I’m at Funny Not Slutty today, people. It’s us against swimsuit season. Just click here, laugh in the right places, leave a comment, pin, Facebook, stumble, and tweet the funny for all of your friends to see, and enjoy my virtual brownies of gratitude.

 

 

Let me start off by apologizing now because there’s a damned good chance I’m going to offend somebody reading this post. I’ll follow that up by telling Those Not Offended that my fingers were crossed behind my back when I said that because I’m not, really. My fantastical smart-ass ways are how I cope with the sun rising every day, the size of my ass, the me being on pharmaceutical grade speed thing which I promise I’ll get into more detail very soon, and pretty much every other aspect of life.

Like my being infertile.

I’m the oldest of five girls. My sister has four kids. Both of my parents came from pretty huge (read: that’s Mexican for average and White People for How Many Fucking Kids Do You Have?) families and The Husband and I just kind of took it for granted that I was genetically-primed to make lots of babies when we felt the time was right. We got married when I was 24. He was 28. And because I grew up knowing that I was the reason my parents got married right out of high school, I was determined to allow our marriage a few years of Adult Only time before we got busy trying to put a bun in my oven. Our plan was to start trying when I turned 26 and get pregnant five minutes later in order to have #2 trying to eat the candle on his or her first birthday cake by the time I turned 30. Instead, I was crying into my Ben & Jerry’s for 18 months straight while everyone I knew was coming up pregnant.

I was more shocked than upset at the beginning. My inability to get knocked up not only pissed me off about the amount of money I’d wasted on years of birth control pills, but made no fucking sense to begin with. I’m Mexican, people. Why couldn’t I have been a good stereotype like the rest of the women I’m related to and pop out babies like a Pez dispenser? Obviously defective, I went to a fertility specialist who figured out I wasn’t even ovulating because of my undiagnosed insulin resistance. Plan A was to put me on medication to control the condition, which might also trigger my ovaries to start working. Plan B was to add Clomid if Plan A tanked.

Miraculously, I didn’t need the Clomid. I got pregnant four months into the process and after a pretty shitty pregnancy, I got to hold my wish in my arms for the first time on June 12, 2007.

We assumed that baby #2 would be much easier to come by. My insulin resistance was under control, after all, and I was taking care of myself. But my four year old is almost five, the most recent round of fertility treatments were a total waste of money, and I’m now waiting to find out if I will need a hysterectomy due to the possibility of an insanely rare allergy that causes sufferers to become allergic to their own hormone levels. The higher the hormone levels, the worse the rash that happens to coincide with the times of the month associated with the allergy I may have. The Husband and I have started to loosen our hold on storage bins full of Buttercup’s baby stuff we had been holding on to for the net baby. I’ve stopped putting the clothing and shoes she has outgrown into boxes Just In Case. We now go to the local children’s consignment shop and trade her too small stuff in for new things like pretty play things and too-big discarded flower girl dresses she loves to use for dress up.

I see my allergist on Monday to discuss testing. I want him to tell me I’m overreacting and that the other two doctors who have agreed I must be allergic to myself are asshats. But I’ve learned to stop counting on the Wants and instead adjusting to the Letting Go of expectations.

Even if the diagnosis ends up being Me Being Crazy and not allergic to myself, my ovaries still aren’t working, my eggs are still scrambled, and I suck at being Mexican.

It’s National Infertility Awareness Week. I wanted you to know my story.

 

 

 

I wrote an essay two years ago. I’m publishing it here today because Buttercup told me with sad eyes and pouty lips that she missed her Guelo that died when she was a baby and went to stay with Jesus in heaven with the angels. She asked me when I can take her to visit him because it’s probably really pretty up there. And I really wasn’t sure what to say.

***

 

I never referred to them as Grandma and Grandpa. I didn’t even remember them.

Using those words would have made me feel like I was faking affection for my mother’s parents when all I had was a few grainy photos and a grave site for reference.

I knew the story. They had been on the way home from a trip to visit family in Mexico when a trucker fell asleep at the wheel and ran into their vehicle, head on. My mother, who had just turned 20, lost her parents that day. She was supposed to have been on that trip, she tells me, but she just couldn’t bear to leave her 10-month-old daughter for that amount of time.

I know it’s a sad story. But because I have no memory of them I also never allowed myself to feel anything on our yearly treks to the cemetery for birthdays and holidays so my mother could pay her respects.

“Time to go to the cemetery for your parents again?” I’d ask when I’d hear my mom on the phone making arrangements for floral blankets and grave site tags and all that other business that fell into the category of Stuff I Couldn’t Relate To.

“Yep,” she’d reply. “Can you take me this weekend?”

