7 Quick Takes 17 x FTSF

— 1 —
Finish the Sentence Friday

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)

— 2 —

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.

— 3 —

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?

— 4 —

I want to share a great joke a friend emailed me this morning.
In parochial school students are taught that lying is a sin.
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,

”Go ahead, Father!!!!!”
Next please!!

— 5 —

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…

— 6 —

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!

— 7 —
I had the opportunity to count post-views earlier this week (I know, I know, it’s rather narcissistic to even care, but I do find it flattering that people bother to read this) and was struck by the fact that when I was pontificating or writing random silliness which came into my head, or even sharing stuff I liked, the interest was fairly low, whereas when I’ve written about things which are ‘real’, there seems to be a higher number of people engaged.
I can only presume that, however well-written (or equally poorly, depending on your taste), nothing can trump real life as a subject matter. 
For more stressed-out-with-first-world-issues-Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

20 thoughts on “7 Quick Takes 17 x FTSF

  1. Ow! That's just mean. Poor you 😦 Thanks for the positive wishes – I will keep my fingers crossed for good news soon. My great friend is awesome, and I'm glad that we're still friends now. There's nothing in the world like a friend who's got your back.


  2. Good luck – I hope that you and your husband receive wonderful news very soon! And I'm not a big fan of Valentine's Day either. One year (I think it was 5th grade), a boy gave everybody in the class this really cool sticker – everybody except me. Sigh. Not a fun holiday. So wonderful that you had a great friend to exchange cards with each year!


  3. Why thank you, sir. I've been enjoying your recent posts, too. I do try to make a point of being honest, but if honesty can be written well, I'll aim for that. Thanks for the best wishes. I hope someday I can post further good news on the additions front!


  4. You really post well. From the tragic to the soaring heights, you tell it as it is. I've really never been a fan of holidays, as most have a negative history in one way or another. However, your tale of friendship is beyond the norm. Very well done … and good luck with future additions to your household!


  5. Only in zoos but they've gone viral here. I can't explain it. There are even CG meerkats who advertise comparethemarket.com (as opposed to comparethemeerkat.com, which, supposedly is where people end up when they typo the first one). They speak with Russian accents (obviously) and you can get them on cards, on mugs, as free toys with car insurance, on t-shirts…it's very disturbing! When Husby and I got married, a friend used her creative sewing skills to make a mini bride-and-groom pair – marriedkats.


  6. That is such a sweet story about your friend sending you those yearly Valentine cards…I wish I had a friend like that during those horrendous teen years and lonely Valentine's days…


  7. Ow, yeah, that's not nice! Perhaps I'd rather have been ignored, or maybe it was the 70's equivalent of puppies and kittens on everything these days (or, in the UK, meerkats, for some unfathomable reason…)


  8. I remember in third grade receiving a valentine with a picture of big pig on it from a boy I liked. I was hurt. Whether he gave it a second thought or not, I don't know. But who were the idiot-manufacturers putting pigs on valentines in the 70s. That's what I'd like to know. I love how you and your friend sent v-day cards to each other every year. So cool to have friends like that. Makes life a little more bearable.


  9. Thank you for your prayers and best wishes – I hope that all of these wonderful pleas on our behalf actually come to something. For now, it feels shakily like we're on the right track.


  10. The loss of a loved one will cloud any day, but I guess particularly when the day's made so much more obvious by society at large. It's a shame you have such a sad association with the day.


  11. Aw that's a shame. Fortunately Husby and my friend get along well, and we still all meet up and hang out every now and again. Ususlly they end up talking about computer games or something bloke-y and silly and I end up feeling left out and jealous in both directions.


  12. I loved this and will say I was not a fan of this holiday for a few years because of the loss of my grandfather, but do remember in my youth how everything was pinned on this day for romantic reasons obviously and also didn't have much luck either. So I could relate to that part of your post. Beautiful story and thank you as always for linking up!! 🙂


  13. Lol, I reckon the loser-kids make the best survivors!

    Fortunately, I don't think that I know (consciously) any Taylor Swift songs, so I can't share your pain, but that's probably a good thing. I did get the jingly-jangly music from a Greek stall at a local market stuck in my head yesterday – so did Husby, and we tortured each other by singing it again throughout the day!

    I'm hoping that your interpretation is how the meeting will go! Fervently so. I want outta there asap!

    Looking forward to your FTSF later…I hope 🙂


  14. I am not a fan of Valentine's Day, partly because it is so tortuous for kids. I do love the way you and your friend handled it. So sweet.
    I wish I had random words get stuck in my brain. Instead, I always wake up with a random, annoying song. Lately it's been Taylor Swift, and I am not a fan of hers.
    If I were on the committee with you, I'd thank you profusely for coming up with ideas. If nothing else, it's a starting point to avoid the drawn-out “what is there to do?” portion of the meeting. You will get to your party on time!
    And, I liked the joke. Have fun with the niece and nephew!


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