The big D.
July 24th 2013
22 weeks pregnant.
I escaped New Orleans for a few days and traveled to the Big D, or Dallas, as most call it. Although it was only a quick trip, it was great to get out of the city for a few days. My friend Jason and his wife live there and they were nice enough to be accommodating when I asked if I could come for an impromptu visit. I have known Jason since middle school. I regard him as my brother and while we don’t always see eye to eye on everything, we have a mutual respect and admiration for one another. He is one of the people in my life that I can truly depend on, and I have many times in the past. His wife Dania is the perfect pair for him, as she is quick-witted and able to handle his often child-like sense of humor. Jason actually reminds me a lot of Jackie; they both have a penchant for drawing cocks everywhere they can.
I had given Jason and Dania the run-down before heading their way. I had explained that not only am I broke as fuck, but also that I am at the stage of pregnancy where a fun weekend includes sitting on the couch reading or watching television. Needless to say, this would not be like my past visits to Dallas, which had included booze, drugs and other illicit activities. They were okay with that, having also slowed down a bit. Jason did have one request: that I immediately begin watching Game of Thrones because he was really into it, and wanted to make it part of our weekend schedule.
Other than Entourage and Sex in the City, there probably aren’t many HBO series that I haven’t absolutely adored. Carnivale is my favorite series of all time, and I still haven’t watched the final episode of Season 2 (because I am saving it for when I need it.) That being said, I had not watched any of Game of Thrones yet, but was ready to take the plunge with HBO GO. I started watching the first episode on Wednesday, and by the time I arrived in Dallas on Thursday early evening I had seen seven episodes of the first season. I was intrigued by how much distaste I held for most of the characters of the show. It is interesting that an immediate protagonist is not identified as each character typically has some major detrimental flaw that makes you care less if they die. Spoiler alert: a lot of them do. Jason was pleased I had done my lazy man homework so that we could spend some quality time together in front of his gigantic television.
While in Dallas I ate a lot of really delicious food. I highly recommend the restaurant Lucia, if you are ever there. Jason is a food lover, like me. But unlike me he doesn’t follow any dietary restrictions. Since going back to pescatarian while pregnant, it has been much easier for me to eat out. We had so many delicious meals that I felt constantly satiated and always a little sleepy. I was able to also have lunch with a good friend of mine, Brandon Thibodeaux, who is an amazing photographer. I’ve coerced him to take my photo and he’s produced some of my favorite images of myself. He had just returned from a solo show in the Pacific Northwest and he regaled me with tales of The Goonies rock. If there is three things I love, it’s good friends, good food and The Goonies.
Dania was extremely accommodating and kind. She spent an entire day driving me around to various baby stores in Dallas. I hadn’t realized (probably because the last few times I was there I stayed downtown and was intoxicated the whole time) that Dallas is so fucking huge. Coming from New Orleans, it is a bit shocking to have to drive for nearly an hour to get to a store that is still in the same city. Regardless of the commute, the shopping was pretty painless. I haven’t been fully indoctrinated into the “Cult of Baby” yet, so I really have been trying to only buy things the baby needs as opposed to all the frivolous shit that commercials and sales people try to sell you. We went to Lone Star Baby which is an independent store and they offered the best, non-annoying customer service. We also hit up a Buy Buy Baby, since we don’t have those here in NOLA yet. It had wall-to-wall, stacked-to-the-ceiling baby items. Although it was a bit overwhelming, it gave me a chance to see a lot of the items that I was considering for purchase, in person. I was able to feel the car seats and push the strollers around. Although I did like the store, it would be a nightmare to have to spend more than an hour there at a time. So many pregnant women buying so many things. In an act of complete generosity, Dania paid for all my baby items at both stores. I was not expecting that, and while it did make me a little uncomfortable to be on the receiving end of such a thoughtful gesture, I was unbelievably grateful. I’m very glad that I hadn’t placed any $500 strollers in the cart.
I used our baby store trips to help me make my registry on Amazon.com. After price matching, I found that Amazon was the lowest for nearly all items that I desire. This way items purchased will simply be shipped to Flanagan’s Pub and the guests won’t have to worry about wrapping anything or bringing it with them to the baby shower. We are planning the baby shower for early September, probably at Siberia. Yes, a baby shower at a bar. You know how I do things.
Overall my visit was fantastic, for many reasons but mostly because I got to spend time with two people who are like family to me. Jason and I have maintained a special, enduring friendship that sometimes even surprises us. We spoke about many of our other mutual friends and how time has only made it harder to connect to them and their lives. Time has brought us closer together, as we are very similar in taste and opinion (although he is more adamant than I when asserting his). I look forward to the day that he and Dania have children because I’m sure our kids will grow up like cousins, and this makes me feel very fortunate.
As much as I enjoyed getting away, I was really happy to return home. I’m finally feeling settled in our new place and it was surprising and amazing to be excited to get back. Usually when I travel I feel a slight bit of depression upon returning home. It typically feels as though all the fun is over and it’s back to work and responsibility. This time I didn’t have any of that. I was genuinely pleased to not only be back with Andy but also our menagerie of animals. Returning to work…now that’s a different story.
I got frustrated with a co-worker on Monday and acted out in a rather unpleasant way. Honestly, though, it wasn’t my fault. I had left a few things for one of my team members to accomplish while I was out for two days. Something that would have taken him less than two hours to complete, but lo and behold upon my return, he had none of it done. To make matters worse, he was in an awful mood. I tried not to get frustrated and just go about my own work. We soon ran out of paper and it needed to be retrieved from the first floor (I work on the third floor of a warehouse). Typically I would go get it, but being pregnant I am unable to do things like this very easily anymore. I asked said co-worker if he would go get the paper, to which he responded by ignoring me. When I asked again, he gave me some under breath mumble and I lost it. I kicked my trashcan at his desk and yelled, “I’ll go get the fucking paper.” I then stormed to the door and turned to yell, “You may think I’m joking, but I’m not. I’m getting really sick of your fucking shit.” Then I promptly slammed the door and left. After returning from downstairs with the paper, no one said anything about my outburst, not even my supervisor who had witnessed the whole thing. I guess being needed for a project is good job security.
After that debacle, I decided that I wasn’t going to let work drama get to me and so far I’ve accomplished that goal. I have been feeling good; the only thing I stress about (besides the regular shit) is the weight that I’m gaining. I’m just a little over halfway through my pregnancy and I’ve already gained nearly twenty pounds. Andy keeps explaining to me that I shouldn’t be worrying because weight gain is a necessary part of pregnancy. Easy for him to say. As a person who has spent a huge portion of her life as an overweight individual, there is something completely horrifying about watching the numbers on the scale move up and feeling your physical capabilities diminish. I have been very fat (I’m not talking an extra fifteen pounds, I’m talking an extra fifty+), and have worked very hard to become a healthier individual, so I think I will always struggle with weight gain and body perception. I talked with one of the midwives, Esther, when I saw her this week for my monthly checkup. She said that the baby is growing exactly how he should be and that I should try not to stress at this point about my weight, but perhaps evaluate what I’m eating to see if I am making the best choices. I know I need to cut down on the sugar. I just want it all the time. So that is the new goal. After my birthday next week, sugar goes down to a minimum. I know I can handle that. So much easier than dealing with pre-gestational diabetes.