This week’s sentence begins “The most memorable Valentine’s Day I ever had was…“
I can see already that this is going to be a problem. From my middle school days, when Valentine’s day began to be a ‘thing’, I hated it. Never a child to try to attract attention (especially at home, where that could be foolhardy in the extreme), I seemed to attract the wrong sort and usually ended up in trouble or being picked on.
I was the loser of the loser gang for much of my childhood (for reasons far beyond my explainability in this post) and Valentine’s day was just another day where this could be brought firmly into the public domain.
My first memorable Valentine’s day was when I was about 8, and I’d developed a crush on a boy who couldn’t care less. His devil-may-care attitude and outspokenness attracted me and I bought him two shiny pencils with hearts on (and possibly a little card) and posted them through his letterbox early before school.
Later that week, I was gratified to see him using one of the pencils in class. I asked him innocently where he’d gotten such a nice pencil and was told, quite casually “Oh, I got it on Valentine’s day from [he inserted the name of a WHOLE nother girl] and I think she likes me, but I don’t like her.” The bottom fell out of my world.
I ignored everything to do with Valentine’s day from then on, as much as possible and while the other kids publicly counted their cards and made wild guesses as to their origin, I excluded myself, felt like an outsider, appeared not to care and secretly seethed.
When I got to my late teens, I met a guy. A friend only, but we became close. Valentine’s day had been as much of a torture for him as it had been for me, and we made a pact that each Valentine’s day from then on, we’d send one another a card so that we could’ve genuinely received ‘at least one’, when questioned by nosey peers. This became our tradition and each year that went by, I sought out the most outrageous card and sent it to him with joy in my heart because, though I didn’t have a sweetheart, I did have a very sweet friend, and he remains to this day my best-guy-friend.
(Also, sweetly, once I was engaged to my dear Husby, February 14th came around and I received my last card from my friend, bearing the words “Once you’re married, I think we’d better stop sending these to each other” but I still think of him and the happiness that our friendship has brought to each other over the years, and particularly the pain it’s spared each of us on Valentine’s day)
My second quick take, I had better devote to the 180 degree turn the medical profession has taken with regard to our chances of having a baby. Since September we’ve been told nothing but doom and gloom, culminating last week in an analyst telling us that there was very little to work with and our chances of conceiving were as good as none.
Yesterday, our appointment with the fertility doctor was full of sunshine and roses and we listened incredulously as he told us that he was very optimistic, things would improve with Husby’s treatment and he didn’t feel the need to see Husby again because everything was fine, all was shiny and glorious, and he doubted there’d be any need for medical intervention.
To say we are reeling would be a vast understatement.
When I consider the amount of soul-searching we’ve done, the amount of desperately painful tears which have been cried, the multiple occasions of rug-pulled-out-from-under-feet-ness we’ve faced, I cannot make head nor tail of the situation.
I’m still waiting for the other shoe to drop and for someone to tell us the next awful thing. Each time, the oscillations between the good and the nightmarish have swung wider and wider, and I can’t quite believe (though I do hope) that this was the final swing, landing up on the ‘brilliant’ side.
Last night, dropping off to sleep, I got a word stuck in my brain and eventually had to ask Husby “Is ‘Hymenoptera’ even a word?” Yes, apparently so – it’s the term for a group of insects with membraneous wings (wasps, bees, ants and the like). This morning I woke up with another word lazily circling the depths of my brain – geodesic. Why?
However, Instructions also advised that using a bit of imagination was OK to express the Truth differently without lying. Below is a perfect example of those teachings:
Getting a Hairdryer Through Customs.
An attractive young woman on a flight from Ireland asked the Priest beside her, ‘Father, may I ask a favor?’ ‘
‘Of course child. What may I do for you?’
‘Well, I bought my mother an expensive hair dryer for her birthday. It is unopened but well over the Customs limits and I’m afraid they’ll confiscate it.
Is there any way you could carry it through customs for me? Hide it under your Robes perhaps?’
‘I would love to help you, dear, but I must warn you, I will not lie.’
‘With your honest face, Father, no one will question you.’
When they got to Customs, she let the priest go first. The official asked, ‘Father, do you have anything to declare?’
‘From the top of my head down to my waist I have nothing to declare.’
The official thought this answer strange, so asked, ‘And what do you have to declare from your waist to the floor?’
‘I have a marvelous instrument designed to be used on a woman, but which is, to date, unused.’
Roaring with laughter, the official said,
Husby and I help out at our church’s youth group. There’s a planning meeting on Sunday afternoon. We’ve to plan activities for the coming year, which should be fun etc. but we also want to leave early to go round to our good friends for a gaming afternoon. The planning meeting lasts from 1-3pm, the gaming afternoon is from 3-7pm (This is starting to feel like one of those incomprehensible maths questions). In order to make both, would it be cheating to come up with, say, 10 months worth of plans prior to the planning meeting so that we can make it be done with quicker?
We’re hoping so, because while we were waiting at the fertility clinic yesterday, we did just that in anticipation that our goodie-two-shoes-ness and being able to offer something of a fait accompli will mean we can shorten the meetings length. I just wonder if we should feel bad, because we may be trampling over other people’s opportunities to contribute, or good, because other people are likely not to have thought of anything, and this might make a potentially torturous meeting go much more easily for everyone…
Another mathematics question – what do you think will happen when a rambunctious 5 year old boy, a sweet-but-lively 3 year old girl (both with colds) and two adults share a small, 1 bedroom flat full of breakable clutter? This will be my afternoon – hopefully there’ll be nothing to report, but we’ll see!