Gift horse

On Tuesday,  we celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary with a two day trip to La Jolla, CA.  Before the Precious, we were going to return to Bali, but of course, a 20+ hr plane ride is out of the question, not to mention, out of the budget.    I thought DH had something special in the works, but apparently, he didn’t, so I got involved.  There was a seat sale for LA, so we fly there, picked up a rental car at the airport and drove to a very lovely resort in La Jolla.  It had a spa and I was really looking forward to that.  We had a couples massage and then went for a light dinner.

The next day, DH treated me to a little shopping spree and then we went for a romantic dinner on an outdoor patio.  Cue sunset.  He gave me a really beautiful Hallmark card and I wept, I was so touched.  I had a little surprise of my own, but I waited til we got back to the hotel room.  I presented my dearest with a new wedding ring to replace the one he lost earlier this year.  Now, I have to tell you, I thought of the idea pretty late in the game, and then I found how just how expensive it was going to be and not every jewellery store carries 18 kt white gold.  I went to at least 6 jewellery stores and only B.irks had it in 18 kt white gold at a sky high price.   I found out just how much gold went up in the last couple of years.  Yikes! I decided that I would check one more place and then I would settle for a 14K one at a substantially lower price.   But you know me, I’m determined (stubborn) , if nothing else and at the last moment, I found a small jewellery store who could MAKE one in the pattern I liked in TWO DAYS for several hundred dollars less than B.irks.  So, all excited and giddy, and incredibly drunk, I presented it to DH who was….underwhelmed.  Yep.  Basically, he said I didn’t have to do it, he wasn’t into wearing jewellery anyway and the one he had been wearing (a silver spinner ring (broken) that I gave him in the first flush of love) meant more. But really I had bought it because I wanted him to have it, it was not something he would want as a gift.  But it was nice. Thanks.

Yes, he did.  And then faced with my disappointment at his lack of enthusiasm at such an extravagant gift, he proceeded to justify his response by saying he was just being honest.  HONEST.  Like there was something wrong with ME for being upset.  After all, it would be like him giving me a CAR.  A CAR?!!!  All I could think was that I had no idea who the man was who took me on this wonderful trip, bought me two entire outfits, high heels, a bracelet and a cute hat and treated me like GOLD … and  then just looked at a 10th anniversary 18 kt white brushed custom made gold ring like it was a tie from K-Mart.  Heaven forbid he should shut his mouth for the sake of my feelings.

Oh, yes, it occurred to me that this colossal P.O.S. just made me feel like an idiot for all the running around I did, spending money on something I really couldn’t afford  because I had this crazy idea that HE WAS WORTH this symbol of love and devotion and family unity.

Needless to say, I went to sleep quite angry and hurt, plotting ways I could take the ring back and sell it at a pawn shop.   The next morning, he apologized and blah, blah, blah.  Yes, it occurred to me that he was upset at the extravagance during this “working from home” period, that he OBVIOUSLY had not given me a reciprocal gift.  But really, it would be more accurate to simply believe what he said as he is not in the habit of sugar coating ANYTHING.

I tried to avoid the topic of “the ring” the next day.  I was still upset but I actually missed the Precious and was ready to get home. I also wasn’t feeling well (ie. hungover).   On  the plane, we hit turbulence, and as usual, I got nauseous and weepy.  Then I just told him how truly upset I was and  he actually LISTENED.  As in his lips weren’t flapping back.  He apologized sincerely from his heart  and said he just didn’t want me to spend any money on him, and this time I believed him.

For Christmas, he’s getting a vacuum cleaner.



And then I told him I was always going to ask him for exactly what he wanted


What bugs?

Okay, I’ve calmed down.  I went for a run with the lovely Miss Juno and a girlfriend, who when I recounted my stupid morning,  cites her own obsessive compulsive ways for the demise of her marriage.  Aha.  What did I tell you?  This girl loves the smell of bleach in the mornings, if you know what I mean.  On the plus side, she’s the friend you need to organize your closets. Nothing like a divorce in the air to keep you on your toes.

By the time I returned, DH was out with the little man and the kitchen was clean, and even the lobby had been wet-mopped and tidied.  Later on, when I did see him, it was clear that we were in a détente of sorts and the matter was dropped.  I did not commend him on his superior cleaning skills.  Yeah, I was still miffed but it was hardly worth ruining the weekend over it. We had our friends over for a BBQ and I made peach cobbler.  Delish!

I did, however, point out the ice cream spillage  he left on the counter last night.  Yep.  We could have been overrun by bugs. And sure enough on the other counter was a third full glass of milk and a container that only had the grape stem in it.  Couldn’t quite make it into the garbage, I guess.  My, my, I guess we’re going to bug hell in handbasket.

