Today I Am 33. Or 133, Who’s Counting?

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Today is my birthday. I am, at my core, a Tax Baby. I’m not just saying that I was born on American Tax Day; I’m saying I’m high maintenance.

Kidding. (Not really kidding.)

There was a time when my birthday was a day-long party. Either I had a party, like when I was little with clowns and friends and Pizza Hut and bowling and sleepovers. Or the day was an entire celebration of me, like that one time my husband took me wine tasting and it had been a while since I’d had wine, so I got blitzed just a few tastes in and ended up joining a bunch of wineries I had no actual interest in.

(That was last year.)

Now that I’ve fully embraced my mom-ed-ness, and have accepted that I’m over the age of 15, my birthday seems to be just another day. Don’t get me wrong, we still had a cake (which I baked) and a nice dinner over the weekend; I still got presents and I was flabbergasted by the Facebooks, emails, and text messages I had received wishing me the happiest of days.

But in all seriousness, it was just another day. Mom’s got too much shit to do to take a day off.

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6:45 AM

Woke up to my husband breathing in my face. Annoyed beyond belief (I’ve got some pretty terrifying PMS right now).

“What the hell are you doing?” I quipped.

“Getting ready for work.”

“In my face? GAH!”

7:00 AM

Woke everyone in the house after my husband left for work screaming: “Arise everyone! Today is the day of my becoming!!”

No one arose without the typical mom bullshit of having to pull the covers off, threaten to take away the electronics, and so on. I even had to do this to my 72 year old father.

7:10 – 8:25 AM

Showered, dressed, had breakfast, hustled. Decided that I’d have to wear make up today, since I had a doctor’s appointment; but fuck him if he thinks I’m wearing anything but yoga pants on my birthday. Enough is enough.

Referred to it as “putting on my face.” Realized I am now old-slash-ghetto-slash-motherly enough to refer to putting on make up as “putting on my face.”

8:45 AM

Morning private tennis lessons. Which means I sat in the car reading my book, sneezing because I’m allergic to everything and made the mistake of opening the windows.

10:00 AM

Dropped the dog off at the groomer. Mentioned casually that today was my birthday in hopes this would garner me a discount.

Received no discount.

10:15 AM

Received my mother’s first annual birthday text, where she turns my birthday into being all about her. She does this by giving me a yearly play-by-play of what was going on around the time she was texting me.

10:15’s text message read: “I had lost my mucous plug and back labor pains had begun.”

10:30 – 11:30 AM

Made homemade, Hungarian goulash for lunch while helping with homeschool worksheets. On my birthday. As in I cooked for an hour, slaving over a hot stove on my birthday.

No one ate my homemade, Hungarian goulash. Instead, they complained that my meals are too fancy.

11:30 AM

Left for my doctor’s appointment.

11:40 AM

Picked up the dog on the way, reminded that I wasn’t given a birthday discount.

12:30 PM

Learned that the old man who manned the parking lot at the doctor’s office that dressed like a quaint, African American Santa Claus every year at Christmas time got fired last week for bringing his dog to work. Ducked my dog’s head down as I drove in. The man was replaced by a kid who looked to be about 15 years old, covered in acne, and so skinny I could break him in half with my pinky finger.

1:00 PM

Found out I have a sinus infection.

(Wasn’t surprised that I have a sinus infection.)

1:30 PM

Waited for the kid to get her allergy shot.

1:40 PM

While waiting, a woman walked into the waiting room carrying a can of beer. Briefly considered she may be there to celebrate my birthday, in spite of the fact that I had never met her. Resolved to quietly wonder how someone lives life literally giving not a single shit.

2:00 PM

Drove home with a large bag of antibiotics and other miscellaneous sinus drugs. The perfect cocktail for the evening of my birthday.

3:00 PM

Text from Mom: “contractions coming closer together now, began asking for and being denied a c-section.”

3:15 PM

Everyone in my family was, at this point, starving. Remember? They refused to eat my “fancy” Hungarian goulash.

So we went to Lazy Dog Cafe down the street from my house. Finding nothing certifiably gluten free on the menu, I ordered edamame. My dad ate half of it.

4:45 PM

Seated behind me right before we left, a group of people quite obviously a decade or so younger than me were seated. One of the women in the group was also a Tax Baby, and she ordered a strawberry margarita to celebrate her birthday, proclaiming loudly “I’m celebrating tonight woooooooooo!!!!!”

