Monday, February 11, 2008

What I Really Did During My Christmas Vacation

Wednesday, December 13

Short on patience, I write this post. Red laser beams of irritation continue to shoot from my eyes for the next three days.

Friday, December 14

I wake up feeling so tired that I can hardly move. Sadness and depression have engulfed me, seemingly out of nowhere. I do not want to go to work, but I have opening duties that morning and will be the only one there. I drag myself in wearing the fugliest outfit known to womankind.

I arrive to find that one of my co-workers has shown up early. “Oh!” I say. “If I had known you would be here, I would have called in sick today.” She asks if I’m okay and to my complete mortification, I burst into tears.

She sends me home. I spend most of the day alternating between napping and weeping.

I wonder if I should call a therapist.

Tuesday evening, December 18

I return home to a message from the public library. They say that a disc from my last book-on-CD is still missing. I call back and very tersely explain that I returned that disc two days ago and that I walked up to the check-out desk and handed it to a woman with glasses and shoulder-length blonde hair. “She told me she would take care of it,” I say, my voice wobbling. “I guess she didn’t.” The woman says she will get to the bottom of it.

I hang up and cry.

Wednesday evening, December 19

Mike suggests that we start packing for our holiday trip to Georgia and Florida. My eyes fill.

“What’s wrong?” he asks, surprised.

“I don’t want to pack!” I weep. “I don’t want to drive to Georgia and Florida! Why can’t we just stay here, on the couch?”

He hugs me and says into my hair, “Are you harboring a bun in your oven?”

I laugh, and then I cry. Again.

PMS for sure.

Early Friday morning, December 21

Departure day! Mike is outside, readying the car for our trip to Georgia. I get out of the shower and notice something strange in my reflection. I won’t go into details for the sake of the male readership, but it is enough to make me suspicious. I take a pregnancy test, expecting to feel pretty silly when it comes up negative.

A few minutes later, I glance down at the test. Is that a second pink line? It’s very, very faint. But out of all the pregnancy tests I’ve taken in my life, I’ve never seen even a hint of a second line before. I run to the window and shove it open.

“MIKE!” I shriek, waking the entire neighborhood. “MIKE, COME QUICK!”

He runs inside and up to our bedroom. “LOOK,” I yelp, shoving the test at him. “WHAT DOES THIS LOOK LIKE TO YOU? IS THAT A SECOND LINE I THINK THAT’S A SECOND LINE!”

He holds the test up to the light, turning it this way and that.

“It looks like it could be,” he says, thoughtfully. We stare at each other.

Then we load the dog into the car and drive to Georgia.

Saturday, December 22

It’s the morning after we arrive at Mike’s brother’s house in Georgia. We make a plan to go to the local Wal-Mart for a digital pregnancy test. “It will either say PREGNANT or NOT PREGNANT,” I explain to Mike. “There won’t be any ambiguity.”

But first we have to get past our sister-in-law, Wendy. Wendy is high-energy and very observant. It’s hard to put anything past her.

“Wal-Mart?” she asks. “For what? I’ve got lots of extra stuff around here. Maybe I already have what you need.”

I doubt you have pregnancy tests, I think. She and Mike’s brother have three children and are decidedly done with reproducing.

“Uh,” I say, brilliantly. “Uh, I just need some…uh, personal items. Don’t worry, it’s fine.”

“Okay,” she says, giving me a close look. “Are you sure? Because really, I probably have anything you could need, so just let me know.”

“Thanks, Wendy,” Mike says. “But we’ll just run to Wal-Mart. I need to get gas, anyhow.”

We escape to the car. “She thinks I need tampons but that I’m too embarrassed to ask for them!” I huff. “What, am I in seventh grade? Why didn’t we just say that we needed dog food?” (theirs is a no-pets household)

At Wal-Mart we buy a Clearblue Easy digital pregnancy test, which I take the next morning.


Sunday, December 23:

Mike decides to tell Wendy and Adam the good news, since we’re leaving the next morning for Florida. They are ecstatic.

“Thank God!” Wendy breathes. We all look at her.

“Well, you’ve been so tired, and you took that mysterious trip to Wal-Mart,” she explains to me. “Last night I said to Adam, ‘I’m afraid Liz has Lupus or something! She keeps taking naps!’”

Adam, who is a doctor, smiles wryly. “Her little bit of medical knowledge is a dangerous thing.”

Monday, December 24

Christmas Eve at my parents’ house in Florida. I take a regular pregnancy test, since the results on the digital tests only display for 24 hours. There are two obvious lines. I cap it, wrap it, and hide it under the Christmas tree.

Tuesday, December 25

We wake up and engage in all the usual traditions… stockings, mom’s breakfast casserole and sticky buns, the calling of the relatives, and finally the slow, methodical opening of the presents. When it appears that the pile has at last been demolished, I pull out the slim package that I hid in the tree skirt. “Oops, one more!”

