Friday, September 28, 2012

I'm a frickin' trooper

Just as I was about to put my pantyhose yesterday morning, I saw blood.  AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!  What the f?  I really thought this our month (crazy, I know) but I had had super good mucus and we did it on the right day.  Jeez.  Anyway, I put on clothes I hate wearing all because I have to (black skirt suit, pantyhose, high heels.)  The interview didn't start until 8:15 but I got there at 8:02 and they pounced on me.

I figured they would give me a writing test.  This has happened before however what hasn't happened before is that I was supposed to give a five minute presentation to a panel of people I hadn't laid eyes on yet.  Since I'm pretty experienced chairing meetings, giving long, short, medium presentations to all types of people I wasn't so much scared, just a little annoyed that hadn't bothered to give the candidate any notice.  Nothing like walking into the unexpected to make people feel relaxed.

So, I did the writing (and not like you can tell by reading my blog but when I really try, I can be a bad-ass writer; my husband tells me so) and they ushered me into a conference room, I put down my classy briefcase, shook the panel members hands and did my talk.  I hadn't brought in my water bottle from the car and I was pretty parched after 45 minutes in the little, warm room so by the time I was done with my presentation, I had cotton mouth.  There was a water jug, the kind where you screw the top on to reveal the hole, at the end of the long conference table.  I eyed it.  I asked if I could pour myself a cup.  They said yes.

But there was too much ice in the jug and it kept blocking the water trying to get through the hole.  I didn't want to struggle with it especially when they were staring at me not saying a word.  So I got just enough water to wet my palate and I carefully rationed my water for the next 30 minutes.  I should mention one of the guys had a Styrofoam coffee cup, a Thermos, and a plastic water bottle directly in front of him.  I guess no one could bother to pour me a cup.

As soon as I described what happened next, you'll easily be able to figure out what industry I work in.  These interviews are not what you'd call friendly or "let's get to know one another."  No, they grill you in turn.  The first person asks three questions, the next person asks three questions, etc.  They told me at the beginning there would be 10 questions and I can't remember who took the 10th question.  What was really whack was that although there were paper plaques in front of the panelists, with their names and the organizations, they didn't describe what they actually did.  And this was important to me because none of the panelists worked for the company.  Not one.  Like the company couldn't bother to send one staff member???  All the questions I had prepared related to the company and none of these people could answer them.  This was not about us liking each other.  This was about them "approving" me.  I hate that.  It's insulting and totally unnecessary.

I had lots of questions I made up on the spot but by 9:45, time was called.  I was ushered out as quickly as I had been ushered in although the actually very nice HR person told me she'd get back to me by Monday as to whether I passed the performing monkey test (my description) or not.

Happily, I didn't have to wait that long and just found out that I am a good monkey and I'll be asked back to talk to real, actual company representatives.  Wow!

Now, the goal here is to just get a job offer.  I am not even certain I want this job.  It pays worse and has worse benefits than my current job.  And I like my current job.  I've never, ever looked for a job when I had a good one that I liked and didn't really want to leave.  So, this is pretty twilight zoney to me.  Prayer is in order.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

The Things We Hate

I'd wanted to write this post for a while but stubborn pride kept me from it.  Because my prior stance made me feel like a Catholic outsider.  Some people outright debated my right to call myself a Catholic.  But, I will say it because my readers and commenters made me think long and hard - I don't believe any human has a right to abort their child.  What I am specifically saying is that a woman/couple should not be able to have an abortion simply because they don't want to give birth to their child.

It wasn't the religious, Catholic argument against abortion that finally swayed me.  The argument that drove me was from an atheist. A living philosopher, Don Marquis, he teaches in Kansas, wrote what I think is a pretty famous piece called "Why Abortion Is Immoral."  His article is in one of my college textbooks, Intervention and Reflection: Basic Issues in Medical Ethics.  I saved only those textbooks that dealt directly with my major and minor and my medical ethics book.  I loved that class.  The professor was visiting from NYC and she never held a driver's license.  She was born and raised from what I remember in New York City and never had a reason to drive a car.  I respected that but thought it must have been very hard to her to adapt to Los Angeles.

