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I realize there will be a portion of those reading for whom the following post will make ABSOLUTELY no sense, and then there is a group reading who will get the reference, and some of THOSE people will think I am a complete asshole, or worse, a complete asshole who DOESN’T GET IT, but I’m betting there’s at least one of you who will see where I am coming from.
So I read a fair number of blogs, and some of those blogs are “popular” by some metric I am unaware of, but it’s one of those things you just KNOW, like how Allie is the popular one in class, even though you, at age 15, cannot for the life of you understand why, because she’s not terribly smart, she’s not particularly nice, and while, indeed, she is conventionally attractive, there are more attractive girls in your high school (but the fact that you notice this sort of thing is perhaps something you might be better off keeping to yourself for another couple years, when you’re out of high school and you figure out WHY you notice these things, and that LO, there are other people out there who are just like you). I also read some blogs I suspect are less “popular” if the metric is simply page views, so the point I am trying to make is that I consider myself a well-rounded blog reader.
So I read blogs, and follow along on Twitter, so I would also consider myself to have a general idea of what is happening in the very public parts of the mommy-blogging community. I choose the word “public” with great care, because you know. There are ten million blogs out there that might fall under the category of “mommy-blog” (which, good lord, what an asinine title), so the idea that there exists a monolithic block of women (CASE IN POINT: not all mommy-blogs are written by women, or people who identify as women, but you never hear anyone talking about that, do you?) who all blog the same way with the same ideas and have the same life goals is completely ludicrous (covered HERE particularly well by TJ). Everyone either laughs or is appropriately horrified when Donald Trump says he has a good relationship with “the blacks,” but no one bats an eyelash when the media, or even members of the “community” talk about mommy-bloggers like you could choose one at random and have her speak for the rest of the blogs that fall under that general category.
Dude. Sorry, I don’t know where I was going with that. Anyways, one of the ways I observe the public parts of the blogging community is by “watching,” mostly via Twitter, what happens at large blogging conferences, where larger or smaller numbers of bloggers congregate and then (some of them) live-tweet sessions. I personally am not a fan of the live-tweeting of sessions, mostly because the snippets people live-tweet are completely devoid of context, and therefore end up sounding like the same self-help bullshit we’ve been hearing FOREVER, even if you, the person at the session, heard it live and in context, and it changed your life. Unless you’re providing a complete transcript of the talk via Twitter, you’d be way better off saving it for a blog post, where some context might be provided. On the other hand, a devoid-of-context snippet is just what sparked this post, so maybe I am not so against it as I might seem.
ANYWAYS. Christ, now that you’ve waded through my 500 word introduction, here’s the meat. At the Blissdom conference in January of this year, Brene Brown (disclaimer: I do not read her blog or follow her on Twitter, I just know that’s where the original idea came from, at least in this context) gave an address that asked attendees to think of the person in their lives whom they could ask to move a body, and since that talk, the concept of a person who would help you move a body, the person in your life who is your best friend, your most trusted advisor, has been floating around the very small corner of the internet I frequent.
Look, I get it. It’s a metaphor for the person who you trust the most, who would help you in a jam, who safeguards your secrets. This person would do anything for you, and you for them (presumably), and getting caught up on the semantics of “move a body,” which is what I am about to do, is totally and completely besides the point. Well…. to a certain extent. Words have meanings, and so, to me, the “move a body” idea is more than just the illustration for a concept, it’s a real thing in the world.
So, what the hell am I talking about? Well, see, in my mind, this best friend, this keeper-of-secrets, this three-AM-phone-call person is also the person I’d hope would be the no-nonsense, get-to-the point, no-bullshit person in my life. I’d have talked to this person WELL before whatever situation I got myself into required me to move a body. This person would have already told me to pull myself together. This person would have already gotten me to counseling or rehab or an inpatient facility, would have already done things for me I’d maybe not be super happy about in the moment, but I’d recognize, afterwards, that they’d been right to remove me from a situation wherein I might have had to MOVE A BODY.
