December 15, 2000

Today's Pic
I am getting so tired of wearing my glasses, but the contacts just don't fit any more.
One year ago (or thereabouts): I have lesbian guinea pigs. Should I charge admission?

Do pregnant women fit stereotypes because the stereotypes are true, or is it that, at the height of our hormonally-addled states, we hear the jokes about pickles and think, "Wow, that sounds like a really, really good idea!"

My picklesHeinz Sweet Gherkins pickles. My mother wouldn't buy any other kind when I was growing up, and I grew up loving these above all others, store-bought or homemade. She kept them in a little green box in the door of our refrigerator, and all of our family was prone to pull open the door and snag a few of the little green things on our way past. These were good, you understand? These were an important part of my youth, in some odd way.

Now I am pregnant with my own child, and as such, I am inclined to reminisce. A month or so ago, I began to think about those pickles, and before I knew it, I had managed to stir up such a craving for those pickles - those Heinz Sweet Gherkins - that I couldn't keep them out of my head. I went to the grocery store that night, absolutely rabid to get my hands on a jar. Nothing; the store didn't carry the brand.

I'd like to say that I handled it well, but that would be far from the truth. Let's just say that if you ever happen across a woman standing in front of a display in the grocery store and sobbing her eyes out as if her cat had just been run over by a snow-plow, you'd be well advised to steer clear and not ask for an explanation. She doesn't really have one.

Over the next few days, I went to every grocery store in our vicinity but had no success. I tried other brands of sweet gherkins, but they just couldn't satisfy me; they were not crunchy enough, or they were too sweet. I finally contented myself with the knowledge that I'd be in my hometown over Thanksgiving, and Home was Heinz Territory.

I bought three jars: two for home and one for work. They're almost gone now, but I'll be back home for the holidays and able to grab more. Eric thinks I've gone completely around the bend, but he doesn't understand the power of these strange cravings that have taken over my mind. As evidence of his lack of sympathy, I present his unwillingness to entertain the idea of Indian food, though I've been desperate for it for months now. When I get the chance, I go by myself, but on most nights I must resign myself to a fond gaze toward the Indian restaurant as Eric drives us past on our way to some other restaurant. I've even agreed to join him for sushi if he'll only return the favor, but he won't budge.

At least I haven't had any strange cravings. I'll take my sweet gherkins without the ice cream, thank you very much.


In other news, I seem to have slipped out of the eternal gestationally-related exhaustion, and into the sleep deprivation-related exhaustion. I can't seem to sleep well at night anymore; I toss and turn, winding the blankets around me until I can't breathe, throw pillows, wake up too congested to breathe at three in the morning, and have wild, wacky dreams that leave me feeling more exhausted than before I went to bed. (If Cosmo Kramer from Seinfeld ever shows up in your dreams with flying remote control dolls, know that you are about to have a very, very unnerving experience.) All the women to whom I've confided have thought themselves extremely witty and original by informing me that this was to prepare me for after the baby comes. My cheeks hurt from the forced smiles.

And then there was the brief period of time, before I forced him into submission, that Eric thought to take up the nighttime routine of eating a clove of garlic before bed - for his blood pressure, you know. The smell of garlic has become a new and especially potent aversion for me. After two nights of being kept awake by the smell of it on his breath from across the bed, even after he brushed his teeth and gargled, I put my foot down. No more! He still puts up the occasional fuss, but he can stand the not-quite-five-month wait until the baby arrives, I do believe.

I am the generic pregnant woman. I have crying fits; I get angry for no reason. I can't breathe through my nose with any kind of consistency. My pants still fit, but my underwear does not. A convenient potty is my friend. My skin is unmanageable, but my hair is thicker and prettier. I can't remember the names of my friends and family, and I frequently lose my train of thought. I itch. I broke three nails yesterday in varied acts of klutziness.

Aren't I the picture of femininity?


We went out to dinner and to a comedy club with Eric's coworkers last night. The headlining comic was from West Virginia, and a good portion of his routine had Eric and me laughing twice as hard as anybody else in the room. He made a couple of WVU jokes that had me rolling.

Unfortunately, Eric's boss is German and new to this country. I think that most of the evening went straight over his head, though he tried valiantly to keep up with the rest of us. At dinner, he had a Manhattan ("What is in this drink? I do not know...") and said that, at the least, the jokes would seem funny if he were slightly drunk. He laughed quite a bit, so his strategy must have been at least partially successful.

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