Thursday, July 29, 2010

Of Hormones and Happiness





I’m writing this from the beautiful community garden at Greene and Penn Streets, watching a goldfinch pick seeds out of sunflowers, watching for new butterflies to learn. Bees are going berserk here, it’s heartening.

Something surprising happened to me yesterday that absolutely should not have been surprising. I’ve been on this cycle for more than 20 years, but it never, never ceases to amaze me when the PMS chemicals stop fucking me up and my mood shifts like tectonic plates. Every month I’m like, why does hormone misery seem so real, so urgent? Next month, I’ll remember, I keep telling myself. The PMS sadness does sometimes help me to rearrange things that need to be rearranged, but mostly it’s just a drain followed by a relief.

My new, very not awesome moony side effect is Crying Because I Do Not Currently Have Babies. I don’t really WANT to have babies. I’m happy to lavish affection on my nieces, nephews, and everyone I know. I happen to have space issues, so the idea of sharing my body with a whole other person kind of freaks my freak. I like my pretty, grown up apartment, my quiet marriage, my time to write. Plus, I’ve seen some instances of postpartum depression that seem like they might last 18 years—that shit’s no joke.

But my body doesn’t really care about these things. Last weekend we chose Inception over The Kids are All Right for our movie date, partly because Inception seemed more big-screeny, but also because I might grind my teeth to stubs watching a happily reproduced lesbian couple for two hours.

These bouts with baby-crazy made me realize how many commercials seem like they’re really just advertisements for reproduction: Buy this video-phone and you’ll have the joy of telling your partner you’re pregnant! Buy this minivan and you’ll have two perfect kids in the backseat, watching two separate DVDs! Buy this refrigerator and your perfect husband will instantly be as baby crazy as you are!

Talk about Inception! Is it really my body wanting these things or should I just cut down on TV? (Don’t answer that! I love the TV!)

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