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The Ice Cream Parlour

I shut off the Internet for a huge chunk of today. And then the siren song of IE mingles with the husky notes of Firefox. And you end up back here anyway.

Thank you. For the ice cream flavours. For not sending my garbage back to me. I had wanted just to say it aloud; not hear it again. Just send it away from me and stand inside my visualization technique without holding that information anymore. Sometimes, I need to talk about something, discuss every small details of how I feel and what I think. Talk out every single one of my fears. But I realized, trying to Domar myself into calm with this visualization of the ice cream store that I was juggling this knowledge that I just had to release. That I didn’t want to set down and pick up again once I was finished with my cone. I didn’t want to keep seeing it on the table. I wanted to toss it in the rubbish bin and have the top snap closed and not think about any of my fears until they were handed back to me after I left the store. But I wanted my time inside my mental ice cream store to be unfettered and focused entirely on examining ice cream flavours.

And it sort of worked. At least, the ice cream store worked for me more than the beach (which was my Domar visualization space until I dumped it last night). There is more to see in an ice cream shop. You can peer into every damn container. At the beach, there is just the water lapping onto the sand. A crab scuttling by. I do find peace when I am on an actual beach, but I find it harder to slip into the sensation of relaxation when I am tense. Accessing the happiness inherent in an ice cream store is much more immediate. You know how you can end up smiling for a moment and laughing even when you’re in the middle of a funeral? I think momentary happiness (or feigned laughter) is easier to obtain than bringing yourself physically into relaxation when you are tense. And sometimes, tension is relieved–albeit infinitesimally–by happiness.

At least, that is my belief.

It worked well for me, therefore, I offer it back to you. But with the twist I used last night.

The ice cream store contains an enormous red garbage bin towards the back, one of those swinging top numbers where things can go in and not come back out. The flap stops moving and you forget anything is lurking in there. The comment section is this huge, red rubbish bin.

Come in the store and dump whatever you need to dump in the garbage bin before you get on-line to order. Take your emotional garbage, anything you need to release and send it there. Literally write it out and we will all carry your trash mentally to that red bin and toss it with you. Release it and we will give you nothing else back in return. We will not ask you about the garbage you tossed out. We will not remind you that you threw anything in the can (this is the important part). In other words, once you release it and toss it away, it will not come back to you. That is my only rule of the ice cream store (with the exception of garbage that is so toxic that someone is scared to have it in the bin because it really needs a different receptacle). If you read something in the hypothetical garbage bin, it remains in the hypothetical garbage bin and you do not remind the person of it later or inquire about it.

I once had a temporary tattoo of a fish, still it its packaging. I have no idea how I even obtained this fish tattoo. But terrible things kept happening. The tattoo was in my pocket and I had an ovarian cyst rupture and needed to go to the emergency room. I left it in my car and a tree fell on the car. When I mentioned the connection of all of these events and the fish tattoo, my mother suggested that I simply throw it away.

But she didn’t want it tossed out in the house.

I took it to the nearest Baskin Robbins.

I think about that every time I see that store.

While you are mentally in the ice cream store, your trash is gone. When you leave the ice cream store, you may have someone hand you back your burden again. Feel free to throw it out a second time. Truly, releasing those thoughts away from myself last night was the key to getting through this day and all of the subsequent appointments we now have scheduled over the next few weeks. Once you toss your trash thoughts–the ones that are cluttering up your mind and making it impossible to make a choice at the ice cream store–get in line. Don’t turn around and look at the bin. Your focus becomes the brightly coloured cartons of ice cream.

This mental ice cream store is open indefinitely. It will be linked for easy access from the sidebar. Feel free to use it whenever you need it. Selfish to the core, I plan to use this space and dump here whenever I am feeling anxious.


1 Isn't it pretty to think so { 07.25.08 at 8:40 pm }

trying really hard to dump all negative and scary thoughts about this pregnancy. Would much prefer to occupy myself with a big bowl of pistachio w/ hot fudge.

2 luna { 07.25.08 at 9:04 pm }

that’s not selfish. it’s brilliant. and I will most definitely be back…

3 Lori { 07.25.08 at 9:20 pm }

Had a rough day, well, string of days, with a person in my family.

I toss my feelings of guilt, fear, and other unmentionables in the rubbish.

Good riddance!

Now. Where’s that Rum Raisin?

4 Kara { 07.25.08 at 10:11 pm }

I need to toss my fears of being a horrible mother in the trash, just because I wanted it so bad doesn’t mean I can’t feel frustrated.

