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New Here? Start With These Posts.

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New here? I’ve compiled some of my most popular blog posts and short stories for you to give you somewhere to start. Please give me feedback or share if something sits well with you. Or if you’re drunk.

10 Reasons That I’m Surprised That Someone Married Me

A Story About My Little Brother’s Death

My Life With Animals

A Little About M.E. A Short Bio

My Ovaries Are Too Old, According To My Dad

“You know that when old people have kids, their kids are retarded,” my father said while dicing vegetables. My husband shot me an angry glance, my blood boiled, my father chewed on a carrot. “So, when exactly are you having children,” he continued while reaching for a cucumber. “DAD!” I groaned and tried to tune him out.

My husband and I were at my father’s house for a few days, spending time with the family. I like family stuff. I enjoy being around my siblings and parents. I enjoy it more when my dad isn’t saying insane, offensive shit. Which he can’t help because he’s kiiiiind of a narcissist and that part of his brain that should gauge what’s appropriate to say to other humans is broken. Most of his crazy is highly entertaining, like, when he’s not being horribly offensive, he’s bragging about what a glorious male specimen he is. “Baby, you don’t understand how hard it is to be so good looking. Baby, I have the voice of angels.”

He’s also really into knowing things. He has “all the best knowledge,” and the inside scoop on pretty much everything, according to him and his way  of caring is lecturing. He loves to lecture. His favorite topics include: Government conspiracies, Russia, China, how bottled water is a lie, ancient Persia, and the power of fruits, vegetables, and Persian cuisine.  “Cucumbers will clean your blood, baby, did you know that?” He asked after he essentially told me that my ovaries are practically filled with dust. Then he moved onto the magical powers of dates, cherry juice, and walnuts. All are “spectacular,” for curing any and all diseases. Anxiety? Eat more dates. Insomnia? Cherry juice. Brain tumor? Walnuts. Tired? Put tea in your eyes.

After he covered his usual topics: Offensive shit about my womb/lifestyle/goals/marriage/dog, the power of dried apricots, and Russias goal to govern the world with China, he demands that we put on Sophia Loren videos for him to sing and dance to. “Nobody dances like Sophia Loren, NOBODY!”

My siblings and stepmom watch all of this and exchange a few raised eyebrows. That’s just him, in all of his crazy glory. He’s a lovely man, charming, and caring, but also a highly critical man with an eye for flaws. My dad either exaggerates your achievements (you got a job at a call center and he’ll tell people that you’re the CEO), or he exaggerates your flaws (you went to a psychologist so you’re clearly mentally unstable, cannot be trusted, and definitely got that gene from your mother).  Our shortcomings blaze from us like disappointment beacons. If we’re really pissing him off, every flaw glows for him, and it’s all he can see or think about and it’s all he can talk about, too.

Luckily, we all have a sense of humor. When my dad accidentally separates us in a constant competition for his love-completely conditional-we gang up against him and gossip, roll our eyes, or blog about his never-ending insanity. My dad isn’t a terrible person, in fact, he’s a really fantastic dad. But he’d deeply emotional, very sensitive, and our mistakes terrify him which cause  him to lash out because he’s not a good communicator (because he has a penis). Instead of talking about it, he panics, cuts us down, attacks us or  turns a blind eye so he doesn’t have to deal with what he sees as guaranteed failure. Also, he’s super Persian and culturally they just have an incredibly high standard for everything in life. Hence, all of the criticism:

Hence, all of the criticism:

1. I care about my dog too much. It’s weird. They love their dog, too, but their dog is better than my dog so it makes sense.

2. I have too many college degrees. And none of them in medicine or engineering.

3. I have waited too long to marry and have children. Only a selfish person would wait for so long. My womb is a place where sadness lives.

4. I’m a horrible wife because when I’m upset with my husband I tell him. A good woman would keep it all inside, and then manipulate her husband with guilt to get what she wanted.

 

Obviously.

On the opposite side, my dad is extremely dependable when you need him. If I were to call him right now because something was wrong he’d be here in a minute. He always wants us with him, sometimes in a way that is suuuuper clingy. There have been weekends where he’s asked me to hang out no less than 6 times. He loves to be surrounded by family and friends. When we were children, my sisters and I would dog pile around him on his bed and watch movies with his arms wrapped around us.

