this has been one hell of a weekend. well, it’s been one hell of a week. so much has happened within the space of a few days, plus my own thoughts and feelings, i have a feeling I’m going to be all over the place — more so than usual.
from the what’s new front:
87 people on the mailing list (geez, can’t i eve break a 100?). Did some more comestic work on the website. Added filez, pictures, pr0n and really put up the obligatory webrings, awards and links page.
yanno, another reason i don’t get the holidays is mainly because my own family is fsck’d in a definite loony way. for instance, now that I’m all settled in Fairfax and basically living with paul (meaning he doesn’t show up until the 30th perm), i decided to start calling my aunts and stuff to let them know i was alive and living. and basically i got to hear for an hour about how horrible of a daughter i am (because i haven’t spoken to my mother in about 6 months), about how everyone is a son of a bitch and Canadian currency is basically crap and how one aunt married her drug and alcoholic bf and moved to Kentucky and that my other aunt and her husband moved to Florida.
you know, its the Christmas season. and I’m trying to make the best of it. i thought by calling my Aunt Jackie and letting her know I was okay and that I was sending them a Xmas card with my and Pauls address that it would be okay. But it wasn’t. My Aunt Roberta (her younger sister and sidekick) basically grilled me about paul. When she asked me if paul had a big family and I said “yah, he’s half Spaniard and Irish and catholic”, she drops her voice and whispers “is he dark?” Like jesus christ people. This is 1999. His coloring shouldn’t matter to anyone. (But the boy is pretty goddamn pale.) And when I told her that we were getting married she said “Well, I won’t tell anyone that you aren’t married now (due to the fact that paul and I are living together)”.
They always make me feel so goddamn rotten when I speak to them. I don’t know why I do it. Maybe it was because of seeing how Paul interacts with his family and this was something he and I had discussed that I could shed some light into my own family problems.
Turned out I was wrong.
My father had a stroke two weeks ago, and I got the phone call from my cousin James in Toronto. I’m a okay.
this is the part when i start deconstructing myself and feeling like shit. bah.
how i spent my saturday (December 11, 1999)
Editors Note: as we all know, when people start talking about a ‘friend’ and not naming names, it is generally presumed that it is really about the person who is telling the story. fortunately in this case, it really is not about me. it’s about a long time friend of mine who choose to get an abortion. since she has been mentioned in TLC in the past, she was afraid she would start getting hate mail because of her choice. so we decided that it was okay for me to talk about it, just not to mention her name. I’ve never been pregnant and paul and i are not expecting devils spawn. really.
when i found out that one of my oldest friends was pregnant, i wasn’t happy. i knew that she hadn’t been practicing birth control and knowing that she had been pregnant in the past due to ‘carelessness’ really irritated me. you see, out of the group of close friends i grew up with (high school/college), I’m the only one in the bunch who has never been pregnant and thusly was lucky enough never to have to make a decision on whether or not i was going to keep a child.
I’ve had my shares of scares, true, but I’ve always been ultra paranoid about my sexual health. when Alan and i were dating in the early 90s, we had went and gotten checked together so that we could practice monogamous safe sex without using condoms (i was on the pill at the time and told that i was possibly not going to be able to have kids as it was). so, like any other young couple in love, we got checked and tossed away the condoms. then i found out that he had been cheating on me. and then i found out that he had NOT been practicing safe sex with this other girl. my own paranoia (aids had just started to ravage the country and people were on the war path about safe sex) plus common sense prompted me to to get checked and make sure that i was okay. i was. but that set in motion a passion about sexual awareness and practicing safe sex that is almost cult like.
I’ve had many discussions with lots of people about practicing safe sex. I cannot believe that in this day and age people are so fucking stupid about not using protection. the most common excuses I’ve heard are “i don’t like condoms” and “i can’t remember to take the pill” — okay fine, but there are other options for you to use. not all of the guaranteed (nothing in life is) and not all of them protect you from disease but something is better than nothing. sex to me is a very adult thing — meaning you have to take the responsibly along with your actions. i cannot tolerate excuses about why people are not practicing safe sex. and yesh, i practice what i preach. I’m on the pill and paul and i use condoms.
so when my friend told me she was pregnant, i felt sad for her. she was taking it all in stride though — I’ll grant you that. but when she went to get checked and was scheduling a time to have the procedure, they refused to do it telling her that she was much farther along than she thought she was. which was wrong. her boyfriend didn’t move in till late august and she got pregnant early September. they told her the time of the conception was middle of august — which is fricken impossible since she was only sleeping with him — and he wasn’t event here yet. and she was also pregnant with twins. and since the clinic claimed she was above the date for an abortion (she found out that babies were just bigger than normal) — state of Virginia will not do anything past the first trimester (up to 12 weeks). she could go to Philly, DC or North Carolina to have the procedure done.