So, I think it was my final paper for that class where I argued, I think intelligently and logically-sound that a woman has a right to an abortion in the first few weeks of pregnancy.  For the longest time (up until now) my concern was that the right to an abortion was right because a woman's right to protect her own interest and well-being overrode her unborn child's right to life.  I know that's a feminist argument and I wouldn't automatically disavow feminist beliefs because I believe equal rights are important to women specifically and society in general.  Those societies that harm or restrict the rights of women just because they are women, I think intrinsically harm those societies and don't allow them to prosper.

I'd support the general restriction of abortions in the United States and beyond.  But with that act, an entire generation's (or two or three) idea of how to live your life would have to fundamentally change.  Men and women, including sexually active teenagers would have to thoroughly understand that once she gets pregnant, that's a final event.  God-willing, that child will be born and they'd have to decide to parent or allow someone else to take that job.  I guarantee, because I've known people like this, that people believe that they can have sex and inconsistently use contraception and it's no big deal because if they get pregnant, they can always just have an abortion.  Since I used pseudonyms, I don't mind saying that one of these people was Jack.

Jack called me one night in 2004 and told me that his girlfriend was pregnant.  I asked how he could let that happen.  He said they were careless.  He didn't want to have a child with her.  He wanted to have sex with her and take her to restaurants and various other places but he definitely did not want to raise a child with her.  And I guess adoption was off the table, too.  No kid roaming the streets, living a life.  She had an abortion.

I know a fair number of men personally whose past girlfriends got pregnant with their child and they all insisted she have an abortion.  And some of these men professed a belief in Christ.  People's habits would have to dramatically change.  I know that's a welcome idea to the Catholic Church since extramartial sex, contraception, abortion are all sinful.  But a lot of people, a lot of men would not be open to changing their sexual habits.

Which brings me to a different but not altogether unrelated topic, some people's attempt to end prostitution.  I think it's morally wrong for a man to use a prostitute.  I definitely blame the buyer.  I read tonight this very interesting opinion on trying to eradicate prostitution and I think it's worth a read.  It made me think about things I hadn't thought of before; and there's value in that for me.  Oh, and here's a video of atheists talking about their opposition to abortion.  Interesting if you as a Christian believed only those who believed in the Savior, believed abortion was wrong.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Literal Title: Upcoming Job Interview

I really hate having literal post titles, but I wanted people to actually read this and pray for me.  I have a job interview next Thursday for a job in a city that's closest to my husband's work site.  Yes, this could be very good if I like the people.  I've already googled the key players in the company and it looks promising.  I chose the first interview time for the day: 8:15am.  I normally like to be the last person if at all possible to leave the last impression but it's not to be.  I am driving three hours to be there Wednesday night and will leave immediately after the interview because I have sh*t to do at work.  Yes, it's very busy for me right now with lots of tight deadlines; like, hourly deadlines.  So, I'm just taking the morning off.

I need your prayers for next Thursday, my sanity, and my ability to stay calm.  I'm already a jittery ball of stress.  This doesn't help although staying at home this weekend instead of seeing my husband should help me, I hope.  I've already picked my outfit, I'm wearing the green shirt seen below, a black knee-length skirt, and nude hose. I hate hose.  Side note: the purple dress doesn't really work.  I'd need to take it to a tailor but for what it cost, I'm not sure it's worth it.  I have 30 days to decide.

So, I'm trying very hard not to get my hopes up.  But I am excited as I have three kick-ass references lined up; wonderful people who are very smart and for some reason, like me very much.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Still Waiting for Catholics to Comment on Circumcision

The grandmother carried the sleeping infant boy on a white pillow toward the synagogue’s altar, and passed him to her son. Her son carried the infant toward the mohel, or Jewish ritual circumciser, who stood amid a cluster of chanting men.
The mohel lifted the infant’s clothing to expose his tiny penis. With a rapid flick of a sharp two-sided scalpel, the mohel sliced off the foreskin and held it between his fingers. Then he took a sip of red wine from a cup and bent his head. He placed his lips below the cut, around the base of the baby’s penis, for a split second, creating suction, then let the wine spill from his mouth out over the wound.
You can read the whole story here
[New York City] estimates that metzitzah b’peh is used in some 3,600 local circumcisions each year. The city’s health department says that, between 2000 and 2011, 11 babies contracted herpes as a result, and 2 of them died. This spring, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention declared that the procedure created a risk for transmission of herpes and other pathogens and was “not safe.”
So on Thursday, the city’s Board of Health is scheduled to vote on a proposal that would require parents to sign a consent form indicating that they are aware of the risk of herpes transmission when a circumcision procedure, or bris, includes direct oral contact.
So soon after the "Obama Will Force Catholic Employers to Violate Their Religious Beliefs by Providing Free Contraceptives" hysteria, the issue that circumcision is evil, backward, disfiguring, etc. is on the table.  They are trying to ban it in Germany, San Francisco, and other prominent places. 

