When she got back from Oregon (again), daily life got back to mostly normal (whatever that means). She continued her volunteer position with her sorority alumnae association, keeping track of members and creating a Directory.
She went to the chiropractor every two weeks (because have you seen her spine?).
She went to the Korean Spa once a month or so because
It's a naked spa so the only place she could take a photo was in the empty bathroom.
She explored Virginia and went wine tasting.
She kept up on her book club...
... and her other book club.
She happily attended "
Three of these hands belong to Andrea, Elizabeth, and BJ.
and hung out with friends from the Avon Walk
With Robyn & Lindsay.
and her alumnae association
With HeidiAnne & Cortney.
and her neighborhood.
She started running again, with her dear sweet husband, and they talked and talked
Yes, that is a running skirt.
and fell even more in love and had fun no matter what they were doing, even brushing their teeth.
She was also very busy making jewelry, lots and lots of jewelry, because she was offered the chance to set up a table at a local high-end salon. It happened to be on her birthday.
It was a lot of work to prepare for, and it went okay, but not really well enough to justify sitting at a table for eight hours on her birthday. This made her sad. So her husband took her out for a nice dinner, and just when things were starting to look up for her and her smile was coming back, she somehow managed to bump over an empty glass, and in attempting to catch it she knocked both the glass and a ginormous bottle of Crystal hot sauce onto the tile floor, shattering the glass and the hot sauce.
Everyone looked at her. Everyone. [She doesn't like everyone looking at her.]
So she burst into tears and started laughing and said, "And it's my birthday!"
Nice people came and talked to her and the crying decreased and the laughing increased and she drank dark beer and coffee with Bailey's and ate crème brûlée
and then went into the bar and a couple people bought her shots of chilled Patrón (her first time but not her last) and all was right with the world, for that night.
But the truth was that she wasn't really sad about the eight birthday hours spent sitting at a table, or the broken hot sauce splattered all over the tile, or the people (who turned out to be quite nice, after all) all looking at her.
What she was really sad about was that she was now that number, that number that is in all the books and all the articles and all the everything that had haunted her and served as her goal for so long now.
She was 35. And not pregnant.
So, she took it easy on herself the next day. She did whatever she wanted, and that afternoon what she wanted was to take a 3+ hours long, hot hot hot bath, and text her husband whenever she needed more wine or ice water and he would bring it right up with a smile and a kiss. And that's exactly what happened.
And slowly she convinced herself that whether she had gotten pregnant at 34 years and 9 months or would get pregnant at 35 years and 3 months, it was just numbers. Nothing magically happened to her on that birthday that made her more or less likely to get pregnant than she was the month before or the month after.
She breathed a little easier and her heart felt a little lighter.
The next day, Friday, her husband had off of work, so they went into DC to go to the zoo.
She had a lot of fun, and smiled and laughed a lot.
Then she packed her bags and headed to Orlando! This trip was her birthday present. She knew that she would be sad about her birthday so she booked a trip to see the friend she always has a blast with, who would take her mind off of 35andnotpregnant.
Their time together
At Lori's "Book Club."
and eating junk food, so they got right on that like they usually do.
She hadn't had a slurpee for about twelve years.
This time, unlike their other visits together, her friend's husband and three boys were home. So in addition to eating and drinking together, they did things like baking cupcakes and volunteering in a third grade classroom to do the Halloween craft. She had forgotten how LOUD third grade is.
These are totally organic.
She even got to work in the concession stand for a football game, while her friend was busy being the Team Mom.
After the game the team went out to eat, and she got fried pickles. She loves fried pickles. And good beer. She loves good beer, too.
Later that night she went out for Girls' Night with her friend's best friends (now her friends, too).
With Lori, Anke, and Allison.
They ate tapas and drank wine and beer
and then went across the street to a dessert place. The other ladies told such funny stories about their lives and kids and husbands
that by the time the plate looked like this
she was completely unaware of her ovaries and any longings they might have.
[Although that might have been the
alcohol sugar talking.]