I was smiles. Z, not so much.
May the fourth be with you, happy Kentucky Derby Day, and an early happy Cinco de Mayo, to you, too. I didn’t have time to post this Saturday Stuff until now because I’ve been pretty busy. Errands, cafe time with Z and K and then the park. Got home, and while napped, K and I caught up on some family business. Now the hubby and his female mini-me are out, so I can sip some iced coffee (soy milk, sans sugar) and type this.
First, this disturbing story from Babble via HuffPo from a father who writes that he and his pregnant wife are dreading the arrival of their twin boys:
To say we’re excited would be an exaggeration. More truthfully, we’re pissed. And terrified, and angry, and guilty, and regretful. Why regretful? Because we brought this on ourselves. This is what we wanted, so to speak.
We already have a son, and he’s wonderful. But my wife and I each have a sibling, and we wanted him to share that experience. We desperately tried to get pregnant for nearly two years, first the natural way, then via several IUIs (intrauterine inseminations). But getting pregnant when you’re both pushing 40 is sort of like trying to blow up the Death Star; it’s possible, but you need the perfect shot. Each month we checked my wife’s fertility; had forced, dispassionate, purely functional sex; and struck out. It hurt worse every time and caused us both to become more jaded than ever. It affected our relationship, and not in a “this-will-bring-us-closer-than-ever” kind of way.
Each IUI (and we tried three or four) was even worse. Oh, how I miss the cup sex and rushing to the fertility clinic, knowing that I probably wasn’t the only one on the subway carrying a jar of semen in my bag. (I never did figure out what exactly was appropriate to masturbate to: A bigger house? Moving to the suburbs?)
And then came the decision to try IVF (in vitro fertilization). Given our ages, we knew the odds were only one in four. And with each shot costing like $10,000, we knew this was money that wasn’t going to go toward our house, the kids’ college fund, or any other future plans. We also knew each failed attempt would add more cracks in the foundation of our relationship.
Thankfully, we nailed it on the first try. But while we were hoping for one girl, instead we got two boys. My initial reaction was full of disappointment, anger, fear, and guilt. My wife, who had been dreading the possibility of twins for weeks, took it worse. In her mind, this was her fault, since she’d encouraged the fertility doctors to put in two embryos to stack the deck.
As horrible as this might sound, we found ourselves wishing these twins away.
Wow. Reading it again to post it here, I’m less angry, but more frightened. Oh, keep reading. Daddy dearest includes such lovely takeaways as comparing the wait for the boys’ impending birth to dying of cancer. I kid you not. These people should give these kids up for adoption since they clearly do not want them. While I’m appalled by this man’s selfishness, I’m not shocked. There are far too many people in this world who view kids as commodities to be had like a third car or a pricey vacay. A scary path to be on, that road to sociopathy.
Me in heathen gold hoops in ears *and* nose.
Okay, so I’m rocking a nose ring (an actual hoop now… I’m such a horrible ex-Penny Pentecostal), an afro, and borderline comically large frames. I love flannel, vintage clothes, jazz and kale. Even my choice of church- Anglican, with liturgy, incense and candles- is admittedly, both retro and somewhat pretentious. My brother Joe has been calling me a hipster for a good year now.
But, I alas (or thankfully? who wants to be labeled? Haha.), am not. I live about twenty miles too far west of the current epicenter of Hipster hotness, Brooklyn. Womp womp. However, the New York Times provides this helpful (and stinging) guide to help us brush up on beards, thrift shops and urban coolness.
O, bohemia! There are several ways to react to a culture quake. You can meet it with befuddlement, perhaps wondering how flappers handled the thorny intersection between dancing in fountains and limited dry-cleaning.
You can put it on a pedestal by bringing undue optimism to the prospect of meeting Ernest Hemingway or some other expat after his seventh Pernod.
But maybe there’s another way — which is why, in early April, this middle-aged avowed Manhattanite checked into the Wythe and spent a long weekend trying to educate himself, canvassing Kings County’s artisan-loving, kale-devouring epicenter. “Brooklyn” is now a byword for cool from Paris to Sweden to the Middle East. It’s been strange to live across the river from a place that suddenly becomes a cultural reference point — not unlike having your dachshund become an overnight celebrity. Part of you wonders, Why him and not Aunt Barbara?
So I decided to embed myself among the rooftop gardeners and the sustainability consultants and the chickeneers. I wanted to see what the demographic behind nanobatched chervil and the continually cited show “Girls” could teach me about life and craft cocktails. I wanted to see what sullen 25-year-old men had to tell me beyond “Leave me alone during this awkward period of beard growth.”
To get the true Brooklyn experience, it became clear I needed to do some of my visits while riding young Brooklynites’ vehicle of choice, a fixed-gear bicycle. A grizzled older gentleman rented one to me at Zukkies bike shop in Bushwick, but not before asking me four times if I’d ever ridden one, and telling me “I couldn’t do it.” On a “fixie,” you see, you can’t coast or backpedal, you’re always moving forward: the shark of the bike world.
I was fine until I rode down steep hills, at which point, not wanting to shred my brakes, I tried to slow my terrifying descent via knee power; after two hours of this, I imagined that my increasingly hydrocephalic knees would burst through my pants legs. It was, as the kids say, totally ridic. Additionally: whatever affinity marketer is responsible for the high incidence of tippy, thin-wheeled racing bikes on the city’s most hole-filled roads should be shot at dawn. I later happily switched to a nonfixie or, as I think of it, a swingy.
Physical exertion made me hungry. I didn’t feel secure enough in my biking skills to ride all the way to the all-Brooklyn foodstuffs purveyor By Brooklyn in Carroll Gardens, where you can find espresso soda, not to mention hibiscus soda syrup, and Granola Lab granola nor could I make it to the all-artisanal-mayonnaise store in Prospect Heights. But I knew I could manage Bushwick’s wonderful pizzeria, Roberta’s. Roberta’s has the ugliest entrance of any restaurant I’ve ever seen, barbed wire leading to heavily graffitied concrete cinder blocks: gulag in da hood. I waited almost an hour for a table.
Artisanal mayo. Yeah, I’ll never be that cool. I do believe my friend Aja and her handsomely bearded husband Paul are. And they are Brooklynites.
In a week full of media stories about Jason Collins coming out, my friend Jen told me about “Love Is All You Need?”, a movie which flips the script of gay-straight norms. I hope that no matter a person’s stance on homosexuality, they would never attack or encourage attacking gay people.
Oh, and speaking of gay people, YouTube star Antoine Dodson is now saying he is no longer into homosexuality and that he is a Hebrew Israelite.
Okay… Well. I really don’t have anything to say. So, I’m going to end this post with a little Cyndi Lauper, and no, not “Girls Just Want to Have Fun”, either. Sing us out, Cyndi, and happy Saturday!