[I sit down at the kitchen table to do some work.]
Seth: Do you care if we watch a Homeland?
Me: I don’t care… but you better check with the pup.
Seth: She loves Homeland. She’s snuggled up with me, giving me a belly rub.
Me: She’s giving you a belly rub?
Seth: There’s a lot you don’t know about us.
IVF isn’t really going well this time. Worse than last time, actually. And last time wasn’t stellar. (For more information, please see the start, the middle, the middle again, and the end of IVF.)
I was really bummed on Saturday. I cried a little on the way home. I was sad and tired and mad at mother nature for the surprise April snow and I couldn’t keep all that in. So I cried a little. I even let myself wallow for a while after I got home.
But somehow, miraculously, I’m ok today. Despite the cold and massive Eustachian tube clog that’s causing me some pretty intense ear pain. Even with a big grant deadline looming. And even though IVF is still not going well and there are very real thoughts of the pointlessness of the injections and the potential waste of money swirling around and around in my mind, I am ok. Because I’ve done everything I could possibly do — to treat the cold, to finish the grant, to have a baby.
Since we miscarried in September, I’ve supplemented with vitamin D (mine was pretty low) and melatonin. I’ve upped my soy intake and been eating really very healthy (healthy plus chocolate, because… chocolate). I lost 30 lbs and ran a marathon (even though chocolate). I’ve read the literature and prepared my body and worked on my mind and myself and religiously taken my pills, injected my drugs, gone to all my appointments, and still… it’s not really working.
There is nothing else I can do.
There is still a chance of success, albeit a low one. In fact, we may not even get to go through with the procedure at all, pending further test results. And somehow I’m ok.
Because my family is in the other room, watching Homeland and giving each other belly rubs. Maybe it’ll grow a bit and maybe it won’t. We’ll be ok either way.
So I guess the second verse really isn’t exactly the same as the first except that the first verse was IVF and so is the second. I just have that line stuck in my head because Seth insisted on playing I’m Henry the 8th I Am this weekend. So weird. Love him.
Well, I can cross “be an injectable drug user” off my list of things I’d maybe like to try someday. I’ll stick with pills it it ever comes to that, thank you very much. It might be a bit more expensive that way, but certainly more sanitary and most definitely worth it to avoid becoming the bruised up pin cushion I’ve become. And without the stellar psychotropic effects, even. All the lows, lots of the crazy, none of the highs. This is bull.
But it’s for a maybe baby, I tell myself. And right. That’ssssss good. The thing I’m hoping for. So.
Moving right along. Just keep swimming. Keep on keepin’ on.
The Muppets. Dori. Joe Dirt. The movies are full of such wise people, no?
The mood swings really are bizarre. Mostly I’m tired and bloated and blah. Although on Tuesday, after my mom showed up, I was positively buoyant. That’s when we talked about being fat and how it was cool. Except that two days later, on Thursday morning, I put on a dress to wear to work and just about lost it about the way my big-fat-stupid-ugly tummy looked in it. Took it off. (Hypocrite.) Put on some pants instead and went off to work.
Also a shirt. I wore a shirt to work too.
On Wednesday, I got up at 4:00 am and headed to Madison for an ultrasound and blood work. I had 4 large-ish follicles and 3 more on their way — that’s 7 eggs so far, woot woot! When the results of the blood work came back later in the afternoon, Generations called to tell me that my hormones were right on the money and so I was granted not just a two day reprieve (which is really the best you can hope for) but THREE. Three days until I have to return to Madison on Saturday. Oh sweet mother of all that is good. I cannot tell you what a relief that was. So to Madison and back before 10 am on Wednesday and then I headed to work. Where I struggled mightily to keep my eyes open for about 6 hours before I headed home and basically passed out on the bed for another two. Thankfully (also not), my mom woke me up at 7:00 pm to make sure I didn’t miss my evening injections and I grudgingly poked myself three more times before getting back on the up-and-down rollercoaster of emotion that is my mind.