So we’d get in the car and drive the 30-minutes to Detroit and I’d spend just the right amount of time standing beside my mother as she paid her respects before shuffling off to listen to the car radio or paint my nails and wait for them to dry while Mom lingered. She knew I wasn’t going to rush her. I may not have understood, but I wasn’t heartless, either.  So I’d add a second coat of polish if she was taking longer than usual.

I might have wished I was somewhere else. I may have sighed. A lot. But I never rushed her. And I’d talk myself out of feeling guilty for not giving a damn by reminding myself that I couldn’t really be upset about strangers being dead. Because really, that’s what they were, right? Right.

End of discussion.

But now, almost three years after the untimely death of my own father, I wonder if my toddler will be rolling her eyes at me every time I want to make a special trip to the cemetery to pay my respects. We won’t be able to go very often, mind you. He’s buried in Detroit, in the plot right next to my mother’s parents, and a far cry from our home in Arizona.

But there’ll be trips to see family. There’s a moment, each year on his birthday and on the day he passed that we all get melancholy because he’s not here to make us laugh. Or piss us off just so he can make us laugh again.

I wonder if she’ll think I’m crazy for not being able to throw away the last two cans of Miller Lite I found in our recycle bin because I knew they were his. Or if she’ll ever ask me about him and what he was like.

I wonder if she’ll even care.

She won’t remember him, after all. She was only six months old when he died. I was 29.

She won’t know his face. She won’t know his voice. She won’t know the devilish twinkle in his eye or how his ears would turn red when he was trying to pull one over on someone. She won’t know that he didn’t say he loved you. Or that you knew he did, anyway.

I can tell her all of these stories, of course. And she’ll be a good daughter and try to understand. Maybe even empathize. But she won’t really know.

I know this because it wasn’t until the moment my father was pronounced dead, just six months into his 50th year and on my mother’s 49th birthday that I finally understood what my mother had been dealing with all those years that I was pretending to care.

And it wasn’t until that first trip to the cemetery to visit my father’s grave, right next to that of my grandparents, that I knew what it was to stand on the very earth that had swallowed my heart.

But then I have moments where I think maybe Mom was on to something. Maybe I’ll follow her lead and just let my daughter be. There’s no need to force memories upon her that aren’t really hers, after all.

I can’t expect her to feel something for someone she never knew. Or understand the constant ache that’s always there, just under the surface. Or the guilt that comes with living when you know that you just left flowers for someone who’s supposed to still be alive, too.

And because I have my own driver’s license, there’s really no need to force her to tag along when I’m in town and can make a stop at the cemetery with my mother, who’s smarter and stronger than I ever gave her credit for. Because she knew that I didn’t understand and was glad for it. And she was so very devastated when I finally did.

I don’t want my daughter to know what that feels like. So I won’t say anything when she refers to her grandfather as “your dad.”

 

I’ve come to the conclusion that I need to resort to drastic measures to increase my writing platform to the size necessary for a publisher to like my writing and think I’m worth a book deal. Seeing as how my current plan for world domination isn’t quite working, I believe it is now time to resort to drastic measures.

Idea #1: I need to rob a bank (and get caught)

Go with me on this one. In my other life, I was a newsroom reporter who somehow always was assigned police beat, business, and those feature stories you read about how another kid was awesome enough to reach Eagle Scout. I’ll tell you right now that every time, it was the asshole who decided to do something Incredibly Stupid and then get himself arrested after tripping and falling over the pants that were already down at their ankles before they started running that always made the front page. Why? Because it’s funny. People remember funny. People hone in on the funny in a newspaper because the rest of it is usually depressing as hell. So imagine, if you will, me trying to rob a bank and getting away with it. Me, the woman who sprained my ankle making a sandwich and broke my baby toe so many times I’ve lost count. Imagine me making a clean getaway and living the rest of my life in luxury on some remote island I bought myself after carefully putting my loot in the washing machine.

See? It’s fool-proof.

The headline would probably read something like Woman Holds Up Bank, Arrested While Fumbling Through Purse for Keys to Getaway Car.

Idea #2: Become a reality TV star

Snooki. Really, do I have to explain this one, people? Didn’t think so.

Moving on…

Idea #3: Become a really popular blogger (Shut up)

Dooce, Scary Mommy, The Bloggess, The Pioneer Woman…the masses flock to their sites, and rightfully so. Hell, I’m a card-carrying member of The Masses, so I know what I’m talking about here. But achieving that level of fame and notoriety and page views and unique visitors would require me to, you know, not be an Unpopular Blogger. And therein lies my dilemma.

Idea #4: Put Some Actual Effort into Building My Online Presence

I really should start to take advantage of the whole world of connections that social media offers with Twitter and the Facebooking and Fan Page Liking and the the Linking on that In thing and the Pinterest and the Instagram and the StumbleUpon and the making sure I always keep my iPhone in my bra as to not miss an opportunity to feed what The Husband now lovingly refers to as The Addiction.

