A Lesson

Yesterday was my one year anniversary. You don’t know the expectations I had for yesterday.

I wrote a poem about our last year, and placed it on the first page of a scrapbook I built for Mark. The scrapbook contained milestones of our relationship, broken down by the months. At the end of the scrapbook was a card I wrote for him. A very long card.

Then I purchased a new pair of RayBans for him to replace his scratched pair. And I bought a new dress.

It was Fathers’ Day, so we both had to do our own Fathers’ Day things. I went to my Dad’s at 11 and when I came home around 2, he was just getting ready to head to his Dad’s. Before he left, Mark gave me a card. One of the nicest cards… no, the nicest card he has ever given me. He wrote things he has never said. It was and still is incredibly sweet and romantic. Then I gave him the scrapbook and my card. He was taken aback. He said, “I didn’t expect this… but I should have.”

Mark left for his Dad’s around 4. He came back by 6.

I have been having stomach pains every day for the last week. At first only at night, and in my lower back.. and then gradually they began to worsen. The pains would be gone by morning. On Friday the pain came during the day.  And on Saturday it came early and I had trouble getting the pain to stop. We were googling remedies and didn’t know whether I had kidney stones or cancer or if I was just crying over trapped gas.

On Sunday, as soon as Mark left, the pain started again. By the time Mark returned, I was rotatingbetween  pacing back and forth and sitting in my bed with my butt in the air. At one point Mark was standing behind me, his arms around my waste, jumping me up and down. It seemed movement helped ease the pain, but only momentarily.

It was like going into labor. I was breathing heavily, cramping and sitting in strange positions. By 8:30, I was face down on my bed crying.

Mark never left my side. He sat beside me and rubbed my back for hours. He massaged my neck, and told me not to be sad over our anniversary. We would redo it next week. “What’s important is you right now.”

Eventually we realized we weren’t going to dinner and he ordered Chinese. I tried a few bites and then went back to my bed.

Around 11, I started to feel better. We were going to sleep and something I had noticed earlier was now obviously official; he hadn’t gotten me flowers. He hadn’t gotten me jewlery or made reservations. He got me a card.

I was hurt.

I wondered for a while what to say… and then I realized, I spent the day crying in bed because I had gas. And he took care of me. He made concotions that were supposed to make you feel better, he rubbed my back, he swayed me back and forth when I curled into a ball, he didn’t make fun of me when I ran to the bathroom, he wiped my tears, he hugged me, and at times he simply sat beside me.

His anniversary was spoiled too, but he didn’t seem to mind.

I had to wonder, what type of person am I? Will you be taken care of all day for one of the most painful and embarassing conditions you’ve ever experienced, only to whine about not getting presents? I wasn’t sure why I was being taught this lesson, I’m still not, but I received it loud and clear.

I felt a condition on my heart. A warning saying, “Becareful what you say, and check your motivations”.

I was sad he didn’t even get me flowers, but I received a better gift.  On our anniversary, he had a gentle heart of service and empathy which I needed more than chocolate or roses.

I don’t know how he dropped the ball, but the warning on my heart told me  “Don’t be upset”  and to “Look at what you’re really receiving.”

Around 4 in the morning the pain started again. Mark had to be up at 5:30 and still spent that time holding me and rubbing my back. He even offered to call out of work and take me to the hospital, but I didn’t want to make him do that. He eventually left, very late, after rubbing my back even longer as I writhed.

I didn’t go in to work today, and seeing as this pain is now almost becoming constant, I have a doctor’s appointment with a gastroentologist at Jersey Shore today. And Mark will probably come over later. He will take care of me more. He will love me and rub my back and spend his entire bank of affection on me, which is more priceless than any bracelet and more memorable as well. And as he said, “We have a lifetime of dinners to go to”.

And he’s right.

Mentors, Ladders and Babies

I have a mentor.  He’s senior mangement. Higher than my bosses’ boss. He wants me to meet with him every few weeks to talk about my career, my progress and what direction I want to take. I am intimidated and thankful at the same time.

I was invited to dinner with senior management tonight. Senior management, a few lawyers and a few sales executives. I’m the assistant editor. That’s a real compliment.

When you work for a good company, progression is enjoyable. It’s not stressful or awful. You shouldn’t try to move up in a company you hate. I don’t think those who talk against corporate ladders and being the lowman actually know what it is to work hard and gain recognition for it. A healthy work ethic, and the opportunity to be rewarded for your efforts, is part of what makes life good. Part of it, not nearly all of it. Not even close to half.

I’ve been feeling strangely sick for the last five days. Nauseaus. Achey. Sweating at night.

I’m fine during the day though.

So I took a pregnancy test.

It was inconclusive, which is as comforting as it is horrifying.

Though I don’t actually think I’m pregnant. You just can’t ignore the possibility, as a woman, of a second body growing in the space occupied by your own.

And I’m not saying this nonchalantly. I was sweating and praying all yesterday at the grocery store. I  felt warm and light headed, like I was being lifted from myself.

I’m safe. Safer than I’ve ever been in the past.

But this feeling in my body is different, and it freaks me out a bit.

Unless I’m just sick.

The test didn’t work at all, no lines appeared, so I’ll take another in a few days.

I couldn’t take it today because it might be too early,  and because I didn’t want to ruin dinner.