Saturday, March 31, 2007

Waxing nostalgic

I can't wait to grow up so I can:
Go to bed whenever I want. (Some nights I wish I was allowed to go to bed earlier.)
Eat whatever I want. (lowfat cottage cheese with fat free yogurt and almonds? Baked potatoes with ketchup? Is this the wild diet I had in mind?)
Wax my upper lip. Now that never figured in to my plans.
The hairs come in darker now; still soft, but dark enough that I look like a thirteen year old boy working hard to earn his first shave.
I bleached for years until my upper lip itself started having pigment reactions in the sunlight. That wasn't going to do.
So I bought the tape strips. (gotta love Sally Hansen- the woman of my dreams)
Ow. And ow, ow, ow.
Now that I know how good it feels, after sticking the strip on my lip I pause wondering if perhaps I could just leave it there like an absent minded accessory. Eventually I cringe and rip- and yowl.
My aunt knew people who put in invisible fencing for their dog with an electric collar. The dog knew he could jump the electric fence but he would get zapped and it hurt him. So he would start way back in the yard and begin to run toward the fence, yowling ever louder the closer he got til he sailed over, got zapped, and was done.
I think of him while standing at the bathroom mirror with an adhesive strip stuck well to the tiny hairs on my little upper lip.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Don't eat the rope!

After my first bite of swordfish last night I frantically waved my boyfriend's venture-some fork away from my dish.

After my third bite, I burst out laughing and was greeted with puzzled looks by my table-mates.

The waiter was anxious but I assured him nothing else was needed.

The manager came over to appease, but was reassured his guest was happy and full and even amused.

I have never encountered such texture in fish. It was bizarre but I will attempt to explain.

When it entered my mouth it was dry on my tongue and exceptionally tough to chew- try as I might, my teeth could not be forced through. The more I chewed, the tougher and drier each piece became and swallowing it was near impossible- it was like trying to wash down a bolus of sisal.

Even now I am laughing remembering how it felt in my throat!- a wad of entangled, moistureless fibers.

I forgot to mention- Tasteless. No flavor at all.

I didn't complain one bit, hadn't a complaint on my tongue (a wad of sisal fish, but no complaint).
The salad bar was phenomenal, the coffee fresh, my potato and broccoli tasty and filling. But the manager, after honestly offering anything else I wished from the menu, voluntarily took the whole meal off our tab.

Thank you, Charlie Browns!

The pot of change

Rolling up on my 33rd birth anniversary I wonder if it is too late for me to get off the pot- that is, if I should have gotten off long ago. Maybe- but we each have our individual marinating times and every life and situation, though similar to several others, is individual.
Have you ever heard the same line of advice multiple ways for years but never had it touch you inside until one day you are in a symbiotic emotional place or the words are twisted just right and suddenly it all clenches and you embrace it with understanding?
I got raped eleven years ago. I found out 15 years ago that I don't have a uterus. These two things have ruled my life ever since from being internalized to being burdens promoted to badges. This year has finally become time to let go.
Maybe becoming a wife and a mother are like other circumstances - I can't chase them down. Hot pursuit is like trying to run in socks on ice. I am afraid if I take other paths I will overshoot my chances for marriage and motherhood, but perhaps if I get busy living the rest of my life these things will come my way.
With a little shame I realize not having a uterus has been a crutch for the last 15 years. Now that I know that my thinking can change.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Give me a cookie...

Give me a cookie, and back the fuck up. Better yet, for your own safety, throw the damn thing from five feet away- just aim well or I'm coming after you.

So- fucking- cranky! It has got to be the hormones. No uterus, no periods, hard to tell... but the bloat, the completely unnecessary crying, the intense chocolate cravings...

and the one day a month I want to fucking eat people.

No reason for it- just recognize the red pupils, toss me something chocolated, and get the living hell out of my way. Quickly.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Me? Rooted??

It is true that growing up I wanted to be a gypsy, my idea of a gypsy being an intriguing woman sporting a kerchief and all her worldly goods in a knapsack, living the nomadic life with a horse-drawn cart. Horses, travel, a nifty little knapsack (of red cloth) on my shoulder: I was all for it.

Albeit within tiny borders, I've done my share of job hopping and traipsing since high school. Think me a fool for not recalling a former address, but only until you count how many I've had in ten years. It seems every two years I am ready for a move, and every three years ready for a complete overhaul. If I suddenly cut all my hair off, look out. It means I'm itching for ditching my life, and my hair was simply the first thing I could control.

It seems my priorities have shifted now. I am choosing to remain in NJ and move no farther away than SE Pennsylvania to stay near my family and near my lifelong friends who have families of their own now. I want to be a part of their lives and watch their children grow.