Where are the Catholics?????  It seems clear that trying to ban or limit the practice of circumcision is a complete and total infringement on religious freedom.  The circumcision of males is a central tenet of the Jewish faith and I'm told, the Muslim faith.  If I'm wrong on the latter, please correct me.  But, maybe there is something to limiting this practice.  Two babies died from herpes!!!

I'm starting to think that if no bishop, cardinal, bubble dwellers want to tackle the circumcision issue, it makes the whole "Fortnight for Freedom" look like it was really a Fortnight for Not Letting Anybody Employed by Catholics Get Free Birth Control.  If Catholics are pro religious liberty, they are morally compelled to take a stand against any government, federal, state, or local that limits the practice of circumcision.   


We were winding up our evening after-work conversation.

[Him] Ok, stay out of trouble.  And stay off the internet.
[Me] Why?
[Him] Because when you get on the internet, you buy things.
[Me] I'm not going to be sucked into your manipulative mind games.
[Him] I'm just kidding.
[Me] No, you're not.  You always say you're kidding when I have a problem with something you said.  I know you don't like me spending money on clothes and shoes.
[Him] You're just dwindling our savings, that's all.
[Me] Look, I am very comfortable with how I manage my/our finances.  I already invest over 20% of my gross salary.  Not just save it in a zero interest savings account.  I invest it.  And you know that already.
[Him] You're maxing out the retirement account?
[Me] Honey, you knew that.
[Him] Well that's good.
[Me] I don't think you quite understand the ten of thousands of dollars we save by not having a child.  Food, health insurances, clothes, education.  We don't pay a dime.  And on a relative scale, we've paid out almost nothing when it came to infertility treatment. 
[Him] You're right.  I need to look at this issue differently.

Whew!  And so I wait for my dress and shirt in relative peace.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Turning a new page... and getting a new dress

I ordered these online today:
My husband gets email alerts for credit card purchases.  He waited ten minutes into the conversation to ask me if I'd ordered $200 worth of stuff from J. Crew.  I said "yes" in an excited, happy voice.  I know he's trying to make me feel guilty.  In fact, he said he hadn't ordered anything for himself in a while.  What he really means he hasn't ordered anything his company didn't reimburse him for.  I took a deep breath.  I won't freak out like I did in the past and commit a dramatic reactionary response.  I'm a grown, working woman.  I deserve this and I'm going to look great. :)

Monday, September 10, 2012

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Embrace The...

...fear of change?  I always say I love change.  It's what makes me feel alive.  But now that change is all around me, I think I just love change once it's over.  Uncertain change is what I don't like.  Despite having an awful dream (nightmare) and waking up depressed after my husband left at 4am, I got my mojo back by 8am.  I've already applied for two jobs today.  The first one looks pretty good for me and when I saw the ad, the opening closed on September 10th.  Thinking I had lots of time to complete the application because my brain is still in August, I looked at my watch and said, "Oh, shit, today is September 10th.  Better get a move on."  Now, I remember what I hate about applying for jobs; applications these days take several hours to complete.  But like any good Gen Yer, I am trying to apply and then let go.  Write the best dang cover letter you can and forget about it.  Don't dream about the move, dream about a new office, dream about the new job and people.  Let it go.

I proudly told my husband on the phone at lunch how proactive I was this morning.  I told him all I'm trying to do is get back to my baby.  My baby left me and I'm going to get to him.  I'm sure, definitely sure I'll slip back into worry sometimes but I'm determined to embrace this new life experience.  It hurts to leave a place where your ties run deep.  They do for us here but I'm not doing myself any favors by harboring sadness.  No, I won't be doing the master's program here.  That's on the back burner for now.  It will come back around when I am ready.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Tidal Wave

You might recall I was accepted into a master's degree program in late spring.  For the last few weeks it's been on the back of my mind that the semester should be starting soon.  Well, yesterday late afternoon (just after publishing my last post) the school sent me an email saying classes start next week and I should register for classes post haste.  Two classes, one Friday night and the other is on Saturdays from 9am to 1pm.  When will I see my husband?  Heck, when will I have lunch?

