Friday, May 09, 2003

The Friday Five:

1. Would you consider yourself an organized person?
Definitely. I tend to remember dates and times in my head, but I also write them down in my daily planner. I also an pretty anal about certain things. Like all my towels and sheets in the linen closet have to have the folded edge out and on the left. All my canned good have to be on one shelf in the pantry, with boxes/square packages on another shelf. And of course, the labels have to face out (kind of like the guy on "Sleeping with the Enemy.") I organize my closets by color and type of clothing (pants, skirts, shirts, etc.). I guess that could be considered a little neurotic.

2. Do you keep some type of planner, organizer, calendar, etc. with you, and do you use it regularly?
I do have a daily calendar, but since I don't have a job right now, there's not much in it. I don't find it necessary to pencil in times to do laundry or feed my daughter.

3. Would you say that your desk is organized right now?
It's fairly organized, but a lot of my husband's stuff is on it. He's not very organized at all, pretty cluttered in fact.

4. Do you alphabetize CDs, books, and DVDs, or does it not matter?
Of course I alphabetize my CDs. How else could you find what you want? I also organize my books like a library. Fiction is by author. Non-fiction is by subject. Although our bookshelf recently collapsed and my husband just put the books back willy-nilly. I haven't take the time to fix them yet.

5. What's the hardest thing you've ever had to organize?
My husband's photos. I love taking pictures and have everything in photo albums. He just had loads and loads of pictures in a big plastic box. It took several days to get it all done.

Thursday, May 08, 2003

What is it about some people that make them just sum up their life's events in one sentence, while others, like me, take pages and pages of paragraphs to talk about a trip to the store?

A friend of mine, who I haven't talked to in several months, recently sent me an e-mail updating me on his life. It was probably about eight sentences. And while I'm used to these types of e-mails from him, he did something funny that made me realize just how different we are.

He mentioned that he had decided to never consider C a friend, just a rude, stuck up, prick. Then he went on to other topics.

Wait a minute. You can't just say a statement like that and not explain. If it had been me, I would have led in with that comment for suspense and then jumped into every bad incident that made C a rude, stuck up prick. I would have had anecdotes, conversations, colorful adjectives. But I would have never just said a statement like that and left it that way.

And while my version of events may make for more interesting stories, I sometimes think there's something to be said for being concise and to the point. I think sometimes I'm so afraid of silence that I ramble on about mindless details that I eventually bore people to tears. That I end up saying something I shouldn't or that I appear more idiotic than I actually am.

I always feel like I need to explain myself, that I need to make sure people know every detail about my life. I used to think it would be cool to be the mysterious girl, the one that made everyone say, "Ooh, who's that girl?" But in my case, the mystery would be shot in about two minutes, when I started talking about my life, starting from the second grade on.

I come from a family of talkers. And I'm always worried that people are as annoyed by my talking as I sometimes am with my own family. Do I really talk about mindless drivel like they sometimes do? Do I not let other people talk because I'm so busy telling my own stories? Do I interrupt others' stories with examples of my own life? Do I give too many details that aren't even relevant to what I'm talking about?

I'm afraid I do. I try to be conscious of it, but at times, I think I just let myself go. This is especially the case when I've had one too many beers. Which used to happen a lot. Once, I accidentally taped myself after an evening out drinking. My friend and I had come home and I checked the messages, but I must have pressed Memo by mistake, which let you record a message directly on your own answering machine. Anyway, the next morning, I saw a blinking light and when I played the message, it was about a half hour of me talking to my friend in an embarrassingly drunken way. The problem wasn't so much my slurring, it was the fact that I dominated the conservation, only allowing a few "Uuh, huhs" from her along the way. That was frightening to me, and I tried to watch myself from then on.

I just don't think I've always been successful. And I think people are too polite to actually tell me to shut up. So maybe I need to take a few ideas from my friend and be a little more concise. Yeah, like I've just been in this blog? See what I mean?

Wednesday, May 07, 2003

I've been thinking a lot lately about having babies. Not for me personally (although I would like another one ... I just need to wait until I can find a new job, and then be there long enough so that it's not a shock when I say, "Oh, in about nine months, I'm going to need three months off.") I've been thinking about my friends, those who so want to have children but haven't been blessed with actually conceiving a child.

