Sunday, February 5, 2012
Sanding away at the wait
A year ago, Heather was elbow-deep in the epic redecoration of our kitchen. We talked then, as we do now, about how the next project will be the nursery, and I wonder if there's going to be time for her to wallpaper a hallway before there's real concern for whimsical decals. (Yesterday she declared to me that, "if you think I'm going to have the room painted and shove some furniture in there, you're kidding yourself.")
"Prospective" seems so optimistic. Not to be too middle-school-speech, but dictionary.com suggests that it indicates that something is 1. of or in the future; 2. potential, likely, or expected. How nice. Years since I chose a title for this blog, I still feel I fall under the heading of "wannabe"-- a person who desires to be, or be like, someone or something else" or "one who aspires, often vainly, to emulate another's success.
Is it the waiting? Or just that I can't imagine success anymore? I remember feeling that way before college: I couldn't imagine ever being there, and I concluded that its seeming implausibility was a sign that I would die before moving into my dorm. You'll be surprised to know that I didn't die, but instead found myself in a dorm, in Ohio, and-- most implausibly of all-- eating the occasional salad in the dining hall.
Heather and I have a longstanding disagreement about my habit of imagining the worst. She thinks it's ugly, but I insist that, once the worst has been identified, anything that happens will feel like a bonus. Maria Bamford, a great delight in my life, has a bit about her OCD specialist (Bamford, Unwanted Thoughts Syndrome, "Free Clinic"), who made her walk through all her anxieties' end-points: "And then what would happen?" I start with "And then what would happen?" before I move to the "not so bad" and "good" options.
The bitch of it is that we've had flirtations with optimism before, like when we saw Dr. King and she said we should just go right ahead with IVF. "Oh, now we're going to make this happen!" Deciding on IVF, it turns out, did not make everything immediately happen. For that matter, we thought Heather might be pregnant after her first ICI at home. We were dumb like that; I'm trying not to be so dumb anymore.