So, I went into a slight panic, called me husband to explain the situation, argue a bit about "losing" the $75 application fee (I swear, sometimes...), head to the church for 5:00pm confession, I'm apparently not in-the-know because not all three priests show up for that time and I missed out but did a private, silent prayerful confession in the church (good enough for me), talk to my husband again (he couldn't find a priest to confess to, either), against my better judgment head to a happy hour that my friend who organized it didn't show up to (he emailed me before so at least I had advanced warning), talked to a few people I don't really care for, drank two margaritas and ate a shrimp cocktail but the waiters kept calling it a prawn cocktail (semantics), drove to a property we own to pick up a vacuum cleaner and make sure, with ever disappearing sunlight that none of the sprinklers blew out (my husband's suggestion to check) and then went home and slept poorly.

This master's program is in town but there are online options.  In a perfect world (and I lived in that world for about three months), my husband and I would both be working here and I could take two years out of my life and finish this stupid degree I don't really want in the first place.  But, we live and work apart and my husband will very, very soon be moving into a period of working six days a week.  But that will last only about three months.  So, he was thinking that going to school might "keep me occupied."  "And we'll never see each other for three months?"  "We can meet up on Saturday nights in"  "You suggest we stay in a hotel every Saturday night???"  He could tell by my tone that this was a rhetorical question that could be answered in the negative.  No, honey, I couldn't bear to not see you.  Take the online course.  That's what I imagined he said to me.

I guess that's what being married for four years does to you.  Your husband says the wrong thing like he always has since the day you met him.  Before you'd get angry and argue about what he should have said and how he promises to think more before he speaks next time.  But now, I don't even want to fight so I just imagine he said something loving, supportive, tender, caring, yada yada. 

I'm sure the online program semester has already started and I'll have to pay another $75, maybe more to apply for that program even though it's part of the same state school system and start in Winter.  C'est la vie.  I guess what this experience is really telling me is to get off my ass and start looking for a job.  But, I did that for the last twelve months for my husband.  I need a frickin' break.  So, I can talk myself down and be upset and threaten to start smoking (even though I really can't) or hit the bottle every night.  But I know myself too well.  I'd rather be dead that be an addict or even have persistent hangovers.  I'm being dramatic, I know.  But I have lots of time to think. 

Now I should mention (I can't believe I forgot until now) that my husband is good friends (he's good friends with everybody and their brother) with the regional manager of the restaurant I visited last night.  He said, "Where's [your husband]?"  "He got a job in [that city] and living there now."  "Are you guys still together?"  OUCH  "Yes, we're still together."  Flashing my wedding and engagement ring in some sort of dorky "look at this" way.  "Oh, so you're doing the see-each-other-on-the-weekend-thing."  Is that what it's called?

I read the NY Times way too much I know but one article today threw me into another depressive state.  It's about Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood and their, let's say, social attitudes about women.
Women are erratic and emotional, and they make good wives and mothers — but never leaders or rulers. That, at least, is what Osama Abou Salama, a professor of botany at Cairo University and a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, told young men and women during a recent premarital counseling class.

What was striking, though, was the absence of any reaction. None of the 30 people in the class so much as winced.

“A woman,” Mr. Abou Salama said, “takes pleasure in being a follower and finds ease in obeying a husband who loves her.”
Since the Brotherhood rose to power and one of its former leaders was elected president, much of the uncertainty over its social agenda has centered on its plans for women. Will the Brotherhood try to impose a conservative dress code? Will it try to bar women from certain fields of work? Will its leaders promote segregation at schools?
But in a country where a vast majority of women already cover their hair and voluntarily separate from men in coed environments, for most people — women included — those questions are largely academic.
Mr. Abou Salama’s class makes that case. “Can you, as a woman, take a decision and handle the consequences of your decision?” he asked.
A number of women shook their heads even before Mr. Abou Salama provided his answer: “No. But men can. And God created us this way because a ship cannot have more than one captain.” 
And then,
At the group’s headquarters, in the densely populated Cairo neighborhood of Nasr City, Mr. Abou Salama walked into a spacious room where the front seats were for men and the back seats were for women. He lectured on qualities to seek in a partner, getting acquainted under parental supervision, dealing with in-laws and consummating marriage. In his social paradigm, understanding that the woman was created to be an obedient wife and mother and that the man was created to fend for his family holds the secret to a happy marriage.
“I want you to be the flower that attracts a bee to make honey, not the trash that attracts flies and dirt,” Mr. Abou Salama said as the women listened intently.
Was that just liberal, NY Times propaganda?  Should I have quit my job just as soon as my husband started his new one?  Was my job just a way to keep up solvent that whole year?  Am I harming my marriage irreparably by not living with my husband during the week?  Why don't I just give myself a break???