Wait a minute…

Idea #5: Being Famous

As in, for the sake of simply being famous. Like Paris Hilton or Kevin Federline. Or the Kardashian sisters. That kind of fame might not result in interviews on CNN, but it sure as hell feeds the paparazzi hiding in their garbage cans. I’m thinking a few cover shots on The National Enquirer will start to peak the public’s interest. Especially if the Unattractive Cellulite Shot with Black-Barred Face image is of me being led off in cuffs and in an orange jump suit.

Which leads me right back to where I started. If I want to get a book deal I guess I need to rob a bank.

 

Sorrow.

Pain.

Windows to the Soul

Look up the meaning of the name Dolores (or any of its variations) and that is the definition you will find. Sorrow as in the heavy Catholic kind that goes along with pain and suffering in the name of God and Heaven and Sorrow as in what the Virgin Mary is referred to as in Spanish: Maria de los Dolores.

Mary of the Sorrows.

It looks horribly depressing in English, I know. Just like the English translation of my childhood bedtime exchange with my Tia when I spent the night at her house.

Until tomorrow.

If Jesus wants it that way.

Hug, Hug, Kiss, Kiss and Tuck, Tuck, Good Night.

First let me say that in Spanish this sounds way more comforting. Also? The comfort comes from the ingrained cultural belief in Heaven and the knowledge that we would see each other again, if not the following morning because Jesus had decided it was out time to join him, then later…when it was time for the ones still trying to earn their place by His side. And even as I’ve grown and lost more Spanish than I care to admit and suck at religion because Buttercup associates church with Easter egg hunts because that’s the only day of the year I have ever gone, I will never forget falling asleep knowing that wherever I woke up in the morning, I would wake up loved, because Jesus wanted it that way.

Will You Love Me?

Lola is one of the many forms of the name, Dolores, and in some cases, Lola serves as the automatic nickname bestowed upon many little girls who grow up using their full names only in the most formal of circumstances. The meaning is the same. Pain and suffering in the name of eternal salvation. Taking our knocks in life now in the hopes of having an easier time down the road where maybe life isn’t so very hard because life has been harder than any of us could ever imagined.

We didn’t choose Lola as the name for the sweet soul we adopted from the Central Arizona Animal Rescue today. It’s the name she came with. And after maybe thirty seconds of debating a name change, The Husband and I decided Lola it shall remain. Our new baby has been through hell and survived with eyes that still speak of the kindness inside of her heart. Lola is perfect.

She isn’t our first rottie. That was Catherine the Great, affectionately known as Cat, who we had to let go last year due to lymphoma. We knew it was just a matter of time before another rottie girl would join the two furballs already sleeping in our beds.

We initially looked at puppies from a breeder. That’s how we found and fell in love with Cat, after all, and that decision had been based on the security of knowing the temperament of the parents because that has a lot to do with what kind of dog cute little puppies grow into. But I decided to entertain my BFF’s suggestion to look at rescue options on the off chance that I might actually find a pure-bred female rottie available within driving distance from our home that got along with our two little dogs who can sometimes be total assholes and would also pass Buttercup approval and make me weak in the knees from the sweetness that usually can only be associated with puppies. The first call to one rescue was never returned. Another called back to tell me the dog I was interested had just been adopted out. And yet another called saying they had a female rottie puppy and would we like to see her? I said yes right before the Central Arizona Animal Rescue notified me that Lola was available and would we be interested in driving the two hours from our home to see if she was a good fit for our family.

New Beginnings

We saw the puppy. She was cute. But we left her knowing that any puppy worth it’s salt will make the family it chooses fall in love with it and they will all live happily ever after because, hello, PUPPY. But Lola, we knew, was over a year old and had already had a litter of her own. She had been picked up by CAAR at the pound where she would have surely would have been destroyed had she not been saved, and shortly after arriving at the CAAR shelter, fell deathly ill with distemper. She almost died. Again. But CAAR didn’t give up on her. She’s still underweight from her sickness and has a slight tremor that comes and goes, but she survived.

Meant to Be

We drove two hours today for a maybe and came home with a new love. Buttercup has already claimed Lola as her own and the two who can usually be assholes have decided to make an exception and welcome their big little sister to the pack without any of the drama that we had expected. Maybe it’s because she’s earned her reprieve.

Sorrow and pain are her history but when Lola wakes up in the morning, she will wake up loved.

 

Best. Picture. Ever.

 

For those who would like to donate money for food or other operating costs at the CAAR, please click here to give what you can. The smallest contribution can make the biggest difference. You can also Like the CAAR Facebook page  to learn more about current animals available for adoption. Not in Arizona? That’s okay. Get online and find a no-kill shelter in you area and, if you can’t adopt right now, then donate time or money to make their lives that much better until a Forever Family comes along. 

 

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