Decided to do my own celebrating tonight. In my pajamas. On my couch. With my Netflix and whatever remains of the wine from those wineries I joined last year but never intended on sticking with.

6:00 PM

Text from Mom: “your head had begun descending down the birth canal as the urge to bear down increased.”

And then, I was done.

Today I turned 33. Or 133, who’s counting? I’m too old for clowns, too young to give absolutely no fucks. I’ve embraced the concept of “putting on my face” and would much rather celebrate pretty much everything in my pajamas on my couch.

Tomorrow will be another day, just like the rest. And in truth, I regret nothing about these last 33 years.

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I watched Ricki Lake poop out a baby tonight…

…didn’t see that one coming, did you guys? To be fair, neither did I.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let me first tell you all about how I got into the position to see Ricki Lake poop out the baby to begin with.

Today began like any other Saturday. Of course my husband was off work, so we milled around – bullshitting each other and pretending to enjoy each other’s company; until that got old, and I decided to get in the shower. I was also pretty suspicious because he kept complimenting me. It was like three times in under an hour, which is highly dubious; in fact, I’m still wondering what he did.

After my shower, my husband’s shower, and all the arguing about everyone needing to stop playing Barbies for five minutes and put their fucking toothbrushes into their fucking mouths, we were ready for the day. Which we weren’t entirely sure what to do with, still.

So we headed over to my father’s house to do the housecleaning for his open house tomorrow. I’m not talking about a fancy party kind of open house, where he serves those little cucumber sandwiches to high class kind of friends. I’m talking about the kind of open house you have for the sale of a home. You know: where tons of strangers traipse through your home, fuck everything up, break shit, leave doors open, and then try to low ball you with offers more insulting than “I’ll give you three crayons and this carton of milk.”

Anyway, so we did the housecleaning, then we were at a total loss of what to do with the day. So we went home – stopping at the grocery store (of course) to pick up stuff for me to make dinner with. Once home, we did what we always do when we don’t know what to do: watched movies.

We watched Dallas Buyer’s Club. That was phenomenal. Then we watched The Hunger Games – finally, after all this time postponing for me to read the book, only for me to never get around to reading the book because I don’t like reading that Young Adult shit anyway.

Then The Hunger Games came to a finish and it was still early. Too early to go to bed; too late to go anywhere or do anything. So we scrolled through our Netflix Que for something relatively quick. Which is when we happened upon it: Ricki Lake’s documentary The Business of Birth.

Let me start by saying that I did enjoy the film. I thought it was very informative, and while a little too graphic and outdated for my tastes, it was – by and large – something that, at the very least, made me think. I like to think, so that’s good.

But I took issue with two things in particular.

Towards the end…

…the conclusion was made by an OB/Gyn, as well as the filmmakers and Ricki Lake, that if a woman does not experience the raw pain, intense emotion, natural induction of hormones, and vaginal-vaginal-out-the-vagina birth that she does not experience the bonding of motherhood, nor the love of being a mom.

To be clear: women who had to induce? Haven’t experienced the bonding and love of motherhood. Women who had caesarians? Haven’t experienced the bonding and love of motherhood.

If you are angry, you are with me.

And you should then be asking yourself: are you fucking kidding me? What kind of a horse’s ass opinion is that? The belief that a woman unable to birth naturally, or who chooses medical intervention (for whatever her reasons may be) DOES NOT EXPERIENCE THE LOVE OF MOTHERHOOD AND BONDING WITH HER BABY is the most horrendous, destructive, narrow-minded, and ignorant view of motherhood and, well, reality I may have ever heard.

Truly. Truly this infuriated me, which was unfortunate because (at least to me) it greatly discredited a lot of the other things said and discussed in the film. If they are that wrong about something so great as this, couldn’t they be wrong about a lot of the other things?

Documentaries always do this to me. They always fucking let me down like this.

…and documentaries always let me down in another way, which had to do with Ricki Lake’s vagina…

They show me more of something in particular than I really want to see. In this case, that thing in particular was Ricki Lake’s vagina.