My mom and I went to dinner (yay!) but I was disappointed by what I ordered (boo!) so we went and got ice cream (yessssss!) but the a-holes didn’t have any of the chocolate lactose-free ice cream (rage!) but I did find some chocolate-flavored coconut ice cream (ok…) and a gluten free baking mag that looked kind of awesome (alright, alright…) and we made it home without a meltdown where I had to work some more (ugh ugh ugh) but I did it while watching Frozen and my mom tolerated me singing along the whole time (let it goooooo!) and then back to bed before another day, another round of injections, and another 24 hours of Cray Cray McBray Bray.
With the exception of Cedar Point’s Iron Dragon, I’ve really never liked roller coasters.
Granted, most roller coasters don’t give every third rider a baby at the end, so…
The letter L is coming, don’t worry, but today I must I interrupt your regularly scheduled programming for a very important announcement.
Baby Claire is here!
My champion Fisky sister was admitted to the hospital at 7:30 am on Friday, June 27th and didn’t stop (or eat any real food!) until she had herself a baby at 9:09 pm. And, as expected, she’s perfection.
World (i.e. readers of Under the Tapestry), please welcome my newest niece, Claire Elizabeth.
This is what really kills me though– Claire with her big sister. And Emma is being a top notch big sister. Turns out, she’s way less selfish than I was when my baby sister came around!
Could they be any cuter?!
It’s times like these when this distance is extra hard. My sister is so much more than just my sister, she’s my best friend, my confidante, my favorite person on this Earth… and Lake Michigan is IN THE WAY of all that at the moment.
Maybe it’s for the best though. Emma and Claire have two sets of devoted grandparents who need to squeeze those cheeks and spoil them rotten before it’s my turn. So I’ll leave them to it… for now.
But get ready, girlies! Auntie Rachel is on her way!
And don’t worry, Fisky Sister, I’m fully prepared for cooking, laundry, dog walking, diaper changing, Lifetime movie watching… whatever it is that you need. I’m even bringing you dairy-free banana muffins! Surprise! Best sister ever!
(Don’t worry, she won’t be reading this right now. She just had a baby… a SECOND baby. No way does she have time for bloggity blogs.)
First thing Thursday morning, I’ll be trekking across the UP (yesssss…) with several books on CD and plans to stop at the lovely little rest stop in Naubinway for a photo op on the dunes of Lake Michigan. Then across the bridge and downstate a ways to Midland, land of these little darlings.
Only a couple more days!
I will likely have some relatively shoddy internet in the interim (making an overnight stop at a cabin in the northwoods with my husband and his family), but I’ve got stuff cooking for the letters L and M… so you can expect them shortly. I just wanted to take this moment to share the most shiny silver lining of all.
True, I have no babies. And I’m having a lot of trouble trying to have babies. As such, it can be hard to watch other people have baby after baby after baby and know that I can’t. It’s hard not to feel broken. But then my sister has one… and wow.
The truth is that someone else having a baby has absolutely no bearing on whether I can or can’t, will or won’t, should or shouldn’t. It’s unrelated. And it’s amazing. My sister has brought two incredible little humans into this world, and even I am surprised at how deeply and how quickly I’ve fallen in love with them.
I’m sure it’s good to be a mama, but I don’t know that good yet. What I do know is that it’s great to be an auntie and awesome to be a sister. And I’m happy to be those things any day, any time.
Because I can’t let my dear friend Dawn down, ever, let’s return to the letter E for just a quick moment.
Now on to the letter F!
April 9th, 1987 was the last “normal” day of my life. I was three and already an old lady in my mind.
The next day, I was sitting in the living room of a family I barely knew when a tall, glasses-wearing, balding man in work clothes came walking up to the door. I yelled out, “Daddy!” and was absolutely mortified when it wasn’t him. I was so embarrassed that the lady I was staying with thought it would be nice to give me some jello. Green jello.
Green?! Salt in the freaking wound! Of all the jello colors… green?! Ugh.
