grow up already

four years after an abortion
December 5, 2008, 7:42 pm
Filed under: tmi

i did have an abortion in 2004. i have been pro-choice since i was old enough to form an opinion, and i still am. women have been attempting to control their fertility since the dawn of civilization, through any means possible. modern, legal abortion was not invented. it is medical science, progressing to reflect the desires of female human beings. that said, i would not have one again. but i wouldn’t do shouldn’t be what someone else cannot do.

lately i have been thinking about my abortion. or- more succinctly- the baby i did not have. i admit, the following description of conception/life came from a pro-life website (yeah i’ve been reading those, that’s how bad i’ve been feeling!), but i do think it accurately reflects what a pregnancy actually is:

This single cell is now either male or female. This human is unique, i.e., never before in the history of the world has this exact individual human existed. Never again in history will another exactly like this human exist.

I always knew that if I got pregnant, I would have an abortion. It was very simple for me. Unplanned pregnancy = huge fuck up of plans, not OK. So when I found out, I was on it. My pregnancy was over within 28 days of conception. At the time, I felt bad about preventing a human life from happening…at best. But I now realize that what that pro-life website is saying is absolutely true. There will never be another “clump of cells” like the one growing inside of me in 2004. If given enough time, it absolutely would’ve turned into a real human being, and all the ensuing/surrounding lifetimes related to him/her would’ve followed. If given a long enough timeline, it too would have produced offspring.

OK so there’s that. Earlier this summer I read an advice column in which the question was from a woman who had an abortion in her early 20s and subsequently couldn’t have more children. She felt horrible about the one chance she had “thrown away.” I hadn’t thought of that, but the second I read that I began freaking out about not being able to have another kid. And  so, after a couple weeks of this really showing itself to me (in the form of jealousy of a single mom I just met with a beautiful blond little girl who is the same age as the one I didn’t have; in the form of visiting pro-life websites, in the form of looking at pictures of embryos at 6 weeks gestational age, etc.; in the form of desperately wishing I could get pregnant again soon even though I’m not ready nor in a committed relationship), I realized that I am not suffering post-abortion syndrome. It is one of the following:

  1. I read that someone who had an abortion (and therefore was once fertile) cannot have children later in life. Since I catastrophasize EVERYTHING, this may very well just fall into that category. In this case, we may chalk it up to anxiety.
  2. I’m pretty sure my bio-clock has recently started ticking. I’ve been ambivalent about children my entire life (including the time of my abortion, which probably helped) but lately I’m thinking, Holy shit I’ve got like 9 good years left and I’m not even dating anyone! and I actually do want a kid now. The fact that I did have a real shot at motherhood four years ago, at a very healthy age (although a very unhealthy lifestyle) may be weighing down.
  3. I just plain feel bad about the abortion, and it’s taken me four years to do so. I am experiencing so-called “replacement baby” feelings as a result, and my bio-clock is not in fact ticking at all.

Either way, I know two things must happen. One, I must accept and believe that I am not a bad person for what happened. Women do know when we should have children. That is why we have been attempting to control fertility (through abortion or birth control) forever. I knew that not only was I in a shitty, shitty place in life, the person I had pro-created with was a horrible person as well. I thought about raising it on my own. I thought about my own limited resources (financially and otherwise) and came to the conclusion that even if I had many more resources, nothing I alone could do would make up for an ass of a father. At best you are half of the parents, and in my situation, closer to a third. I’m not saying I was destined to have an unhappy child with a fucked up life- plenty of single parents and the beautiful relationships they have with their children prove otherwise. I just didn’t have the faith that I could be that person.

Second, I must stop imagining that I will never be able to have another kid. There is no karmic retribution for having an abortion  (and if there is, it rarely shows up as subsequent infertility- at least according to statistics). There is no punishment. I simply do not have the faith in ever being in a situation where becoming a mother will be a welcome experience! You know, the situation where you and the dad love eachother, and one or both of you has a decent job? I just don’t see it. And that alone is…karmic. To myself. And so, I must have faith that I can and will one day have a baby.


it did, in fact, cause me to question my own intelligence
August 30, 2008, 1:01 am
Filed under: tmi | Tags:

RE: the many, many warning bells that failed to go off (or, fuck it- DID)

Yeah, I’m for sure noticing that last post about my ex makes me sound about as smart as a sack of stoned garden gnomes. got it. check. insert maury povich joke here. how i managed to stay with this dude even long enough for him to commit such a variety of injustices is bothering me.

it’s funny cause i’m usually single, and always thought of myself as the one who was independent. you know how everyone knows a few girls who always have boyfriends? opposite!

but really, i’ve been in more relationships than anyone i know. mine are just shorter. which in essence means less successful. and all those man problems that only happen to other, stupider people? drugs, domestic violence, cheating, liars, thieves? i’ve had them all. i’ve just always left when shit would come to light and i’ve always thought that made me smart. but what’s so smart about picking people like this in the first place? what, exactly, is so fucking smart about leaving a place you shouldn’t have been to? what if you saw someone on the 5 o’clock news who was all, “well, i walked into the building when i noticed flames coming out of a second story window. i hung around for awhile until the smoke got real thick and i started to choke. then the building started to collapse. and then i got out just in time!” is that actually self preservation or just bullshit?

i’m calling bullshit.

i’m thinking of that saying where the definition of crazy is banging your head against a wall repeatedly and expecting a different result each time. from now on i’m going to do the exact opposite of what i normally do.

i did either a very bad or funny thing
August 29, 2008, 11:29 am
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My ex was at my house on Tuesday morning and he left his email signed in. Three days later when I went to check my own mail I was greeted with “Welcome, John! You have 24 unread messages!”

