Are we really talking about babies?

Could a human baby really be more perfect than this? Dougal is a mama's boy.

Could a human baby really be more perfect than this? Dougal is a mama’s boy.

When does a share become an overshare? I tend to share a lot of stuff that doesn’t mean all that much, though some blush at the thought of mentioning their dog’s overactive anal glands or their own lactose intolerance. For me, however, what’s a little gas between friends?

I’ve always believed it’s the most transparent people who reveal the least about themselves. We distract everyone with seemingly intimate details of our bathroom habits and gastrointestinal malaise, while hiding the very real, truly personal details of our private lives.

But maybe that’s not healthy.

The truth is, so much has changed in my personal life. I got married and we’re now considering a baby. These are the truths that are hard to talk about; they reveal a vulnerability that goes far deeper than what I had for breakfast.

I’m  terrified of even thinking about a baby. I’m 35 now and getting closer to 36 with each breath. My college friends all have kids in high school. Heck, my nephew is in high school  (my younger brother’s son!). It feels way too late to throw my uterus in the ring. I never wanted kids and I’m not exactly the baby type.

When my youngest nephew was a baby, my oldest nephew changed his diapers for me. I played dumb and dodged diaper duty for an entire day. I don’t hold babies or coo over them. I think young kids are great until they start getting BO and creeping me out. What if I’m a terrible mother? I’m very maternal with my dogs, but I still occasionally call Dougal an asshole for barking too much. (Thankfully, Dougal doesn’t understand English, but I have to assume a child might.)

I know the type of mother I want to be. I want to me Mrs. Fety, who lived down the street from me and waited with her kids at the bus stop every day. She made them Ritz crackers with cream cheese and always had super-crazy hippie hair. She was a great mom. She had a nurturing, earth-mother vibe. I imagined she popped out her kids in her living room, maybe in an inflatable tub of water, with no anesthesia besides the soothing aromas of lavender and eucalyptus oils. None of that may be true. But, that’s what I picture when I think of the kind of mother I’d like to be. A calm, meditative, homemade granola mom who never swears.

The perfectionist in me knows I can never be that, so maybe it’s better not to try. The worst thing to be is a bad mother. I’d rather be anything than that. So, I’m scared to try and fail. That’s a hard thing to admit.

The one advantage of being older is knowing my limitations and having a healthy perspective on what I can realistically accomplish. But, maybe that awareness only hinders growth, progress, and adventure. I was certainly terrified to get married. We’re almost two months in now and I’ve never been happier. I picked a great guy, the best, and can’t imagine why I was so scared to marry him. I love it now that I’m in it, though three months ago I was giving myself an ulcer.

Maybe motherhood will be the same?

Of course, there’s the real possibility we won’t be able to have kids. I have a chronic medical condition that puts me in the “high risk” category. Combine that with my age and our odds aren’t great. But, what if? Ben wants to try for a year and, if we aren’t able to get pregnant, we’ll get more dogs. Don’t you love him? The last thing either of us needs  is pressure…and I’ve been hankering for more dogs.

From an “oversharing” perspective, pregnancy would certainly give me gory details for my friends and this blog. I haven’t yet had the opportunity to talk about hemorrhoids, spider veins, and morning sickness, all of which might be perfect distractions from how terrified I am to consider this new chapter.

Damn vegan cheese

There are hardcore vegans out there who will tell you converting to an all-plant lifestyle is an easy transition. Once you make the decision in your heart, they say, nothing can stand in your way.

I’d claim bullshit here, but it’s an animal product. Instead, I’m claiming vegan cheese.

So not good.

So not good.

Vegan cheese has the consistency of stick deodorant. It doesn’t melt and it tastes like it came out of Doogie’s overactive anal glands. (No, I haven’t tasted THAT, but the smell is thick enough to be easily confused with taste in my primitive brain.) It’s honestly the vilest, most disgusting thing ever put forward as food. It’s all ways of awful.

I wanted to love vegan cheese. I wanted to go into this transition full of the smugness that makes vegans so darn annoying. I wanted to feel the euphoria that comes from perfectly aligning my moral values with actions. And then I tasted vegan cheese. (To add insult to gastrointestinal injury, the cheese I tried was called Follow Your Heart.)

Cue the tantrum.

Who can look at this face and still want to eat cheese? Me, apparently. Damn, I suck.

Who can look at this face and still want to eat cheese? Me, apparently. Damn, I suck.

The worst part is now I feel like a horrible failure. What about all the poor cows who are mistreated and hooked up to horrible milking machines? Aren’t those beautiful, big-eyed cows more important than cheese? Shouldn’t love and compassion for all living things erase the deep hunger in my heart (and parts beyond) for cheese? The vegan blogs all said so. They said I would be so buoyed by good feelings that I wouldn’t miss the animal products. What does it say about me if I can’t give up this tiny little thing for the good of the many lovely cows?

So, I’m at a standstill, stuck between the moon and New York City…no, wait, that’s wrong. Stuck between the impulsive cheese-lover I am and the fervent cow-lover I desperately want to be. Have I failed or  has the vegan cheese? Is there no remedy for a wannabe vegan whose need for cheese is twisted into her DNA? (Scientists are working to identify the cheese gene, I’m sure of it. I just hope those bastards aren’t testing on animals.)

For now, I’m avoiding eye contact with all cows, hoping they don’t see the hypocrisy and moral corruption in my eyes…or smell the cheese on my breath. Still fighting the good fight. I’ll be in touch.