Having been stationery now for only one year, I wonder if the urge to move and wander will rise again in 2008 or 2009. Will I be more disappointed in myself if it does, or if it does not?

price of tea in China;_ylt=AlgVhHFoUFhEJ6JijmFGXX2WwvIE

The much-anticipated testimony by the striking blonde, the subject of a photo spread in Vanity Fair magazine, drew dozens of reporters and photographers and was shown live on cable TV news channels.

This article concerns Valerie Plame, a former CIA spy, and what she has to say about her cover being blown.

This has what to do with her physical appearance? Do you ever, in a national associated press article, read, "Donald Trump, a chubby man with a bad comb-over", or "Nelson Mandela, who certainly must still have a lovely, well defined chest".

Am I over-reacting?

Help me come up with some funny comparisons!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

No babes in the brush

My mom has a favorite Christmas photo of me. I am two and one-half years old with shiny, wispy dark brown waves of hair and clearly blue eyes. I sit on my aunt's living room floor on one leg, the other extended, in my red calico dress. My eyes are open startlingly wide. My mouth is agape. In my hands is a freshly unwrapped Madame Alexender 'Victoria' doll an in that moment someone caught the pure amazement and joy on my face because in that first moment, I thought she was real.

I have always wanted babies of my own. Always since I was old enough to know what a baby is, anyway. When I was ten I watched the parenting shows on television. In puberty I started reading Parenting magazine. In my teen years, when my menstruation had not come though everything else had begun at age eight, I secretly waited for a flutter in my belly hoping it had not come because I had been lucky enough to get pregnant just before it arrived.

It never arrived. When I was 17-going-on-18, the final test for the cause of my amenorrhea was an abdominal laparoscopy. I went into day stay and under general anesthesia. My pelvic cavity was reached through an incision in my belly button, and a camera was inserted.
They found two normal ovaries, two healthy fallopian tubes, and a band of fibrous tissue where my uterus should be. Well.

My maternal grandmother who was like a second mother, a close aunt, a giant cousin to me, sent over a cluster of freshly picked pansies (her very favorite, and it was late May) for me. As a grown woman I understand that she understood, and empathized with me. She has been gone for six years now, but I wish I could give her the appropriate thank you now.

My mom had a very difficult time getting pregnant with me, her first of two children, in 1973. She remembers my grandmother screaming, "Yippee!! Yippee!!"when they got the good news.

I always wanted babies. I wanted to have four or more children. After the news of the missing uterus I kind of gave up- grieved a little for the last 15 years over the children I will never conceive.

About three years ago I was hit with what must be the chiming of the biological clock, suddenly possessed with an intense drive to get pregnant. It mattered naught how I told my body, "But we can't!" I have for years had occasional dreams of being pregnant, but they were unrealistic.
Two years ago the dreams became very realistic. I would have a belly full of fetus I could feel. I would see the baby moving, touch the kicks, revel in being pregnant. I never dreamed my way through labor but would either awake before labor began, or suddenly have a baby and begin to nest and shop and gather.

And invariably wake up still feeling like I was a new mom with a new baby, still warmed inside and ready to get up and go gather that baby to my side, or look down and marvel at my belly. And then I would realize it was all a dream and want to sob through the day every time I saw a mom with an infant.

That was part of my intense depression last summer- I finally accepted a lot of things, once I finally realized what was upsetting me, like my rape and my inability to conceive.

These days the urges have thankfully subsided but I am caught further and further in a fold. I want to be a parent. I need to give myself over to that responsibility. But I am almost 32 and marriage hasn't happened yet. There is no reason to believe it is even on the horizon. (yes I was engaged last year but I had forced it, when it was wrong for both of us). I see parenthood slipping further and further out of my reach and I am becoming actively afraid the chances are going to slip on by. Do I risk further romantic relationships and just decide I am going to adopt and whomever I am with when the time comes can hang on or bail? Do I continue to wait around hoping a healthy marriage will come my way? How long do I wait?

I think about foster parenting. I have thought about it for ten years. Would I be allowed to do it living alone in a two bedroom apartment with a crappy car and little if any savings? I am thinking of keeping a two bedroom apartment for myself so there would be a child's room available.

I think decision time is rolling, slowly, up my highway.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

" get what cha' need."

I've oft learned that sometimes what I have wanted for so long, what I really and truly need, what I have asked for and prayed for again and once more, what I have strove for down a hundred wrong alleys, comes to me after all but not in the anticipated packaging.
Sometimes I find myself cherishing something new, finding it fulfills empty spots in my heart and makes me a better person, only to realize it's something I've been chasing down in all the wrong forms for years.