(Note: I have no opposition to the use of green jello as one of many layers in a delicious multi-layered jello salad, which incidentally counts as a side dish rather than as a dessert in the great state of Wisconsin. But green jello on its own? No thank you.)
Before that, I remember being in the hospital with my mom and dad and leaving without my mom. What the whaaaaaat?! As far as I was concerned, it was my mom’s job, passion, life to take care of me and now I was to be abandoned. Abandoned to the not-dad and lady with green jello.
On April 10th, 1987, Abby was born and I was no longer an only child. I had a sister.
I’m a jealous and self-centered person by nature. I realize that sounds super self-deprecating, but it’s the truth and certainly not unexpected of a three year old. (Not so hot at 30; I try to be better.) My sudden realization that I was no longer alone, no longer the sole focus of my parents’ combined adoring attention was basically devastating.
In the months that followed, I came down with a severe case of what the doctor called “Abby-itis”… constant nagging, yet invisible, ailments that required frequent trips to the doctor. Ahhh… attention. Very astute diagnosis, Dr. Stone.
Sometime around high school or so I stopped calling my sister Abalucus (and singing the accompanying song that ended with “Abalucas, you smell like rotten po-taaaa-to peels!!!”) and switched to calling her Shabsky. I don’t know why. It just came to me.
Then she got a middle name– I started calling her Shabsky Balu. Short for Shabsky Baluga. Last name? Fisk. Why? No idea.
(Imagine my shock when I went to google an image of a “baluga” whale only to find out that it’s actually spelled “beluga”… too late to change the nickname birth certificate now!)
Most of the time I call Abby Shabs, short for Shabsky. When I use it after “I love you,” it’s Shabsky Balu (on account of it rhymes and rhyming is awesome). When I’m feeling a little more formal, it’s Shabsky Baluga Fisk. When I talk about her as my sister, I call her my fisky sister. And now you know.
Turns out, Fisk isn’t a terribly uncommon word. Johnson and Johnson’s CEO’s first name is Fisk. Fisk Johnson. And there’s a historically black college called Fisk University in Nashville. I doubt very much that I had ever heard of either of those things back when I started calling my sister that, but it’s good to know that I may actually be able to purchase a Fisk sweatshirt someday when I finally make it to Nashville. (Shhh… don’t tell Shabs!)
My fisky little sister is freaking amazing.
You don’t even know.
(Unless you do know, and then I have no doubt you agree.)
She’s gorgeous, like so gorgeous you want to hate her, but then she opens her mouth and you think “oh, poor thing, such a ditz” and you love her… except then she suddenly puts on some steel-toed boots and a hard hat and tours you around her million story chemical plant, knowing all the ins and outs and pipes and valves (she’s a chemical engineer) and you realize that, actually, she’s freaking brilliant, and you want to hate her all over again. Except you can’t, because she’s ridiculously and crazy and genuinely nice. She’s just so… fisky! It’s the only way to explain it!
After I skipped third grade, Abby and I were far enough apart in school to guarantee that we were never in the same building. I never really knew how exceptionally sad that was going to be though until I went away to college and moving away from my sister was like leaving a little piece of my heart behind.
Imagine the surprise this warranted for the three-year-old self trapped in my 17-year-old body!
I’ve always loved her, but it took distance for me to really appreciate her. She told me when I moved away, “Don’t get drunk. Don’t get pregnant. I love you.” and then made me a bunch of killer soundtracks for life to take with me. I came home that year to watch her run in a cross country meet and to do her hair for her Homecoming dance (I colored the ends of her exceptionally bright blonde hair red with a washable marker– it was genius, she looked so great). We got closer that year, after I moved to the very opposite end of the state, than we had ever been before.
Since then, I’ve felt like my fisky little sister and I are basically intertwined. I love every single second of time I get to spend with her and I miss her always when I can’t. But, to be perfectly honest with you, I got really nervous about our relationship in December 2011 as her first due date rapidly approached.
I knew I already loved my niece more than anything, but I was jealous all over again. I like thinking of my Shabs as Rachel’s sister… I didn’t think I would like very much when Abby stopped being Rachel’s sister and started being Emma’s mom.
