Wednesday, May 22, 2013


Clouds full of moisture
Linger upon the grey lake:
Everything's swollen.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

O positive

Every year (June 1-May 31), I have to volunteer for approximately 50 hours as part of my member obligations to the Junior League.

Every year, I scramble at the very end to complete my shifts.

Today, I was supposed to complete my last shift: I was going to get 3 hours of credit for giving blood.

The last time I gave blood was in college, when mad cow disease became a thing, and I'd spent too much time as a child in the United Kingdom (we house swapped with family friends for a couple of weeks every few years). The blood bank people worried I carried the disease in my blood. And there's no test for it. Still.

So. I kept my blood (and my theoretical mad cow disease) to myself.

But, in the past decade, the blood bank people have changed the parameters around time spent in the UK, and I still haven't been a prostitute, slept with a prostitute, or slept with anyone who has slept with a prostitute. So I signed up to donate.

I show up at East Jefferson medical complex, which is terrifying from the outside and friendly on the inside, to complete a variety of forms detailing my travels abroad; the dates (months and years) that I took Accutane (um, ninth grade?); and the prostitution/intravenous drug use/homosexual tendencies of myself and my male partners.

The nurse doing my intake takes a blood sample, my temperature, my blood pressure. She verifies that Tobago is not a country considered dangerous to my blood.

And then the results come: I AM REJECTED.

My iron "count" is 36, and I have to be at 38 in order to give blood. Allison assures me that 36 is enough for one person (me), but not enough for two people.

I am given a list of "iron rich" foods and asked to return in 2-3 weeks.

This list includes red meat, shellfish, spinach, beets, eggs, and tuna.

See also: my top 20 most favorite foods, with the exception of all things dairy.
Exhibit A: I had red meat or shellfish in all four of my meals yesterday.

I mean, it just can't be right that I need more iron.

I think my takeaway from all of this, after being assured that I still get credit for the shift, is that maybe my body just makes enough of anything for one person. Maybe I should set limits and restrictions on the amount of time and energy I give to other people. Maybe because I am generous with these immeasurables, I should keep the basics, like my blood.

And, in the meanwhile, I finally have a list of foods that I'm certain I can stick to.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

the day of mother, 2013

Last year, I wrote a blog post on how hard this day is for me.

Some things get easier with time. Others don't.

This year is harder than last.


since last mother's day

my college roommate is pregnant.
one cousin's wife had a baby girl. another cousin's wife is pregnant.
the friends I stayed with during hurrication got pregnant with twins, without trying

one friend listened to her baby's heartbeat at one doctor's appointment, and then heard nothing the next

I attended the memorial service of a friend's mom
and held her baby at the back of the funeral home.

two friends started trying to have a baby before they got married:
one is now in her second trimester
and one was inseminated last weekend.

also last weekend
a friend had her third IVF transfer:
all of my fingers and toes are crossed.

one friend accidentally got pregnant.
one friend accidentally got pregnant, then had an abortion.

I buried my grandmother 
next to my aunt (her daughter)
and wept with my cousins (her daughters)

friends I introduced tried for almost a year
and had a baby girl last fall

and then, of course, there are profile pictures that are not you, but your child
x-rays of people's internal organs
oversharing about everything from placenta to lactation

watching your friends' bellies swell
and hearts mature with acceptance

and loving them all
or, simply, trying your best.


A friend once told me that I'd done the hard part: I'd already found the man I wanted to have children with.


The hard part isn't finding someone whose genes you'd like to pass along and whose parenting values/skills align with your own.

The hard part is keeping him; loving him despite all of his expectations and flaws; loving him for who he is in the present, not who you hope he will be in the future.

The hard part is neither of you losing yourself in the process of compromise and change.
The hard part is surviving the challenges, the complications, the mourning.
The hard part is waking up every day and choosing to love someone you may not like very much in that moment.

The hard part is finding someone who wants to keep you, who will love you despite all of your own expectations and flaws, who will love you for who you are today.

Today, I am sad.
Today, I am not easy to love.
Today, I celebrate and empathize and mourn with my friends, near and far.
Today, I must simply try my best.