Broccoli quinoa salad and WTF fertility

Vegetable bowl

I spotted during my luteal phase. Let me explain.

(But first: PLEASE GOD FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER AND THEN SHARE YOUR FAVORITE BLOG POSTS SO I CAN GET A BOOK DEAL PLEASE I NEED IT I NEED IT: @JennyTrueBlog.)

I’ve been charting my cycle because somebody gave me a book about fertility and I’m curious as to whether at my advanced maternal age I CAN get pregnant (I found a definition online: “Advanced maternal age, in a broad sense, is the instance of a woman being of an older age at a stage of reproduction. … It is a result of female childbearing postponement.” Which sounds to me like a backhanded way of saying IT’S YOUR FUCKING FAULT FOR NOT HAVING KIDS EARLIER).

So for two weeks I’ve been taking my temperature every morning and sticking my finger in my vagina to check my cervical fluid and the position of my cervix (Strong Jawline: “All this talk about cervical fluid is kind of icky.” Me [incredulous]: “I SWALLOW YOUR SPERM”).

The luteal phase is the phase directly after you ovulate when you can get pregnant. Healthy young women have 12 to 16 days before they get their periods. If you have fewer than 10 days in your luteal phase, you’ll have trouble getting pregnant. I spotted on Day 6.

I have never thought of myself as “older.” Yes, my first gray hair when I was 30 was a pubic hair (NOT A JOKE and SHOULD HAVE BEEN MY FIRST CLUE), and I now have a line across my forehead that won’t go away even when I pull the skin of my forehead taut with my fingers on both sides. But in the context of fertility, I am fucking Methuselah.

Generally the first time you realize you’re aging is when someone else, generally a younger person, points it out to you. Not only do young people hold all the young, they wave it right in your wrinkly face like a semaphore. I was 35, on a dive boat in the Bali Sea, motoring out to a dive site. There is nothing like being on a dive boat in a bikini under a cloudless sky with aquamarine water in all directions to make you feel as if you’ve made the right choices in life and everything in your life is going well. I was chatting with the young woman next to me — THERE IT IS. When you start thinking and then referring to other people as “young,” you’re establishing yourself as “not young.” You’re MAKING THAT HAPPEN. But this was before I thought of her as a young woman. I thought she was normal. I thought we were having a normal conversation. We were RELATING. She said something, I said something. Then, when it was her turn, she started a sentence with, “Well, people in MY generation,” and my head went to radio static. I realized the whole time we’d been talking, I’d just been talking. But she’d been TALKING TO AN OLDER PERSON.

Then, last January, when I was in a restaurant in Patagonia, I sat at a communal table next to a young SEE I DID IT AGAIN American couple. They were on their honeymoon and traveling for a month. They looked too young to be married to me. But I really wanted to talk to them, because I really wanted to tell them about all the travel adventures I’D gone on, but they’d started a conversation with the young couple on the other side of them. At one point, halfway into a bottle of wine I was sharing with my boyfriend, I realized the woman was BEING POLITE TO ME, because I wouldn’t stop talking and she really wanted to turn her head and dive into the conversation her husband was having on their other side.

I was mortified. So I did what any self-respecting 39-year-old would do: I finished the bottle of wine and picked a fight with my boyfriend, leading him to declare that if he could he would be on the next flight back to the U.S., leading to an eight-hour fight that involved more such declarations until I declared I was going for a walk in the dark (see “List of things I’ve done on past vacations with traveling companions“), which was cut short because I was literally being followed through the streets of Puerto Natales, Chile, by a pack of stray dogs.

And, boom: 39, single, childless. And, with something resembling foolishness, hopefully charting my fertility (my father, on the other hand, recently told me he was entered against his will into a raffle for a cremation. When you’re elderly, apparently it’s the mail that lets you know).

All the mothers I see look incredibly young. Their skin … THEIR SKIN. More than that, their CHILDREN look so young. These days when I look at children, all I think is, how can something so young come out of my old vagina?

God: IT CAN’T.

Science: IT CAN WITH SOME PROGESTERONE INJECTIONS.

Young people: I don’t know if I want to have kids! I’ll think about it later. I have time HOLD STILL THERE’S A POKÉMON ON YOUR FOREHEAD

Older people: THAT’S A WRINKLE YOU HAVE NO TIME DO IT NOW BEFORE YOU HAVE SHOULDER IMPINGEMENT AND METATARSALGIA THAT SHIT CREEPS UP ON YOU

This was one of my favorite salads lately, and, as usual, it was made from things I had in my kitchen. You need:

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 head broccoli
  • 1 TB coconut oil
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese (Belgian, or Trader Joe’s because it’s cheap)
  • 4-5 leaves basil
  • Salt
  • Olive oil

You need to:

  • Turn oven to 450 degrees.
  • Rinse the quinoa and cook it according to directions.
  • Chop florets off broccoli and down stem until it gets woody. Throw away woody part.
  • Take coconut oil out of pantry where you keep it because it’s dark and cool there, and spoon 1TB onto a baking sheet.
  • Smush broccoli in coconut oil and smear to coat.
  • Bake broccoli until it’s bright green and then as crispy as you like it.
  • Chop avocado into long, delicious pieces.
  • Chop basil leaves.
  • Layer quinoa, broccoli, avocado, crumbled feta, and basil in a bowl.
  • Douse with olive oil and sprinkle salt on each bite.
  • Watch Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and find it surprisingly charming, and hey, cool that an Asian guy is one of the main characters, but there are no black characters except for one guy in the office and one Latina character, but part of her character is SHE DOESN’T SPEAK. Like that’s PART OF HER CHARACTER. WTF TV IT’S 2016.

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