I lay still in my bed, listening to Bobby’s soft snore and trying to sleep… and the harder I tried, the more awake I became. At first, just my brain was strumming like a guitar string – string? I think it’s called something else – that’s been wound too tightly. And the rest of me followed suit… skin buzzing, mind racing, eyes itching to be open instead of closed. And so here I sit on the sofa with my laptop, far away from the gently snoring Bobby so that I won’t disturb his peaceful, non-buzzy slumber.
I had every intention of going to church this morning. I did. And when the alarm went off this morning, I sat on the edge of the bed and briefly debated, then turned off the clock and crawled back under the covers. I could say that it was something as simple as “I wanted to sleep in” but I know that’s not the case. As I lay there waiting for sleep again, I felt the blah overtake me. I believe I’ve been dreaming about Mama lately, but I don’t remember details when I wake up — just the distraught residue lurking around the edges. I haven’t allowed myself to miss her lately… I still think about her daily, even hourly, of course – I doubt that will ever change… but I haven’t allowed myself to really FEEL it. When something reminds me, or a memory is triggered, I’ve developed this lovely mechanism where I just slam the door on it. It’s a new door, something I’ve installed during the last 1.5 yrs… if you had told me during the weeks following Sept 17, 2007 that I would eventually have a mental door that I could slam at will, I would have called you a damn liar and told you to get the f-bomb out of my face. Now, however, I have that door. It’s a very thick, study, sound-proof door, and it slams quite satisfyingly when a memory comes lurking around.
But it’s beginning to bother me, this complete lack of anything Mama-related. Who am I, that I can just forget my Mama? That I can still be functioning fairly decently after the foundation was broken out from under me? It feels like a betrayal of Mama, but even more so, of myself. So much of my identity revolved around her – and some who are reading may think that you don’t have this sort of relationship with your mother, that you aren’t as dependent on her… but you might discover differently if she were abruptly and permanently removed. It’s that feeling that occasionally sneaks up behind and bites me in the ass… HOW DID I GET HERE. How?
So in a (ridiculously literal) attempt to figure out just how I arrived where I currently am, I’ve been building my and Bobby’s family trees for the last several days. It was a random whim brought on by Greet-ah the Greeter, who questioned the authenticity of my Southerness based on my last name. So I set off to spend maybe 30 or so minutes to figure out just where my (Bobby’s) strange name came from… and 5 days later, I’ve built a family tree of nearly 1000 people. Insanity. I have been obsessed with a capital Ob. I’ve been one of those annoying people who manages to work their current interest of the week into EVERY conversation. I’ve talked ancestry with Jennifer, Susanna, Tom, Daddy, my MIL — I’ve even made Bobby call different members of his family to solicit information. And Bobby has been the (un)willing recipient of all my random, enthralling little facts, which have gone something like this:
Bobby, did you know your great-great-grandmother’s name was Sarah Frances, just like mine? Bobby, did you know you have an ancestor named Herod, like the guy who wanted to kill Jesus? Bobby, did you know that I have an ancestor whose last name was Gobble like a turkey? Bobby, did you know that with my special genetic cocktail of barely-off-the-boat-Hungarian, inbred-Scottish, and pure unadulterated German, that I never even had a chance in hell of being well-balanced? Huh, huh, didja??
The answer to all of these questions is, of course, “No, Sarah, I wasn’t aware of any of these lovely facts that you insiston peppering me with.” As ridiculous as my 5-day obsession may seem, however, it’s truly amazing if you look at the big picture. All of those people came over to the US from Hungary, England, Scotland, Germany, Switzerland, and France to meet, have babies, and *voila* Bobby and I are here. So much is riding on the ability to procreate. I found myself wondering how many of those women had miscarriages, or problems getting pregnant… and realized that if they were on my family tree, that automatically indicated that they had had children, some way, somehow.
Ah, children. Now that’s a whole different can of worms. As Bobby and I were eating dinner tonight, he said “Now, sweetie, I want to ask you a question and I don’t want you to get upset.” Oh, ok Bobby, sure. Nothing like a warm and fuzzy build-up there, buddy. So there’s a looooooooong pause, during which I finally say “What?!?” And he says “So, this week… are you going to find a job or do you wanna get pregnant again?” Well now. That’s not an choice that a girl is often faced with — would you like to get employed or get knocked up? So I stuff a sushi roll in my mouth and chew slowly – very, very slowly.
When the sushi roll had disintegrated to nothingness in my mouth, I finally shrugged. Yes, I could have shrugged while chewing, but I was waiting for the perfect answer to come to me. It didn’t, thus the shrug. I dunno. I think I NEED to get a job, for financial as well as social reasons. Me thinks I’m becoming a hermit, although I do need to state that I do not experience “cabin fever.” I LIKE being by myself, puttering about in my little house. But do I WANT a job? Um, Bob, I’ll take a “no” for $800 (monthly deficit, that is).
And on to the big question… do I want to get pregnant? Again, I dunno. Yes, I WANT to. I long for a baby, I do. But I just want to steal one so I don’t have to do the pregnancy stress thing or the adoption stress thing. I told Bobby that I want to go to the baby store and pick out a baby and buy it and bring it home. Why is that so hard? I don’t ask for much, people… GAH.
So bottom line? I did not answer Bobby’s question. But I did discover that my great-grandmothers were named Zulienne and Lurline. Yeah, my eventual baby’s gonna have a helluva name! :)