I did many things during my winter break from blogging. Like take a pregnancy test.
No, Anyone Who Cares in the Slightest. I am not pregnant.
But for about thirty-six hours in the recent past, I was convinced that I was. While Project Number Three is a hot topic of conversation these days chez Rowley, Husband and I have decided to wait a bit to try to make this a reality. But when I was two days late for my exceedingly regular period (sorry if this is information you do not crave) and not feeling so great, a mini-light bulb flared in my mind.
Could it be?
I wasn't the only one who jumped to conclusions. Husband did too. We just had that collective hunch. And you know what? Even though this very-hypothetical pregnancy was something we didn't exactly plan or try for, we were excited. Together, we talked about all of the pros of having another child now. About the pseudo-symmetry that would result in the spacing of our three kids. About the fact that we would be able to travel again sooner. About the fact that we would be relatively young parents for all of our children.
And then because I couldn't stand it, we went to buy a test. Surreptitiously, I zipped around the vast pharmacy looking for what I needed. I refused to ask for directions. And when we happened upon the right shelf, I clammed up and was overcome with school girl-esque embarrassment.
I gave myself a mini-internal-pep-talk. You are a thirty-one-year old married mother of two. This should not be embarrassing. In the slightest. And then Husband gave me an out loud talking-to. Point to the one you want and I will grab it, he offered. And so I did. And he did.
At home, I took the test. And it was negative.
Okay. I gave Husband the news flash. And he nodded and declared that this was not something about which we could be upset because it was not something we specifically hoped for. Totally logical. And guess what? We were not upset. In mere moments, we went back to our initial reasoning. It would be so prudent to wait. We have so much on our plate now with the kiddos and the forthcoming move and the publication of my book. Fine.
But this left me wondering something. Are we as humans wired in some way to want the very situations in which we find ourselves? To tell ourselves stories about how our actual reality is what is in fact best? How was I pumped about a potential pregnancy in one moment and utterly unfazed about the lack of that pregnancy five minutes later? Honestly, this baffles me.
And now for the title of this more brazen post. Is this something I should be blogging about in the first place? I know there is really no objective should when it comes to the amorphous ether of the blogosphere, that really anything goes, but that is not the case with me. Despite spitting quasi-personal bits and pieces of me into this swirling sink of cyberspace, I have pretty disciplined strictures about privacy that I apply every time I post. And I am not sure whether this post violates those strictures.
I don't think it does. (And this is where I spin into a zone of self-rationalization, so hold on for the ride.) The nuts and bolts of this anecdote are personal, yes. I generally view issues of reproductive biology as exceedingly private matters, yes. Husband's and my agenda of family planning is for us and us alone, yes.
But I think - I know - that this is about something bigger. Something important. Something universal. This is about the collision of assumption and actuality. Of appearance and reality. Of dreams and desires. This is about the tendency to shroud our personal situations in positivity. This is about our strong human instinct to weave promising tales from the fibers of our lives.
This, friends, is not just about a piece of plastic.
The other day, I told Mom about this post. Mom is a very smart woman. A private woman who once upon a time shuddered at the very idea of a blog. (Now? She reads every day and is my favorite reader. Don't be offended. I love you too.)
I wrote a post about a pregnancy test, Mom. Do you think it's okay to publish it?
She smiled and said sure. But then she wanted to know why I thought I was it was possible that I was pregnant. I told her that wasn't really the point, that I was making a decidedly grander point and wanted to elicit some interesting comments about the collision of perception and reality and some fun stories about pregnancy tests.
Oh, I have some great pregnancy test stories, Mom said, grinning. At that, I promptly decided that this post is completely appropriate for public consumption.
So. Why is the process of purchasing a pregnancy test so embarrassing for me? Am I the only one? Why do we tend to convince ourselves that our actual situations are ideal? Is talking about the purchase and use of a pregnancy test on a public blog going too far? Am I invading my own privacy in some way by posting this? Do you ever run your blog ideas or other decisions by your mother? Any good pregnancy test stories to share?