We are moving apartments tomorrow, so the past week has been a lot of packing and cleaning out old crap. All of which has been done by a constantly sweating yet not ONCE complaining Eric, while I sit on the couch rubbing my belly, drinking ice water, and grumbling that I’m overwhelmed.
Yesterday Eric pulled this huge dusty box out of the depths of the closet and said “Hey, Emily from 1990, here are your files. Maybe go through them and see if this is something we can throw in the garbage, since we now live in the computer age, and have for 20 plus years?”
So I just went through the box and he was right– I do not, in fact, need a paper copy of the 1-year-warranty for the Sony Vaio laptop I bought in college, nor a receipt for a Gap cardigan purchased in January. Of 2004.
It took me over an hour to go through, rip up, and discard all the blatantly irrelevant crap this box possessed, but my hard labor was rewarded when I reached the end of the files and came across THIS little gem, posted below (in the form of a PDF link. Sorry, after a whole 2 seconds of trying, I couldn’t figure out how else to post it).
It is a paper I wrote during my senior year of college, entitled “The (abridged) Autobiography of Emily Lerman,” and it is ABSURD. Absurd because it is exactly the kind of sarcastic, self-deprecating shit I would post on this blog, except I HANDED IT IN TO A PROFESSOR. AT AN IVY LEAGUE SCHOOL. FOR A GRADE.
Now, granted, I got an A. So my professor was either awesome (don’t remember that being the case) or EXTREMELY bored (more likely). Or maybe she appreciated seeing something “different” come across her desk? Most likely she was just drunk. I don’t know, but there’s no doubt something was amiss, because this shit is less a paper for a college course and more a bad audition for Last Comic Standing that ends with the comic sweat-stuttering offstage to a chorus of “You suck!”
So naturally, I need to share it.
A few parts are redacted to protect the innocent, but otherwise I left it in its purest, this-was-definitely-written-by-a-21-year-old-moron form. It’s not even that the writing is that bad (save for a few blatant grammatical errors), it’s just VERY dramatic. Not sure if that was for comedic effect (important in a paper for HISTORY CLASS) or because I was a CHILD when I wrote it, but I do feel the need to clarify that I probably wasn’t THAT miserable as a kid, and Potomac was not THAT absurd a place to grow up (furthermore, the random unneccesary dig I took at my mom, saying she was a real estate agent “when she felt like working” was completely unfair. I can make that joke NOW, but back then, the woman hustled).
Or maybe I was that miserable and growing up in Potomac was that absurd but I’ve now had 15 more years of distance from the “trauma” () and kind of just want to smack my young self across the head and be like, “Lighten up, Sassypants. Your life wasn’t hard. You drove a 4Runner.”
Anyway here it is. Enjoy. ( )
P.S. Future daughter– if I send you to college and this is the kind of shit you produce on my dime, you’re paying your own way.
So Eric found this app that will take a 1-second video of my belly every day, and then, at the end of the pregnancy, we will have a short video of my stomach’s evolution. I was obviously horrified by this idea but, even though Eric rejected my proposal to do the same video for his belly, I reluctantly agreed to it because he has been so wonderful and supportive throughout these past few months, I can’t not throw him a bone on this one. He was just too excited about the idea. And yes, this is a guy who gets excited about puppy butts (just received this photo from him , one of 12 for the day), but still. This felt like excessive excitement, even for him, so I had no choice but to indulge it. Plus, I think he’s still upset that I did not, in fact, surprise him with a corgi for his birthday yesterday, even though I have stated “I am not going to surprise you with a corgi on your birthday,” very calmly and firmly every day for the past year. He has always nodded in what I perceived to be an understanding of my words, but then I received this text when he got home from work yesterday:
So all this is to say, I felt I owed him the courtesy of his belly movie.
I did not, however, agree to make this FUN for anyone.
Every single night, the ritual goes like this:
Eric: “Time to take the photo!”
