Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Time brutality

There are not enough hours in the day. There are simply not. I am suddenly desperately busy at work, and trying to fit in everything that needs to get done: test scheduling, phone calls, banking, booking flights, obtaining currency for various destinations, laundry, shopping, sex on certain days, cleaning, doing E.'s taxes, arguing about where we should live- it seems overwhelming. Not impossible- just terminally exhausting.

My real life support system is somewhat lacking. For some time now, in my professional life, I have felt extremely...what's the word? Vulnerable? Exposed? Scared shitless? Like any minute now, the ice I have been walking over, praying the freeze has gone deep enough, will crack. Sending me plunging, screaming into dark water. Ostensibly, I have someone superior to me who is meant to help me out, give me guidance and support. But in reality, there's no substance there. There is no one to go, no one who really understands what I am talking about. There is no one covering my back.

Many of the "infertility chores"- the scheduling, for example- bring a kind of emotional baggage that weighs on my mind, more than a little bit. I can't just make the appointment and forget about it. I have to worry for the next two hours- what if that day turns out to be not OK after all? Should I have gone for the later time? What if something comes up? What if, what if, what if. Really, I worry about my sanity. I honestly don't know how people with kids manage to work full time jobs, or go through secondary infertility together with their other responsibilities. I take my hat off to anyone who does it, my admiration is boundless.

When things get hectic, I try to calm myself with deep breathing and take things one at a time. But I am not so good at that. I'm more like a whirling dervish. En route to emptying the dishwasher, I see the laundry which needs to be folded and that reminds me that it's time to buy some new underwear, because will you just LOOK at the state of those old knickers, and where did I leave my stockings, speaking of undergarments? What, have no stockings? Perhaps rearranging clothing in cupboard would help. Let's go see.

And so on. Yes, I am a basket case. No, I don't think that behaviour is very healthy either.

E. is unfortunately prone to similar tendencies. Only, as we have established in my last post, without the side trips to the dishwasher.

He, too, tries to get too much done, do too many things at once, exhausts himself with endless juggling. Though when I first met him, he was worse. It used to be that when we would speak on the phone in the evening, he would be doing something around the house at the same time, like making a cup of tea, or drilling a hole in the bathroom wall.

"Hon," I'd say, "what's with all the crashing and banging?"

"That's nothing," he reply, "I'm just grouting the tile in the kitchen splashback."

"But sweetie darling, you're on the phone, talking to me. It's distracting."

"Sorry," he'd say, and continue on doing whatever it was he was doing, until he made up his mind that our alloted minutes were up. Then he'd cut the conversation short, and basically hang up on me. I was initally anxious to appear cool and chilled out about stuff like that, so I bit my tongue for nearly a year. Then fnally, I got pissed off and confronted him about it.

"Look, I am a busy person," he explained. "I need to exercise time brutality."

Time brutality? What, pray tell, is time brutality?

In the end, the excuse of time brutality is one that I have adopted to suit my own purposes, and turned to my advantage. I now happily deploy this whenever he phones and I don't want to speak to him, right at that particular moment, i.e. when in the middle of bidding for something on eBay or typing a blog comment, or whatever. Can't talk now- time brutality, I chirp and how can he argue? He can't. He just wishes he had never introduced the concept.

Like many people, when E. is stressed and busy, the things he least wants to do fall through the cracks. Take for example, his next sperm test. We had the little chat about the timetabling for this- you know, abstinence balanced with relatively fresh swimmers. Well, actually, I lectured, and he responded by assuring me that he knew what he was doing. After all, he'd already done this once, right? He was totally on top of it.

Or, as it happens, not so much. When he informed me that he was intending to hand in the sample on Thursday morning (the only possible time this week), I raised my eyebrows.

"Really," I said, "because unless you've either been taking care of business on your own, or else getting up to something you shouldn't, with some other person, then I was under the impression that it had been a couple of weeks since we, ah, you know. Cleared the pipes. So you have a bunch of elderly swimmers in there. And if you do it now to refresh the batch, well, you won't have abstained for 3 days, as nice Dr Tick Tock asked you to. "

"Didn't we have sex over the weekend?" he demanded.

"No," I assured him, "I can say, with some certainty, that we did not. Unless I was unconscious at the time, in which case, ewwww. And how could you not remember, one way or another? Is not every carnal encounter with me forever emblazoned on your soul?"

Remind me to add: "organize sperm" to my ever growing list of tasks.


At 12:23 AM, Blogger Toni said...

Hehehehe...I can't believe that he couldn't remember. My husband has it etched in his brain - every since time in the last month. Mostly b/c it's been three times. :) And that was forced due to ovulation time. Hehehhe....

Sorry so stressed...totally understand. I hope things get better and your trip to the States gives you a bit of a break!

At 2:22 AM, Blogger lobster girl said...

Oh my gah, yes, totally. I have "organize husband's sperm" on my to do list each month (see my post from last week). In the past, I've managed to orchestrate sex on the right days. This month I told him he had to take care of business himself. But saying "honey, you need to go jack off now" is really no more fun than saying "honey, don't forget to start the dishwasher" or "honey, you haven't changed that kitty litter in two months." Not only is it completely unromantic, but it falls into nag category, which is such a pain in the ass.

At 4:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm a professional, executive secretary so organizing is my living. Sperm organizing is just one of the new tasks that I've expanded into. And yes, I've even taking to writing it on the calendar, in little, squiggly pictures. Ahem.


At 7:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi there!

I've been lurking for a bit...actually, since I first found your blog (recently) I've read all of your posts. You've talked about so many of the things I've been feeling!!

BTW, good luck with the HSG... I think the level of pain depends on if your tubes are blocked or not... my first with both tubes blocked was torture, my third with both open was a piece of cake. Take the drugs, just in case... wish I had!!


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