The Pregnancy Inquisition, Part Deux

March 29, 2012 at 9:28 am | Posted in Married Life, Pregnancy Fun Time | 2 Comments
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In my last post regarding procreation pressure (like that alliteration?), I lamented the awkwardness of having my friends, colleagues and loved ones harass me about my reproductive status, and received some great tips and feedback from you, dear reader(s).  Well, today I’d like to expand upon this topic and bring every retail establishment that sells anything related to children into the mix.

Mind Your Own Bees wax

Mind your own... (Photo from Beyond The Hive)

Have you seen the story in the New York Times by Charles Duhigg about how Target knew a teenager was pregnant before her own father did?  It’s both fascinating and creepy, and, apparently, happening every day, much to my annoyance.  The gist of the article is that, based on just a smidge of demographic information and the things you buy, even things that don’t seem like obvious signs at first glance (fragrance-free lotion, cotton balls and hand sanitizer, for example, indicate you’re about to pop out a tiny human), retailers can virtually predict major life events like pregnancy.

Lucky for me (ha!), it seems I’ve found myself on the list of “probably preggers, so shamelessly market baby-related products to her” distribution list.  From emails (cough cough Target cough cough) to catalogs (Pottery Barn Kids, I’m talking to you!), coupons (Babies “R” Us, back off!) to advice (no, I don’t need to purchase X, Y or Z to prepare for my inevitable parental cluelessness), I’m being bombarded on a daily basis with baby-related information and savings (but at least it’s helping the post office stay afloat).

I’ll say it again: I’m NOT pregnant.  Yes, I’ve been happily married for over a year, am in my thirties and recently bought a home, but I am not “with child.”

I am, however, thinking about how this must feel to women experiencing fertility struggles.  These retailers don’t know what our reproductive status is – they don’t have a clue about whether we find these communications exciting or a difficult reminder of a very sensitive, very personal issue.  I understand the need to make money, to attract customers at this time in their lives; I even respect the power of the statistics nerd!  (Seriously, all hail the nerds of the world!)  But for goodness sake, please back off.  Or at least hide your intentions a little better so we can assume it’s just a coincidence that diapers are on sale… again…

I’ll procreate when I’m good and ready,
Sarah

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The Pregnancy Inquisition

January 16, 2012 at 2:18 pm | Posted in Married Life, Pregnancy Fun Time | 11 Comments
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Thought things would change in 2012?  Sorry, folks!  I’m going to continue my habit of complaining about something fairly insignificant and then soliciting your advice.  Because that’s how to start the year on the right foot.

What’s got my knickers in a twist lately?  Pregnancy!

Or rather, the overzealous, overwhelming, overabundant questions regarding my hypothetical (and at this point, purely fictional!) pregnancy. Friends, family, colleagues, frenemies, even random baristas, stylists, salespeople and hobos (true story) are prying into my obstetric beeswax!

I know I’m not alone in this. It seems like the questions start the second you get hitched. But now that the hubs and I have been married for over a year, the frequency and intensity of questions has become more like an Inquisition.

My question is: how do you deflect these questions?

While I usually answer: “I’m birthing a house!” because, as you know, dealing with our little fixer-upper has been akin to creating new life (and going through a really, really, really long labor), there must be a better way to do it.

Most people ask out of love (or what I assume is love).  People seem to think an Andrew + Sarah combination is just what the world needs, so I don’t want to be insulting – because that is actually very flattering.

But at the same time, it’s a LOT of pressure and, quite frankly, nobody’s business!  So how, dear reader(s), do I handle this?

P.S. I am also aware that some folks are assuming that my “winter padding” is actually a bun in the oven.  Frankly, I’ve been so stressed over the past eight months, that if there was an actual bun in my actual stainless steel oven in my actual kitchen, it wouldn’t last long.  Eating one’s feelings isn’t the same as eating for two.  But here we are.

Are you Crazylicious? A Jersey Love Letter

November 29, 2011 at 3:19 pm | Posted in Married Life, TV (The Boob Tube) | 2 Comments
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A few weeks ago, I came home late from work and overheard a woman talking about teasing her hair (“the higher your hair, the closer you are to heaven”) and the power of the smoky eye, so I crept into the living room, ninja-style, to investigate.  It wasn’t another woman; it wasn’t even a cosmetics commercial.  The source of said beauty advice was the Style Network’s “Jerseylicious” – and my husband was watching the reality TV show with rapt attention.

Are you Jerseylicious? How about crazylicious?

If caught watching Jerseylicious, many men would feign ignorance of what was on the screen, or quickly change the channel to ESPN, or even make a lewd comment about only watching the show to gawk at the skanky outfits (of which there are plenty).  Not Andrew.  As soon as he saw me gaping at him (wondering what the h-e-double-hockey-sticks he was watching), he patted the couch cushion next to him and said: “Hon, you gotta watch this!  It’s really dramatic!”

And then he DVR’d the entire series.

Until that moment, I hadn’t realized how deep his love of reality TV ran.  And when I watched the entire series with him, I realized how deep my love runs for him.  Let’s face it: the “reality” show is pretty obviously scripted.  But there I sat, snuggled next to my husband for hours on end, simply wanting to bask in the glow of his enjoyment.

