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306th Friday Blog Roundup

We got a new dishwasher this week and it’s gorgeous.  It makes the rest of the kitchen look like crap, but the machine itself brings shivers of newness.  I’m still creating a new loading system, shifting around plates and bowls so everything fits neatly and unloads quickly.

The man who installed it at first appeared as if he didn’t want to talk, but when I sat back down to work, he started calling out friendly questions to me — mostly about the area since we both grew up here — and I sat down to watch him work, chatting on about best swimming spots on the river and restaurants in Frederick.

At one point, he asked what I do if I’m no longer a teacher, and I answered that I’m a writer.  He looked surprised and said, “there’s money in doing that?” and I answered honestly that for most there wasn’t, but I had been doing this long enough that I was able to make a living — at least enough to float us — by being a writer.  The next logical question was “what do you write?”

The truthful but vague answer of “books and articles” led him to inquire what these books and articles were about.  I realized in that moment that I usually speak with women and therefore, when I answer this question truthfully, I’m usually not squirming on the inside admitting that I write about reproductive organs.  I muttered something about women’s health and then changed the subject.

Because, come on, the next honest answer was staring him in the eye and saying, “actually, I’m going to write about you.  This week.  On Friday if you care to read it.”

Because that obviously would have been the truth too.


Tonight begins Yom Kippur and it will last until Saturday night.  As much as I dislike the fasting aspect, overall, I really love the holiday.  The service tonight — Kol Nidre — is gorgeous.  And then you go home and you feel quiet and perhaps you read a book.  And then in the morning, you go back to the shul for another service, and home to rest, and then we’ll have some people come over to break fast.  And afterwards, it feels like you’ve been under a blanket for 10 days and it’s suddenly lifted and you can breathe again.

Part of the holiday is asking forgiveness — for the things you know you’ve done, but also the things you have no clue that you’ve done because the other person silently seethed instead of let you know what a dick you are.  And this aspect of the apology fits perfectly with the Internet because too many times, you have no idea how your words have affected another person — if they’ve damaged them or ruined their day or made them frustrated — by the mere fact that you can’t see the other person or even know if they read your words.

So I’m asking for forgiveness from you if I’ve upset you in the past year.  I am sorry, and it was never my intention.  Which doesn’t excuse it; it just serves as an explanation.


And now, the blogs …

A Little Blog about the Big Infertility has a post about how infertility has affected her marriage.  It is a very raw, very honest post, and for me, the most interesting part came when she discussed how infertility has made her feel violated.  Once she said it, I completely understood what she described, and I’m glad they came to a place where they realized what was going on.  The post continues through so many loops and turns, through tears in a store and dreams, and she held me right there on their vacation until the end.

Expecting a Miracle also has a hard post as she heads into a personally hard weekend.  She begins, “It is starting again.  That ache.  That old familiar ache of wanting to be pregnant and knowing that another month has passed in which I’m not.”  It is a lovely, small post.

No Swimmin has a post springboarding off a commercial for the movie, Life As We Know It, wondering whether he’d be happy living child-free.  It was an option he considered before he was forced to truly consider it, and he’s now thinking through the what ifs.  I love this thought, “I think that, at first, back at the very beginning, well before the pulling of the goalie, I wanted kids mostly because Ms. Swimmin wanted kids, and I didn’t not want kids. In the beginning, that was enough for me. Now, things have changed.”  It’s a post you really need to read from beginning to end.

Lastly, A Little Pregnant provided food for thought with her post on whether infertility makes you a better parent.  It’s not only well-written with a very interesting thesis, but the discussion happening in the comment section is worth a read too.

The roundup to the Roundup: Suddenly I’m squeamish discussing my vagina.  Accept my apology.  And lots of great posts to read.


1 Heather { 09.17.10 at 9:33 am }

I feel old when I’m jealous that you got a new appliance…and that I want to see a picture.

Please ignore my ignorance about all things Jewish – but does everyone participate in the fast? I mean, do the kids? Is there a starting age? I’m just curious…

Completely random – have you seen the 8 kids wanting a boy show on the discovery health channel? I blogged about it today. Just wondering your thoughts.

2 a { 09.17.10 at 9:36 am }

Ha! But, really, you don’t randomly discuss your vagina with every woman you meet, do you? Isn’t it more like a select group of strange people about whom you already know a little bit?

Enjoy your holidays.

3 SooSee { 09.17.10 at 10:06 am }

Yay on a new dish washer! I never came up w/ a way of loading and unloading. Hm.. something to think about. Have you seen “Rachel Getting Married” how they have a quick little contest on who can load and unload the quickest?? It was funny.. not the moment that happens around it, but the loading/unloading is amazingly fast!

Enjoy your holiday! I love your description of, “And afterwards, it feels like you’ve been under a blanket for 10 days and it’s suddenly lifted and you can breathe again.” xo

4 HereWeGoAJen { 09.17.10 at 1:53 pm }

I am just starting to come out of the blog closet a little more in my outside of the computer life. It’s kind of a delicate balance.

5 Anne Whistler { 09.17.10 at 1:53 pm }

I loved your description of squirming, trying to avoid going into detail as to your specialist subject area. Very funny – and I needed a laugh today.
Congrats on the dishwasher. Don’t forget to name it (mine’s called Winnie)
Anne, Germany

6 Quiet Dreams { 09.17.10 at 3:15 pm }

Tzom kal, dear Mel.

And don’t you hate how making one home improvement suddenly makes the other things look worse? I painted the walls once, and suddenly the floors looked hideous, whereas before they were just “meh.”

7 Shelli { 09.17.10 at 4:06 pm }

I had a similar conversation with a gentleman that came to install a new alarm system. I made a judgement that he would be the last person on earth to discuss anything beyond the weather, but I was very wrong. When he asked if I was planning on more than one child (he saw a picture of the three of us on the wall) I clammed up and said “well, we had many plans”…

to which he said… “I have two kids. Both adopted after my wife and I tried to have children for nearly 10 years”.

And my heart welled-up. It was as if the universe sent me a sign. And the conversation continued, one I NEVER thought I would have with a 50’ish alarm-repair man. Go figure.

8 Carrie { 09.17.10 at 10:08 pm }

Yeah, I don’t think most men would dare to ask more specifically you write about after hearing it is women’s health. LOL!

New appliances make your home and your heart happy, don’t they?

9 Justine { 09.17.10 at 11:09 pm }

I just had to smile at your Yom Kippur atonement … I have a friend who emails me every year, asking me for forgiveness. One of the nice things about it is that even if we haven’t talked in months, it turns into an opportunity for us to catch up. And rarely has he done anything to offend me, except not say hello in months!

10 Bea { 09.26.10 at 4:05 am }

I was just saying earlier (we spring cleaned the kitchen today… wow… and I didn’t even think it was dirty…) that we are definitely getting a dishwasher in the renovation. Tell us all your dishwasher buying tips, by the way.

Great roundup again, Mel.


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