Odds, Ends

First off, I want to thank Cynthia, who sent us some cute and chic baby clothes as well as a monkey sleep sack, bowl, and plush toy—there’s a for-real thank-you note in the mail, but I had to tell the world. =) Now I just have to fight the urge to try out the sleep sack on our grouchy cat. . . .

Ruth emailed me late last week. She told me that she is religiously prohibited from congratulating me, and she did say a couple of nice things, but 90 percent of the email was expressing her worry and letting me know that they will love me whatever I do. To my somewhat weary and wary eye, it reads like she’s responding to an email telling her that I’m going into rehab. I just feel tired, and I’m going to take my time about writing back. Mr. Book is pretty angry at both of them right now. I’m never the one who takes forever to write back, and I know that I should say something, but I’ve tried a couple of times and just sort of run out of steam. So . . . probably not today.

I’ve been trying to take pictures of my stomach with fruit, as my sister Kate has nagged me to do, but it ends up just looking like a pudgy woman holding a lemon. =/ Those shots have all been deleted. I think I’m giving up until the kid is at least the size of a coconut.

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16 thoughts on “Odds, Ends

  1. I gotta say. Ruth & Nora are acting in a truly bizarre matter. Regardless of what they are thinking & feeling, they apparently did not learn the socially correct way to congratulate someone on a major life milestone. And what do they mean by “They will love you regardless of what you decide?” Why is there any question of your decision?

    When I have people who are getting too involved in my life & choices, I usually say to them “I really appreciate your concern, but in this matter you need not concern yourself.” It’s my polite way of telling them to mind their own darn business.

  2. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with taking your time in responding to this one. Seems like Ruth and Nora might need to spend a little time thinking about what *you* are thinking and feeling — maybe they need a little “wonder why she hasn’t written back yet” moment to push them into reflection.

  3. Ooh, I like Sharon’s suggestion! Seriously, Ruth should go on vacation with my mom. They’d get along beautifully and could just sit around and be passive-aggressively judgmental about everyone who isn’t them. Um, sorry, that’s my issue, isn’t it? But grrr. (I’m kind of playing around with the idea that pregnancy IS rehab and having fun with that, so thanks for that. But yuck.)

    • Now, for the next step: Pregnancy-as-rehab reality tv! Dibs on being the first one to call out “She’s just not here for the right reasons!”

  4. Love the image of the cat in a sleep sack. You are prohibited from wasting any more time thanking me than you already have. My religion prohibits you from doing so. I’ve got some more for you in 12-18 month size soon, if you want it… just let me know. Boy stuff, but pretty gender neutral. River’s first mother just recently gave me a really hard time about dressing him in purple, claiming he’ll get picked on at school. The hell he will. Wendell won’t allow it.
    And yes, agreed with all above. All the more because it goes against their/your pattern of you responding quickly, you ought to take more time with this one. Or at least not feel bad about doing so, if that’s your inclination. I find their behavior appalling and troubling, and can only hope it will mature/shift with time. In the meantime, some boundaries for your protection are in order. Just my $.02.

    • I would love more–I mentioned this in the note, but I think Cricket was wearing twelve-month sizes at five months old, so I’m definitely trying to squirrel away some bigger stuff. I often see purple listed as one of the theoretically neutral baby colors; not, of course, that I’m keeping careful track. And thanks for the advice.

  5. oh wow. echoing the above sentiments. troubled by their reaction. totally inappropriate. I hope you do take your sweet time and consider the best response. I’m so sorry you even have to waste precious energy doing that, rather than just focusing on growing that little lemon coconut. I agree they could use some reflection time to ponder what YOU might be feeling. seriously, I’m astounded they aren’t the slightest bit empathetic or thoughtful. sad and frustrated for you, susie.

  6. Wow! I’m so sorry they aren’t reacting the way any pregnant woman would hope!!!! Any idea why on earth their religion prohibits them from congratulating you????? What on earth prevents a congratulation????? I agree with others…. wait awhile before responding. They’ll wonder why you’re not responding quickly like normal and perhaps it will dawn on them that they need to change their behavior a bit!!!!

  7. I don’t blame you for not wanting to write back yet…. I’ve read this post a number of times and I’m still trying to digest what they said. I can only imagine how YOU are feeling!

    These two are very…. unique. No??

  8. I didn’t know there was a religion that prohibited saying congratulations, either. I guess in that religion they’re afraid they’ll jinx it by saying something before it’s a done deal and the baby is actually born?

    Do you feel like Ruth kept her unusual personality under wraps when you were getting to know her prior to Cricket’s arrival, or is it more like she’s only weird/super protective about Cricket-related things, so there wasn’t anything to notice back then?

    • I think you’re right on the first half, although in my huffier moments I think it could easily be gotten around by saying something like “How exciting!” or “I’m so happy for you!” But that ship sailed, I guess.

      On the second half: it’s an interesting question. If you don’t mind, I’ll tackle it in a post tomorrow–need to sit with it for a bit.

  9. I’ve been trying to put words together to comment on this post for awhile and am still flabbergasted. (((hugs))) I’m sorry that they are so insensitive and just plain rude to you.

  10. Ruth and Nora need to do some serious processing of THEIR feelings and get their own feelings out of their conversations with you about this. You don’t need to hear everything they’re thinking about (and vice versa, of course!). I hope they’ll figure this out sooner rather than later.

    Some Jews, btw, don’t congratulate upon the news of a pregnancy b/c the thinking is that congratulations are for events that have already happened, and a pregnancy is something waiting to happen. But there are traditional ways to respond to news of a pregnancy (wishing that the pregnancy will go smoothly, wishing that the pregnancy will unfold as it should, in its own time) that would sound perfectly happy and socially normal even without the phrase “congratulations.”

  11. I find Ruth so truly odd in her reactions. I look forward to your post on that. I did know about the Jewish belief of not congratulating on things that have not happened yet. But her other implications are not about her religion, but her irrational fears and issues with control (over you).

  12. First time commenter, prompted to write because I’m totally annoyed by Ruth and Nora’s reaction. If I’m remembering correctly, in the past you reached out to Ruth to try to communicate more honestly with her, and she kind of shot you down? So, it seems to follow that she should now take the opportunity to keep *her* more difficult feelings to *herself* (given that she doesn’t seem open to hearing your difficult feelings).

    And really, why is your choice a question?

    And geez, it’s SO not about them. Gah.

  13. All I can say is wow – really she can’t congratulate you!!! As a amom I’ve went through this situation and it was a lot to process in my head but I would never not congratulate you -its so very petty! I think letting them wait and think is the right thing to do. This a happy time for you and you shouldn’t let anyone rain on your parade!

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