I have also learned truth in, "When the student is ready, the teacher appears." (oh, not verbatim!)
I have found teachers in the most unexpected places and fashions. So it goes that as people are often teachers in disguise for me, examples whether or not they know it, I am just as likely to be at teacher for someone else.
Along this grain I have discovered that I am adult now, and children are watching. One afternoon I was typing with great difficulty- one of those off days when my fingers seldom found the intended key- and I was otherwise the High Priestess of Cranky that afternoon. I typed, and I grumped- out loud of course.
And was quite ashamed of my behavior when the young girl across from me proclaimed to her mentor how very well I typed, and shouldn't she take a typing course herself?

How frequently we are examples for others.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007


Did I read that correctly? Were two 16 year old young women in New York suspended for saying the word 'vagina' in a school play? Were two young women actually kicked out of school for a few days for appropriately referring to a beautiful part of the female anatomy?

What were they supposed to say? Pussy? Cunt? That special place down there?

Labia, clitoris, cervix... HA! Are they shocked now?

Yes I have heard only one media bent and quite brief angle of the story, but I can think of no logical or educationally solvent reason for disallowing a young adult to respectfully use medical terminology.

Monday, March 05, 2007

just thinking today

In my early twenties, my life was an unmitigated disaster. I formally dropped out of college at age 20 and while floating worked well short term it would no longer suffice when I was 21 and recently moved back home after the rape and kidnapping. I needed a sense of control.

Before the rape I was fully free spirited and ultimately trusting. I was happy, silly, fun and often nicknamed giggles. Sound annoying? But I was intelligent, too, and an excellent listener. I would certainly go for the buzz or get sociably drunk at a party but more often I would drink slowly for two or three beers then switch to water mingling all the way and lingering until the wee hours savoring the borderless talk among the sobered up somewhere between 2AM and dawn when everyone else had gone home.

The change within myself was coldly palpable. Pre-rape and post-rape; the entire escapade covered 16 or 17 hours and part of me was killed. The very hour of escape I recognized the death of the who I had been for so long. I didn't know it would take years for me to recognize the new me.

From the very thick of it I once wrote how strange it felt- there was a personality inside of me but I didn't know who it was and I missed terribly the girl I had been. The man who assaulted me, the people who knowing, roughly, what had happened stood and openly laughed at me when I finally got home; my trust was gone and it would be years too before any of it came back.

Being raped wasn't about sex or sexual acts. Except for the internal bruising, I wasn't afraid to be with my boyfriend again. (He was afraid to be with me though- afraid he would hurt me somehow and being treated differently made things harder. Our relationship was done within the month.) My body was the vehicle but my spirit was raped. His method was ultimate control and what stayed with me over and over again were the fear, anger, and grief.

Shortly after moving back home I cut off all my long hair and took two jobs. I got involved with men who were stronger personalities, men who dictated what I wanted. I needed structure. It would take until I was 24 to have a serious, mutual partnership with someone but when he showed up I was ready.

Within that same time period I took some community college courses, became an LPN, and moved back out on my own.

I swear I've lived dozens of different lives since then- the towns I've lived, the jobs I 've had the hours I've worked, the men whose girlfriend, partner, and lover I've been.

Even at my age it's hard to remember being a teenager- how the moment you are in is the only one, how 25 and 30 truly seem so old and far away; adulthood is so intangible it's impossible to believe your teenaged actions could have any consequence on the far off land of your grown-up years. At the same time, when things are going terribly as they often do in puberty, it is just as impossible to believe life will ever be any different.

In my own times of depression sometimes the only thing keeping me adrift is the knowledge that some day things will improve. I may not always feel like riding through the rough parts to get to the better days but I hang on. Sometimes it is easier to look backward and see all the life changes I've survived than to look forward when the slate is yawning blankly.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Under the Influence (of germs)

The news heading "Iraqi Police Go Missing" becomes "Iraqi Geese Go Missing".

Wandering through the grocery parking lot aiming toward the car I've misplaced I glance over and over at a car that looks like mine but the trunk is open. Obviously it belongs to someone else who must be around the corner lifting full bags to deposit there.
Or, I left my trunk yawning when I got out and that's how it stayed the full 45 minutes of shopping. Good thing the sun came out.

I notice myself picking lint off my left thigh instead of paying attention to the rain dampened curves beneath my 35 mph thrusting tires. I have to remind myself to also look left backing out of the grocery lot car cubicle, then thank luck I stopped before hitting the car behind me once looking left consumed my full attention span.

Me and the chicken broth and movies (the boredom of staying kaput is making my head hurt more) came home where we will stay. Maybe we will hide the car keys on me. If the chicken broth helps out and the key stash is effective you are going to want some of what I'm on aren't you?

Thursday, March 01, 2007

maybe not least but hopefully last

Promise after this I'll shut the donut hole for today!