5 Phoebe { 07.25.08 at 10:55 pm }

I’d like to dump all the garbage that is in my mind right now. All the judgments, the confusion, the worrying about the future, the wanting, the not wanting. Garbage in, garbage out!

6 momofonefornow { 07.25.08 at 11:57 pm }

What a great idea. I actually had a good day today but I will be back when rubbish dumping is required!

BTW, I saved you for last. I have now officially commented on every blog on the ICLW list. I will pop over there to make note.

7 Murgdan { 07.26.08 at 6:01 am }

What a great idea! Hmmmm. I’m dumping all my fear about my upcoming GYN apppointment next week.

…now gimmie some of that plain jane vanilla because despite ALL the amazing flavors out there…vanilla is STILL the BEST!

8 ~Jess { 07.26.08 at 6:12 am }

I need to dispose of my fears and guilts! Fear that AF is going to turn me into a liar, and guilt for taking time off from work for dr. appts.

I would really love a scoop of peanut butter chunk with hot fudge, and a cherry.


9 surpriseofunfolding { 07.26.08 at 7:34 am }

I will be back for the big rubbish bin – that is a great visual! I'm going to toss in my anxieties & frustrations about the future and try to live in the moment.

Although I love ice cream, the ice cream shop won't work for me as well … since DS has food allergies & ice cream shops make me feel sad & excluded now – a possible source of life-threatening allergy … I think it (allergic/non-allergic living)is such a good parallel to the fertile/infertile alternate universes. There are things fertile people wouldn't think twice about that are highly charged for infertiles. In a way, having gone through that really helped prepare me for the allergy life we are living now.

So, I think I'll duck in (like you did at Baskin Robbins), toss my trash and take off for home. We now have an ice cream maker, and I have a killer recipe for vanilla cognac ice cream (made with whipping cream, incredibly calorie dense) – obviously I'll have to eat all of it myself since I can't share alcohol laced ice cream with DS, and oops! DH's lactaid pills have gone suddenly missing … and hey, I think I have a chocolate sauce recipe somewhere too …


10 Meghan { 07.26.08 at 9:31 am }

Must admit I was inspired last night to get some of the therapy only ice cream could offer. I went to safeway but I dumped all of my anxities about my parents and their mess and bought myself a delicious pint of smores ice cream. And it worked wonders! I’ll be back for sure

11 Shinejil { 07.26.08 at 9:57 am }

Tiramisu ice cream, please!

I just need to keep the hell away from the despair bar for the next year or so. Everything’s a huge wrestling match and completely up in the air in all realms but my marriage (thankfully).

12 Bea { 07.26.08 at 10:01 am }

Love your icecream parlour. And yes, I think momentary happiness can work well, perhaps better than forced relaxation. I hope the appointment was ok (I think it should be over by now?) and you learnt your lesson about overgoogling.

Who’m I kidding? No-one ever learns about overgoogling.


13 luna { 07.26.08 at 10:56 am }

ok, I’m dumping it too. I can’t promise I’ll forget entirely about it but I will try. I’m tossing my fear surrounding this process of open adoption. fear of scrutiny, of rejection, of an interminable wait, of mis-matches, of attachment, of non-attachment, of moving boundaries, of promises unkept, all of it. I’m trying to remember it’s not about me, but right now it kind of is.

now I’ll take a scoop of espresso with hot fudge and little cinnamon sugar cookies, please. mmm.

14 Anonymous { 07.26.08 at 11:23 am }

I am dumping my regret that I didn’t get knocked up when I was in my early 20s and in a bad relationship – JUST SO I’D HAVE A BABY NOW and not be struggling in my late 30’s to conceive.

15 JuliaS { 07.26.08 at 12:12 pm }

I want one of those big old sundae/banana split mountain type things that you need 6 other people to help you eat.

I HATE, did I mention HATE?, that I have to get cut open again and this time lose my uterus. I’m scared and depressed and keep saying to myself loser – because I did okay, I got out of it what I really wanted eventually even though it did give me a lot of heartache and grief along the way. I just do. not. want. to let go . . .

16 nh { 07.26.08 at 2:02 pm }

Can I dump my jealousy and sadness? Along with all my other negative feelings. Cause I don’t want to feel this way anymore!

In exchange – please can I have some vanilla and hot fudge please?

17 Erika { 07.26.08 at 7:54 pm }

I want to throw out all of anger at my inlaws.

