This weekend K's high school friend R came from NYC for an impromptu visit. I'm exhausted. We didn't do much. Usually when we have company we are active and busy the whole time. But this time we specifically planned a low key, hanging out kind of weekend. And yet I'm still exhausted. 8 and a half months pregnant is just a lot, I guess.
R is 29 and getting her PhD. She has a sort of delayed adulthood thing going on. She's in many ways naive and knows nothing about the world, since she's never really done anything but go to school. She called earlier in the week to plan the trip, asking if I was home for maternity leave. I said "uh, no, I have to get paid."
She takes her academics very seriously since that's all she knows and is constantly talking about how her program is so hard, so much harder than everyone else's. Example, she said she needed to bone up on Latin American history. I asked why. She said "Because for my degree, I need to know everything." And she wasn't kidding - she really believes that. It's a lot to take for a whole weekend. I just remind myself that this small world is all she has, so she has to make it seem special.
She's starting to feel baby pressure. Her program is an 8 year degree program, just for the PhD (because, you know, it's such a hard program), so she won't graduate for another 5 years, when she's 34. She doesn't want to wait until then to have babies because it's too close to the magic 35 number when everything goes down hill. But she just broke up with her boyfriend/fiance of 5 years and she makes very little money as a grad student. So her biological clock is ticking and she sees no way to get what she wants. I actually can't imagine her as a mother so I hope she waits awhile. She's got some serious growing up to do.
We went Friday night to Baby's R Us to register and receive our free gifts and $10 gift card. The gifts were a newborn bottle and pacifier by Avent that match the bottles we already own (hand-me-downs). With the gift card, we bought a breast milk storage organizer for the freezer. Then we went to Kohl's with a $10 gift card that came in the mail for the big 'grand re-opening'. I got a maternity shirt that looks like it will fit for a while, maybe even last through the rest of the pregnancy. Total cost for the shopping trip at both stores - $11. We did quite well for $11.
Saturday morning we died eggs. This was K's first time - at 29 years old. Easter just wasn't a big deal in her Hindu/Muslim family. I like Easter, and now that we're having kids we're going to start celebrating. So this year we colored eggs. We decided that as a way to blend our cultures, in the future we'll use the eggs to make egg curry for our Easter dinner, one of K's favorite meals. I just need to learn to make egg curry.
Saturday night we went to this South-Asian panel discussion about coming out to your families. The event was free and dinner was served. It was all vegetarian and so tasty. I don't think we knew it was about coming out or we may not have gone. Lots of South Asians are not out to their families, so it was an important event for the community, but we've been out for about 8 years, so the positiveness and encouragement wasn't really needed for us.
The conversation with R afterwards really annoyed me. She is a white, straight woman from a very wealthy family, so she's kind of always had what she wants. She said that it's not important to tell coming out stories because isn't everyone over that already? And she said that anyone who's not out is just a coward. When I tried to say that it's really scary and hard, she pointed out that we've been out for years so it wasn't hard for us. Um, yeah, it was really hard, it is really hard still. And just because we don't talk about it a lot doesn't mean it's easy - we just like to remain positive. When I pointed out that she was white and straight, she exploded "Yeah, so I've never been oppressed." Well, hmm, has your mom ever told you that you are the same as a child molester? If you got married, would your parents attend the wedding? Does anyone get on TV talking about how you are bringing society down? Does anyone go to congress to have debates about whether or not you should get married? Does anyone vote in general elections about whether or not you should be able to adopt children? When you tell your coworkers about your partner, do they look uncomfortable and try to get out of the conversation, and from then on refer to her as your 'friend' with a weird tone? When you tell people you're pregnant, are their first words "How?" It's not just coming out to your parents, although that's a lot. But it's everything. It's your whole life. It's the news, it's work, it's the grocery store, it's every where you go. Until you live that life daily, you are in no position to call a person that does a coward.
Sunday morning we had an Easter brunch. L came over to join us. L said that since moving here two weeks ago, every time someone asks why he moved, he says "Because I want to have a baby." They look at him strangely and then he explains that as a gay man, that wouldn't be legal in FL. He says he'd like to adopt within 5 years. And he's telling this to men he's dating. He's like the woman who asks a man on the first date if he likes kids. He's caught the baby fever.
Sunday evening our dog walker, who happens to be Indian, came over to teach me to cook dahl. Dahl is one of the first foods you feed Indian babies, so K wants me to learn to make it. Like any good Indian cook, she wasn't much of a teacher. She came with the spices already mixed, so I have no idea what she put in the dahl. But at least I learned consistency so maybe I'll be able to find a good recipe to make it on my own. I guess I need to start practicing soon, but I don't think I'll get to it for a while.