February 10, 2000
Obsessions and Chess

Cycle 4, Day 32, 13 dpo
Temp: 98.7
Cervical Mucus: Creamy
Cervix: Midway, closed, soft

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My temp went up again! Aunt Flo would be due tomorrow, and I usually get a drop the day before she puts in an appearance. I'm trying not to get too excited, but excited I am.

There are other reasons for my optimism. The cleaning lady went over the library today, and when I came out of a meeting with a book salesman (more on that later), I was almost bowled over by the scent of citronella. I went to several people, trying to figure out where the smell was coming from, but nobody else smelled it. I've heard that a heightened sense of smell can be a pregnancy symptom...but, then again, maybe it's just due to the fact that I detest citronella. Who can tell? I've also been suffering from waves of nausea; before today, they were just mild, brief little interludes that made me stop and swallow before they went away, but this morning they've been royally disrupting my routine. Several times I had to tell my boss that I'd be right back, then run (well, walk stiffly) to the water fountain. I've covered myself by claiming that Eric was sick last week, and I could be picking up his illness. Dear God, this had better not be the stomach flu, or I'll be the crankiest patient in the free world.

What else? Oh, yes, the cramping hasn't really stopped, but nothing is coming of it. Normally I don't cramp until after dear Auntie's arrival, so I'm hoping this is a good sign. The last reason is kind of woo-woo; I figured out by adding four days to the date of my last monthly period, since I ovulated four days later that the "textbook woman," that my due date would be October 21. My birthday! Oh, wouldn't that be a wonderful present?

We had a book salesman come in today. You know the old adage, "Don't judge a book by its cover?" Apparently, that rule doesn't apply to book salesmen. He brought in sheaves and sheaves of book jackets, which we were to go through and use to make purchasing decisions. Very tricky stuff. I've been newly handed the responsibility of purchasing books for the adult music section (gee, think I'm qualified?), so I was going through reams of sheet music jackets. I had no way of knowing the quality of the music I was buying, so I made a mental note to get to know the publishers of popular sheet music, then mad some random decisions. Do you think folks will be interested in The Baby Boomer's Songbook?

His young adult selection was worse. He had only a few fiction books, which make up the bulk of my section. What he had most of was a collection of cheap nonfiction books about "issues." There were at least four books on anorexia, three on animal rights, and ten on dating and sex. I can tell you right now that no self-respecting teen is going to pick up a book called, "Coping with Sexually-Transmitted Diseases," which happens to picture on its cover two teenagers, straight out of an early eighties' sitcom, walking with their hands in each other's pockets. No way.

It looked like he had better selections for my colleagues, but I was done quickly. I think I'll stick to the catalogs from now on, if at all possible. Being able to read the reviews makes all the difference for me.

Nobody showed for chess again last night. I don't know what else to do; we'll put it in the paper again, and enlarge the posters we already have. Eric and I cam in and played each other for an hour or so before giving up. The only people who expressed an interest were a couple of six-year-olds who stood outside the door and laughed at me. I heard one of them shout, "They're playing chess!" and then he and his friends came running. I hope we gave them a good show, though I doubt it.

I am not a chess player. I couldn't even keep straight in my mind whether it was the rook or the bishop that moved diagonally. The boys were right to laugh at me.

Eric loves chess. He's been playing since he was a tiny boy, and his father has taught him well. Last night, he even proved to be a decent teacher, though I wouldn't have expected it. He did try to teach me once before, the first year we dated. The lesson didn't last long; a friend called and I heard him say, "Oh, I'm teaching Carrie chess, but the game's almost over. Yeah, she just made a really dumb move, and..." I resigned and never gave the game another thought. Who needed that kind of humiliation? Let him play with other people, but I was having none of it. Last night I finally gave him a chance to atone for his previous wrongs, and he did so marvelously.

Yes, he won. There was never a question of that. But I held him off for an hour! For me, that was quite the accomplishment, I think.

There was a set of triplet girls in here a bit ago. They were about five years old, and were telling each other bad knock-knock jokes and making up games of make-believe. I always wanted a sister; I can't imagine what it would be like to have had two of them to share my birthday. They seemed to be the best of friends. I hope that lasts all their lives!

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