Or at least trade them for chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream.

18 Alicia { 07.26.08 at 8:48 pm }

Bye bye bad feelings!

Great blog… I’m looking forward to perusing.

19 Just Me. { 07.27.08 at 2:07 am }

please please dump away all these fears and negative thoughts that I have. i am just scared shitless, cuz i’m afraid that it’ll be taken away from us and i don’t know how i’ll cope if my dream’s gone.

i’d love a choco fudge and i’ll share mine with you.

20 STE { 07.27.08 at 8:17 pm }

I think I need a dumpster instead of a trashcan for all my anxieties around school and my professional development, and also for my fears around trying to have a child again.

I’d like a sugar cone with chocolate almond chip ice cream, with jimmies. Please.


21 annacyclopedia { 07.28.08 at 11:50 am }

I’m just so scared that this isn’t going to work. Ever. What will I do? I’m too scared to even think about it.

Ok. Goodbye (for now), fears. And hello sundae with hard chocolate peanut butter ice cream and homemeade caramel sauce.

22 theclam { 07.29.08 at 8:29 am }

I have this lump in my right breast – I had it checked out when I was really young and it is benign BUT it gets sore when I am getting my period. It has been sore the last two days, I’m terrified that this means my FET will result in a negative!!!

Vanilla ice cream please!!!

23 Jane G { 08.06.08 at 5:34 am }

I’d like to dump all the resentment I feel towards somebody who was really insensitive towards me and my DH when we were going through our miscarriages.

Thanks for creating this mental space!

24 Antigone { 08.23.08 at 6:06 pm }

so lonely even when surrounded by people

25 La Cootina { 08.26.08 at 11:33 am }

What a great idea; I may have to open an ice cream store of my own. Until then…

I’m a cancer patient facing a stem cell transplant in the next couple of weeks. I will try to toss all my fears and anxieties about that, and enjoy a double scoop of peppermint ice cream, with lots of crunchy candy bits. Thanks!

26 mrsfinn { 09.11.08 at 8:04 am }

my best friend is pregnant and i hate her right now… it’s not her fault, and she deserves it as much as anyone i know… but I have the most incredible urge to stomp my feet and scream “IT’S NOT FAIR!!!!” like a toddler who’s sibling got the bigger scoop of ice cream. 2 months it took them- TWO MONTHS!!! and here i am-over two YEARS of ttc… waiting (not so) patiently to see the RE. ugh.. i hope this month goes quick!!!

please serve me up some peanut-butter chocolate- and be sure it’s the biggest scoop!! I have a propensity for temper tantrums!!!!

27 april { 09.26.08 at 11:31 am }

What is wrong with the CCAA anyway? Totally frustrated today.

28 Gypsyhick { 10.01.08 at 5:00 pm }

I’m really really mad at God. And I feel horrible about it.

But not really.

If God had a car, today is the day I’d slash the tires.

29 Lindsay { 12.02.08 at 8:36 pm }

Where the hell is my backbone and my courage? Where did I decide to let it off at the side of the road??? Why the hell can’t I just find the peaceful patience I know exists in my and just DEAL with it!

Two weeks. Two weeks until the ball starts rolling. Two weeks in which my entire existence as a women with RPL and LPD will finally start to take shape.

How do I do this? I’m scared sh*itless. I don’t want to be here and damn it I should have to!!!! {sigh… sob} I just want my baby, the one I know we’re meant to have.

Chocolate peanut butter, please…

30 Coffeegrl { 03.06.09 at 11:51 pm }

Cannot believe how hard it is to deal with my sister-in-law’s second pregnancy (since we first started trying). She just wishes it and it happens. When my husband asked if she thinks it’s another boy she said yes, and when he asked if they’d have a 3rd to try for a girl, she giddily and blithely said “oh yes” like it’s nothing to just create babies. And I WANT to love my nephews and not have all this resentment. But my g*d it’s hard. And even her morning sickness isn’t half as bad as mine and her mother just takes care of her 18 month old no questions asked – just nothing like my experience of hard fought, waited for agonized over 1st child (and we were so lucky to get her) and still I can’t even bear to think about the next time around….I just want to cry and not be in the same room with SIL but we’re currently staying in the same house so that ain’t gonna happen. Instead, I’m hoping to chuck some of this crap baggage and find a way to cope to get through the next few days at least. Why does it still hurt so much??

I want something deep, rich and sinfully chocolate. Preferrably swimming rum.

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