Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The Trash Can, and a secret.

An ingenius accident happened a few months or so ago in my kitchen. Every time I would come in the door, I felt like my house smelled weird. Kind of stale. A little gross. It really freaked me out, because I am a person who notices smells, and I'm very attracted to nice smells. People with nice smelling houses appeal to me. Was I not that type of person?
My first instinct was to worry that it was our bunny. Did you know that I have a bunny? I got him in college. He is 12. He is so completely, adorably elderly. He can barely hop, loves to eat the stereotypical bunny things, and the kids love him. He sits on our little braided rugs and sleeps most of the time. Actually, lots of the time these days, in his elderly years, he really just sleeps in his little cage. He's supposed to be potty trained, but you know how these things go when we get older. He likes his cage because nobody can get him in it. The kids do have a way of mauling him, although you can see that even in his cage they can sometimes get around this. He is very tolerant.

Although the bunny cage does, from time to time, reek, this was not the problem. It was, it turns out, my trash can. I had a big, lovely, expensive stainless can that I actually spent wedding money on, I thought it was so cool. It was. Nice and big, tall, with a step-on pedal that opened it up. It was great. Only it got stinky. Really, really stinky. So I just got rid of it. I threw it out onto the path, and shouted out into the snow for Greg to "put that thing in the garage, away from here!" which he did. For one day I just put trash into a little bag, but then I found a tiny little trash can, a mini-version of the can I had just chucked, and I put a grocery bag into it.

Voila. So we have a tiny trash can now. It doesn't smell, because it only lasts for a day or so. But here's why it's such a great thing: I hate taking the trash out. So every single thing I go to throw away, I think, could I compost or recycle this? It is amazing how conscientious I have gotten about making sure that only actual, real, uncompostable, unrecyclable trash goes in my trash can. There is no being lazy and just throwing it out (which I like to think I didn't do much anyway), because if I'm lazy and throw it out, then I can't be lazy and not take out the trash. So try it. It's a great environmental, mindful way of making sure you are recycling and composting as much as you possibly can. And your trash can won't ever smell, either.

So there's a little daily life tidbit to think about, a way that you can maybe throw less stuff away. It is appalling, when you think about it, how very much we throw away. I figure between cloth diapers and my teeny-tiny trash can I am doing okay.

I have to tell you that I am getting sick of this blog. Not the blog itself, which I am completely and totally addicted to, but the way it looks. I am very tired of the way it looks, and I don't really like it. So maybe, soon, one day, if I have time (!), I am going to re-do it and make it look totally, completely different. So don't be surprised.

So as you may or may not have guessed, based on the comments and discussions here, there is a bit of baby obsession going on in my head (and on this blog) that may, or may not, have to do with something that may, or may not be going on in my life. There are certain things that I really don't feel comfortable putting out there for the world to know, and this is one area that I don't feel comfortable discussing here, because it just feels more private. But here I am, bringing it up, and it is for this reason. So the baby obsession obviously comes from me wanting a baby, and while this making a baby thing has always happened without trying for me in a matter of days or weeks, this seems to no longer be the case. I shall not delve into any details further than that, except to say that I realize that my frantic obsession to be pregnant that followed Charlotte's death may be creeping back into my consciousness as the months tick by. But the good news is this: today I found out that a friend, who I would like to think of as a good friend (this based on me hoping that our good-friendship is just beginning, because we haven't been friends for too long), is pregnant. This woman is the kind of person who makes me believe in auras, because she has one, and it's really brightly colored and shiny and has all this good energy radiating out of it, but also has this calmness, and this wholesomeness, and this gratitude that just makes me gravitate towards her. So she's pregnant. And I am thrilled.

This surprises me, because in my angst over the past few months I was becoming frantic: what will happen when someone gets pregnant, and it's not me? Will I be sad? Upset? Frazzled?

Nope, I'm happy. And this makes me feel happy, and somewhat more relaxed, and I'm so happy that the person who got pregnant is someone who makes me delighted. This is a gift to me, removing some of the stress of feeling jealousy if it had been someone who I didn't appreciate and respect like I do her. For those of you who have lost babies, I am sure you can relate to the discomfort when you feel these awkward emotions: jealousy, envy, even anger, around pregnant people and babies. It is horrible, and makes you feel awful. You know it isn't you thinking, it's your "I lost my baby" brain, but it still feels awful. I think this was what I was afraid of, more of this creeping in, because I simply assumed that as my baby-obsession heightened, so would this. But apparently I am going to be okay. Big sigh. Maybe things will move along now. And I do plan to never mention this subject area on this blog again, but now you're in on my little secret, and that's okay, too.

