I gave you the overlong family history last weekend for a few reasons (see, there's always a rationale behind what I say or do). Not only to prepare you (and me) for my no-doubt inevitable break down when Niece #2 makes her appearance in this story, but also to establish the parameters of that relationship before delving into the particulars.
We had dinner with J and S and Baby #1 on Sunday night in New Jersey. And the whole time I was typing out the chronicle of ten years of in-law-hood, I was dreading that dinner. Dreading seeing my sister-in-law with a nine-months pregnant belly. Dreading the pang of longing on watching Lawyer Guy play with his niece. Dreading my emotional volatility.
And...it was fine. I was fine. I held it together. I even managed to ask S a few questions about how she was feeling and when she was taking her maternity leave and to contribute one or two general comments about the upcoming new arrival. I'm pretty sure they think my avoiding alcohol due to Lent was a cover-up (I'm Not Pregnant! I wanted to blurt out, but didn't). But other than that, everything was copacetic. I didn't even cry on the car ride home. I didn't even want to cry!
Naturally, my stellar karma couldn't let me enjoy a moment of unselfish maturity and rational acceptance for, oh, twenty-four hours without reminding me that I'm pathetic, envious, sad, and unstable.
I had dinner last night with a college friend who was in town for work (leaving her 1-year-old daughter back in Miami with her husband). There were two other friends-of-the-friend at dinner, both of whom I'd met before.
And guess what? One of them is five months pregnant! And when's she due? July, two weeks after my EDD with the m&m.
Fun. Fucking. Times.
When friend and preggo started chatting about big bellies vs. big boobs and live web-caming the birth, I jumped in. Because hey, I was pregnant! And my boobs grew really big in only two months! Not as fun a story when there's no baby at the end of it, but I can (over)share, too.
And honestly, the dinner was okay. Yeah, I revealed my miscarriage history to two virtual strangers at a casual fun dinner (I'm guessing Miami friend was less than thrilled about that, though she didn't say anything), which makes me a Debbie Downer extraordinaire, but I hustled along and smiled and told funny stories and gossiped about old sorority sisters and didn't cry once.
Until last night in the shower, choking back sobs as I smacked the white tiles, repeating to myself over and over, "I can't believe I'm still here. I can't believe I'm still crying in the shower after a fucking year."
And this morning in the grocery store parking lot, listening to Debussy on the radio and sheltering my wet, snotty face behind big sunglasses, the steering wheel, and my folded arms.
What more do you want me to learn, God? I'm trying so hard to be strong and kind and hopeful, but you keep making this so difficult. I want to believe there's a plan. I want to believe that you have something wonderful in store for me. So, for the love of yourself, STOP TORTURING ME ALREADY!
The kicker? The waitress handed out those fortune-telling fish at the end of dinner. You know, the little red plastic fish-shaped disks that contort in the heat of your palm, indicating your emotions.
My fish's head moved. Which means: "Jealousy."
I told them mine was "In love."
I'm back, and it's hopefully not a once-off!!
11 months ago