Well, he always was a lying son of a bitch. And he’s been trying to weasel his way back into my life. I read his email, hoping to find some proof that he’s still talking to the girl he cheated on me with, the one he claims he hasn’t seen since I dumped him. He even went so far as to explain how he’s “off women” in general right now, and all he does is work and visit his kid.

So not only do I find correspondence between him & C., I find no less than 10 responses to personal ads on craigslist in his Sent folder. And they weren’t regular personal ads if you know what I mean. One bragged about his “great” massages, another cheerily professed a love of “licken on tits.” Almost all pointed out his “tite body.” He never was much of a speller.

At that point I had to run to the bathroom cause I have a sensitive stomach.

When I got back from the bathroom, I decided to just finish reading C.’s emails, sign out and get started on the business of being totally fucking weirded out that my ex is trying to get laid via the internet.

Until I got to the message that said, “I wish I was wearing your sweatshirt right now, changing the smell of it.” A few days before I dumped him, I called him out because his sweatshirt had developed a very strong scent of body odor and Victoria’s Secret lotion.

So you wish you were “changing the smell of it?” Well I wish I was forwarding all of those personal ad responses to you right now, which will no doubt change the smell of whatever you’re wearing when you read them.

So I did. All of ’em. And a request to “meet up” with a girl who wrote back. As a finishing touch I sent one last email entitled “Merry Christmas!” in which I explained that the dumb asshole had left his account signed in, and this is what I found. I pointed out that he has repeatedly told me that he has not had any contact with any girls, and definitely not her. Lastly, I let her know that I would’ve broken up with him anyways, but since she chose to involve herself so directly in our relationship’s demise, here you go. You are in like Flynn.

She will not want to read them all but she will. Some will sting more than others but they’ll ultimately blur into a big pile of hurt feelings. It will probably mirror what I felt when I discovered their lengthy text conversations.

What she chooses to do with this information is her problem. I’m sure she’ll get the I-was-in-a-bad-place talk. Wouldn’t be surprised if she bought it. But she’ll keep the gift receipt, she won’t forget.

I did/do feel bad about such an intense violation of his privacy. While considering the ethical implications of the situation, I also considered him stealing my money, hanging out with C. behind my back, lying to me about both, and as the grand finale I imagined him doing a line of coke that my money had inadvertently purchased. Besides, he left his email signed in on my computer. I’m fucking telling you, something up there likes me. No bad karma here.

i would like to tell a story
July 26, 2007, 9:07 am
Filed under: tmi

Cause I just realized that I like telling stories. Ok, let’s see…story, story…ah! Got one. The time me and Diana borrowed someone’s car for the weekend and drove it to Los Angeles without telling them and then the car blew up.

Aundrea’s aunt had a Pontiac Firebird convertible she was trying to unload. Diana, the not-proud owner of a Dodge Neon, was thinking it was time for an upgrade maybe. So since Aundrea’s Aunt Valerie had known us for years, she offered up an extended weekend test drive. That Friday morning I woke up to Diana on the phone asking me if I wanted to go to Los Angeles. In a convertible. Why yes, yes I do.

So we packed up some shit (including a gray sweater and a giant bottle of diet pills- don’t ask me what the fuck I was doing with a bottle of diet pills) and hit the open road. Totally Thelma and Louise style right? Well sort of. On the way there I mentioned how cool it was that Valerie would let Di take the car all the way to LA. Diana said something along the lines of, “Um, she doesn’t exactly know about this but she said I could have it for the weekend.” Case closed.

By the way, can I just say that after the experience of being in a convertible for five hours, I will never own one. By the time we got to LA I felt like I hadn’t showered for seven days and my hair was on the corporate fast track to management- if by management you mean being dreads.

So we got to LA unharmed but quite dirty. I had noticed the car was sort of off while driving it aimlessly around Hollywood. You’d press on the gas and it’d sorta rev up before actually moving forward. Diana had noticed this too. Perhaps the car was a dud? We got a pizza, ate half, threw the rest in the backseat for later and decided to check out Beverly Hills. We drove past the Chateau Marmont and turned right on the first hilly street we saw. Mira Loma Boulevard or some shit. Mira Loma Drive…something. Alta Loma? Oh man don’t you hate it when that happens? Alta Loma Drive?