 

He’s the kind of guy you want to hug and kiss and then stab in the head with a fork. He’s not perfect, he’s perfectly crazy.

But, I wouldn’t want him any other way.

P.S. On that note, maybe I’d want him to at least be less offensive. Just, a smidge.

I Could Outrun A Tiger: Panic And Anxiety

Sometimes, my brain is a real asshole and seems to hate me. I’ve had anxious episodes a few times in my life. I suffer from low-grade depression, not always, but often. I’ve had a few panic attacks throughout my life. Lately, it’s been bad.

About four months ago I went out for drinks with colleagues and ended up in the emergency room around two a.m. after I demanded Francesco to take me because I believed, completely, that I was dying. It felt like I was. My heart was beating out of my chest, my legs were shaking, I couldn’t take a full breath of air, and I felt a kind of fear that is hard to even imagine.

Panic attack, the doctor said. They handed me an orange pill, tucked me into some warm blankets, and monitored me until the Xanax kicked in and I fell asleep in the hospital bed. The next day, it was as if nothing happened. I was fine. I’ve been fine.

Speed forward to this week. For no rational reason, I’ve been having a lot of anxiety. It seems like I’ve been overthinking everything and it’s been leading to some shit feelings, terrifying thoughts, and bad nights. I lay in bed at night, my mind racing, thinking, “oh my God, Francesco is going to die. So am I. So is everyone.” And I’m terrified for eight hours in the dark. This last Tuesday night, F was in class and my anxiety crept up again. I watched Bad Moms, snacked a little, tried to stay preoccupied. But around ten p.m., I was struck by the same indescribable fear as four months ago. My entire body started to shake, and I felt, once again, like I was going to die. Somehow, though, I fell asleep eventually but the next morning I woke up with the same panic. Let me tell you, it’s a shit way to start your day. Good morning, terror.

I was able to get into the doctor at eleven a.m. and was given a prescription for Ativan. I hate pills. I am scared of them and I don’t trust them. Still, it I didn’t have a choice if I wanted the horrible, terrible, scary, awful, feeling to go away. I practically sprinted to the Pharmacy and popped it right then and there. Twenty minutes later,  I felt slightly better but not great. I still felt shaky, my muscles were still tense and trembly, and despite my burning stomach, I couldn’t eat. Even crackers made me gag, which made my anxiety ten times worse. Eating is the most basic human thing. And I couldn’t do it. I was convinced I’d die if I didn’t eat. Which made it so I couldn’t eat. Let’s just say it was a terrible fucking cycle.

Unlike last time, it took me two full days to stop feeling panicked and anxious. And six days later, I’m still not at 100%. I stopped taking the Ativan after the second day and I feel better but I’m still slightly weary and uneasy. I’m still not able to sleep through the night. I’m still worried that it will happen again. Luckily, I have an amazing husband who all but dropped everything to reassure me, cuddle me, and stay with me until this feeling passes.

Fun fact about anxiety: All of its horrible symptoms, are actually your bodies way of preparing for combat and or running away developed from some time where we needed to fight crocodiles or club your dinner to death. You guys, I could outrun a fucking Tiger right now. Seriously, bring it. outrunning-tigers-image

I’ve also done a lot of introspection and realized that ever since I moved home from Italy, I’ve been stressed out, irritable, distracted, just below the surface. I don’t know why exactly but it’s been there and I’ve ignored it. I’m not a highstrung person, in fact, my parents make fun of me for being “too relaxed,” all the time. Apparently, all of the stress has boiled to the surface and is like, “PAY ATTENTION TO ME YOU TWAT!”

I am. I’m paying attention. I made an appointment with a therapist and I’m going to go to Yoga. And, I’m going to stop thinking about things that don’t matter. You really don’t realize how great your life is until you’re cowering in fear for no fucking reason praying for the horrific scary feeling to pass.

It’s been a shitty reminder to take care of myself. I’ll be doing this for a minute instead of worrying about getting pregnant and starting a family. Apparently, I need some self-love for a minute. It’s so easy to get caught up in life and forget to take care of yourself. Your body and brain will only take so much abuse before it bitch-slaps you from here to China.

Also, have any of you had panic attacks, anxiety? Have you experienced it with children? How do you manage? What has helped you?

