Wednesday, August 26, 2009

A Girl Walks Into a Crib Store....

I make an ass out of myself everyday. It's what I do best. I'm used to it. Danny is used to it. It's just part of life at this point. I trip, I spill, I drop coffees freshly handed to me by baristas. Most of all though, I say awkward things.

Take for instance a recent trip Danny and I took to a place called The Babies Room. The Babies Room is a half consignment/half new emporium of everything, well, baby. I went to pick something up for my friend Candi who'd just given birth a few days prior and needed something called the "Breast Friend" pillow, (which coincidentally allows her to breastfeed and text at the same time. Wonderful invention.)

Danny and I walked around the store, deciding on our favorite kinds of strollers and high chairs and marvelling at how expensive the cribs were. It's hard for me not to feel awkward already in a place like this. It's hard to claim the status of "expectant" mother when I don't have a due date or a belly for people to coo and smile at. Walking around a baby store filled with very pregnant women makes me feel like an imposter.

When we make our way to the register, in a valiant effort to overcome my misgivings and insert myself into the world of mothers to be, I decide to ask for help in a conversation that goes something like this:

Steph: "So, how do I tell which cribs are new and which are used?

Saleswoman: "All our cribs are new. Too many recalls and safety standards to keep up with. We don't sell used cribs."

Steph: "Oh, so where's a good place to buy a crib?"

Saleswoman: "You mean used?"

Steph: "Or new. We'll probably want a new one I guess. You know, just in general where should we go?"

Saleswoman: (Blinks slowly. Glances at the sea of cribs surrounding us.) "Um, well, I guess Target has some reasonably priced ones?"

In the car later Danny laughs at me. "Only you could walk into a store full of cribs and ask the people where you can buy a crib. Hi, my name is Steph. Where can I get the product you guys are selling but cheaper?"

It's true. If there were a brainfart contest I would win hands down. I'm bumbly, fumbly and sometimes say stupid shit. But isn't that why you love me?

I have to go, I'm working at Starbucks today and I need to go ask if they know where I can get some coffee.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Call Me Crazy, But I Do Not Like Mechanics Magazines

Danny and I had to do an MMPI (Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory) as part of our adoption process. I suppose to make sure we are no crazier than any of the other people who decide to have kids.

Several people in the field advised me to not try to “trick” the test. “Just answer honestly,” they said, “the test is designed to catch you lying.” The Dr. who administered the test said the same thing. He said the test was designed to pick up any “tomfoolery.” Coincidentally, I am immediately smitten with any person who uses the term “tomfoolery” but that wasn’t a test question.

When Danny and I walked in, the receptionist gave us each two number two pencils and a large cardboard booklet with five hundred and sixty seven true or false questions inside. She told us we were not to talk to each other about the questions and put us on opposite ends of the waiting room. Which was good because every ten questions or so one of us suppressed a giggle and as the room filled with other patients I had the strong urge crane my head over the others and stage whisper to Danny, “Hey, what did you put for the one about unusual sex acts?”

Afterwards Danny and I were so wasted we got ice cream and took a long nap. It was quite an experience. It was a little like those women’s magazine quizzes but longer and more disturbing.

I’ve included some of my favorite questions here, so you can get a small taste of what this test is like, in case you never get the privilege to take one.

1. I like Mechanics magazines T/F
2. I wake up fresh and rested most mornings T/F
3. I think I would like the work of a librarian T/F
4. I get angry sometimes T/F
5. If I were a painter, I would like painting flowers T/F
6. Evil spirits occasionally posses me T/F
7. My mom is a good woman T/F
8. I think I would like the work of a forest ranger T/F
9. I always tell the truth T/F
10. I never do not return incorrect change T/F
11. I’m pretty happy with my life T/F
12. I’m certain I’m being followed T/F…
13. I usually have less fears than most of my friends T/F
14. I have no fear of earthworms T/F
15. I usually do not have nightmares every other night T/F

It starts off easy enough, but after the first couple hundred or so the double negatives are making my eyes swim and I start to sweat, wondering about the test maker’s idea of words like “usually” “often” “certainly” and “most.” And I’m tired of comparing myself to my friends. As in, “I certainly often feel better about myself than most of my friends.” Questions like those were difficult. I think most of my friends feel fine. Do I feel better than them? No. Do I feel worse than them? No. So where’s my number two pencil to go?

I kept thinking, trick the test? This test is trying to trick me. Trying to lull me into happily marking true, true, true until I finally admit that I think someone is controlling my brain. A run of questions might look something like this:

I think puppies are cute T/F
When I was little I played games T/F
Sometimes I like hanging out with friends T/F
I occasionally feel like ripping someone's face off T/F

Honestly toward the end I was getting so tired I probably answered, true, that invisible aliens follow me around and climb in my butt when I fall asleep (which only USED to be true.)

I’m trying not to obsess about the test results, which would be easier if there weren’t so much riding on it. I’m sure it will be fine. I’m a normal person who does not (currently) hear voices or feel like ripping anyone's face off.

After the adoption is final though, I’m thinking about getting a group together to take an MMPI, just for fun. It’ll be crazy good times.