Good news, though! They’re one in the same! And as much as I think babies are cool and whatevs, no one is as cool as this crazy little Emma girl that my sister (and her husband, the illustrious Stu man) managed to produce– she’s amazing! A little mini-Abby! And I adore her!
Abby’s got another due date rapidly approaching at the end of June… she’s going to have another little girl, I’m going to have another niece, and Emma, that lucky ducky, is going to have a sister. I know how it’s going to feel for her at first; her world is going to be turned completely upside down. Little does she know, it’ll be the best thing that ever happens to her… because there is nothing better in this world than having a sister. Especially if she’s a real fisky one 🙂
Abby and I have always said that if we ever have a girl, we can’t stop having babies until we have another girl because every girl should have a sister. I know my mom and Aunt Susan would agree. So would my Grandma Rita and Great Aunt Judy. So far, my Shabsky Balu is batting a thousand– good work, Fisky!
What about you? Do you have a sister? Is she fisky? I hope so!
PS: My brother, aka my Stubby little Stubnitz, is pretty dang ah-ah-ah-mazing too. And he’s lucky enough to have TWO awesome sisters. If you ever wondered how wonderful life would be with a sister, he’d be the one to ask. Eh, Tombo?
Also, he’s going to write a book. He’s really good at writing dialogue. Like reeeeal good. Sometimes he sends me snippets of said book via text message in the middle of the night and I always, always, always want to read more. I’ve given him permission to use a couple of my more spectacular blog sentences (mostly because it flatters me when he says he likes them) and I fully plan to be acknowledged right at the beginning. Look for it someday!
This must be the first time we’ve met. Because I do have one. And I love her… so much that I talk about her constantly. Even more than Harry Potter, the Civil War, and dinosaurs combined.
(That’s a lot.)
My dog is a double doodle– her mom was a golden doodle (golden retriever plus poodle), her dad was a labradoodle (labrador retriever plus poodle). So, ultimately, our designer mutt is half poodle, one quarter lab, and one quarter golden. 100% perfection 🙂
We kind of stumbled across the double doodle breed accidentally. My sister has a golden doodle named Grizzly that Seth and I are absolutely in love with, but Seth has always really wanted a lab. A quick Google search after jokingly mentioning a triple mix (and my mom’s serious question– how would they even do that???) revealed that it wasn’t actually a joke at all and we got real serious about finding one of these sweet pups to bring into our home.
The second we put an offer on a house, we applied for a puppy. We were ready!
Curly was born in southern Illinois on August 13, 2012 and came to live with us in October. I was in love with her from the very first picture the breeder sent. Her happy little face was just too much and I just love her more and more and more every day!
I used to think dogs were cool. That it would be nice to have one and that puppies sure were cute.
Now that I have one of my own, though? Dogs… are… everything!
Everything that is good and happy and sweet and fun and loving, and, and, and…
After the cat I grew up with (Callie) passed away, my parents got a dog. It was a total surprise and likely the result of my mom wandering off in a pet store and leaving my dad to his own devices. Oscar just showed up one day, completely out of the blue, and it was an absolute shock… but we were delighted.
(Side note: Oscar was not the name I would have chosen. So I call him Shobsky, because that’s what his name would have been if it had been my choice. But it wasn’t. So technically it’s Oscar, but he responds just as well to Shobsky if I use the right tone of voice.)
Unfortunately, Oscar didn’t come into our family until I was a junior in high school and I was very self-centered at the time and unable to really appreciate the doginess of our dog. I didn’t really get it.
Then we got Curly. And now I super get it.
My Curly girl is everything to me. I absolutely adore her and her sweet face. Everything she does is just so cute to me. She hangs with me when I’m depressed and gets excited with me when I’m happy. She’s such a trooper.
And Curly made me better at being around all dogs. I truly love them all now, even the grumpy old ones like my Oscar. I used to get nervous, I thought licking was super gross, and I was always a little bit uncomfortable. Not anymore!
