Monday, September 22, 2014

The bump made me do it

As featured on Scary Mommy!
the unedited (rambling) version:

In its simplest form, pregnancy makes you into a parent: pregnancy leads directly to parenthood, right? But when is anything ever simple? Pregnancy affects us in many more ways than a simple census declaration adjustment. Pregnancy makes you glow, it makes you feel fat, it makes you look fat, it makes you not sleep, it makes you want to beat the sh!t out of random people you don't know just because they decided to hand a kid a semi-automatic weapon. Oh, and it makes you do some questionable things too. These are the top ways pregnancy messes with you and your otherwise calm, rational way of life. 

Make me paranoid: Pregnancy makes you do and feel stuff you wouldn't otherwise. And rather than having a balanced mental state to work your way through it, we have a never ending to-do list coupled with raging hormones to help us through. It's not just you, the world may actually be out to get you, at least it is out to get you to do many of the other things on this list. Is Pregnancy Paranoia even a thing? Because if science hasn't studied it yet, it should... well, I mean, after they have cured all forms of cancer, AIDS, Ebola and ALS (hot topics), all birth defects and disabilities and figured out the whole genetically modified food thing (I understand why altered food isn't great, but hasn't "seedless" watermelon been modified into something better?). Then and only then they should spend a little time on this pregnancy paranoia thing. Or maybe not, maybe it's just me. Gah! The paranoia strikes again.

Make me cry: Don't get me wrong, even in my un-pregnant state I am typically only one video of a reunited military family away from tears. Old people are my universal weakness, and don't even get me started on those Sarah McLaughlin doggie commercials. And this is when I am not pregnant. These days I only need a semi-decent reason to cry... which is where Showtime comes in.

Ok Showtime, I'm the first person to admit that Love Actually is a great movie. I am also the same person who suggests that the song "Last Christmas" is good enough to be played all year round. But when Love Actually starts playing at all hours on Showtime in April and again in August, I feel it could be for no other reason than to make me cry, repeatedly, consistently, every single day I see that it is on because no, I can't resist turning it on once I've seen that it's on. So yeah, clearly Showtime is out to make me tear up uncontrollably. Or it's this pregnancy thing again (see paranoia above).

Make me eat: I was psyched when I realized I would't be pregnant over Halloween again... but you know what? Easter is just as bad, possibly worse. All the same mini candy, plus I am a believer that there is no such thing as a half-eaten chocolate bunny. It's either down in one or you have to throw part of it away... and I don't throw away part of anything chocolate. The same thing could be said about jellybeans. Not that I eat an entire bag of jellybeans in one sitting, but you can only go so many nights in a row shoving handful upon handful in your mouth until you think, despite my current jellybean induced nausea, perhaps if I just polished them all off right now, I'd still feel sick, but at least they would be gone before tomorrow. And hey, tomorrow is a new day. A new day to eat all those g-ddamn Peeps. I get past my own rule of not throwing food away by eating a few Peeps and then leaving the package open a few days before returning back to some rock hard neon bunnies and chicks. I am allowed to throw those out because if you've tried to eat a stale Peep (oh yeah, of course I have), they suck. Phew! At least I didn't have to eat all of them on my own.

And what's with food commercials after 8:00 pm? Nobody actively makes their supermarket shopping list at that hour. Therefore I can only assume that food commercials, whether for some drippy caramel gelato or Doritoes are for the sole purpose of making me feel like I need to eat something. I do recognize that these commercials don't actually make me hungry, but does it matter if the end result is me hoisting myself off the couch to go and find the item most similar to the offerings on tv in my pantry? Yes advertising executives, it's not like I rush out to go and buy your advertised items. I just make do with whatever I have in my house that is either sweet or savory, depending on which commercial has resonated that hour. It's dangerous, and I fear I may be only able to watch DVR'd or Netflix shows for the rest of my pregnancy lest I fall victim to these ads every night and gain the 65 additional pounds I am bound to gain if I continue to eat every time I get tempted.