So I guess this post is a kind of love letter to Andrew, because not only is he giving me blog fodder (which, admittedly, has been quieter than I would like lately), but he’s also shown me what an amazing man he is.  He isn’t ashamed of who he is, he doesn’t bow to peer pressure.  He is passionate and silly and has the courage of his convictions, even if those convictions revolve around bad TV, weird taste in movies, and his pledge of allegiance to the WRONG baseball team.  He is kind and funny and brilliant… except when it comes to the idiot box.

The hours (and hours) I’ve spent watching the show haven’t been squandered; as my husband watches the drama unfold, I get to watch him relax, let go of our “real” concerns and simply enjoy a little brain candy.

And who knows, maybe I will pick up the skills to do a killer smoky eye!

Is the Commuter Rail the “Offline” Ashley Madison?

March 22, 2011 at 10:12 am | Posted in Around Boston, Married Life | 4 Comments
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I’ve been commuting on the MBCR/MBTA Commuter Rail for a long time, and while I’m perpetually grouchy about delays, crowded trains and nincompoop riders, I recently discovered another fun aspect of commuting to gripe about: it seems that commuter trains are hot beds (so to speak) for people seeking extra-marital affairs (does that seem redundant to anyone else? I mean, how many inter-marital affairs have you heard about? But I digress…).

I can’t tell you how uncomfortable it is to see middle-aged professionals flirting over briefcases in purple pleather seats. As Bonnie Raitt* correctly identified, they laugh just a little too loud, stand just a little too close (and it isn’t only when the train is packed) and stare just a little too long. It’s icky. And it isn’t something I want to talk about (but I’m going to anyway). 

Yesterday evening I was witness to one such encounter. Sitting in a “four seater” (you know what I mean: two two-person benches – aka love seats – facing each other), you would have thought the woman next to me had met the funniest human alive, the way she was reacting to the gentleman across from her (who shall henceforth be known as the Middle-Aged Commuting Adonis). Seriously, he flashed his pearly off-whites and the woman, let’s call her Flirty Gerty, practically dissolved into a puddle of lust (if lust could take the form of a puddle, that is).

Being the optimistic innocent naïve gal that I am, I noticed they were both wearing wedding bands and thought that perhaps this amorous couple was a pair of older newlyweds. And that would have been significantly less nauseating.

Alas, it wasn’t the case. Midway through our ride, Flirty Gerty received a text message, and being the nosy know-it-all curious gal that I am, I read the following message over her shoulder: “Picked up the kids. Let’s order pizza tonight and relax together.” 

Okay, that message isn’t proof of anything. It could have been from a friend, a car pool buddy, or even a roommate. But it wasn’t.

Flirty Gerty responded (all the while making googly eyes at Commuting Adonis): “Thanks, John. See you at home. Love you!”

So she’s clearly not married to/living with Commuting Adonis. But this could still all be an innocent encounter, right? Wrong.

Before Flirty Gerty got off the train, Adonis took her hand in his and confessed that seeing her was the best part of his day, and that he would text her later. She blushed, and in the breathiest voice she could muster, replied: “I can’t wait for this weekend,” and then winked at him.

She winked!

Tell me I’m wrong, dear reader(s)! Convince this optimistic, trusting newlywed that I’m misinterpreting their interaction! Find a plausible excuse to restore my faith in humanity, marriage and commuting! And remind me never to sit in that train car again!

Feeling dirty,

Sarah

* Oops, my inner music dork is showing!

Married Life = ???

April 13, 2010 at 10:37 am | Posted in Around Boston, Married Life | 17 Comments
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The other day after work, our boss* forced us to join him and the rest of the team for happy hour (not that we didn’t want to, of course, but you know how long our commutes are – we like getting home at a reasonable hour). Put aside the fact that he doesn’t drink at all, and that I’m always the designated driver- that’s not the point of this story (though it is a little silly). What is more bloggable is how he coerced me into going…

“Sarah,” he said. “Has anyone ever told you what happens after you get married?”

“No… What happens??” I answered in a slightly panicked voice.

“Terrible things. You had better come out with us now, before it is too late!”

I glanced at my bloggier – and happily married (to Mike, not me) – half for a little hint or some reassurance. She shrugged her shoulders, unable to assuage my concerns.

“What kinds of things, boss-man?”

“Well, your weekends become… boring. You will start thinking of a trip to Bed Bath & Beyond as a date, you’ll go to Home Depot and see Imax movies at the Jordan’s in Reading… You may even go out for dinner at Kelly’s!”

Well, dear reader(s), if you subtract the trips to Kelly’s and add Sunday mornings at the grocery store and a few meals out at “casual dining establishments,” that’s pretty much what my weekends are like now! And Andrew and I kind of like it that way.

So my question for you is: what happens after we get hitched? Will we become more exciting? Will we reach a new level of blah? Help! What should we expect?!?

~Sarah

* N.B.: Said top banana is happily married with three kids.

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