Saturday, July 18, 2009

The Gift of a Chance

My mother in law is one of the most generous people I know. Whenever she comes in town for a visit, or I go to Canada to visit her, I'm always greeted with a thoughtful gift. When she was in town in April for a visit, we went shopping and I picked up some 800 thread count sheets that were on clearance. I was so excited because I got a great deal and I love high thread count sheets. On my next visit to Canada, guess what she put on the guest bed? High thread count sheets! Now, I'm not some prima donna that can't sleep on anything but expensive sheets, but I thought what she did was so sweet and thoughtful.

Well, during that same trip, I mentioned a raffle that is going on in nearby San Francisco. The grand prize is a home valued at 2.4 million dollars or 1.8 million dollars cash. Plus there are a bunch of other prizes. The tickets cost $150. I talked to her about the raffle and told her I wanted to enter, but just couldn't wrap my head around dropping that kind of money for a 1 in 37,000 chance of winning the grand prize. The chances of winning some other prize are 1 in 300, which I guess is good if you consider the chance of winning a lottery. But I still couldn't bring myself to do it. Well, I got a raffle ticket from her for my birthday back in May. Again, so sweet.

Now the raffle is next Saturday, and I haven't thought about it much since I got the ticket. Now I'm thinking, Oh my God, what if I win? With us looking at buying a home soon, that money (we'd take the money, not the house) would solve all of our problems. We could buy our dream home, and pay for it in cash. I know the odds are slim but I'm still holding out hope. You never know. Someone has to win!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Like, seriously?

I just finished watching a couple week old episode of Real Time with Bill Maher, one of my husband's favorite shows. I think Bill is funny, and watching makes me feel a little smarter and politically aware. I don't closely follow politics. But I think everyone was riveted by our latest presidential race. A race that brought many people into the limelight that we never knew...Sarah Palin, Bristol Palin, and her boyfriend Levi, and John McCain's daughter, Meaghan.

She was a guest on Real Time, which she felt was a ballsy move because she's very much Republican, and Bill is unabashedly liberal. She looked really cute when she came on. Cute hair, great makeup. And she made her two stances clear immediately. Abstinence is stupid; and "I want to make the Republican party cooler." Any topic other than those two subjects and she seemed a little lost. And to be honest, sounded really dumb. Bill was trying to be nice by directing conversations not related to her two favorite subjects to the other three guests, but Meaghan just had a need to put her two cents in. But whenever anyone said something opposing anything she had to say, she looked like her feelings were hurt. She'd pout, and at one point I thought she was going to cry.

There was one moment that I thought was great! Bill brought up some political subject that Meaghan felt compelled to chime in on, and one of his other (older) guests (Paul Begala) countered what she said with an argument that compared it to something that happened when Reagan was first running for office. In lieu of an intelligent response, Meaghan interupted with, "I wouldn't know, I wasn't born yet." And Paul came back with, "Well, I wasn't born when the French revolution started, but I know about it!" I thought that was awesome, and it totally put her in place. I think that was the point where she almost broke down.

One one hand, I felt sorry for her because it was pretty obvious her feelings were hurt, and she felt like she was getting attacked. But if she'd ever watched the show, she'd know that it's all about debate and banter. No one is truly attacking anyone personally. And I respect her for trying to bring the parties together, and for trying to bring young, cool people into her party. And she is young. She's twenty four, and obviously a little sensitive. But, either way, she was way out of her league. I mean, I would have been to, but sometimes, the most intelligent thing to do, is to just shut up.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Love the One You're With...

I just finished reading Love the One You're With by Emily Giffin, and although I liked it, parts of it left me a bit flabbergasted. It's about a newlywed, Ellen, who married her best friend's husband (Andy), but has unresolved feelings for a guy she broke up with 8 years prior (Leo). She has an ideal life with Andy. He's a wonderful husband with a successful career. He's wealthy, has a wonderful family, they have a great house, he loves his wife to pieces...everything seems perfect. Leo was her first love; a writer who was sexy and a little mysterious. They had an intense connection (both mentally and physically). They spent almost all of their time together, and were borderline obsessed with each other at one point; then it just suddenly ended. He became ambivalent, she became increasingly needy. They broke up and never spoke again.

Ellen ran into Leo one day after not speaking to him for years, and all these old feelings came rushing back. She was just three months into her marriage, ran into her ex once, and suddenly she was grappling with all these emotions she thought were long gone.

One of the things that made me go hmmm was that if she truly loved her husband, how is it possible to have such intense feelings for someone you broke up with years ago? Granted, they never had closure. She broke up with him out of frustration, and they never discussed their relationship issues. I can understand having questions that you want answered, but she had almost the same intense feelings for him as when they first dated.

My husband and I are newlyweds (going on nine months married), and I can't imagine an ex coming between us, no matter how many unresolved issues that ex and I may have. I love my husband so much and have such intense feelings for him that if I did run into an ex (I'm thinking of one in particular), I would want to gloat and say, ha! I found a great guy that treats me like gold, and I am so happy. Thanks for being an asshole so that I could find a good man truly worthy of me. Now fuck off!