The power of suggestion is pretty strong outside of the house as well. I saw a man on the street eating a donut and for the next few blocks I walked to the beat of the words in my head: "now I want a donut, now I want a donut." Don't worry, I was able to get that chant out of my head. What magical act did I perform to do so, you ask? Well, I went and got myself a donut. Five hours ago I saw a crumpled up piece of yellow paper that either was, or just simply reminded me of the cheeseburger wrappers from McDonald's. I think I know how where my evening is headed...

Oh hey, did you know that Nutella just turned 50? I did because for about ten days it was all I kept hearing about. Local news shows, the free daily paper, an e-mail chain I am on; all touting the rather inconsequential anniversary and the slew of Nutella themed events from a Nutella pop-up at a store down my block to free Nutella Cronuts being given out on anniversary day (also down my block). Well played Nutella. Despite me not actually making it to any of these events, guess what I kept eating every time I heard about another one of your "celebrations"? A slice of bread with Nutella on it. And it's a damn good time. Damn you Nutella!

Make me angry: While pregnancy paranoia may yet to be fully documented, pregnancy rage is alive and well and widely acknowledged. All of a sudden, in spite of our best efforts to not let her have any irritating toys, every toy my daughter owns has instantly become the most ridiculously annoying toy on the planet. Every musical toy has a different tune, a fact which is quite irksome on its own, and they go off and on at random times of the day (and night). Some bother me more than others. Pretty much all of the ones that have voices, electronically cheerful and overly pleasant voices, are the ones I want to bag up and remove from the house as she sleeps peacefully in the other room. Their faux happiness as they teach my daughter classical music and rhythm in Spanish is grating. And was that the sound of 30 plastic balls hitting the wood floor after being poured out of a poster tube? Where the hell did she get a poster tube from? And who invented this game for toddlers with 30 hard plastic balls? Someone who hated their parents very much and is projecting their rage by annoying other parents everywhere with this ridiculousness. Oh, and my apologies to our neighbor downstairs... apparently her interpretation of this game does not involve placing them on a table neatly as intended or even spilling the balls on the carpet, but rather directly onto the hard wood floor. It bothers me too, if it makes you feel any better... which it probably does not.

Make me scared: Is that pink juice running out of my burger or is it red? Should there be juice at all? Will that crazy person walking down the street take a random swing at my protruding belly and where is my center of gravity if I need to dodge her? How much tuna does my bagel place put on a bagel? Seems like more than the weekly allowance of 6 ounces, but I'm too hungry to only eat half. Does carbonara sauce have raw egg in it? How was I supposed to know that? And what does it mean for my poor unborn child if I'm carrying the Strep B bacteria? Not to mention the laundry list of other things we worry about while pregnant: will she be healthy, will he come early, will I ever feel ready? While I spend plenty of time in angry-land, my mood definitely swings to scared sh!tless a lot of the time too, and there's not much to get me out of it. Note to myself and anyone else reading this: DO NOT, I repeat DO NOT look things up on the internet unless you want to live in a permanent state of panic.

Make me feel crazy: This one has two culprits, the actual pregnancy (and the hormones that accompany it) and the annoying people around us who choose to blame any spike in temper or annoyance on our hormones. You know what, annoying people? Maybe you're just annoying... did you ever consider that? Sure, maybe I have stuff going on inside that makes me want to scream at anyone that steps out of line (*again, my sincerest apologies to the very old man driving the silver Nissan on the highway for that outburst), but just because I can't always control my mood doesn't mean you aren't also being a jerk (he was driving in the middle of two lanes and I didn't realize he was a frail, tiny old man until after I honked and tried to pass while mouthing mean things to him). 
I was susceptible to this crazy thing prior to pregnancy as I was a regular attendee of therapy. For those of you familiar with therapy, seeking help to sort through what goes on in your head is possibly one of the sanest things a person can do. For those of you not familiar with therapy, using the knowledge that someone else is in therapy as an excuse for their "crazy" behavior is a trigger to said crazy behavior. Please don't go there. Similarly, when you're being an a$$hole and blame me and my hormones for a situation escalating, I currently lack the ability to laugh that off (as I did the therapy mistake) and it just makes me even crazier. Self fulfilling prophecy or goading? You be the judge.

