Employment practices in Germany are not those I’m used to: the protected classes in the U.S. include age and disability; I routinely pass shops in Hamburg with signs in the window saying ‘Nice young woman sought for retail position.’ or ‘Young, energetic, fashion-oriented employee wanted.’ It is only in the last few days, after having given my circumstances a long, hard look, that I realized that I would not be a candidate for those jobs. Never mind how fashion-oriented I’m not, at the age of 37 I no longer fall into the young category. Which is good, I guess; at my age if I fell at all I might break a hip. This comes up because Tobias and I recently got the semiannual bill from the cryogenics institute asking for a reasonable number of Euros to continue holding five (or maybe six? I can’t really remember,) embryos in cold storage. On the one hand, Tobias has had a vasectomy and it’s kind of nice to feel like that door is comfortably closed against the draft but not bricked and mortared. On the other hand, there is no fucking way I’m having another kid, or another pregnancy, or another round of womb-readying hormone injections, or delaying knee surgery for yet another year, or not taking advantage of the 10-pack of upright bass lessons Tobias gave me for Christmas, so let’s just let those euphemisms fly, shall we? Time to play…
how to play: Set a timer for 60 seconds, and try to come up with as many euphamisms for ‘destroying embryos’ as you can before the timer goes off. My attempt is below.
- Time to let the invoices lapse, you know what I mean?
- Time to melt the Mom n’ Popsicles.
- Time to let the future slip into the past.
- Time to stop counting our snowflakes before they hatch.
- Time to let nature take its course.
That last one is my favorite because fuck you, nature, you totally lost: my one genetically perfect child was the result of IVF/ICSI, and the all-natural surprise bonus baby is a hot mess, genetically speaking (but also really is a hot mess right now – he’s teething, poor little guy.)
Sorry if I sound a little grim – we’re struggling with the thought that nothing we do, no decision we come to, will make Max better, and as a special bonus I am having a recurring dream that I open the dishwasher to find my cast iron skillet. Cue: Horrors! Not the skillet! Oh, no! It’s ruined! All those years of care washed away in moments. But, wait, how did it get in there? Who Put It In There? Oh, God, no, it’s, it’s, it’s… someone who lives here… (scary horror movie music)… ooohooo…
Don’t feel bad for me though, unless it is because I scheduled 10 upright bass lessons and an ACL replacement in the same month, which should make for some pretty interesting stair-climbing what with the rental bass and the six weeks of crutches and the two kids and the five flights and the no elevator.
And, yeah, maybe sweet baby Max is a genetic mutant, but aren’t we all?