And by the way? Congratulations... I am so happy for you. :) You sweet-mama you with the most beautiful, shiny children and this happy, honest way about you. You deserve this, and this baby deserves you. I am truly happy for you.


Aimee said...

Since I don't know this person and it isn't me, can I be just a little bitter and jealous? One stillbirth and two miscarriages later, can I be a little tiny bit pissed off? Please?

But I just came from yoga class, so I'm okay. And if whoever it is is reading this, I'm sorry. I don't know you, but I wouldn't want my negative vibes getting in your way. I'm truly not a mean person!


Rebecca said...

My only child is 26 months and I reallllllly want another baby. My husband, alas, needs some convincing. I had baby envy a little bit before I had my son and now the baby envy feels different....I'm happy for pregnant mamas and I sigh on the inside instead. Less bitter, more sweet.

Jen said...

Whoa, Carol, you scared me when you said you were sick of this blog, but then I was SO relieved to know you were just sick of the look of it and not blogging itself. I'm glad you're addicted to it because I'm addicted to reading it and always appreciate what you have to say.

The teeny-tiny trash can is such a good idea. I think I will start doing the same. We have a regular size trash can, but we fill it so slowly that it does kind of smell and I'm tired of it.

I am very happy for your friend, and happy that you are happy for her. But speaking as a mama who has not lost a baby, I feel sort of protective of the feelings of mamas who have lost babies, a sort of fierce desire to protect the integrity of those feelings of jealousy, anger, bitterness, even when it feels awful. Does this make sense? I know we are taught as women that anger is dangerous, that we are supposed to be nice and socially appropriate, etc. but as one who has been prone to stuffing feelings in an effort to be acceptable to the world, and suffering the consequences, I am less and less willing to accept cultural standards that punish women for having feelings that they are entitled to have.

That's all just to say that for all you grieving mamas who do sometimes feel bitter and angry (and who wouldn't, I'd like to know), I, for one, am okay with that and don't consider you somehow bad or evil. Just human.

Shannon said...

I'm not bitter or jealous about Carol's wonderful friend being pregnant, but I do have some bitterness inside me today. Yesterday one of my husband's co-workers announced that his wife is pregnant, let's call him Rick. I thought, that's nice, they got married maybe a year ago, so I was happy for them. Until I found out that they just found out. She is literally only 5 or 6 weeks pregnant and they're already telling people. I thought I would let it slide since they're young and maybe haven't heard about waiting out the 1st trimester before telling everyone. Then today, where all this bitterness is coming from, another one of my husband's co-workers was over talking to Rick, giving him baby advice, let's call him Chris. Chris is a major jerk at work and in personal relationships. He has a baby with his girlfriend born last June, not long after I had a miscarriage at 19 weeks, lots of bitterness there. It's also rumored that she intended to get pregnant accidentally-on-purpose as a sort of man-trap. So now in his loud advice giving he announces that his girlfriend is pregnant again! She's due in November which is when my second baby would have been due if I hadn't had a miscarriage at 9 weeks. So I'm very bitter. I think a lot of that bitterness is for all the people in the world getting pregnant before getting married, Chris specifically. I'm sure this is offensive to a lot of people but it's also strange because I consider myself to be pretty liberal. But my parents divorced before I was 3, so I feel entitled to my feelings that it's better to have 2 parents working together as a family unit. I realize this same thing can be achieved without a piece of paper from the state, but I guess in my opinion and for lots of others, when you have that piece of paper people take your relationship more seriously. (And it's good that Massachusetts has marriage for everyone, which makes me happy.) So the traditional part of me thinks that people should get married and then make babies. Build a foundation before you start adding bedrooms. I think I would still be bitter about this Chris guy even if it happened a year and a half ago. He's just the kind of guy to rub you the wrong way. But mostly it because it's so easy for some people to churn kids out like butter when it seemed to take forever for me to get pregnant each time and then to lose both of them. That’s what makes me really angry.

Laura said...

I like what you have to say about the 2 brains, the "me" brain and then the frantic "I lost my baby" brain. I can relate and it made me laugh. :)