Now I know what you are all thinking. If I watch a documentary about childbirth, I should expect to see at least something of women squeezing babies out of their v-holes. I get that, OK? It didn’t make me scream any less, or be any more horrified by all the nuances of childbirth I would like to keep in the deepest, darkest caverns of my brain – never to surface for fear of fainting. I just can’t take some of it, the majority of the time. (I can’t be the only mother that feels this way, right?)

Sorry if that bothers you. Maybe I too cannot experience the love and bonding of motherhood.

But what I really wasn’t expecting was to see Ricki Lake poop out her second baby in a bathtub with a bottle of Suave sitting on the shelf behind her. Nope, I really was not expecting that. Not one bit.

I feel so cold now. So very, very cold.

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The premise of the movie was essentially that home birth is better. I tend to disagree with this, mostly because of the fact that I’m a big, ol’ scaredy cat. I suppose if everything were in the woman’s favor, home birth is a perfectly safe and healthy option – with, of course, the help of an experienced midwife. Though at the very end of the film, the filmmaker went into labor (not Ricki Lake, thank God I’d had enough of that bullshit) and she had to rush to the hospital after all because her baby was breech. Long story short: the baby would have died had she naturally delivered at home. This raises some serious concerns that women face when deciding their birth plan, which I really don’t feel the film did even the slightest bit to address.

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I don’t know what all of your thoughts are on the topic, but I’ll just say when you’ve seen Ricki Lake squat a baby out of her vagina, with her bare boobs flopping all over the place, you just really start to see things a lot more skewed. Really, I don’t even know what to believe about anything after that.

How To Avoid Pregnancy In 6 Steps

I’m at that time in the month when I really want to have a baby. My period just stopped. The hormones have yet to get back to normal, though, because it’s really the last day of the cycle – so I’m weepy about it too. My ovaries are getting ramped up to fire out another egg faster than an AK-47 at target practice. And by next Friday it’ll be like Ovulation Central Station in the nether region of my womanhood.

It also doesn’t help that each day sees another pregnancy announcement. Yesterday I learned that a friend from when I worked in the pharmacy during undergraduate is now expecting. She’s 11 weeks along the line, and getting pregnant has been no small feat for these love birds. As I congratulated her, though, I realized that she is now the 28th person I know that will be giving birth some time this year. (Update: while writing this post, another friend messaged me on Facebook … no jokes, now we’re at 29.)

In the words of Joey from Blossom: WOAH.

So today is also a really big day for not only my baby dreams, but also my blog. This is my 400th post, and on that 400th post I was planning to make my own big announcement and feature a giveaway to celebrate the occasion. Am I having a baby too? No, that’s quite obvious given my conversation about my little red sister, up above in paragraph one. Am I quitting the blog now that I’ve hit the 400th mark? Absolutely not. That would be dumb.

Nope, the news is that I’m publishing a new book. It’s a book of articles on adulthood, marriage, and parenting; very much in the same vein as this blog – entitled My Wife’s a Bitch. It isn’t just for women or parents, it’s really for people like me. (If you are reading this blog, you are likely one of them.) The book is scheduled to release on Tuesday, June 4th, 2013, and the really exciting thing is that I’ll be doing book signings for this one – both around my home in the LA suburbs, and in the Chicagoland area this summer. Are you shouting “yay!” yet? I am.

To celebrate, I’m hosting a giveaway of my last book, the very short and very quirky tragic comedy that is my childhood story – Surviving on Cynicism and Misanthropy. Details on the giveaway are at the end of this post.

So while vomiting in the morning, hormones added to my baseline level of crazy, and peeing in my pants every time I laugh is actually my norm, it’s quite obvious that pregnancy is probably not the thing to do these next few months as My Wife’s a Bitch hits the shelves.  Fortunately, I’ve devised my six, surefire steps to avoiding pregnancy. Birth control, tubal ligation, and the old ever-failing pull out method are for sissies.

1. Rarely (if ever) see your spouse.

If you never see your spouse, you never have sex. If you never have sex, you have no pregnancy.

2. Visit all your friends with new babies on the days they’ve had no sleep. Not on the days the baby slept a whopping seven hours uninterrupted.

Don’t get me wrong: all of the sleepless nights, the midnight feedings, the baby in the bed just to get 30 minutes … it’s all worth it. And it is temporary. IT IS. But nothing reminds you how difficult having a brand new baby around can be more than seeing a friend that is in the middle of it. They’ve got dark circles under their eyes, they forgot to eat their last three meals, and their hair looks like it hasn’t been washed in a week (because it hasn’t); those are the times to visit.