And if it did get to the point where moving a body was my solution to whatever mess I’d gotten myself into, I’d hope (I REALLY REALLY DO) this person would argue that good people, caring, gentle, and moral people do not move bodies. They find the courage within themselves to shoulder the consequences of whatever unsavory actions they’ve undertaken, even if it results in nasty personal situations. I’d hope this person would promise me to support me and remain my friend, even if I did go to jail, or whatever the consequences for actually moving a body are. I’d hope this person would help me understand that there is always time to redress your wrongs, to do right in the world, to make a difference, even IF moving the body seems like the most reasonable thing to do at the time. I’d hope this person would make me want to be more courageous, not LESS.
And since I (presumably) felt strongly about this person, I’d think twice, or maybe three times, before asking them to make a mess of their lives by becoming an ACCESSORY TO MURDER. Or a crime scene tamper-er, or evidence destroyer (been watching too much Law & Order, I see), or whatever sort of crime the person you ask to help you move a body then becomes guilty of. Asking a person to make a move that has the potential to really mess up their lives and that of their families would be pretty shitty on my part. It would make me think that I might not be the type of person who even had, much less DESERVED, a sort of friend who might go to bat for me like that, if I were willing be so cavalier with their lives, to you know, ASK THEM TO MOVE A BODY.
Look, I get it. Brene Brown (most likely) did not literally want her listeners to find a person they might really and truly ask to move a body. But those are the words she used, and since I only “heard” them live-tweeted out of context, I can only assume what she did mean, and I can only tell you what sort of images “moving a body” evoked for me. There has got to be a better catch phrase that calls to mind your BFF, preferably one that doesn’t involve KILLING SOMEONE ELSE.
So, should we meet, and become the sort of friends and confidantes that might lead me to, one day, ask you to help me move a body, please, for the love of all things holy, say NO.
I don’t have any sort of narrative story to tell here today, so I am just going to type a bunch of shit and see what sticks. In bullet form, no less!
#1: I was chatting with my yoga instructor before class last night, and since the size of my midsection is pretty much the most obvious topic of conversation, she asked when I was due. June 19th, I told her. OH! She replied- I was due on June 20th. And when did you give birth, I asked (which, in retrospect, I should have known better, but I am well schooled in social niceties, so this was the natural next question)? She looked at me with an air of pity and said JULY 8th. And then I picked my jaw bone up off the floor and collapsed in a puddle of tears. Ok, fine, not really, but TWENTY extra days? TWENTY? I’m already sort of over this whole thing, so the idea of completing the ten weeks I legitimately have to go and then tacking on an extra twenty days seems like a pretty fresh version of hell. I was sort of mentally prepared for an extra week, but TWENTY DAYS??
#2: Speaking of my midsection, you know what’s hard now? Washing the dishes. I mean, it was never a joyous task in the first place, but now my belly protrudes far enough forward that it’s hard to get close enough to the sink to reach the water for dish rinsing. If ever there were a time for go-go-gadget arms, now would be that time. As it stands, robotic extendo arms have yet to make it to market, so I have to content myself with leaning on the counter with my elbows and washing the dishes as if I were an old crone (and thinking about Inspector Gadget made me think about Penny, and was her presence a positive feminist force, since she solved every case? Or was it an underhanded way to tell girls that it was not only OK, but expected that the man in their life would take credit for all their work? TOO MUCH THINKING).
#3: I know everyone says this about themselves, but for me, it’s actually true: I rarely get sick. Less that once a year, I’d say, although I have not been tracking, what with how rare it really is for me. Which means that when I do get sick, I am a total pill to be around, since I have no idea what to do. I’m not so good at lounging around (when it’s being forced on me- when it’s MY choice, I am a pro lounger), and the house seems to get dirtier, and I can’t decide if I’m hot or I’m cold, and well. Let’s just say it’s better to just not be around during these rare times I am illin’. Which I currently am. There is a steady stream of snot exiting my nose, and a vicious case of post-nasal drip that has resulted in a seal barking cough. Combined with the image of me hunched over the sink rinsing dishes, I imagine I look like a WWII era Russian babushka, riddled with consumption and trying to make soup out of one potato and a cabbage leaf.