Now, I can barely restrain myself from petting ALL the dogs. All of them. Every last one. And I thank puppies for licking me– “oh, so sweet! thank you for the kisses!! thank you!” And I’m much more comfortable with my dog than without. With any dog, though. I truly do love them all!
Believe it or not, Curly even made me love my husband MORE. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve loved him a whole heck of a lot since like 2002, but the way he interacts with my Curls leaves me absolutely enamored… all I can do is smile at those two. It’s like all of my heart is there before my eyes.
Life with my sweet, and somewhat troubled, dog has also shown me that I can handle anything– good times and bad, happiness and stress, the calm of uber-sedation and the cray cray of visitors. All of it. I can handle it. Because it’s totally worth it.
So as long as we’re hear, chatting about my Curly girl, how about a little update?
Seth and I took Curls to Madison for a follow-up last Monday. Granted, we’d had two visits to the emergency vet in the interim because the little punk can’t resist chewing on her cast, but those were relatively minor issues. On Monday, they removed the last bits of the fixator and now she’s just got a hard splint from toe to hip. She’s doing well, we’re feeling nervous. Her bone is essentially swiss cheese now that the pins are removed and we’ve lost our security blanket. Our next, and hopefully last, appointment is on June 11th. They anticipate removing everything at that point and we’re hoping to work out just some sort of temporary bracing situation for when she might need a little extra support (on walks, when people come over, when playing in the yard). So far so good and all signs suggest that things are going just about as well as they could possibly be going given the state of her knee when we started. It’s certainly not normal, but we’re on the right track. The best news is that even if this surgery fails completely, she’ll never be worse than she was before she started– in fact probably a little better considering they removed a bone chip that had come off of her patella and a wire that was just floating around in there doing nothing. So… win-win? A little?
Many of you have seen and even complimented me on this awesome decoupaged book purse… made by hand from a real book.
All compliments belong to my friend Marie. She conceived of and made it for me as a wedding gift. I’m in love with it! It’s so clever, so thoughtful, so beautiful. Even the lining is gorgeous, but you’ll have to take my word for it.
Fewer of you are likely to have seen the cover of the journal Marie made me, though. That’s personal, after all. But it’s just as beautiful. (Marie is seriously talented.)
The quotations on the front are where I’m going with this. They constantly remind me of the importance of telling your story, even when you feel like you may not have the most important story to tell. Even if you are worried that you may not be the most eloquent at telling it. Regardless, story is powerful and I really believe that it’s important to put what’s in your heart out there if you feel you might benefit from sharing it or someone else might benefit from hearing it.
Trista and I talked a lot about honest story telling and shared experience last week. And this weekend I saw this great little image while scrolling through Pinterest:
Tell your stories! Yes! Your experience is your story… and it is meaningful.
You know how important story telling is to me; honesty is right up there. The thing that I want to talk about now, though, the stories I want to share, are taboo. (Like that’s ever stopped me before? Except, I would venture to say that this is even more taboo than poo. Dang, right?) They’re things we don’t regularly say and I find that unfortunate. I think that makes this topic all the more important.
The thing I want to talk about is pregnancy. If you’re between the ages of 20 and 45 you’re probably groaning right now at the thought of more of the ultrasounds and ultra-posed newborn pictures that have been gracing your Facebook news feed for years now. But it’s not that. Not for me, anyway.
My husband and I have been trying to have children since August of 2012. Unfortunately, it hasn’t happened for us. In October of 2013, having finally met the “year of trying” requirement, we saw a doctor about it. Good news: it’s not Seth! Bad news: it’s totally me. Got to admit, that feels pretty crappy.
So, since October, I’ve gone through a series of unpleasant measures to try for the thing I want most– both psychologically, and clearly, biologically. A baby.
Intravaginal ultrasounds are invasive and embarrassing. The drug clomid causes hot flashes (mom! I’m so sorry for not being more sympathetic before– now I’m empathetic, and dang!) and a slew of other unpleasant side effects including literal pitting edema in my ankles. Also, it has lengthened my cycle time so that each passing cycle starts later and later… giving me more and more hope that maybe this month will be different. Maybe this month, the stick will be positive! And it’s not. At least it never has been for me.