3. Spend some time with someone after they’ve been in the hospital.

This is one I’m going through right now, and it has nothing to do with a baby (but my dad with his hip). Hospitals are miserable, which means that if you have a baby – unless you are one of those adventurous new age people that has them at home – you are going to have some sort of a stay in the hospital. That means crappy food, nasty nurses, and even less sleep than when you are home with the baby.

4. Let your kid(s) have free range of the house for a few hours.

If you are like me, you already have at least one wee one running around the house. That means that you have a built-in anti-pregnancy device. Sure, you may have forgotten the sleepless nights and the problems that came up early on; but what you will never forget is how much damage to your home kids can cause when they multiply. Imagine the mess your kid(s) make multiplied by another (or MORE!) after letting them have free range of the house for just a few hours. Do you want to clean up even more than you already do? I don’t think so.

5. Pay all your bills on the same day each month.

No matter how much money you make; no matter how good of a financial position you are in; nothing says “now is not the time to get pregnant” like paying out a lot of money in one swoop. I do this monthly – I pay all of our bills in one day. It takes an entire paycheck to do so, which stresses my husband and I out way more than it would if it were paid out in smaller increments over the month. All the amount of common sense and logic doesn’t overrule the feeling of thousands of dollars going with a simple click of your mouse.

6. Take up a hobby that involves thinking about things other than pregnancy. Like drinking.

Maybe you want to get pregnant because you are bored. Best to try taking up a hobby, particularly one you can’t do while pregnant – like drinking. Or sky-diving. Or something that’s really expensive you won’t be able to afford after having a baby, like international traveling. That’ll remind you of everything you can’t have if you have a bun in the oven (typed while enjoying my wine o’clock).

Follow my six steps, and you are sure to avoid any ol’ pregnancy you’ve been trying to run away from for years.

41pefmS6JPL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA278_PIkin4,BottomRight,-79,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_So now about the giveaway. The situation is that I’m afraid my last book Surviving on Cynicism and Misanthropy (click the link for more details on Amazon) is going to get a little jealous when My Wife’s a Bitch comes out. I would. In an effort to ease that jealousy, I thought I’d host a little giveaway to make the ol’ gal feel a little more at ease. Between now and Monday, June 3rd, “like” this post, share this post, Facebook it, Tweet it – whatever … and post a comment. The most important part is the comment, although the sharing is really nice too. On the day before the release date of My Wife’s a Bitch, I’ll be randomly selecting five lucky bloggies to receive a free, signed copy of Surviving on Cynicism and Misanthropy. And the more shares and comments you make, the more chances you have to win. Happy post #400 faithful blog followers. Here’s to another 400 of awesome to come!!

Am I A Ticking, Biological Time-Bomb? Short answer? Yes. Long answer…

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Today one of my very dear friends (and an instrumental participant in nicknaming me ‘B(itch)’) texted me. He told me to watch a video he had just posted on his Facebook page after we got home from swimming lessons and all the other random stuff that keeps me so busy all the time. With most friends I would probably sluff it off; maybe watch it in a few days if I remembered and got a chance. But with this friend, I usually follow suit. Okay, I always follow suit – I think he has me whipped.

So I got home and watched this video immediately. It’s called 29/31 and he saw it at the Attack of the Show panel at Comic-con last weekend. The video, itself, is hilarious – it is the perspective of the same woman at ages 29 and 31. Being smack-dab in the center of this at 30 years old, I can empathize completely, moreso with 31. While I was never as sweet and optimistic as that 29 year old is, I definitely can feel the transition to ticking, biological time-bomb coming on.

Even for a married mother such as myself, the truth to this video is a little disturbing. In fact, I think that single or married doesn’t matter – a woman still feels many of these very things at this point in her life.

Or maybe it’s just me.

The B(itch)’s Transition to Ticking, Biological Time-bomb: Exhibit A

31 is right: there is no one left and we are all alone. At this point in time, most of my friends have gotten married or are well on their way. I’m married too so this should be no big deal, right? Except for the fact that now everyone is in a varied phase of these relationships, so have all pretty much disappeared from the universe outside.

Some friends are in new relationships that are getting serious on hyper-drive, and have absolutely no time for anything other than their significant other.

