Saturday, March 21, 2009

victories and defeats part 1

This is me being presumptuous, that I'll have a Part 2 to post by the end of the weekend so that this title makes some sense.


Yesterday I had a number of errands to run and I even got most of them done (PLUS I did my grocery shopping that's regularly scheduled for Saturday, so that gives me bonus points, right?). Most signally, I needed to buy new bras. And I hate bra-shopping like death. I mean, I enjoy shopping, and bras are cute, so I always start out with high hopes that it will be enjoyable and I'll get something I like. This never happens. I always end up exhausted and demoralized, convinced that my body is totally defective, my husband can't really be attracted to me, and the bra-producing industry is composed entirely of Satanic Martians. I used to think this was just me, being as I'm a charter member of the IBTC (since I'm rather prim and, on good days, naturally ladylike, that term has always seemed rather crude to me - but, the idea of this particular demographic being organized against outside oppressors has a certain attraction), but as I grew older, and was less convinced that my body was some sort of grotesque oddity (ah, adolescence), I learned that most women hate bra-shopping.


I went to Target, and came home with two of a quite moderately-priced item that I wouldn't have picked out of a catalogue, but turned out to fit quite well (I was going to post a picture - from the website, not of me! - but I realized that was not G-rated, and I'm all about the G-rated. Er, well, if this post qualifies. Whatever).

And I would also like to say that despite what Target's website says, IT IS NOT PADDED. While I insist upon buying brassieres that are lined (otherwise why bother with a bra?), I don't buy the padded ones (well, with specific exceptions), and resent the implication that the only thing a modestly-proportioned young woman could possibly be looking for is some misrepresentation of her figure. What about a well-fitted undergarment? Why not just that? Anyway, as you see, my ire has not quite quieted from yesterday. I was also going to buy one of these, as being extremely fun, but I pointed out to myself that I just plain don't need one, however cute I think it is. (If they had sold matching panties in my size, the analysis might have concluded differently.)

It occurs to me that there are some parallels between the self-loathing/suppressed rage that characterizes bra-shopping, and that which accompanies infertility. But I survived bra shopping, so...


Anyway, now for the defeat part. First of all, my DH has been out of a job for two months now. We knew this was coming because he'd taken a really cool temporary position, and we both thought it was worth the temporary uncertainty to help him do what he'd like to do in his career. But he takes the long period of directionlessness really hard. We get by fine on my income (not that I would mind having some more to put in savings!), but he just doesn't know what to do with himself.

I have a hard time being much help. He wants me to look over all of his resumes and cover letters and every last comma, and I know he is more than competent to do all these things himself, so unless he puts the computer in front of me and insists I look at something in particular, I say I will help but I make no affirmative effort to do so. Superficially, I'm being perfectly fair - I will help if he asks me. But, I think he wants help prying himself out of his inertia, and I'm little help with that. I spend almost twelve hours a day away from home between work, commuting, and Mass, and when I get home, I have no energy to help another adult send out resumes, when he has been able to sleep in and enjoy the sunlight (it's always dark when I get home) and run while it's light and cook if he wants to (nope, that's what I would do if I were home) and anything with all those hours. Of course, this is hardly selfless love or charity I'm showing. I need to shape up. But his depression is really getting me down, and I have so little time to do what I want. (What I want has become a rather too-prominent theme in my thoughts of late, I'm afraid...)

Then there's the dog. Y'all have to help me here. He has suddenly - within the last 72 hours - decided that we need a dog right now. We emphatically do not need a dog. We live in a safe neighborhood. As aforementioned, I have no extra time or energy as it is. He's not working now, but soon enough he will be, and he doesn't do anything he doesn't overdo. Once he gets a job, he'll be at work 14-16 hours a day (and this is ignoring his current notion that he should take a job that regularly requires extended international travel, an idea I vigorously oppose). Then a dog he wants and I don't will become my dog. I'll be honest - if that happens and I can't give the dog away, I'll put it down. I don't want to take on responsibility for a living creature to which I'm not committed.

And most fundamentally, a dog does not fit in with my current notion of my life. If I had kids, I would stay home. Then I could paper-train a puppy, and it would be safer for the kids to have a dog around. It would be an excuse to get out and run, and it would be fun. Fine. As it is, I don't get to have a creature to care for that I want (and, naturally, ought to have); so I don't want to become responsible for a creature I don't want. How is that a fair trade? At least the "no kids" trade means that, for the first time in my entire life, I have some free time (weekends) and some money. If I'd had kids when I expected to, this would never have happened, because I grew up so poor and I married so young. Every other gal I know has had at least some years where she flew to all the weddings and invested in relationships with all her girlfriends. And I never have, and though I'm a homebody, now I can do that a little bit, and it's just a little bit of a consolation for not having kids.

Also, we rent, and though we have a big yard, we will end up paying an extra security deposit and increased rent, in addition to the cost of the creature and its food. Oh, plus kennel fees, so that if we ever go anywhere, in addition to the cost of travel, we can have the privilege of a further needless expense. I want to save my money for a house - and get a dog after I have my own home.

Why does this matter to me so much? It probably shouldn't. I mean, in any case, I wouldn't mind if he wanted to get his own dog. If he wanted to deal with it 100% (including paying for its expenses out of his nonexistent salary), I wouldn't poison it, barring the exception mentioned above. But what's becoming increasingly clear is that he wants to get me a dog. Moreover, he wants to get me a dog that would fit his notions of what I should have: docile, housetrained, will be effective guard dog when he wanders off to parts unknown and leaves me here. I don't want an older dog - if and when I want a dog, I want to raise it myself from a puppy. (See what I mean about the "what I want" theme?)

We almost had a huge fight at the pound yesterday, in front of a good-natured volunteer, because, after I sportingly agreed to go and look at the puppies, with the express understanding that I was not agreeing to buy one, he apparently decided that he could convince me to bring home a ten-year-old yellow lab that day. I would also like to point out, for any horrified readers, that I was unflaggingly pleasant and calm about my disinterest in bringing home a dog yesterday. I didn't yell. I just didn't change my mind. So I'm not a monster.

Maybe I should get him a cat...


  1. Aw! Get a dog! Don't you know they hold beneficial healing powers for humans?!

  2. Yes, but do they treat infertility? :)