Josephine has written about being bummed about not being pregnant yet. I so wish something good for her because I think she'd be a great mom. Another friend of mine actually did have a baby a few weeks ago, but it took many years, failed attempts with artificial insemination and two rounds of in vitro before it happened. Someone very close to me is now starting to go the in vitro route after several tests confirmed that she wouldn't be able to conceive the traditional way. It's been hard for her because our book club has the most fertile women in America. While she loves babies, it's become hard for her to hear the constant talk of what babies are doing what, when a certain person is due, what baby names they've selected, etc. I sometimes feel guilty that I quickly join in, because having a child does cause you to only want to talk about them. I worry that I'm not being considerate to her feelings. So, she's missed a few book club meetings because she just can't deal with it. She's being so strong, and I'm confidant that the procedure will be successful for her, but she has a long road ahead, and I only hope I can be there in any way that she needs me to be.

And I just heard from an old high school friend of mine, who for five years tried to have a child, but a severe case of endometriosis prohibited that. She and her husband have been trying to adopt for several years, but the process is lengthy and time-consuming, especially for a newborn. She thought they might actually have the chance to adopt a baby in February, but the birth mother changed her mind once the baby was born. My friend has tried to take the high road by believing that the baby is in the best place with its biological mother and father, but in her heart she was devastated. She now thinks there will be another opportunity with a mother who is due in July. I can't imagine waiting for months, never really sure if the child will really become yours.

Then she told me that if the child does become theirs, any time taken off of work will be unpaid because her company doesn't offer maternity leave for adoptive parents. That makes no sense to me. A baby is still a baby and needs constant love and attention, especially during those first weeks. Who else is supposed to watch a baby that young but the mother, whether or not she actually gave birth to it. Besides, most daycare places won't take a baby under 6 weeks. So they have to save vacation days and hope that they will have enough time to take off with the baby. I know none of that will matter to her if she actually is able to finally hold her adoptive baby in her arms, but it seems like these companies would understand the needs of adoptive parents.

Anyway, I feel truly blessed that I was able to conceive so easily. I just wish those around me that I love wouldn't have it so hard. But in my heart of hearts, I know that when it does happen for them, those babies are going to be so lucky to have them as parents.

Tuesday, May 06, 2003

This should have been posted yesterday, but blogger was acting up a little and wouldn't let me post.

The birthday party turned out well, despite a few challenges. It rained pretty hard the night before and well into the morning. Since I had planned to decorate the outside patio, I had to make some quick revisions and move the decorations inside. After a little miscommunication between my husband ("I thought we would just have everything in the garage," he said; "It's cold and damp in there, why would people want to spend time in there?" I said) we got everything together.

The rain ended up stopping by noon, and the sun broke free by 1, just in time for our daughter's birthday. She seemed a little overwhelmed at first, watching all these people parade through her house. That surprised me a little because she's used to my husband's extended family. But she soon warmed up and played Pin the Tail on the Donkey and Musical Cushions (some of the little kids can't quite get into chairs yet). She looked so cute in her little flowered dress with matching sweater.

She was such a sport, even though the festivities ran past her nap time. The only drama we had was when it came time for the cake. We put it in front of her and tried to teach her to blow out the candle. Her arms were pinned down inside of her high-chair tray (or so I thought), but suddenly she pulled out one arm and tried to grab the candle. She may have touched the flame, it may have just been her sudden movement that caused the flame to flicker, but all of us yelled "NO!" She took one look at us, took a deep breath through quivering lips, and just cried. I think it was just the sudden yelling, rather than any pain she might have had. She didn't have any redness or blistering on her fingers, so that couldn't have been it.

After calming her down with a bit of magic (what my husband likes to call ice; it's not that the ice is used on her skin, she just likes sucking on it), we proceeded to let her eat her cake (a smaller version of what we'd be eating). She took a tentative bite right out of the side at first, but the next three bites were taken with true abandon. I'm not sure how much actual cake she got, but her face was covered with frosting -- so much so that I had to get a Q-Tip to get the frosting out of her nose.

She received a lot of great summer clothes and a few toys, including a big plastic swing/slide set, but as is the case with most one-year-olds, she cared more about the ribbons, or just trying to play with her old clothes.

All in all, it was a pretty nice day. The only downfall is my husband decided to order the Oscar De La Hoya fight that night, so most of the guests stayed for that, not leaving until well after 10 p.m. Since the party started at 1, and we'd been up since 7 getting things ready, it was a pretty long day. Then of course, the cleanup afterwards, especially the kitchen mess from all the food my husband prepared. I didn't get to bed until midnight.

But I'm sure there will be many more birthdays like this. No wonder people just go to Chuck E. Cheese.