Make me into a bit of an animal: Yes, I'm standing on the street aggressively scratching my mid-section. It itches. And yes I am sweating uncontrollably in an air-conditioned room. Oh, and did I just belch audibly in line at the supermarket? Yes I did. Apologies to the people around me, but I really didn't know it was coming until it was out. Just be glad it relieved my nausea for now. And be glad it came out of that end... not that there was another option, as there's nothing going on at the other end at the moment anyway. And for some reason I think it's ok to discuss all this with anyone and everyone? I am an animal.

Make me feel bad: Oh, and one other thing... people need to stop looking so apologetic about the fact that I can't drink. I can't. That's true, and that's ok. It's only nine months and to be honest, I can sip on some wine once in a while if I really want to. Don't look at me like you've just asked a nun her favorite sex position. I know alcohol. I have enjoyed it. I will enjoy it again. Not drinking is not the end of the world. The end of the world is the patronizing look of someone acting like you are learning to live without water. It's the faux horror as they attempt to imagine what you are going through accompanied by apologies. Save it. The drink, I mean. I'll have it in a few months... more than one probably. I'm not gonna lie, a summer without cocktails wasn't easy, but I will be ok.

Which reminds me, despite all this, I will be ok. We all will. Thank goodness for that.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Throwback this...

If you're anything like me, your Facebook feed of late has become an onslaught of ice buckets and gratitude lists interspersed with ill-advised political rants and the troll-y responses that come with. Shoot, even the Buzzfeed style lists and quizzes have become a bit of a snooze fest. I'm not saying I only want to see a specific type of update, or that I even know what I want to see. That's kind of the point. It was the variety that kept it interesting. Or at least in the case of Throwback Thursday, the predictability of knowing why every Thursday I'm looking at photos of you with missing teeth and funny clothes.

I harken back to the days of funny videos before they've gone viral, jokes, witty observations and photos of fun parties I wish I was at and your new babies. Sidenote: the baby will do just fine on her own, thanks. I don't care if they are 17 or 19 weeks. The onesie or adorable doily stating the week is cute, for the first few weeks... then it becomes ridiculous and unnecessary. Just give me a pic of your kid. Their exact age could not matter less to me, particularly those 30+ weeks when I have to do the math. Please don't make me do the math.

And just so we're clear, the first day of school photos don't count as cute pictures I want to see either. They might have before everyone did them, but since I've been getting them since early August (what up with that southern states?), they are just boring and aggravating. Yes, aggravating because they make me into both a judgmental mother who questions why you sent your kid  to school on the first day looking like a complete slob and an inadequate mother who realizes she doesn't have a cutely framed chalkboard and rainbow chalk to caption days like this and now feels guilty about that.

It seems that anything in excess on social media becomes so monotonous that I have to b!tch about it here... either that or start reading again. *gasp*

Maybe the antidote to my annoyance lies in the magic that is Throwback Thursday. Yes folks, there's no use fighting it, Throwback Thursday has officially caught on. Don't get me wrong, I do enjoy seeing old class photos and pix of both questionable hairdos and nights out. But Thursday wasn't good enough for some people. Some people (read: the lazy ones, re-read: folks like me) can't get their sh!t together in time to make #TBT, and g-d forbid they should have to wait a whole week. No, those people have created Flashback Friday... Basically the lazy man's Throwback Thursday. But tardiness on posting old photos aside, perhaps the folks who came up with this idea were onto something: namely confining these types of posts to the one day (or two days) of the week and labeling them accordingly.

Seeing as the old pictures do tend to only come out on these two days (birthdays/anniversaries not included), perhaps I can suggest a few other days in an attempt to clean up my feed and get specific types of updates confined to just one day of the week. I imagine we're only a few choice hashtags away from organizing it all neatly.