 

Trying To Conceive: An OBGYN I’d Probably Marry

In my last blog post, Just Stare Into My Vagina and Tell Me It Will Be Okay, I wrote about how scared I am to have a baby. Or, how scared I am to try to have a baby, since I’m not actually pregnant, yet. As of then I couldn’t find an OBGYN, with higher ratings than a dominos pizza, that was in-network.

Well, cue the trumpets, I found someone. Two people, actually, and I want both of them to be my best friends. Best friends who have both been elbows deep into my birth canal.

I’m one of those weirdos who Googles everything. Especially healthcare providers and anyone who could potentially kill me or maim me but also pretty much anything because I have entirely too much time on my hands and am addicted to unlimited information. Like six months ago I stumbled on this one OBGYN that has like the highest rating in the state and I was like, I NEED HER. But she was out of network. Well, I checked again recently and she was IN NETWORK! So I made the appointment and was more excited than I’ve ever been to have my cervix aggressively raked. Usually my lady exams are super weird so I’ve written about them way more than a normal person would. Do normal people write about their vagina exams? I don’t know. Anyway.

At the appointment, I was shown to a chair and told to wait for the doctor. After five minutes or so she came flying in, apologized for being late, and proceeded to ask me a zillion questions. But, not in a normal doctor way.

” Do you drink?”

“Yes, wine”

“GOOD! Good for you! And you can continue to do that until your pregnancy test says you’re pregnant. However, that doesn’t mean you can put the test off for eight months.”

Throughout my appointment she was informative and funny. She made jokes about dressing up as a vagina for Halloween. During my pap smear she impersonated Trump, “No, really, nobody respects women more than I do.”

When I told her I was pro-choice she high-fived me and told me I was incredibly badass and responsible. I live in Utah where like 98% of the doctors are Mormon and super republican. And while I have many friends and family who are both of those things, I am neither. And I was pretty excited about having a doctor who I didn’t feel like I had to pretend for. I also really liked her because when I told her about my experience with an Italian gynecologist she said, “That’s horrifying. Do you know how many women are sexually assaulted? That would be traumatic.” She also explained absolutely everything that she was doing, why she was doing it, and gave me a forty minute explanation of why they do a pap smear (cervical cancer screening, caused by the HPV virus). Seriously, it was the most thorough, thoughtful, kind, and hilarious appointment I’d ever had. She’s exactly who I’d want by my side while I pushed a giant baby out of my lady garden.

However. I’d just discovered, the day before, that while she is in my network, the clinic she works in, is not. Therefore, she couldn’t be my OBGYN without my having to shell out a lot of money for the out of network stuff. Sigh. I told her all of this and she listened and said, “Oh, don’t you worry! I’ve got you! One of my best friends is an OBGYN in your network! You’ll love her. She’s super progressive and funny!”

Sold.

I haven’t met her yet but I have talked with her nurse a few times on the phone and she is amazing. When I told her who referred me she laughed, “Oh, she’s awesome. Yeah, her and Dr. So and So are like best friends. You’re going to love her, she’s so great.” So, I’m actually excited about my doctor now. Sounds super trivial for most of you, I know, but for me it’s a huge relief. Which is good because I can’t be over here chugging entire bottles of wine.

I have no idea what I’m doing. Oh my God what am I doing?

 

Just Stare Into My Vagina And Tell Me It Will Be Okay

My husband and I are in our mid-thirties and approaching that romantic place where we feel like if we’re going to have babies we should probably do it.

I’ve held out for a long time. Partially to spite our family because his parents are like, “do you not understand how sex works?” and my dad horrifies us by saying shit like, “your children are going to be retarded if you keep waiting.” And i’m like, please leave me and my womb alone!

But we’ve also held out because it’s never been the right time. Since we met in Italy and lived in Italy there was the whole, “we’re not even both citizens of the same country,” thing. Then there was the, “we just want to enjoy being married,” thing. Then we moved to the U.S. and there has been the “he’s been laid off twice because that’s what happens in engineering so we never have insurance for longer than ten minutes,” thing.

I’ve also held out because I’m super scared.