Thursday, September 6, 2012

A Smattering (Yes, reader from the USCCB. I'm talking to you.)

  • My mood's picked up only because I'm dreaming about real estate.  My husband's already talking about buying some property in his new location.  I told him bare ground works great for me because I have plans for a barn house.  Something like this totally appeals to me. 

Why buy an old, energy inefficient house that you'll have to renovate when you can get a prefab (the one above is not) that's sustainable and green?!
  • I've never been one to call out the "lurkers" as they're called.  This IS the internets so everybody's a lurker.  However, some of my readers are creeping me out since I see they've been reading for a long time and have had absolutely nothing to say.  Say something, please.  And who is the person from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops?  I see you and what is your interest in my blog?  Are you gathering information for ex-communication?
  • Despite my almost total opposition to the sacrament of reconciliation, I kind of have to go before Friday.  Some friends are having their marriage blessed in the Church tomorrow and my husband's the witness.  Wouldn't be good for me not to take communion.  Which is the reason why I'm going to confession today but I'd be lying if I said it's wasn't a primary motivator.
  • I was really sad to read about Jenny's money woes.  I feel bad some bloggers are struggling to meet their financial needs in the midst of infertility and adoption.  I encourage other bloggers to write about the money aspect of infertility treatment, adoption, and new motherhood.  We talk so openly about medical matters, it only makes sense to talk about the money.  We're not adopting but it would be good to understand just how much it costs to adopt.  I'm trying to educate myself here.  Please help me.  Veiled references to adoption credits don't help me.   

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Infertility Chip

This post was supposed to focus on our backpacking trip this weekend which was as mentally, physically, and emotional challenging as I'd say our Peru trip last year.  Except this was only 20 miles and two days.  We were in the Sequi.oa Nati.onal and hiked to Pi.nto  I always hate that I write about this stuff before I have the pictures available (can't seem to find the camera USB cable) so sorry there are no pictures.  But the weather was perfect, no mosquitoes, and terrific exercise. 

For some reason however, the Labor Day weekend was for me, a heart wrenching experience filled with misunderstandings and miscommunications (I guess that's redundant.)  My husband really struggled on the hike (we had some grueling uphill climbs) and accused me of trying to starve him just because I was never hungry enough to suggest we stop to each lunch.  I am very, very sensitive about being perceived as a good wife who anticipates her husband's needs.  So, to be accused of deliberately hurting him or not helping him, hurts deeply.  And there seems to be a lot of that lately.

Now that we live apart during the week, I work more, at work and at home.  I am simply much busier taking care of a household by myself.  I couldn't imagine doing this with kids to take care of (couldn't do it) but the strain is real.  My husband has focused more on what I forgot to do or forgot to pack than what I did.  He is very much "the glass is half empty" right now.  And we argued about that this weekend.  And I cried a lot.  My sunglasses are still stained with tears.  For some reason, I just can't wipe them clean.

It became obvious to me this weekend that I have an infertility chip on my shoulder.  That although infertility no longer stings like it used to, I view myself as a survivor and expect recognition of what I endure or what I've triumphed over.  Yes, this is wrong in practical, spiritual terms but the feeling is so strong.  I want my husband to constantly recognize the sacrifices I've made for us.  Ann Romney talked about how the burden of life is greater for women than men (that's how I interpreted it) in her speech at last week's RNC.  But that comment didn't make me feel any great empathy for Republicans or made me feel at peace with life, it made me very mad.  This is not fair and everybody knows it.

I'm angry that I'm not looking at the bright side.  I'm angry that my influence over my husband is lessened especially now that he's so close to his parents.  This is a very sore subject for me.  I'm angry that I'm not the one who made mistakes but I'm the one paying for them.  I'm struggling with the idea of following my husband into a life I never envisioned for myself and one that I don't really want.  I hate to sound dramatic but it's the truth.  I like my life here.  It's not perfect but it's my life.  Argh!!!