Me: “Ugggggggh whyyyyyyyyyyyyy ”
Eric: “Come on, it’ll be quick.”
Eric: “If we skipped this whole dramatic whining part, we’d be done already.”
Me: “Ugggh FINNNNNNNNNNNNE. ”
Then we actually take the photo and before, during and after is a series of me moaning some variation of “ew,” “barf,” “gross,” “this is disgusting,” and “how is this even a shape a body can be!?” It should be noted that around this time in pregnancy, babies can actually hear you talking, and while some moms-to-be might worry that the baby is taking in all this negativity, I hope she is taking notes on how she destroyed Mom’s body forever, and therefore owes me her soul. Because THAT’S WHAT A GOOD JEWISH MOM DOES.
It occurred to me today that I typically start to feel better about things once I share them, so instead of continuing to detest this daily process internally, I decided to put it out there for the world to
enjoy experience tolerate unwillingly.
Here’s one of my favorites from the series so far, because I looked at the photo and screamed “Oh my god, do I already have stretch marks?!” But it turns out that no, those were just temporary indentations from my aggressive couch-laying. Aka bed sores.
This one’s also great because, even though I threatened Eric that he better not get my face in any of these photos, the mirror betrayed me and perfectly captured my acute unamusement and contempt.
Now, I’d like to take a moment to reassure all of you (and Eric, who repeatedly asks in a confused tone, “You’ve SEEN a pregnant person before….right?”), I do understand pregnancy makes you gain weight, and I am, in fact, TOTALLY on board with that. I actually look forward to when I have a very obvious baby bump and can sport that sucker around town (town= 2 block radius from my apartment).
But see, there is this weird belly phase during late first trimester/early second trimester, where you are gaining weight but haven’t actually popped, and the result is that you look less like a pregnant person and more like a person who got tired and gave up. I don’t have a “bump” yet, I just have a doughy, amorphous FUPA-tire that does not fit into my pants anymore, but is not yet ready for maternity wear either. And please, spare me the “Every part of pregnancy is beautiful!” nonsense. There are other blogs out there for you
liars people. This isn’t it.
So yeah, I get it. I’m going to gain weight. I’m beyond cool with that, which is odd considering I am a white Jewish girl from the east coast, meaning that body-image issues aren’t something I picked up from society or the media, they are inherent in my DNA. A tale as old as Jewish time. My breed is born with a gene for body (and general) dissatisfaction, so I actually give myself credit for WANTING to get big. I’ve even enlisted Golden Grahams, a daily 2pm pepperoni pizza (being shoved down my pie hole as we speak), and Ben and Jerry’s straight from the carton to help me get there, which just goes to show that I am totally comfortable with getting big AND making terrible decisions for my health, mental well-being and digestive tract. TROPHIES ALL AROUND.
So here’s to the hopefully-near end of the lumpy dough-tire phase and on to the good stuff!
( Accurate because once I get there, I too will refuse to wear pants)
When you meet with a hematologist re: a blood disorder, the first thing they do is take your medical history to determine if you’ve ever had bleeding problems in the past.
Hematologist: “Ok, this is probably the most important question that will help me determine your blood clotting status– have you ever had any surgeries?”
Hematologist: “Lucky you! Have you ever broken a bone?”
Me: “I broke my foot about 9 years ago. Fractured my wrist when I was a kid. And, well, my nose was broken when I had a nose job, obviously, if that counts.”
Hematologist: “You had a nose job? But you just said you never had surgery!”
Me: “Oh, well, that’s like, not really a surgery.”
Hematologist: “A rhinoplasty is definitely a surgery.”
Me: “Ok, well, you say surgery, I say birthday present. Or family rite of passage. Or my mother’s suggestion. Or–”
Hematologist: “Ok just tell me if you had a bleeding problem during or after surgery.”
Hematologist: “Ok, any other surgeries I should know about?
