Monday, July 26, 2004

Pencil me in

As part of the whole Sperm Meets Egg Action Plan this month, E. e-mailed me at work this morning to ask me for a note of "the crucial dates".

Why, you may ask? So he can put them in his diary, of course, or more specifically, his Palm Pilot thingee, which will chime repeatedly when the appointed time arrives. His particular diary-gadget has an alarm sound like a mini British fire engine. Nee-naw, nee-naw, nee-naw. Time to impregnant girlfriend! No doubt that will make him snap to it like a lean teenage greyhound at the track.

Of course, I had to explain to him for the gazillionth month running that whilst I am quite regular, and whilst I do my best to monitor the situation, I am not blessed with the second sight as to the exact moment at which I will ovulate. If I plan on it happening early, like Day 9, it will invariably be delayed until Day 15. And vice versa.

So I got out the calendar and counted out the days, feeling frustrated and a bit aggravated that our sex life is reduced to appointment slots in a Palm Pilot, but resigned to the inevitable. Guessed which weekdays looked likely, so he could plan on commuting that week. E-mailed to say he needed to be here from X August to X August.

In response:

E: I don't understand. What days do you mean?

Mare: How is what I sent you in any way unclear? I need your presence, and more specifically your most enthusiastic sperm, on X day of the week this month. Followed by the next day and the next day and the next day. I might ovulate before the last date mentioned, but you'd better plan on being here EVERY DAY UNTIL THAT HAPPENS.

(OK, I didn't mention the sperm part of it. I'm sure the IT guys get enough yuks out of my emails as it is).

Telephone call from E. this evening.

E: Listen, I don't think I can do every day/night that week. The commute, you know, the early morning starts. It's a killer.

Is this the appropriate juncture to mention that our living arrangements suck? I honestly don't know what we will do if we actually do manage to have a baby, how we'll juggle two jobs and two flats in two cities. E. and I have discussed this ad nauseum. We have been over it about ten million times, round and round in the same endless vicious circle.

Commuting is really not an option. We've both done it once upon a time, and trust me when I say that whichever one of us was doing it would lose the will to live in about two months.

Especially in winter, which is particularly bad. Have you ever experienced winter in Scotland? It's dark almost all the time. At Solstice time it doesn't get fully "light" until about 9 or 10 am, and it gets dark again at about 3 pm. It's damp, it's dreich, it's cold. You wake up in the dark, go to work in the dark, come home in the dark. Trying to do the hour and half plus commute each way in winter is a one way ticket to depression, insanity, death. I do know a couple of people that do it, but not one of them is over 25. All that keeps them going are the same youthful reserves that allow them to drink eight pints of lager and go clubbing on weeknights. But if they keep it up, they will have that grey, hollow-eyed look that all commuters in Scotland eventually get.

The obvious answer would be for me to give up my job and move to the Other City, but both E. and I loathe that place with a fiery passion. We definitely don't want to bring up a family there. He only stays there because he has a job (which he more or less dislikes) and it's not easy for him to get another one. And I (more or less) love my job, or at least appreciate that as far as jobs go, it's (usually) good, with plenty of benefits and a very child-friendly attitude. All things considered, we both think it's lunacy for me to give up my job, especially since it's not clear if I ever will get to avail myself of that child-friendliness.

Living in the middle has potential, but not that much potential, since it would still be a commute, but this time for both of us. One of my colleagues who lives "in the middle" has a youngish baby, and she speaks longingly of moving back in. Not to mention that most of the soulless little breezeblock communities that make up much of the area of land between the two cities really don't appeal. We've looked many times, shuddered, and given up.

So here we are. Pencilling in times to be together for starting a family, when at the moment we aren't even able to be a full time family to each other. It gets me thinking about moving back to America, burning our boats and starting over. Despite the obvious attractions, neither of us can quite bring ourselves to pursue that step. And depending on the path our appointment in October takes us, we may have enough big steps to contend with at the moment, without taking on an international move.

Sometimes the only thing I am clear about anymore is that almost nothing is simple.



6 Comments:

At 10:17 PM, Blogger Orodemniades said...

Hey, it could be worse, you could be like me, living in Aberdeen, possibly the most podunk city on the planet. My hometown in the US, population 10K, is more exciting, has more to do. Blah.

Oh yeah, greetings from another 'barren mare'. I've only just come across your blog (from grrl's site, I think), but will now read through and see if your experience has been anything like mine. Well, I say 'experience', I haven't actualy had any yet during my, oh, let me count...during the 2.5 year wait I've had from diagnosis (IVF, it's your only hope) to first protocol(December, with luck).

 
At 12:23 PM, Blogger JJ said...

I vote you come to Canada, really make a fresh start, and be my new next door neighbours!!!

 
At 2:45 PM, Blogger lobster girl said...

Goodness, that's complicated. You're so right. Nothing is simple. But it sounds like you're doing everything you can under the circumstances. Nee-naw, nee-naw, nee-naw.

 
At 3:43 PM, Blogger Katie said...

Yeah, I agree. Your situation is not the best to be in when you two are trying to create a family. It's hard enough for L. and I and we live together! I can't imagine commuting back and forth like that. I really admire your love and dedication to each other.

 
At 4:12 PM, Blogger Pazel said...

The biggest danger of him putting alarms on the days/times of planned sex is that he will soon become programmed like Pavlov's dog. For other appointments, the same alarm will go off and he'll suddenly feel horny and not know why.

I'm sorry that you can't be together right now. Matt worked 12 hours away in nowhere Nevada for 6 months when I was pregnant with Janie. He drove back on weekends every 3 weeks, but it would only be a day because the drive took up all the precious time. It was because he couldn't find his apprenticeship program in our state. He had been on a waiting list for a year. After 6 months, he came home and a few months later he was offerred a new apprenticeship in California. I could move to California and we could finally be together. I wish that your E could find a position closer to you, but I know that that's not always possible.

 
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