When a human being takes up residence in your body, it's hard not to let them take up most of your mind too. So I'm not really going to try.
Jethro and I went to a crawfish boil in Houston last weekend. It was a lot of fun. I didn't get to eat much because most of my stomach is smushed up with baby, but it really was a great time.
While there, I was accosted by an girl who seemed quite interested in my pregnancy. I've met her before and she's kind of an odd, spastic, hippie type, not without charm, but whom I can tolerate for about 15 minutes before I go nuts. When I told her I was going to a birthing center and using midwives for the delivery she had a little bit of a nervous breakdown and started reciting all her holistic bonafides to me while she chain smoked.
I was bewildered for a few minutes, then I figured it out. She thought I was going to judge her. Now I knew nothing about her, but I found out during the course of the evening that she'd had a c-section with her one and only child, in a hospital, surrounded by glorious technology and drugs. It's taken me a few days because my reaction time, while never swift, is even less so lately. But I started feeling terribly sad. I hate what we've become. When did we get so insecure? I've never considered myself a strong-woman type - able to withstand all manner of criticism and judgment and hurl it back with aplomb. In fact, I distinctly remember being exactly the opposite - very unsure of myself and willing to listen to whatever idiotic advice anyone cared to give me. I don't even remember when that changed. I don't remember anything much at all. I just have the hazy impression that I haven't been criticized for years.
But then, as I am wont, I thought about it some more. I think I do get criticized. I just don't take it as criticism. For example, at the same crawfish boil, I was engaging in some slight self-deprecatory humor (or at least what I'd like to consider humor) recalling a Mardis Gras in New Orleans where I put my 20 year old bosoms to good and efficient use in the difficult work of sparkling bead collection. I'm not proud of this. It's kind of embarrassing now. But it does give you the ability to laugh at yourself and that's not always bad.
However, I was relaying the story to a friend of mine whom I've known for years and she made a comment along the lines of "I've never been the type of person who felt the need to flash my goodies for cheap beads."
I said, "Oh sure. I felt that way too until I had three Hurricanes and a frozen Tang and vodka they were calling a Spanish Fly and selling in yard long plastic glasses with yard long straws. But after that it was all "Oh look! Those beads have troll heads!" and "Oh look! the way the paint has chipped off those beads make them look retro!" Besides," I grinned. "I only did it once."
She laughed and the night meandered on. I suppose I could have felt criticized, but I didn't. No point. No point at all.