Frankly, I think the underlying frustration is lack of sex.  Between my lack of interest, fatigue and the care and feeding of the little man, taking care of the dog’s needs, my mother’s needs, it’s fallen off the list of things to do.  I kind of feel bad about it and I kind of don’t.  Nitpicking and nagging rarely bring out romantic feelings on either side.    I’ve noticed we’re both getting a great deal of pleasure from being with the kid but we often have to divide our spare time together in order to get things done. Sometimes couples forget to be nice and gentle with each other.  You really want a massage but you just can’t be bothered to make the first move.  So you drink another glass of wine, take another hoot and fuzz out.  The book of domestic resentment gathers no dust.

So we’ve decided to get away this long weekend.  A friend of DH passed away and the funeral is out of town.  So what the heck – we’ll all go with him and get away from the counters of doom.

Things lost in the fire

Experiencing infertility is hard enough, but when you switch gears from giving up the dream of having a biological child to wanting to raise another child through adoption, it becomes a whole different ballgame.

Infertility had stripped away the intimacy over conceiving a child and adoption was going to make things very, very public.  Intellectually, you know that, but emotionally it takes some getting used to.  I tried to be optimistic, after all this is what you do when you can’t have a child but want one, right?  It wasn’t a call of duty for me, but a strong desire to fulfill some sense of loss in me.  Now, I have to say I wasn’t in this desire alone.  Hubby had wanted to turn to adoption sooner than I had.  But I was too busy grieving and wondering if I should even have children at all.  You know, cause if it hadn’t happened, then “maybe it wasn’t meant to be”.  I was still waiting for a miracle.

The months crawled by; I tried to rebuild and redefine my life. I remembered the beauty of cherry blossoms and when I finally released the hope of the little girl who never was, we got a call that eventually lead us to our son.

It seemed like the only way I could rise about the drama that ensued was if I stopped trying to control the outcome.  Do you have any idea of how difficult that was for someone like me?  It was BRUTAL.  I’m not a let go, let god type of person.  I’m a “don’t tell me I have to drink from the coloured fountain, I’ll show you” type of girl.  I have a tendency to want to go back and undo the past (so envious of Superman) but no matter how hard I tried, my supernatural powers failed me. I thought being a Buddhist was all about controlling what happens to me.  Wrong.  It’s about controlling yourself.   (“..become the master of your mind rather than let your mind master you.”)

I lost a lot of things in the fire you might say.  I lost my innocence, I lost my faith (but gained it back) and I lost who I thought I was supposed to be.  But I gained a lot as well.  I still haven’t fully realized the scope of having this child in my life.  He has devoured the time I probably would have taken to get myself into more trouble, no doubt.  He cares not a whit about my existential angst, he cares about getting fed, being held and being adored.

He’s a lot like me in a way.

Diet, exercise and anger

I woke up in a pissy mood because, well… it was pissy outside.  I hate getting wet, really hate it.  Picked the wrong city to live in, didn’t I?  Anyway, other than bitching about the crappy weather we had in June, we’re doing okay.  I had a busy day doing errands and visiting mum.  DH is away for a few days on business, so we’re on our own for a bit.

Spent the weekend on the island visiting the in-laws.  I wasn’t in the best of moods, thanks to Aunt Flo, but my MIL is awesome and she tried to cheer me up by taking me shopping for clothes.  Probably not the best idea.  Yep, it’s Weight Watchers time again.  I will wait til we get back from T.O.  Perhaps running around in the heat will give me motivation.  I’m back to feeling uncomfortable again and though the official line is that I’m at medium risk for diabetes so I should watch my weight, the unofficial truth is that life for me at 20 lbs overweight is annoying, infuriating and uncomfortable.

Annoying cause I have a hard time finding clothes that fit.  It leaves with a grand total of 2 stores in my neighbourhood (and I live in a downtown shopping area) that might carry my size and god forbid  I don’t buy it cause when it goes on sale, my size is going to be gone and I’m faced with a sea of single digit sizes.  I could go into the major department stores, but I have neither the time nor the stamina to sort through row after row of racks of clothing, haul a ton of stuff to a waiting room on the other side of the floor only to find out that nothing fits right.  Infuriating  because I did it to myself for all sorts of logical emotional eating reasons that made perfect sense at that time.  Also infuriating is that I am not surprised I’m back at this point.

I’m uncomfortable in my skin and I’m umcomfortable with addressing the reasons why I am.  Geneen Roth’s Woman, Food and God stirred up a lot in me, most of which is anger – and that’s the most uncomfortable feeling of all.