I don't want to spoil the ending for anyone that hasn't read it, but it kind of left with (what I thought was) a cynical outlook on love. I know that there are many different types of love, but when you marry someone, particulary as a newlywed, shouldn't it be the blinding, all consuming, can't stop thinking about him kind? I mean, what is love, anyway? Is it an uncontrollable, borderline obsessive emotion that we have no choice with? Like getting hit by Cupid's arrow. If that person is the one that strikes you, that's it. You're doomed (or blessed) to love this person no matter what. Or is it a choice. Can you choose to fall in love with someone that seems perfect on paper? Do you choose to stay in love?

I for one, tried not to fall in love. My husband was the social butterfly, life of the party when we met, and didn't seem like the type who would make a committment to anyone. I was instantly attracted to him, and really liked his personality, but after hearing rumors that he was a "player" (I hate that word!), I decided to treat it as a fling and not take it too seriously. I was twenty-six, single and not at all looking for a serious relationship.

But the more time we spent together, the more I liked him and got to see more of who he really was. He wasn't just the life of the party. He was funny, generous, extremely thoughtful, sweet and honest. He loved his family, cherished his friendships, and treated me with respect. And before I knew it, I was stupidly head over heels. And lucky for me, he was too. I didn't choose to fall in love with him. Honestly, I tried desperately to avoid it. But it was out of my hands. Fate had other plans.

I think that I choose to stay in love, to some extent. I've always been the type of person that goes with their gut in matters of the heart. If I didn't truly love him, I couldn't force it, and therefore couldn't choose to stay in love. But I do choose to work on issues that arise and compromise when appropriate to keep our relationship healthy. I choose to make sure that we have a "date night" at least a couple times a month. I choose to tell him everything because I think honesty is important in a relationship, and holding things back (or lying by omission) can put a relationship on a slippery slope that I don't want to go down. I choose to let him have his guy time (usually via golf once or twice a week, but also the odd poker night), because I know how important that is to him, and how important it is for us as a couple to have a life outside of our relationship. And I do that out of love. So I guess I make choices that I feel will help preserve our love long term. But loving him is just inevitable and out of my control.

After reading her book, I think it's sad to be in a relationship where you're just comfortable, at least in the very beginnning. Where you love the one you're with, but it's not passionate, it's just acceptable, easy. Just seems a bit sad to me. I took a human sexuality class in college, and I remember talking about the stages of love. I don't remember them all, but I do remember learning that love starts out passionately and as a relationship goes on, it ends up as a frienship type of love. But in the beginning it should be passionate. I don't think you should have friendship love 3 months into a marriage!

I read this book on a long flight, and even though the main character was slightly annoying, I zipped right through it. It made me grateful for what I have.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Back to Square One...again:(

Well, six days after my very excited post, I got a very unwelcome surprise--bleeding.

So devastating.

I'm glad that if this had to happen that it happened early...very early. It wasn't as dramatically sad and heart wrenching as the first time, but I definitely had flashbacks to that time. I think about the first miscarriage every day, and even moreso since this last incident.

I keep thinking about how big I would have been. How excited everyone would be. It's more nostalgic than sad. And I think it's hard for anyone to understand who hasn't been through it themselves. I think it's okay to think about it, I'm just trying not to dwell on it.

I have decided not to tell anyone--not even my blog that no one reads--until I'm past the first trimester next time. It's hard to keep it secret when you're so excited, but I think my husband and I have learned our lesson. The untelling is just too hard. He accidentally mentioned it to a friend of his, and I told my best friend and my mom.

I haven't told either of them what happened yet. I worked and then went to Canada to visit my inlaws for a 5 days, came home and immediately went back to work. It's just a lame excuse for procrastination, but I just don't want to deal with it. Telling my best friend will be easy, but my mom not so much. From the second I told her I was pregnant, she asked if it was too soon to tell, and how did I really know the test was accurate. She was skeptical because my 40 year old sister had a few early positive pregnancy tests, then no baby. I understood her asking, but it angered me. She didn't grill me with those questions the first time. But when I started to bleed less than a week after giving her the news, I just felt like....I don't even know how to describe it. I mean, I know she'd never say "I told you so," but that's how I feel. So even though I know she loves me and just wants the best for me, telling her will really suck.

Even though it's completely irrational, I feel like a bit of a failure. Like I screwed up and I can't get it right. The day the bleeding started, I didn't feel like cooking, so I bought a chicken pita from a Greek restaurant near me. I hadn't been to this restaurant since the first pregnancy (I ate a chicken pita from this place at least once or twice a week then. After the miscarriage, I didn't go back). And when the bleeding started that night, I thought, Oh my God, was it the chicken pita? My husband of course assured me that it wasn't a possibility, but said, I bet you won't eat there again. Hell no!

But my rational side says again, there's nothing I could have done this time or last time. And I do understand that. We'll just keep trying. I have to have at least one good egg in there. Like I've said before, the waiting and wondering is one of the hardest parts. I'm just thankful that I have such a wonderful partner to endure this with.