Just shy of a decade ago, I started this column before moving to another country ("Norway-bound, and Freakin' Out"). Facing a monumental shift in my life, I clung to humor, mostly focusing on two things: Walter Sobchak shouting "Dude, are you fuckin' this up?" and one of the repeat jokes in "Arrested Development" — characters facing a static camera and, realizing they've gotten exactly what they wanted, proclaiming, "I've made a huge mistake."
I can look back now and say that eloping to Norway was not a mistake, nor was returning a few months later — though, for a few years afterward, it felt like the blunder of a lifetime.
I think one of the things this column allowed me to do is look at the sea changes and the course corrections I've made and wonder aloud what I'm doing, why I'm doing it and try to figure out where I fit in this world. And it's been heartening to know that my willingness to admit failure has helped a few of you. Your letters over the years have meant a lot.
I'm bringing this all up because few days ago, I pulled my pants on and they got stuck at the calf.
"Guess I'm wearing a fricken maxi skirt again, man." As usual, the dog didn't care. But then I couldn't get the pant leg back off. My prize-winning-watermelon-sized belly prevented a forward bend, and my other foot lacked the strength to kick the pant leg off. And so, a grown-ass woman who's taken great pride in her ability to change tires, pay for college, and do a million other things on her own had to shout for help to peel a pant leg from her bloated calf.
This is the place where pregnancy, my latest monumental life shift, has brought me. And I'd be lying if I hadn't stared into the mirror on numerous occasions and wondered if I'm fucking this all up.
Am I too old to have a baby? Too in love with silence, too impatient, too naturally cranky? Those were fun things to worry about at the beginning. Now, as you know, I worry about getting partway into an outfit and not being able to back out of that decision on my own volition.
Given I spend half of every hour thinking about or taking a nap, the number of things I'm able to squeeze in during the span of a day has taken a drastic nosedive. I've already cut out everything I could think of first, including the few weekend showers I used to take, and now all I have left to give up is this column. And so I'm doing that.
I hope my energy and ankles return by the end of the summer and that I'll have a renewed joie de vivre — something I feel has been missing from these columns for months. In the meantime, I'll be in seclusion in the west wing, hanging out with the littlest Lebowski.
I guess that's how the whole durned human comedy keeps perpetuating itself, down through the generations, westward the wagons, across the sands of time until we — oh, look at me; I'm ramblin' again. Well, I hope you folks enjoyed yourselves. Catch you later on down the trail.
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