Having reached the halfway point for ovulation stimulating drugs (they start to lose their efficacy after about 6 cycles) I had to go in for a sit down and re-evaluation with the infertility doctor again on Friday. What I didn’t mention yesterday was that in the midst of the intestinal virus and the eczema flare, I was 5 days late for my period. I was so hopeful. Until I wasn’t. I tried to be cool about it. I tried really hard. But I couldn’t keep it together during the appointment ( why, why, why did I say yes to a resident being in the room?! dumb girl!) and I spent pretty much the whole thing stifling sobs and wiping away my rapidly melting mascara. I wasn’t as ok as I had hoped. I mean 5 days late? Nausea? Really, body? This is how we’re gonna roll???
Fortunately for me, I really do have a good support system. My sister, my sisters-in-law, my friends from work, my friends from elsewhere, my husband, my parents an in-laws… I’m incredibly fortunate in the number of people I can force to listen to my sobbing, my ranting, my raving. Some seriously supportive, seriously patient people.
Trista and I talked a lot about all of that while we were in Phoenix and as we talked around and around and around the issue, we kept coming back to the notion that the bad parts (the miscarriages, the stillbirths) and the not parts (the struggle to get pregnant, the label of infertility) of pregnancy are too rarely talked about openly and with compassion. They may be whispered about, shared when we’re certain we are in a situation in which we’ll remain free from judgement either as a result of shared experience or familiarity and intimacy.
As a society, we have many deeply ingrained ideas about what pregnancy, and lack thereof, means. Pregnancy is good, it’s beautiful. If you can’t get pregnant, if you do but you miscarry, or, heaven forbid, you don’t want kids… suddenly it’s grounds for moral judgement. Every step you take will be selfish, foolish, whatever. Miscarriage? Told people too soon. Can’t get pregnant? Oh, there’s lots of suggestions for that– it’s your diet, your weight, your stress level, your sex position. Don’t want kids? Well, how sad for you, how selfish of you.
According to public opinion, the only way to win appears to be get pregnant (without talking about any trial or tribulation on the way there), to have a perfect pregnancy (and unless you’re the Duchess of Wales, try not to mention hospitalization for hyperemesis or any other unpleasant complication, if you don’t mind), to post 3D ultrasounds and pictures of your bump tied with a bow, followed by a perfect delivery and a blissful home. A little bit of motherhood difficulty is considered acceptable– so long as it deals with the delivery and/or raising of an actual human child.
So what about the people who don’t experience it that way? What are they to do? Personally, I think they should talk about it. Share their experience far and wide. Remind others that everyone’s experience is different and that judgement, no matter the case, is not warranted. Not fair. Not ok. Not necessary.
My personal experience is from within the trenches of infertility, with no success yet to speak of. But this experience has opened my eyes to a world full of infertility, miscarriage, still birth, extreme morning sickness and other crazy pregnancy complications, and other stories whispered, messaged, emailed, sobbed to me… always in private… always out of ear shot of anyone else. And all because I try, for the most part, to be honest about my own experience. Including here now.
I have a lot more to say, as always, and plan to tackle several issues in several posts. This is merely an introduction. But my big hope is this: will you share your story too? How do you feel about a little bit of catharsis? Writing is that for me, perhaps you too? Maybe just reading something honest… something real. A story from my heart to yours.
I’m a-o-k with anonymity if you’d like to share, just let me know and we’ll do this thing. It’s time to talk about what it means to not be pregnant, for any reason. And I’d really like to do that here.
Now, if you’ll excuse me please, I’m off to a hysterosalpingogram to check on my fallopian tubes. No better way to start the day!
This morning a beautiful e-card full of hummingbirds and flowers popped up in my inbox. It was from that crazy nice security guard who gave me a ride on Friday– he was thanking me for the doughnuts! All I wanted to do was thank him for being so kind on so many yucky days! Goodness gracious, do I ever love living in Wisconsin. The kindness in this place, it’s nearly overwhelming!