Dad lets Mom do the honors. I kind of overdid it on the wrapping (really, it doesn't take much to adequately cover a pee stick) and it is taking her freaking forever to get it open. My heart is nearly exploding from my chest as she keeps pausing to hold out the package to their dog, Benny. “What is it, Benny?” she asks. “What could it be?” Benny sniffs intently, his ears standing at attention. OMG, pee! She gave you PEE!

Mom does not seem to receive this canine communication.

Finally, finally, she rips off the last layer of wrapping paper. She stares at the stick in confusion.

“What is this?” she asks. “Is it…an X-Acto knife?”

My dad leans over for a closer look. “Yeah, some kind of tool?”

Mom turns the stick over. Suddenly she gasps and claps her hand over her mouth, her eyes searching my face.

“What?” Dad asks. He looks from her to me, trying to figure out what’s going on.

I look at Mom expectantly.

"WHAT IS IT?" Dad asks again, thoroughly befuddled.

“YOU’RE PREGNANT!” Mom screams.

I nod, and that’s all it takes. She is laughing and crying and jumping up and down. Later, she asks if she can keep the pee stick.

I guess she really wanted grandchildren.

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Blogger Bearette24 said...

Ah, so these were the things you were going to tell us later ;)

Clever to wrap the stick.

Of course I'm wondering what you saw in the mirror...too bad you can't have separate blogs for girls and boys :)

3:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

thank for the LOL visual of the dog. i could totally see your the cogs turning in your mother's head.

8:19 PM  
Blogger Roxanne said...

I'm with Bearette. We totally need to hear what it was that you saw in the mirror. Just tell the boys to turn their heads for a minute. ;)

I love the idea of gifting bodily fluids for Christmas. I'll have to remember that one for next year! Seriously though, that was a great story and one that will be fun to tell your little one in years to come.

11:53 PM  
Blogger Frema said...

You guys, I'm totally guessing that Liz noticed a..."fuller bosom."

Also, Liz, I love your "telling the family" story; mine is similar in that my mother gave an over-the-top reaction. There should be an essay collection filled with these puppies, I swear. They are comedic gold.

12:45 AM  
Blogger kj said...

it was great to read this....


1:53 AM  
Blogger Sam said...

What an absolutely fantastic way to tell your parents about the new grandchild!! Good timing too!!

5:06 AM  
Anonymous j.m. tewkesbury said...

I think that's the best Christmas story I've read, ever!

Yeah! Congratulations again to you and Mike!

7:10 AM  
Blogger His suzy said...

Aww, I teared up when I read your mom's reaction. That's so sweet! I'm so happy for you and Mike! :)

9:43 PM  
Blogger Sweet Irene said...

Congratulations, what a wonderful surprise for both of you and your family. I really enjoyed the way you told this story. It was very suspenseful.

10:20 PM  
Blogger nejyerf said...

this is an excellent story and i am so happy for you and your husband and dog but the irreverent part of me can't help but think of that justin timberlake song "dick in a box" only your song would be "pee on a stick"

"Hey Ma, I got somethin' real important to give you
So just sit down and listen
Ma, you know we've been mother and daughter such a long, long time (such a long time)
And now I'm ready to lay it on the line
(Wooow) You know it's Christmas and my heart is open wide (open wide)
Gonna give you something so you know what's on my mind (what is on my mind)
A gift real special, so take off the top
Take a look inside -- it's my pee on a stick (it's on a stick)"

1:19 PM  
Blogger Liz said...

Oh my god, Nejyerf, you just made me spit water across my desk.

Mike and I saw the Dick in a Box skit when it aired and laughed ourselves silly.

You owe me a new keyboard!

1:22 PM  
Blogger R U Serious?? said...

What a beautiful yet hilarious post!! I love reading other people's diaries!!!!! Congrats again!!

That email on my space was REAL! A friend of mine actually sent that letter to his boss.

Now I'll turn my head so you can tell your girlfriends what you saw in the mirror. Besides, I'm not sure I wanna know!!!

How is that yogurt tasting??? Take care!

3:27 PM  
Blogger Bearette24 said...

OMG. I hope Justin does not really have a song called "dick in a box." I hope it was just a skit. Otherwise my opinion of him just plummeted further ;)

4:10 PM  
Blogger Caro said...

Pee, it's pee! Maybe that's all our dogs REALLY want for Christmas.

I loved your story.

6:02 PM  
Blogger Suse said...

I've got all my old pregnancy tests in the top drawer of my bedside table.

It never occurred to me that it must be very confusing for the dog every time I open the drawer to get a tissue/pen/nail file, etc.

ps. I got a bit weepy reading this post. I'm so happy for you and Mike. And your mother.

9:29 PM  
Blogger Heather B. said...

I got chills and semi-teary eyed reading that story. I am so, so happy for you!

9:43 PM  

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