I am running on fumes. FUMES, I TELL YOU. In addition to having a full-time job, a part-time job, and a daily commute, this is what I’ve been doing instead of blogging about millennials, bonding with the heirloom tomato in my uterus, and getting my head around the fact that IN TWENTY-ONE WEEKS I WILL HAVE A SON.
- Creating a spreadsheet of our finances to figure out how the fuck we’re going to pay for daycare.
- Meeting with a financial counselor to discuss said finances.
- Creating a spreadsheet of daycares, making phone calls, and arranging tours.
- Deciding against a home birth. Why? We visited the San Francisco Birth Center, and bless their rich, white hearts — they charge EIGHT THOUSAND DOLLARS, and none of it is covered by insurance. Kaiser? $200 a day, everything included. Sold! (I should write a separate entry about our “Meet the Midwives” night, where Strong Jawline and I were the oldest couple by 10 years and every other woman in the room was SEVEN TO EIGHT WEEKS PREGNANT. NOT EXAGGERATING. THEY WEREN’T OUT OF MISCARRIAGE TERRITORY AND THEY WERE INTERVIEWING MIDWIVES. Who were these organized bitches? And how could they afford $8,000? I took two mozzarella sticks, Strong Jawline pillaged the salted nuts, we dominated the Q&A, and then we left without leaving a phone number.)
- Researching/contacting/interviewing doulas.
- OB appointments.
- First ultrasound — with normal results! He’s lying on his back with his feet up and pressed against my uterus (which I could have told the technician) and his arms behind his head like he’s on a beach, which is probably what it feels like in there. Our 25-year-old technician was a traveling nurse from North Carolina, and god, did we love her. She was so sunny and blonde she infected us with her sunny blondeness. She printed out 30 photos for us to take home, including one with an arrow pointing at his penis and, in all capital letters, “BOY!!!!!” (That was one time I didn’t mind the millennial over-exclamation-pointing.) As she sat at the machine, she mused, “I’ve noticed people around here wait to have a baby. I think it’s a good thing. You really know you’ve found the person you want to have a baby with.” SJ and I waited until we got outside to laugh.
- Tracking down the (incredibly generous) director of the Kaiser birth wing to ask about their labor and delivery statistics (How many women get Pitocin? Epidurals? C-sections? Forceps/vacuum deliveries? Episiotomies? Oh, a NOOB will be delivering me at your teaching hospital, and because their residencies start in July, there’s a good chance, with my due date of July 23, I’ll be a resident’s first birth? Great! Thank you!)
- Thinning out everything I own in preparation to move in with SJ.
- Booking a moving company.
- Reserving street parking in SF for the moving company ($259 I HATE YOU ED LEE although I guess if it were cheaper I would constantly reserve a parking spot for myself).
- Meeting with neighbors to give away stuff.
- Arranging a garage sale.
- With incredible gratitude, collecting donations of maternity clothes and baby items from multiple friends (I now look FLY. When left to my own devices, I look like the pile of clothes that collects under the racks at Nordstrom, but now I have more variety than “cotton knit,” and with a second-hand push-up bra my breasts are so large I can rest my chin on one of them). (The left one.)
- Spending an entire weekend day I didn’t have to spend getting the driver-side passenger window of my car repaired because someone broke in and tried to hot-wire the car FUCKERS.
- Lesson-planning for a brand-new, five-week class I’m teaching.
- Coordinating with my parents (Chicago) and brother and sister-in-law (China) to visit after the baby “comes” (a euphemism for “decimates my cervix and vagina on his way into the world”).
- Talking about a major construction project on Strong Jawline’s house so we can keep a tenant (daycare money!) and still not kill each other with SIX COUNT THEM SIX people (NOT A JOKE SIX) and a dog in a three-bedroom house. If you’re not a regular reader, bookmark this blog for six months from now to see how that’s going.
- Discussing wills, in the case of Strong Jawline’s sudden death from skateboarding down Mt. Tam with his friend at 5 a.m. with no health insurance (in which case he deserves it), and my sudden death from anxiety over things over which I have no control.
- Proposing marriage (SJ) and accepting marriage (me). Wait, what? Yes! We’re getting married!
- Trying to get a marriage license and book an appointment at City Hall. (As my coworker pointed out, “Is it eloping if you keep telling everyone?” Me: “I guess it is a bit like saying, We’re getting married and you can’t come.”) As it turns out, to get married, both SJ and I need to present copies of our divorce decrees (classy bitches that we are) at the time the marriage license is issued. Divorce decree? I don’t remember getting a divorce decree. I remember dividing up the kitchen stuff with my ex-husband and crying so hard I lost 15 pounds, but I don’t remember getting a “divorce decree.” So I have to call superior court or something. Sigh.
In the middle of all these to-dos, there was one big to-do that had become my albatross. I have an apartment full of stuff to move into SJ’s place. Strong Jawline, my light and my love, has a house and a garage PACKED TO THE FUCKING RAFTERS WITH STUFF I AM OF THE OPINION COULD BE THROWN AWAY. And the biggest of these was a warped, thousand-pound upright grand piano that piano tuners aplenty have said is impossible to tune.
I grew up with a piano. My father, my brother, and I all play piano. My father played “Everything’s Coming Up Roses” ad infinitum, my brother played Billy Joel and George Michael, I played Tracy Chapman. We had the Paul Simon Songbook and a book of piano music from Porgy and Bess, Annie, South Pacific, Fiddler on the Roof, and A Chorus Line. A house does not feel like a home to me without a piano.
Just not this fucking piano.
And directly after returning from the Berlin International Film Festival, from the premiere of a film he worked on because he is a baller, Strong Jawline decided that instead of paying a moving company $500 to get my albatross out of his living room, he was going to TAKE IT APART WITH HIS BARE HANDS AND A SCREWDRIVER.
OK HONEY DO YOUR THING.
The piano mover I talked to said he’d heard of only two people in his 28 years of moving pianos taking a piano apart. I did not mention this to SJ, knowing it would fuel his resolve rather than dissuade him. But he was resolved already, so for four days, I stayed in the other rooms, sorting his T-shirts, guayabera shirts, motorcycle jackets, and seven or eight bags of “stuff” into keep/give-away/throw-away piles (categorizing and judging are MY strengths), sorting a pile of urgent notices from various federal and municipal agencies, doing laundry (DON’T GET USED TO IT REALLY DON’T), cooking, and updating our financial spreadsheet (and updating it again) (and again).
In the end?
Look at that. It’s minus the 3,000-pound steel frame that’s the height and width of the piano, which SJ rolled outside with a friend. And one morning last week, Recology came and took it all away. I have to admit, I’m starting to think I made a good choice with this guy.
SJ: Starting to think?
To make linguine with clams, you need:
- 1/2 lb. linguine
- 3 cloves garlic
- 4 TB olive oil
- 1 can clams
- 1/2 cup parsley
- Parmesan cheese and hot pepper flakes
You need to:
- Cook the pasta.
- Chop the garlic and sauté in the olive oil.
- Before the garlic starts to brown, add the can of clams. Stir occasionally so the sauce thickens.
- Before all the liquid in the clam mixture dissipates, turn off the heat. Strain linguine, retaining about 1/4 cup water. Combine linguine, water, and clam mixture.
- Top with parsley (and parmesan cheese and hot pepper flakes).