My nerves are shot.

Normally I’m a person who thrives on deadlines and slight amount of pressure. But…

Over the past few weeks, I’ve spent a lot of time explaining to people that I have this big writing deadline, and therefore I can’t hang out as much. Even though I really, really love the people I’m explaining it to, and I do very much wish that I could hang out with them. And I don’t know if anyone believes me, because the writing thing is so ephemeral. Does anyone ever see me write? No – no one except my kids, and they could easily be trained to lie about it. And yet, I have several books written, don’t I? Therefore, writing books must be something that takes care of itself, or that I can easily put off until next weekend, or until Monday, or Tuesday at midnight, surely. Sometimes even I believe that.

Meanwhile, I have this jacked-up period thing going on. (Warning: talking about my period.) As y’all know, blah blah jacked-up periods blah, and this last one lasted twelve days, and (update) it doesn’t look like I’m ovulating, after all, if my temperature-taking skills are any kind of trusty barometer, and so I guess when I go back to the endocrinologist on Halloween Day, he’ll tell me that, yes, it is early menopause. And I don’t even know what the treatment is for that, because the techniques are constantly being improved (I think, hope) and I haven’t wanted to research it yet without knowing for sure. And, yet, maybe I should go ahead and do that, if only to keep the word hysterectomy from randomly floating through my mind.

Another thing I don’t yet want to think about is the fact that, if it’s menopause, then, logically, I can no longer produce children.

Because, what a cliched thing to think about, right? And, as several people have pointed out to me recently, I already have three kids. And I say, “Well, it’s not that I wanted another one. It’s more about the abstract loss of choice, you know.”

But, you know what? I’ll confide in you, now, and say that, hey, maybe I did want another kid. Whether everyone else in the world thought I needed one, or not. Maybe I had some half-formed idea to make a certain amount of money, and get to a certain point in my career, and then hurry up and cough up one last kid before I got too old. You know? Maybe I wanted to have a million kids, dammit. And, as long as no one else’s tax money is supporting them, I figure that’s my freaking business.

(I wasn’t even going to say any of that on this blog, but now I’ve gained the courage to say it because of Laura Bennett. Thank you, Laura, for getting pregnant with your sixth kid and being unapologetic about it, and for showing on national TV that you like having kids.)

(Yes, I know I could always adopt. But now that Madonna’s copied Angelina Jolie, I’m sorry but it’s just not cool anymore.)

But, you know, like I said, there’s no use freaking out about any of that yet, because I don’t yet know for sure what’s up with my eggs. So pretend I didn’t say any of that.

So, anyway… then, speaking of having too many kids, I temporarily lost my youngest one last night. He and two neighbor kids were supposed to be launching mini careers in landscaping, offering their pinecone-gathering service for money door-to-door. I’d been worried enough about that, but decided to go ahead and let him do that, lest I be branded the meanest mommy on the block. But when I drove around to find the little brats, it turned out that they’d walked their earnings to the local burger place. Which is on a busy street. And by the time I got there, they’d walked back home. When I finally caught up with him, I lectured the hell out of my child, telling him I didn’t want him going to the burger place without adults, much less without telling anyone where he’d gone. His eyes said, “Whatever, meanest mommy on the block.”

So then we ran to the grocery store and the gas station. And, upsettingly, when we got home, I saw that my lawn had failed to magically edge itself, despite all my fervent wishing. (My oldest son can mow the lawn, but he can’t yet edge it.) As we carried the groceries into the house, I saw my neighbors pointing through drawn blinds. “Messy-edged-lawn-having bitch,” they said.

But I couldn’t worry about that. I had work to do. I put a chicken carcass on the counter and commanded the children to pick it clean. I sat down at my computer and worked until bed time. “Can we watch South Park: The Passion of the Jew?” one of the children begged. “No,” I said on autopilot. “Mommy has to work. Go read classic British children’s literature before I spank you with a stick.”

This morning I got an early start and fantasized about treating myself to a lovely breakfast before work. Then I bent down to put on my shoes and realized my top was showing too much cleavage again. So I pulled another camisole out of my closet and saw something so shockingly disgusting…

It was a tiny albino lizard running on my camisole!

No, wait… It was tiny, bleached troglobite!

No, wait… GROSS. It was huge freaking silverfish!!!

After screaming and killing it and gingerly putting on the camisole and the rest of my clothes and getting in my car and starting my 1.25 hour commute, I noticed that I had completely lost my appetite.

In the past, the old Gwen, with her external locus of of control, would have freaked out and seen the silverfish as some kind of bad omen indicating futility in all endeavors. Instead, in the present, I made a mental note to call the exterminator.

So then, finally, as if all that crap wasn’t enough, I got to work and went to ladies’ room and looked in the full-length mirror, and realized that, in my hurry to escape the silverfish, I had accidentally dressed myself like Molly Ringwald in the ’80s.


I’m going to write a book called The Silverfish Diet Plan. (It’ll be about using silverfish as appetite suppressants, not about eating them.) I’ll get started on that as soon as I finish what I’m currently working on. Which will be… one week and one announcement of discontinued fertility from now.

Okay. Back to work.

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Posted in health, insects, parenting, venting on 10/24/2006 01:51 pm

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