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Top Fears In No Particular Order: 

  1. That something will be wrong with the baby. This is where parents go, “it wouldn’t matter I’d love my baby no matter what.” Yeah, duh. But ALSO, it’s hard to think of my child growing up with more challenges than a kid already has. I know the “right” response is to pretend like it’s not something that even occurs to me, and that I’m supposed to say that it shouldn’t matter because love is love but also, having a deformed, disabled, or otherwise challenged child would be really, really hard. Yes, I’d still love my kid no matter what. Yes, I’d do my best to be the best mom ever for their specific challenges, and hope that they could still enjoy the highest possible quality of life, but regardless, it would be hard, and thinking about the nine million things that can potentially go wrong is scary.
  2. My kid will grow up to be an asshole. This would be largely my fault, I imagine, but still, I don’t want to be responsible for unleashing a total jackass onto the world at large. Has anyone seen, “We Need To Talk About Kevin.” Yeah, super scary.
  3. People will treat me differently when I’m pregnant or a mom. This stems from the fact that my usual reaction to pregnant women isn’t “you’re glowing,” but rather, “OH MY GOD THAT LOOKS PAINFUL! CAN I GET YOU SOMETHING?”
  4. My husband (who is amazing, truly) will not help 50% and I’ll be forced to stab him in the head with a fork.
  5. Something will go wrong with the pregnancy and/or childbirth and my life will suddenly become a lifetime drama where I’m dying on a table somewhere screaming, “JUST SAVE MY BABY!” then I turn to my husband, who is crying and hysterical, and say, “Just do the best you can and find a woman who will love both of you,” before I bleed out.

DEALING WITH INSURANCE AND FINDING AN OBGYN THAT WON’T KILL YOU

Fear number five is probably my biggest fear right now. Mostly due to my current situation: Finding an OBGYN and dealing with insurance. I’m not pregnant but I want to have all of my ducks in a row before we even consider backing away from our tried and true pullout method (note: For anyone under thirty reading this, I’m an idiot so don’t do anything I do in my life).

FUN INSURANCE FACTS I’VE RECENTLY LEARNED:

  • Your doctor has to be in-network
  • Their affiliate hospital has to be in-network
  • Lots of my in-network doctors are NOT affiliated with my in-network hospital.
  • What the fuck?

I live in Utah and only two hospitals in my area are in network: Intermountain and LDS. Now, I’d rather have my baby at home with my dog acting as my midwife than give that much money to the LDS church. Nothing personal, but churches tend to fund anti-gay marriage bills and throw money at people fighting planned parenthood and I’d rather not contribute to their church agenda that is the opposite of my mostly liberal agenda. So, this leaves me with one hospital option. I searched our insurance database and sifted through a bunch of “2 star out of 5” doctors because, uhm, fuck no. I don’t want a 2 start doctor anywhere near my vagina or my slippery newborn. Of the 4-5 star doctors NONE OF THEM ARE TAKING PATIENTS WHO ARE NOT KNOCKED UP ALREADY. After being turned down from around 34,000 doctors, I felt a little bit hysterical, I mean, how hard can it be to get someone to stare into my vagina and tell me that everything will be okay? So my final phone conversation went something like this:

Receptionist: Hello, lalala office, how can I help you?

ME: I’d like to make an appointment with (insert Dr. Name Here)

Receptionist: Okay! Are you pregnant?

ME: (fuck) Uhm, no I’m not but we might try soon an-

Receptionist: Dr. lalala only sees patients who are already pregnant.

ME: I totally understand. But one question: How am I supposed to get genetic testing, make sure that my hoo-haw is in golden baby-making condition, and have all of my terrifying questions answered about whether or not I should get pregnant if I can’t see a doctor until it’s past the point of no return?

Receptionist: Uhm, I don’t kn-

ME: ALSO, let’s say that there are complications. I could DIE. Don’t you think I have the right to thoroughly vet my doctor before I’m whittled down to a terrifying 9 month deadline.

Receptionist: I’ve never actually thought of it that way.

ME: If you have a suggestion box will you add that?

Then I hung up the phone and spent one hour watching videos of handicap goats on Instagram (Goats Of Anarchy) until I felt better. Finally, I made an appointment with a great OBGYN that is in network but NOT affiliated with an in-network hospital just to get a checkup before I get pregnant. But then I’ll have to switch when I am.

What group of fucksticks created this system? I know a handful of you are like, OBAMA! BLAME OBAMA. But no, please don’t. Not at all because of my political beliefs but because our system was disaster way before he was elected president. Let’s make a new, better, system y’all.