First up: The nonsense. We've all read the random updates: "My back spasms remind me of the way my cat twitches in her sleep... bless" "Geese and ducks could be the same animal, if only they were" "*Insert obscure musical quote here.*" I'm not saying these are bad updates, just a bit nonsensical.
Also included in this pack are the weirdly personal questions that could easily be answered via Google, Yelp, Yahoo or one of the other thousand ways of searching for something on the internet, but people instead choose to post to everyone they know. "Anyone know a good dry cleaner near Elm Street?" is a great question for a local residents group you may belong to. As for everyone you know? Well, since you live in Arizona and I live in New York, I am thinking that this is not the best way to get your question answered.
For all these nonsense posts, I suggest we stick with Tuesdays. And so, in the style of #TBT, I propose the "Day Of Nonsense Tuesday." So if you have to ask all of your friends "I think I might have ringworm, what are the symptoms?" First, make sure it's Tuesday and second, #DONT.

Next up: The random and irrelevant.
"Just got home from the dentist... pretty sweet!" "Chicken or fish for dinner? Choices, choices." "Going downstairs to get a bagel."
We all know who the culprits tend to be out of our friends, and yet these updates are so boring, so innocuous it doesn't necessarily seem worth it to out and out de-friend the person solely off the back of them. Hey, I like strawberry smoothies too, but I don't think I really care just how much you love strawberry smoothies... or maybe I would care more if I only had to hear about it one day of the week? Mundane Monday anyone? Perhaps keeping these posts all on one day will make us re-read what we are writing and think about whether or not anyone else needs to know. In most of these cases the answer is 'no, they do not.'
Do us all a favor and #MuMo so we know you know just how boring you can be.

I understand there may be some spillover on the inane posts. Those who can't resist a "hump day" reference can have Wednesdays too. 
While we're at it, you might as well save all your food porn photos for Wednesdays. Because, let's be honest, who gives a sh!t that you made white rice and turkey for dinner. I don't need to know that, or worse, see it. Maybe if the turkey was shaped like Elvis or the rice had something nasty buried in it, but just a photo of your dinner? I'm all set, thanks.
So, step three of this hashtag proposal is relegating the useless posts to Wednesdays only. We can call it "Status Overshare Wednesday: Home-cooking And Trivialities." 
So when you post: "Steve and I are watching Thor tonight on the couch." Don't forget the all important hashtag #SOWHAT.

And finally, for those of us prone to the odd Bragbook. I totally get it, sometimes you want everyone to know the cool, fun, interesting, unique or just plain flash thing you're doing. And sometimes you want to promote yourself or the latest accomplishment(s) you have achieved. But let's call a spade a spade. If you're showing me a picture of your new (and very nice car), or a status update on how hard it is to find anything in your new house because it's so big, or links to websites celebrating your superior intelligence, let's just admit that you are "Blatantly Reveling in your Arrogant Grandioseness." Make sure to include the hashtag so everyone knows what's what. "My husband bought me flowers and cooked me dinner tonight for no reason at all! Best. Hubby. Ever. #BRAG"

"Oh, did I mention that we bought a new car? Why yes, I have been working out!"**
In fact, this is a pretty fun game I am now going to play, and I invite you to join me... because playing with myself is not as fun as playing with others (tee hee... I said "playing with myself"). I have been saving up ridiculous updates for some time now and I will be releasing them into the world as randomly as they appeared in mine.
If you don't already, please follow me on Twitter @missspartacus
Yes, if you are familiar with my writing, you know I have a tough time with only 140 characters. But I can post random thoughts or stuff that no one gives a sh!t about quite concisely. So, from now on, each week I will be sending out one or more tweets with #MuMo #DONT or #SOWHAT, and of course the odd #BRAG every now and again. Some will be made up by me, others will be pilfered directly from my newsfeed if they're too good to pass up. I encourage everyone to get in on the game and hopefully these days and hashtags catch on. Our news feeds, nay our lives, will all be better off for it.

Hey, the feeds have gotten so boring, I needed to come up with something to do. This seems like a good enough use of my time.

First up: Tuesday September 9: "Hi all, should I bring toothpaste on my flight to St. Barts?" #DONT #BRAG

**This is neither me nor my car