Other friends just got married, and everything has become a “we” this and a “we” that. Translation = fucking annoying to have any kind of conversation with them.

Then there are friends that have been married or in serious relationships for a while and have become these mommy-types that have absolutely no lives outside of said relationships and children.

I sometimes feel as though I am the only person that wants regular “me” time; and that can be away from my husband without having to check in regularly, without texting excessively, and talking about nothing but … well, my husband. The last Girl’s Night Out I went on was just like that – a bunch of girls sitting around, texting and talking about their men. Lame if you ask me.

The B(itch)’s Transition to Ticking, Biological Time-bomb: Exhibit B

29 is a fucking bitch that deserves a nagging case of jungle rot. Won’t settle for anything less than perfect, you say? I’ll give you perfect: perfect is a day that you don’t actually have to clean up toast crumbs off the counter, piss off the side of the toilet, or spread your legs for the 30 most awkward seconds of your day.

Surrounded by love and peace? The only place that love and peace exists in this world is in the naive and vaguely narcissistic dreamworlds that immature 20 year olds create for themselves. Negative you say? How about realistic.

Every year that goes by, I become evermore aware of how ugly this world can be. There are definitely good things about it – moments that make it all worth it, innocence undisturbed in a child and all that. But man is there a lot of crap too.

The B(itch)’s Transition to Ticking, Biological Time-bomb: Exhibit C

31 may be off base a little bit about the whole “ovaries shrinking”-thing. I mean, didn’t Madonna have a baby close to 50? But just because people do it doesn’t mean they should. Where she does hit the mark is in the biological reality of it all.

My husband and I were just talking about this the other night. When we met – years ago – I made it explicitly clear that were I to have any babies with him they would all be before 32; 33 max. I want to enjoy my retirement. I also don’t want to deal with the health complications that come with pregnancy later in your 30s, 40s, etc.

So it’s do-or-die time for us and to stand firm to my belief, I’m planning on looking into getting my tubes tied and his nuts clipped if 31 comes and goes. So in a way, I guess my ovaries are shrinking; or at least the “window of opportunity” is, in fact, about to shut forever.

Can you hear that clock ticking? Tick tock. Tick tock.

Ultimately, 29 is exactly what 31 calls her: an arrogant c-u-next-time. I sometimes wonder if I was that arrogant at 29. Who am I kidding? I’ve never been that arrogantly optimistic. It’s funny how time and change and your 30s make you so much more aware of the realities of age, though. Today I realized that my new vacuum cleaner is being delivered tomorrow – something that excited me to no end before I went completely bipolar and grew depressed over the fact that my excitement over a cleaning product is a sign of my age. My biological reality. Clearly I have already become a ticking, biological time-bomb. Next stop is screaming with 31.

Birthers

The origins of mankind trace back millions of years.  Millions.  Since the Industrial Revolution, the world population has boomed exponentially.  Today, it is estimated that nearly every minute, another human being is brought into this world.  So for all of you birthers out there, it’s time that you accept a truly undeniable fact:

You are not the first person on this planet to have a baby.

In recent years, the common-place practice of women in my age bracket (shall we say ‘around 30’) seems to be to act as if each and every one of them is inventing something new by bringing a child into this world.  Be it blogging about their experiences (as if there aren’t 10,000 other blogs out there devoted to the same, exact thing), acting as if no one understands, or refusing to accept that anyone else could have experienced the same thing in the past, and thus may know a little about what is going on, women everywhere are making themselves ever-more obnoxious by denying that their peers in gender have been bearing and raising children for centuries; wait, no, that’s right – millenia.

Ladies (and in some cases, your effeminate husbands):  everything that has happened to you has happened to someone else, at least once.  While every situation is unique, it is only so by virtue of the unique combination of things that goes on; all of which, though, have (individually) happened to others for countless years.  I hate to break this news to you, but in child rearing, there really is no stone left unturned.

As I continue on, further down that ‘around 30’ age bracket, more of my friends are having babies, adopting children, and finding themselves in a position to choose between being an informed, educated mother that relies on the wisdom of her predecessors to guide her in doing what has already been done before; or, by contrast, to deny in the face of the truth that she is not among peers, but in a position beyond what anyone else could ever comprehend or empathize.  To the latter, I think it is time to get over yourselves.