Last night, I was wandering through my favorite little bookstore with my good friend Erin, when I laid eyes on a book I had previously not known existed:
What to Expect Before You’re Expecting.
Of course, I almost bought it. Not that I’m a fan of the What to Expect series; I feel like, generally speaking, these books are taunting me, showing up in bookstores and grocery stores and airports, telling women what kind of fruit or vegetable the things in their uteruses most resemble, while the thing in my uterus most resembles an old fashioned corkscrew:
But Before You’re Expecting?! That’s me! I’m pre-expecting! In fact, I’m expecting to be expecting to be expecting sometime in the next two-to-four years! Surely I need this book…
This is, unfortunately, the way I see my life now. It’s one of the reasons I started this project: to learn to live in the moment instead of always in this vague future moment, wondering when’s marriage and when are babies?
Like in the case of last night: Erin and I had just seen wonderful and hilarious author Mary Roach speak, I had just bought all four of her books, and we were waiting to have them signed. This was a cool moment. But we paused, took ourselves out of our present lives, to contemplate whether we needed to know what to expect before we were expecting.
“They’ll probably tell me to lose weight,” Erin said.
“They’ll probably tell me to gain some,” I answered.
That was enough to bring us back to reality. Instead, Erin bought a wine journal, and I, having just spent my entire month’s worth of fun money on Mary Roach books (so, so worth it), ordered a book another friend had recommended for this project.
I didn’t used to be like this, watching my biological clock ticking and wondering when’s it gonna be my time to be a housewife. I used to be quite the opposite, actually, and destroyed my first marriage on the principle that I was too young to be married. (There were other reasons why it never would’ve worked in the long run, but largely what I felt, as I was saying and doing horrible things to drive my then-husband away, was a sense of suffocation.)
As far as I’m concerned, I was only pregnant for about four days. Two weeks, if you count that vacation where I was still trying to be hopeful and happy. But that tiny taste of pregnancy turned me into a monster. In the weeks leading up to my eventual and inevitable miscarriage, I swore that all I wanted was my life back. And look at me now: I never got it.