Anyway, we had the top down and just were starting to approach pay dirt: the omigod-do-you-think-a-celebrity-lives-there houses. Then a noise slowly came to our attention and silenced us, like how a ringing cell phone will slowly wake you up. For a few seconds there was only the sound of the engine, growing louder as the car got slower.

Then came a smell, which was the unmistakable smell of an engine overheating. To the uninitiated (us), it just smelled like “oh shit car bad smell.” We looked at each other and I said “Pull over! Pull over!” and we did, right under a low hanging eucalyptus tree, which was planted in the side yard of a multi-million dollar Better Homes & Gardens showstopper (although eucalyptus is soooo Oakland Hills fire). The engine got incredibly loud for a second and the tachometer was vibrating somewhere way past redline. I opened the door to get out and saw flames. Honest to god motherfucking flames. I yanked my feet back inside, shut the door, faced straight ahead, and didn’t say a word while that processed. Then,


We both used our convertible disaster survival instincts and jumped out Dukes of Hazzard style and ran across the street. Yeah it was definitely on fire. The entire bottom half of the engine compartment.

And it was still running. Amidst our screams, cuss words and hyperventilating, we determined that was probably not good, to have the engine running while it was on fire. Alright I don’t like to tell the next part normally but I will this time: Diana was brave and started to head towards the burning car to turn the ignition off. For a split second I watched. And then I ran to catch up, to be right there. No way was I going to sit there and like, live if something happened to Di. Now it’s kind of silly because it wasn’t a burning building, just a car. But both of us were convinced it would blow up any second. That’s the only time in my life I remember doing a thing like that.

The car was turned off. I believe a purse and a cell phone were also grabbed, because next thing I remember is trying to call 911. Nobody had really driven by yet, but a guy (someone’s gardener most likely) stopped and offered up his cell phone. What happened next is pretty fucking LA: me, Diana and dude standing in a circle, burning car behind us, all dialing our cell phones and saying things like, “Do you get service? I usually get service here…no, hold on…got a bar…think I’m getting through now.”

The fire was growing ever larger. I humbly withdrew my Nokia 5190 from the service contest and instead collapsed onto the sidewalk hyperventilating. The flames were several feet high, nearly touching that low-hanging eucalyptus planted on the side of a mansion. Little flaming balls of something were dripping onto the ground. Either Diana or the guy finally got through to 911 and he left.

Now I noticed people driving by and not stopping. Except two. The first was a well-heeled couple in a Mercedes SUV, who paused only long enough for the plastic surgery nightmare of a wife to roll down her window and say in a Russian (or maybe Transylvanian) accent, “Don’t go near it. It could explode at any time.” And roll up her window and drive off. Uh, do we look like we want to go near the car? I’m on the sidewalk having a panic attack and Di is sort of hopping around, alternating between swearing at the car and telling me to breathe, damnit. The next person to stop was some weird dude in a Toyota truck (you like how amidst all this I can recall exactly what kind of cars they were driving?) He ignored me and Diana and instead focused on the cheap thrill that is a burning vehicle. Like stopped right next to it and hung out the window as if he were ordering a big ‘ol burger with extra pickles in the drive-thru. Like this was a reeeeal good time. Right then, I kid you not, something inside the engine exploded and flames shot out from it sideways, licking the side of his truck. Karma? Carma? Or did the freakshow get a little too real for you, sir? Either way- my deepest apologies.

That was when we heard the sirens in the distance. If you’ve ever been in an emergency situation, the moment you hear sirens is the moment you start to calm down, just a little.

The Beverly Hills Fire Department put out our car. Much of what was in the backseat was salvageable, including the camera. They gallantly posed for pictures, which we still have.

Di joked that she would not in fact be purchasing this vehicle. I joked about not ordering a barbecued pizza. Someone joked about the name of the car- a Firebird. They called us a cab and a tow truck. The cabbie took us to Beverly Hills proper. You know- the flats. I learned that in Hollywood Wives. The Firebird went to a car graveyard and we were deposited at the nearest four fucking star hotel.

Remember how we dressed for a road trip and drove for five hours through Central California in a convertible with the top down? And then endured a roadside vehicular emergency? That’s how we looked when we walked up to the front desk. We looked like the most cluelessly haggard yet vaguely not-dykeish lesbians you’ve ever seen. Diana politely requested “whatever the cheapest room you have is.” Concerned about cost (I had had just quit my job with like, $130 to my name), I immediately added, “One bed.” $275 and lots of haggling over how much went on whose card later, we were lounging in the king sized bed of the most luxurious hotel room I’ve ever had the pleasure of paying for.

I never saw the diet pills or the gray sweater again. I still think about the sweater sometimes. Which is stupid as hell but I think, “Why did I bring that gray sweater to LA? Would I still have it if it hadn’t been in the Firebird? Yeah, I totally think I would….ok, I probably wouldn’t. Probably would’ve lost it by now. You lose everything! You’d lose your own head if it wasn’t attached. Oh god not funny.”

If you were wondering about Valerie and if she was mad about us almost-stealing her car and accidentally blowing it up, you can stop now because I’ll enlighten you: she was.