β€’β€’β€’β€’β€’β€’

    As if I haven’t blabbered on enough here… regarding friendships? One of my favorite online writers, Sars, has an advice column on her site, TomatoNation.com. She gets a lot of questions about baseball, grammar, boy drama, roommate troubles and dealing with eccentric cats. One of the main themes in her advice is that some friendships just have a shelf life. Sometimes you just aren’t in the same place anymore (physical and metaphorical).

    My circle of amazing women (the ones whose weddings I give toasts at) have been my friends for a long, long time. I know those specific relationships don’t have an expiration date. I know I will never weed them out of my garden, but those relationships have been “pruned” and “cultivated” over the years. They have to be; everyone changes. Not to beat the analogy to death here, but it can be pretty hard to tell the difference between “fertilizer” and plain old bullshit. It’s important, deciding who you can continue to invest energy in, who you can forgive, who you can’t, who might be better off without you. It’s good to do, it just hurts like hell. I plan to stop feeling bad and sad about one of my dandelions, oh, any day now. πŸ™‚

  4. I totally understand not being able to think of anything but pregnancy, and I bet none of us mind reading about your gestational adventures. I like hearing it! And yes, we’ll probably see each other this late winter or early spring sometime when my work reschedules the trip to Seattle that I should’ve been taking *right now.* Heehee!

    T- I bet that, in spite of nervousness about public speaking, that you give a righteous good speech when you want to. You’re just so elegant anyway. You’ve got all of Ann’s savoir faire.

    Give Dave a benadryl and tell him no more Mr. Crankypants. You’re supposed to be the cranky one.

  5. PS- you know, you’ve mentioned Mutual Friend before, I think. It was just as frustrating to you then. It’s definitely time to let her go. Maybe not in a formal sort of “I’m breaking up with you” way, but in a “oh, no, sorry I’m pretty busy this week. And next week, too.” sort of way. She’ll get the hint.

  6. thanks for all the suggestions, angie — i love the “adam and eve jones” one! lots of good ideas. . .

    and thanks too to cat for the encouragement!!

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