I had some airline miles to burn before I cancel the credit card that I got them with (I don’t know if the miles will expire or not when I cancel the card, but I don’t want to mess with it), and it so happened one of my best high school friends, Emily, was getting married on the last day of September in Eugene, Oregon. The only trip I could get with my miles left Wednesday and got back home Monday, and each trip had two layovers.
Oh well. Free trip.
Both trips started around noon, so no crazy early mornings. I really hate those spread eagle nipple scan machines (such a pointless cash grab by the industry, and such a violation of privacy), and especially while pregnant I wasn’t about to go through it. (It’s probably fine, but “probably” isn’t good enough for me after all we’ve been through.) So I had to subject myself to their rather aggressive “pat down” (more like legalized molestation). Seems to be a way to pressure people into going through the machine.
Sometimes I really hate this country, which overreacts wildly to a single half-baked underwear bomber and does nothing in the face of scores of mass shootings. Largely based on what creates more corporate profit and campaign contributions.
Anyway, the rest of the trip went pretty smoothly, and I got to Eugene around 9:30pm, plenty of time to catch up a bit before hitting the sack.
Thursday and Friday we did some shopping and preparations and also hung out with the parents of the bride and groom and Emily’s best college friend Barbara. Friday night we did a pub cycle, which is a big tandem bike shaped like a trolley with five seats on each side facing each other and pedals at each seat. The pedaling didn’t seem to do much, as the electric engine did most of the work, but we pedaled away anyway.
Of course I didn’t drink; I found interesting things like gingerade, fig cola, and at one point — at a coffee shop across the street from one of the bars — a divine hemp milk chai latte. They do them right in Oregon. Spicy, not sweet, so you can just add a few sugar crystals to the foam for a subtle sweet crunch. So good.
Saturday morning was the actual ceremony, a lovely, intimate Quaker tradition of gathering in silence until the couple felt married. The weather was absolutely perfect, cool with clear blue skies, and Emily had decorated the ancient apple tree in her yard with streamers of fabric.
The reception later on was more boisterous, and everyone brought terrific food. There were two cakes, one lemon poppyseed with blackberry filling, the other vanilla with layers of dark chocolate and blood orange ganache. Emily had bought a bunch of mismatched delicate teacups at a thrift store to serve the coffee, and we each got to choose one and take it home as a party favor. (Their “guest book” was a homemade game of giant Jenga made with cut and sanded 2x4s, and we each chose a Jenga block and wrote messages on them.)
Sunday was a recovery day. Emily and I went to a gently twisty, stretchy yoga class, then we went to an orchard outside of town to pick pears and apples. For dinner we went to a charming Japanese place and split several awesome dishes.
Through most of it I was more or less fine. More tired than usual, and after hours and hours of making small talk with near strangers (lovely as they were), I was pretty peopled out. I needed to take breaks sometimes, and most days I begged off for a nap for at least an hour. I ate reasonably well given that it was a party weekend, but I was definitely glad to think about getting back to my usual food and having more control over when and what I ate. I had too much sugar overall, and my sinuses and ears were a bit congested by the end.
Then when it was time to get molested at the airport again, I had a particularly aggressive woman who talked into my face (even though during these things I try to just tune out what’s happening), and as she walked over to the machine to make sure I wasn’t a bomb threat (or whatever), she coughed and said, “Man, this is killing me.”
I said, “Wait, are you sick?”
“I told you I’m not going through the other thing because I’m pregnant. Are you contagious?”
“I think most germs are contagious.”
“You really shouldn’t expose pregnant people to sick people.”
She just kind of threw her hands in the air and walked away.
I found someone else and asked her to tell the manager what had happened, and that it shouldn’t happen. For all the good it probably did.
Three days later I seem fine, but… yeah. Sometimes I hate this country.
In happier news, despite no fetal scans any time recently or soon, the growth of my uterus is easy to feel (still can’t see it — it seems to be growing upward rather than outward), and last night, when I pressed my hand into my uterus, I think I felt a bit of movement. I still can’t feel any movement internally (that is, my uterus / belly doesn’t feel anything yet), but my hand seemed to pick up some movement that wasn’t rhythmic like blood flow and didn’t seem like digestive movement. I could be imagining it, of course, but it was a cool feeling. Very subtle but exciting. A dancing fetus.
Also, I revised the first chapter of my novel and welcome feedback.
You can read it here.