She choose DC.
I didn’t find out until nearly her appointment that she was coming up. i rescheduled work and plans to help her out. it was a two day procedure. on the first day (Friday) she was going in for what she calls the ‘seaweed stick’ procedure. what this is, is that they stick sticks up your vagina wrapped in iodine to dilate the cervix. this is (according to the paperwork she was given) the beginning of the abortion. the second day (saturday) visit is when the actual abortion would take place, which would last about 1/2 hour with an additional 2-3 hours for resting. she was then free to leave as long as someone was driving her home. — and that person would have been me.
she arrived late Friday night in some discomfort. the babies had been kicking and she was also having mild cramping. she was having a hard time even going to the bathroom because she was afraid the sticks might fall out. after taking a nap that evening, she and i stayed up and talked until 2 am — when we had to be up at 6 am to get up for the appointment.
and as we talked, she kept telling me how she was feeling the babies kick — and she said it such a non-chalant way that it was almost scary.
we woke up early saturday morning and both forwent showers to get to the appointment on time. we arrived a few minutes past 7:30 to see that there were protesters already out front. well duh. planned parenthood. Washington DC. hello here. we walked quickly by them, went through the security guards and were let into the clinic. other girls soon followed in and at 8am, the nurse started calling peoples names to go back for the procedure.
she gave me the option of going back to the apartment and getting rest and then coming to pick her up. i decided to hang out for awhile and just kill time. i read magazines, i watched the waiting room swell up with people. all types of girls came in — i couldn’t tell who was there for what. but there were all races and social classes. some came in alone, others came in with bf’s/spouses/partners. finally around 9:30am, i went outside and chain smoked for awhile.
i met up with two volunteers for the clinic and talked with for awhile. the protesters had grown in numbers but it was still a small motley group of people. one man had a huge (about 3’x2′) sign that showed a dead fetus with “32 million babies killed since Roe vs Wade”. there were young and old people, chanting Holy Marys and giving away rosaries. The volunteers were friendly and a bit passionate about their work. we talked about the protesters and i asked them what it was like doing this. i was truly curious. i mean, I’ve heard and read all the stories about what was going down at these clinics. when i went to PP in Oakland for my own checkup, we were forced to check in with a security guard and go through auto-locked doors. this place in DC was more secure — and the protesters, man, it was like something out of CNN. they approached everyone walking near the clinic and gave them roasiers and told them they would pray for their sins. one young Hispanic girl came in with her bf. i watched her staring up at the sign above the entrance and watched her eyes water as she tightly clutched her bf’s hand. i felt so sorry for her, i wanted to do something but i didn’t know what to do. hell, for all i know she could be there for a pap smear.
the volunteers job was to make sure the protesters didn’t harass the patients as they walked into the clinic. they spoke softly to the women walking up and comforted them if they didn’t look so hot. i stood outside for nearly an hour watching this take place in 35 degree weather. i had my scarf wrapped around my neck and my gloves on as i chain smoked just watching the scene. i chatted some more with the volunteers and walked back in. by this time, it was going on 10am and the waiting room was packed. i settled down in a very uncomfortable chair and read newsweek waiting for my friend to leave.
she walked out at 12:15pm and just seemed as snappy as she ever was. she wasn’t feeling sick or upset. she just wanted a cigarette and food. we went to safeway to grab some maxi-pads for her and some advil and drove to TGI Fridays for lunch. Both of us acted like nothing had happened. sure we spoke about her abortion but i was as if nothing had happened. she felt well enough a few hours later and drove back home.
Pauls been on this kick lately about not letting me have a dog that he PROMISED i would get for Christmas. you see, his aunt raises pure breed pugs and we were going to get one out of the next litter. but some moron told him that if i asked for a dog now, within 6 months i would be asking for a kid. a: paul wanted the dog first and b: I’m not planning on getting pregnant for quite some time.
Abortion is a touchy subject. There is, I believe no right way or wrong way to go about it. Me personally? I’m pro-choice. I like having the option that if an unwanted pregnancy came up that there was an option for me to terminate it. but it’s the people who ABUSE it that irritate me. It’s the constant stupidity people use towards sex and their own health that drives me insane. I don’t begrudge my friend for having the abortion — i begrudge her for not taking care of herself first in the first place. This is why, in so many ways, volunteering for a PP or for a rape crisis center is something that really speaks to me. I’ve seen too many women waste their lives by having kids they did not love because they were pregnant or abuse the system that was given to them. There are WAY too many people running around in this world who think AIDS/HIV/STDs and pregnancy won’t happen to them because they don’t fall into the criteria for the demographics.
If you are in a relationship with someone or are sleeping with someone, do yourself a favor. respect yourself and use protection. i don’t want another person going through what my friend did.