Sunday, March 28, 2010


I’m stealing a few lines from Res Ipsa’s latest post. I hope she won’t mind :-).
It’s a quote from Paul Auster :
"The most important thing for a writer of fiction is to tell the truth."

It was a Thursday afternoon. Alice walked into the first pharmacy she saw. “A pregnancy test, please”. Pfew, the words were out. But instead of just giving her the stupid test, the pharmacist started asking annoying questions: “Is your period late? I mean, I could give you a test, but it would only tell you anything if you are late. You could try it 4 days before your period as well, but that’s usually only done when the pregnancy is not wanted.” Alice managed to mumble a silent “ok”, and dejectedly walked out of the pharmacy. Oh, the irony. She wasn’t allowed to get pregnant, and now she wasn’t even allowed to buy a stupid pregnancy test. She just wanted to have a tiny sparkle of hope to brighten up her day. She just wanted to enjoy the tension you feel during those 5 seconds when you wait for the results. She knew it would be a -, and not a +. But at a certain point, you start hoping for miracles. Maybe some little naughty sperm fish managed to escape the condom. Maybe God pulled the same trick as he did with Mary. Maybe, maybe,maybe....
People all around her had started to think she had fertility problems. Why else had babies become a taboo-topic during every conversation? Why else was she still not pregnant, when everybody knew she was desperate to have a baby? For Alice, and for a few of her best friends, the answer was very clear : The Boy, or now “The Man”, didn’t feel ready (yet). Sure, he wanted kinds (some day). Alice had been dreaming of kids for the last 6 years now. Patience had become her middle, first and last name. She had stupidly assumed that the door to babies would be opened after the marriage – but instead; it had stayed closed. Nothing changed. She still had to burry her deepest wish under several layers of “I’m happy, nothing’s wrong with me!”
Sometimes this worked, sometimes it didn’t. Every time a friend announced a pregnancy, a birth, or even a “we’re trying”, Alice felt nothing but hurt and six years of ignored feelings. She couldn’t be happy anymore for others. She just felt it was all very unfair. “Why not me” was a question that drove her to insanity.
What also drove Alice to the end of her wits, was that she still didn’t understand The Man. What was holding him back? They were together for years, knew each other even longer, were happily married, and really loved each other. What did she have to make of his “some day” when she was already 34?
Since the beginning of therapy, more than a year ago, Mister Shrink had to hear the same things over and over again. Alice battling to move forward in her relationship. Alice doing everything possible to realise her dreams. And Alice feeling defeated because there’s no way you can plan or force those things when you and The Man are on different timelines.
Friday afternoon, after work, she tried it again. Different pharmacy. “A pregnancy test please”. She walked out with the latest digital model, one that could even tell you how many weeks you were pregnant. It took longer than the box said to see the results. Maybe this was a good sign? The + flickered once, briefly. Then again the waiting-sign. And then, very bold and black: - . Mission accomplished. For almost a second, Alice had felt a little spark of hope. It was ok, she told herself. Some day there will be a +. You have to believe in that. You need to have faith.
She praid and asked for faith and patience again in church on Sunday. She walked home, looking forward to brunch with friends. She came home, happy and feeling peaceful. “Alice”, The Man said, “I’ve got some news. JW is pregnant”. Her morning prayers apparently hadn’t reached God yet, ‘cause Alice felt a few very hot tears rolling over her face. The Man’s only concern was “Why can’t you just be happy for other people?” He had no clue what Alice was feeling, not the past 6 years, not now.
Alice didn’t want to feel the pain, she didn’t want to cry for hours. She wanted to show The Man that she could be happy, that this didn’t have to ruin their weekend together. And she tried – but failed. Ending up in bed with a tranquilizer, feeling that her tears had only pushed The Man away again, instead of bringing him closer, she finally fell asleep.


the Duchess said...

Oh P!

How I can relate to this lovely Alice. Maybe in a slightly different way, but relate just the same. I so look forward to being a mom - and yet, being single I feel like it's so far away and maybe never going to happen, but am trying to trust. I too feel like patience has been my complete name. And it's hard when I feel like that to not get down - and drive away the only person who I want that life with - eek!

I think this Alice will be much like a Charlotte York of Sex & the City. I hate to bring it back to S&TC for such a serious and meaningful life experience, but I would bet my bottom dollar that Alice ends up getting everything she's ever wanted - just like Charlotte. When she knows what she wants, she trusts she will get it, and keeps trying with patience, I think everything works out. Sometimes when I just accept that, you know what, yeah - I'm happy but I DO want those things and I AM feeling kind of crummy not having them, it takes some of the pressure off.

Sometimes not allowing yourself to feel what you feel makes it worse!

I finally did that on Monday - came home to Denver to spend Easter with my family and every one of my siblings came home with someones. Baby brother with his new wife, other younger brother with his girlfriend, older sister with her fiancee, mom with her husband and even Nana with Bunka (but that's fifty plus years in the making for the grandparents!). And who was there with their Labrador for a date, moi!

All the glittery jewelry on each girl's left hand, all the talk of weddings and all the talk from the men even on how excited they are for pregnancies and babies. That is just SO NOT my experience right now that by the end of Easter dinner I had to excuse myself for a little cry. Wah, poor Duchess. But you know what, I called my best friend, bitched and cried, and I felt better after. And I think it allowed me to go back to enjoying my family. Because I was so envious of all of them for the first part of Easter it was hard to have a good time. But once I had a good cry and just felt sad and was honest about feeling crappy, I actually felt better!

Anyway, I just really loved and appreciated the honesty of this post - because I've been feeling the same as Alice!

N said...

Thanks Duchess for your understanding and comforting comment.
Thanks to all the others who've sent nice words as well, through mail, FB, etc.