Since I am a whacko and seem to have no control over the pregnancy situation I spent a week going, “maybe we don’t want kids.” But I totally do. So I’ve come up with fun ways to make this fun for someone as batshit as me.

LIST OF SUPER CRAZY SHIT I DID THIS WEEK TO MAKE ME FEEL LIKE I HAVE CONTROL OVER THINGS I HAVE NO CONTROL OVER

  1. I used an astrology site to map out my exact conception dates to have a virgo baby. No, I don’t really believe in astrology as a science, but I’m a virgo and so are most of my friends and they’re badass so whatever.
  2. I did a weird amount of research on the Shettle method. True or false? Who the hell knows but I’d like a girl first because I’m sexist but also because I’ve read a lot of interesting research on family dynamic and the sex of the eldest child. Yes, I’ll also be happy for a boy. I’m not a total monster.
  3. I started a baby registry with baby list. You’re thinking, that is totally batshit. And I agree. As someone who generally dislikes baby showers and baby related things in general, I am totally in agreement with you that it’s crazy. However, it helps me concentrate on a fun aspect of having a baby (shopping) so that I focus less on the not fun aspects (possible death scenario).
  4. I forced my husband to look at the registry. He was both baffled and concerned. “Honey, but you’re not even pregnant yet,” and then I was like, “I KNOW THAT, FRANCESCO. Just LOOK at that organic onesie. LOOK AT IT.”
  5. I Googled prenatal vitamins for 2-12 hours. Folate, apparently a really good thing that I need a lot of.

So, that’s where I’m at right now: TERRIFIED. Seriously, how do people just have babies? How did you decide to have a baby if you had one and were you somehow less terrified? Why?

Weird conversations with my dad

My dad immigrated to the US in 1979 to STEAL AMERICAN JOBS. Just kidding, he actually came here to repopulate the United States with his seed. This dude makes babies like it’s his job (that he stole from an American). Because my dad is foreign, and also crazy, growing up with him is interesting. And often, just super weird.

Take for example this 20 year running joke where he claims to be some random man named John Anderson. He thinks it’s THE FUNNIEST joke in all the world. And it’s literally been a thing since I was a teenager. That, and, “I’m in Chicago.” Which doesn’t even really make sense.

The other day:

Dad: hello? [very thick Persian accent]

Me: Hi dad!

Dad: I’m not eh your dad. I’m John Anderson FBI.

Me: Ok dad.

Dad: I just eh said I’m not your dad. I don’t have deh children. I have many girlfriends and no children.

Me: Gross.

Dad: excuse me? What’s so gross about dat?

Me: The picturing my dad with his many girlfriends part.

Dad: hahahahaha! Can’t I git a break?

Me: Not when your goal in life is to recreate the Persian empire on American soil.

Dad: Bahahaha. Well, I need a break.

Me: Then you should get better at using contraceptives.

Dad: hahahahaha. I’m dropping off your stepmom at the airport and then I’m coming to see you. I love you baby.

Me: love you, too. Dad.

Me: [hangs up and searches for wine].

My Dog Hates Me

I really like my dog, Oliver, a lot. In a sort of stalkerish, I watch him while he sleeps, sort of way. The love is not mutual, though. In fact, I’m preeeetty sure he hates me.

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I used to tell myself that he’s just bored with me. I’ve worked at home for most of his life so he thinks of me as a sort of lamp or chair that occasionally takes him for a walk. Francesco, my husband, on the other hand, is about the coolest thing in the entire world because he’s never home. However, I’ve recently started working at the office and it’s become pretty damn clear that Oliver just thinks I’m an idiot. For example, in this instagram video. Notice how I’m trying to be his bestie, and he’s just giving me some nasty side-eye like I’m his racist cousin at a family reunion that he didn’t even want to go to in the first place.

We don’t have kids yet, but I’m pretty sure that this is basically what it’s like to have a teenager. And now I need to call my mom and tell her I love her. Also, I probably need to adopt a baby goat or a capybara because they’d probably be all about me and we could climb on shit and swim and ALL WOULD BE GLORIOUS.

Francesco said, “no.” Probably because he’d be jealous.

What about you guys? Do you have pets? Do they like you? What’s that like?