All week I have complained about my boobs and slowly aging body. Standing in the pharmacy prescription drop-off line at WalMart today I remembered I'm being a brat.

My cousin, who reads this blog (Hi Lady! Don't worry- no one will know who you are!) (Hey- I just thought of secret identities and ... remember playing "Undercover Cops" in your double beds? Didn't we play at Grandma and Grandpa's too?)
is eight months pregnant and having been endowed before pregnancy is now ready to give her boobs away to me... to the beggar on the street corner... heck, to the Boy Scout charity drive if they knocked on her door and she could lop those two beauties/beasts off fast enough!

We spoke this afternoon and she mentioned reading my recent blogs. I said, "I was thinking about that and here I am with one friend who has cystic fibrosis and one with multiple sclerosis. I should be happy to be aging normally. Who the hell am I to complain?"

She said, (ad libbing here) "I know Kar', I was thinking the same thing," and proceeded to tell me about a 34 year old woman- a coworker and peer at her school- who was this week diagnosed with breast cancer and in one month will have a unilateral radical mastectomy with peri-operative lymph node biopsy and, if thereby indicated, lymph node removal as well.


Handicapped inaccessible

Walking around the inner harbor of Baltimore that first weekend of January, on what was actually our third date, my new boyfriend and I rejoiced in the unseasonable spring like weather and the glory of being able to enjoy it.

We weren't alone- the harbor area was packed and partying with crowds of people- ethnic mix, age mix, lifestyle mix, class mix. In the aquarium alone we each noted at least five non-English languages being fluently, natively spoken.

Strolling along in the sun watching the passerby we occasionally commented. This time it was me speaking and Boyfriend rapidly responded, "I was just thinking the same thing."

A man had gone by as passive passenger in a wheelchair.

If you have ever been to the inner harbor you might recall the sidewalk that half-circles the water, and on the land side of that half circle lie concentric shops- sort of a pretty two-tiered mini mall for tourists. And between the sidewalk and the shops is a short flight of stairs. Unbroken. All the way around.

So if I were pushing someone in a wheelchair I could:
a) try to haul the loaded chair up the steps backwards.
b) throw the passenger over my shoulder and carry him or her up the steps lugging the chair with my other arm, or abandoning it.
c) attempt to carry loaded wheelchair up the stairs.
d) unable to lift carry twice my weight up stairs, simply walk the walk and never go inside.

And if I were alone propelling myself in a wheelchair? And I couldn't walk? And certainly couldn't fly... .

Until I worked with people who depend on wheelchairs for mobility, handicap accessibility or lack there-of was not something I ever noticed. Have you ever tried to pull a 150 pound person in an 80 pound wheelchair over a 4 inch lip through a non-automated single door that opens outward on a five foot deep landing on top of stairs? It can be done but it's a tad challenging.

I see problems but have no idea how to go about helping with a solution

The word is out

This weekend a premonition dawned of why for two years every bra I have bought just doesn't quite fit right. I've been buying B cups. Today I purchased an A cup. And tried it on at home. And went back for a second A cup because apparently -

I get an A.

Today for the first time (that makes first No. 4 & 5 for today) I experienced what other women have squelched about- some bra styles don't even come in A.

Too big for children's clothing. Too small for women's. Too old for the juvenile prints and cuts of Juniors and Misses.

At one time people with obesity had a rough time fitting in airplane and movie seats, shopping for clothes in the one relegated corner of K-Mart. Now there entire sides of shops devoted to Plus-size clothing and when I eat in a booth at Pizza Hut I need to (literally! no truth stretching) sit on my feet and lean forward to eat off the table top.

Honestly, I have noticed improvement in the amount of petite clothing available, and in the variety. Style availability has thankfully ranged beyond stretch-band waisted polyester pants and flower appliqued waist-cuffed cotton tops.

Still, if I had the knowledge and ambition I would start my own clothing line.

Mucous and me, cranky together

I had two new experiences before noon today! Well, three:
Sent home from work (I stayed out sick Tuesday and Wednesday but insisted on going back today), my very first bronchitis diagnosis, and my first ever inhaler!

Granted not as much fun as My First Orgasm; strikingly lower shock value than My First Car Accident.

Now that there is a medical explanation for the teeny bouts of dizziness with limbs weak and wobbling like Jello in the wind, I've been gleefully sharing my revelation with friends. And just last night amidst snuggling after Boyfriend had to lower the sheet we joked about how high maintenance he is insisting to breathe.

Really no big deal at all but kind of fun to have something new because bodies are interesting that way, and now I also feel a tad less guilty for calling out sick (but I still feel like a slacker, and just because I need to rest myself doesn't make it any easier to sit still.)