#4: The most unfortunate side effect of this cold (other than it’s inability to get the fuck out of my face, seriously, it’s been almost a week, and I have SHIT TO DO) and cough is that now I pee myself when I cough. Before I was pregnant, I had heard the stories, and while I did actually believe them, I thought there was no way it would happen to me. OH THE HUBRIS. Every coughing fit requires a change of underwear, and so I’ve taken to running to the nearest bathroom when I feel the need to cough, and sitting on the toilet for the duration of the fit. Since I have to pee approximately every 30 minutes anyways, this had turned out to be a very efficient use of my time.
#5: The SHIT TO DO in question is to take that fucking three-hour glucose tolerance test. Which sounds horribly uninteresting and deeply boring, and is made sort of worse by the fact that the lab my midwife has sent me to is a walk-in clinic. Which means I could sit for any number of hours (FASTING) in a depressing waiting room, while they find a spot to shove me into for the next three hours. It also means I have to clear my entire day, since showing up the moment they open doesn’t guarantee they’ll start my test right then. Right now I am planning on showing up to the clinic 15 minutes before they open on Monday, and then crossing every appendage that it doesn’t take a million years to complete.
#6: In non-pregnancy related news, J and I filed our taxes according to the new IRS rules, which require us to, while still filing as individuals, to total our assets and then split them down the middle. Which means that although I made a relative pittance this year, half of J’s income shows up on my return, essentially out of no where. The upshot is that this seems to have worked in our favor, as we are both getting money back, which our tax guy assures us we would not be, had we not had to split our “community property.” On the other hand, the tax man told me yesterday that one of his clients in our same position has already been sent a letter indicating an audit, so, you know… they’re going to get us, one way or another.
#7: Six items is a shameful way to end a list, as is seven items, and if I were to be doing this right, I’d find three more deeply boring tidbits to share so that I could have a nice 10 item list, but I have to go pee/cough, so this is what you get.
What’s going on with you?
As I mentioned on Twitter, there is a billboard by my house that states, in large, emphatic lettering, that Judgment Day is May 21st, 2011, and that this fact is guaranteed by the Bible. There were more words on the billboard, but at 35 miles per hour, I missed them. I am assuming, however, to have gotten the gist of the billboard- like I don’t think that somewhere in the small print there’s a little “April Fool’s!” which would cause me to think this billboard was a huge asshole-ish joke. No, I’m pretty sure, for better or worse, the person who paid to create and display this billboard truly does believe that May 21st is, indeed, Judgment Day.
Normally I wouldn’t give this sort of billboard a second thought, but I was stuck in traffic, and there was no good music on the radio, so I started thinking about this doomsday message, and what it means for me personally. You see, on May 21st, I will be almost exactly one month away from my due date, which means that if it is ACTUALLY Judgment Day, then something seriously interesting is going to have to happen.
Clearly, as a dirty homo sinner, I will be burning in hell, or dying here on Earth or whatever it is that happens to dirty homo sinners on Judgment Day, and not rapturing up to Heaven on angel wings, or whatever it is that non-dirty homo sinners get to do on that particular day. But the fetus, now the fetus is another story altogether, right?
If the fetus is actually a person, you know, from the moment of conception, then shouldn’t he or she be judged on his or her own merits? And since the fetus has had precious little time to sin during his or her 6.5 months of personhood (since conception, remember), and whatever sins he or she may have committed are most likely my fault, what with me being the HOST BODY, and shit, then shouldn’t the fetus have access to the rapturing angel wings, or the flying to heaven, or the whatever happens to a pure soul on Judgment Day?
If we agree that the fetus is pure and will be heading to heaven, then how, exactly does this happen? Will he or she pop out of my belly and head skyward? Will I go into labor a month early, in an effort to get this pure soul detached from its sinner host? Will the pure baby CLAW its way out of me, Alien style, at the appointed time?
If I die during this fetus rapturing event, does that make the fetus a murderer? And no longer pure? Or is it ok because I am a dirty homo sinner, and I get what I deserve for standing in the way of a pure soul obtaining its rapturing angel wings and one way ticket to heaven?
Another option, of course, is that the sins of the mother are visited upon the child, meaning my child is therefore ALSO a dirty homo sinner, and we’ll get to stay here on Earth or burn in hell, or whatever it is that happens to those of us not getting angel wings and a trip to heaven. I kinda hope it’s this one, because it would be a really shitty deal to gestate this fetus for 8 months and not even get to MEET it.
Religion is confusing.