Hematologist: “Have you ever had problems with your gums, or had gum grafting?”
Me: “No. But when I had my chin done they did cut through my gums in order to–”
Hematologist: “You had a genioplasty?! That’s ALSO surgery.”
Me: “Ok, well, that’s a very fancy word for it. And again, it wasn’t so much a surgery as just an add-on or a necessary complement to the nose–”
I need a Jewish doctor.
I recently had blood work done that showed low thyroid levels, so my doctor referred me to an endocrinologist.
Endocrinologist: “Your thyroid is inflamed and operating at about 60%. You’ve likely had chronic hypothyroidism your entire life, but sometimes stress can really bring it to the surface. It likely runs in your family. Is anyone in your family ‘high-energy?'”
Endocrinologist: “So no?”
Me: “To quote my brother-in-law– ‘The Lermans are a tired, dehydrated people.'”
Endocrinologist: “You said you have 3 siblings. All low energy?”
Me: “My sister has one setting and it’s this: . Jeremy is essentially a bear living in eternal winter. There are times on family vacation, during his 3rd or 4th nap of the day, when I have actually leaned over and checked his pulse. Zack has spurts of energetic enthusiasm when motivated, but then needs a 16 hour slumber to recover from his efforts. He also….like….talks…..like…..this…..”
Endocrinologist: “And your parents?”
Me: “My mother moves at the pace of a snail on Valium and has the voice of a soft bird. If you’re not sitting DIRECTLY next to her, or better yet, on her lap, forget about being able to hear or understand a word she whisper-mumbles. That being said, she IS active, like socially and activity-wise. It’s just, like, a slow-motion active.”
Endocrinologist: “And your Dad?”
Me: “Can’t sit still. The one exception.”
Endocrinologist: “Your husband?”
Me: “Like a corgi puppy lapping up a dish of Red Bull. Is that even important?”
Endocrinologist: “No I’m just enjoying your descriptions. None of this matters. Your thyroid’s broken, here are some pills.”
Our honeymoon to South Africa and The Seychelles is next week…
Eric: “We have to go on this Anse Trail hike when we’re in the Seychelles. It leads to Anse Major, which is this beautiful, remote beach. Once in a lifetime experience. Totally secluded.”
Me: “So there’s no toilet?”
Busybody: “So, how’s married life? Have you changed your last name yet?”
Me: “It’s great! No, I haven’t. I’m not sure it’s necessary to legally change it.”
Busybody: “Oh my god really? I couldn’t WAIT to change my name.”
Me: “Ok. Well, to each her own! I mean I’ll informally use Eric’s last name, I’m happy for people to call me Emily Taylor, and to introduce myself that way. Just don’t see the need to go through a legal process. But we’ll see, maybe one day.”
Busybody: “His last name is Taylor? What’s yours?”
Busybody: “Oh, honey. You should change it. Taylor is a great last name– then people won’t know what you are.”
Me (silent, confused pause): “You mean…a Jew?”
Me: (blank stare)
Busybody: “Sometimes it’s just better, in certain circumstances, that people don’t know, you know?”
So now I’m keeping Lerman just to spite you.
When/if I am pregnant one day, no one will be able to tell, because my daily life-long M.O. is already to be tired, nauseated, moody, and dressed in a shapeless sack.
And that’s been my plan all along.
(Part of the Ebola Mom series)
She got so close to being normal and then she blew it.
…and “Happy Chanukah?” No? Too much effort? K cool.
I’ll take the “I apologize” Christmas miracle and run with it.
I’m in the elevator and an elderly lady walks in…
Lady (after staring at me for 10 seconds): “Are you pregnant?”
Me: “No. I am not. And honestly, this is the second time this has happened to me in an elevator and I don’t understand why.”
Lady: “It’s the way you’re holding your stomach. Makes it seem like something’s in there.”
Me: “Yeah, there is. Dairy. I’m Jewish.”
Lady: “Ah. Enough said.”