It’s the littlest things, isn’t it?
This is the reward for trying.
I was reminded of that all weekend. How important it is to try, even when you’re scared or shy or nervous or anxious. Trying makes all the difference.
You see, my friend Krystal came over this weekend (and she brought her husband and daughter with her– also kind of cool!) and I was stressing before hand. Why? I don’t know… but I always do. Krystal is super happy and kind and fun and pretty like you wouldn’t believe. She’s an amazing mom and crafty and hilarious and has excellent taste in movies and gorgeous, super long, curly hair. Every time I see Krystal I get nervous all over again that she’s not going to like me.
Except the first time I really met her, she proved me wrong right away.
Seth was one of Krystal’s husband’s groomsmen and I flew to Green Bay from DC for the wedding. I didn’t know them much at all– I just knew that they were cool (perhaps a little too cool for a nerdy girl like me) and that Seth loved them. I had to go to the rehearsal with Seth since he was in the wedding and what else was I going to do in GB (in January!) while he was busy with wedding stuff. I thought it would be awkward and I’d be out of place, but I wasn’t! At all! Krystal was so warm and kind and actually excited to meet me. Krystal’s one of those people who attracts people just like her too– her family was warm and kind, her friends were warm and kind, everyone there was just welcoming and happy and all around good to an overwhelming degree.
In my warped mind I kept thinking… but, she’s pretty!! how can this be? and yet it was, and my warped mind was w-r-o-n-g wrong. My second track tries to get it’s punches in every time I am going to see Krystal again, but when she gets out of her truck, smiles big, gives me a hug, squats down to pet my overly-excited pup and then gets excited that Curly still pees for her (Krystal is literally the only person who still gets excited pee from Curls, quite the compliment), I’m instantly at ease.
I don’t have any babies, but Krystal trusts me with hers. My dog is a maniac, but Krystal loves on her anyway. I’m not an exciting person, but Krystal is content to chill on the couch and watch movies. I make a lot of Harry Potter jokes, but Krystal always laughs at them. I tell Krystal a story about eating an entire can of Pringles, and Krystal tells me that not only did she eat an entire can of Pringles, but she did it laying down and got so many crumbs all over her chest that her husband threatened to take pictures.
The best part is that Krystal does all of this even though she’s seen me at my worst. I remember going to their house in GB one time when I was in the midst of a pretty deep depressive episode. I could barely force a smile and I was horrible, horrible company the whole weekend. Another time I had a migraine like you wouldn’t believe and all I wanted to do was lay down on a cold pillow in the quiet dark and pop a couple Excedrin every couple hours. They took me to the drugstore for Excedrin (sweet relief!) and made sure we had enough puppy chow (mmmmm… puppy chow…) to get through the weekend. (I really, really like puppy chow.)
It’s true that things don’t always work out as you’d hope, but trying is always worth it because it just might. My sister-friend* Melissa told me one time that while she’d prefer never to see me hurt, she would always prefer that I get hurt for trying rather than for not. (And FYI, she told me this on a phone call from the freaking Ritz-Carlton Laguna Beach while she was celebrating her birthday with her husband. Taking the time out to call me– crazy woman, and crazy good friend!!!!) Even though it’s scary and the prospect of not being well-received is difficult, it’s worth it for those instances in which you befriend a Krystal or make someone’s day with doughnut holes.
*On vacation, Melissa and I automatically become sister-wives and it’s awesome. Our husbands joke then that they are brother-husbands, but that’s ridiculous and doesn’t make any sense (obvs). We are sister-wives in that we cook together and hang out together and take care of the (Melissa’s) kids together… and all those things are more fun because of it. It’s so awesome! I’m pretty sure I would not dig the polygamy aspect of sister-wifery,** but the companionship part? Totally!
**Pronounced WHIFF-ery, not WIFE-ery… like the brothers Deslaurier on The Mindy Project.