Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Notes from the past

Breaking news:

Stay at home mom used to have real life. Used to have passport that had to have extra pages added to fit all the stamps in. Used to have enough frequent flyer miles to hang out in the swank lounges and get upgrades without asking. Used to have a code name used for security purposes ("Flamingo one" - reference, anyone?). Used to have a paycheck and conversations about the politics of sexual exploitation and an in debth understanding of the epidemeology of HIV.

I keep on getting flagged on Facebook to do a "25 random things about yourself" list so, before all memory of these things dissappears forever into my sleep deprived mush of a skull, I record a few of them here so that, on days like today when I have been pooped and peed on, I can go thought the list and find my happy place.

1. From 1999 to 2000 I lived in Nepal, and worked for a group who brought medical volunteers over and set up health camps in rural areas. In fact as all my devoted readers will remember (hi mom!) it's where I met my husband. While there, I was chased out of a rural village by Maoist activists with guns who were yelling that they wanted to kill me. I hid in the attic of a very, very kind couple for 24 hours before slinking out in the dark the next night and climbing down the side of the mountain to a bus stop.

2. I was born in the south.

3. I went to Tufts (go Jumbos!) where I majored in soiology and then Harvard (go Crimson? There must be another mascot, right? Can a color really go?) where I studied public health.

4. I once met Robert Mugabe.

5. In 2001, Ted Kennedy grabed my ass.

6. I used to date guys that were either so nice that they had no personality, or so nasty that there was no way to have a sustainable relationship with them. These gems included it all: from someone I cheated on (and told) 4 times and he still wouldn' break up with me to someone who, when you called, had a code word to let you know if the feds were on the line hoping to get him on tape talking about how he was sellig drugs to most of New England.

7. I had a c-section. I wanted a natural birth. It really, really sucked. I still feel angry about it. There is a large part of me that wantes to get pregnant just to try again to give birth vaginally. If there wasn't that whole thing about adding another person to my life who I have to take care of, I would do it. I still might.

8. I was never a big pot smoker. I had a blast doing acid in DC where the National Mall, with all the monumets and museums, isa fantastic place to spend the evening. I've done X a few times and liked it so much that I decided not to do it again for fear that I would never stop.

9. In high school I lived on the Havasupi Reservation in the Grand Canyon.

10. I've been to the following countries (and not just to the airport:): Zimbabwe, South Africa, Botswana, Zambia, Namibia, Mozambique, Nepal, Cambodia, Bhutan, Tibet, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Kenya, Rwanda, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ethiopia, and then all those boring European countries.

11. I first had sex when I was 15. 15!? Are you kidding me!? It was way, wayyy too young. Way to young. Dear God let my kids be smarter than I am.

12. I've only been pregnant once.

13. Jeremy and I got married in my best friends living room in Chicago. There we are, at our "rehersal brunch" at this great Dim Sum.It was awesome. Family and a few close friends, a cake shaped like Mt. Everest, and a honeymoon in Cuba. (Oh, add that to #10). I fantasize about doing it again someday and having a fancy (white, not pink like the first time) dress and a real diamond ring.

14. I've had the same best friend since i was 2. She is amazing and evey time we talk I remember how lucky I am tohave her in my life, and how much I love her.

15. Jeremy and I moved to Phoneix when we were first married. We both hated it. Most people that live there spray paint the rocks in their front yard green. We couldn't decide if this was better or worse than robbing the land of what little water it had to create the perfect, golf-course green grass that the rest of 'em had.

16. My Master's Thesis was on the sexual exploitation of refugees by humanitarian aid workers. It happens all the time. (Relativley) rich, usually western "humanitarians" use their position of power to have sex with those who are relying on them for aid. Sometimes its super explicit - "hey, have sex with me or I won't give your family their ration of flour for the month". Sometimes it's insipidly subtle - "I am a white 50 year old man from Germany working for an aid organization and in a consentual sexual relationship with a 16 year old Liberian girl." Consensual? Really? And the fact that you have the ability to ensure that she and her family have access to food and jobs has nothing to do with it? It fascinates me. Before kids I was working on designing programs that could be implemented in refugee camps to report sexual exploitation and a system to discpline perpetrators. I miss it.

17. When Hayden was born I thought he looked like a cave man. I wanted nothing to do with him. It was scary.

18. When we first met Zeni in Ethiopia, I thought we had made a huge mistake and I wanted to go home and forget we ever eve thought about adoption in the first place.

19. I love my kids, and my family, very much (now).

20. When I was in 5th grade my mom almost died from cancer. When I was 22 she almost died again from a grand mal seizure. Both times I remember thinking I was fine - she was, so I should be too. I wasn't, I still think about it all the time.

21. My little brother is so much cooler than I am.

22. I swore I would never live in a small town. I live in Spokane, Washington. There is no art theater. I love it. I have amazing friends (more than one, despite what the link indicates - I couldn't figure out how to link more than one url...) and my kids are growing up a block from a huge park.

23. I've seen four people die and delivered one baby.

24. I love really, really stupid humor. Billy Madison, Step Brothers, America's Funniest Home Videos.... love it.

And that's it folks. three short, I realize. Apparently my life is not as exciting as I thought it was!


Julia said...

CJ from West Wing?

heytheredearheart said...

Wow, my dear. This list is far from ordinary! When you have that fancy wedding at Manito, or the Davenport, can I make your cake?

Little Ethiopia(n) said...

Just wanted you to know I posted a link on my blog to your entry "why raising 2 kids is like killing a chicken." It's one of my favorites and so wanted to share. Thanks!

ps...interesting list...

Anonymous said...

You are awesome!
And...Daniel makes everyone seem less cool than they are in real life.
Can't wait for some quality time.

Kristen said...

I mean, you'd think I'd know your life pretty well after knowing you for almost 30 years, but reading this list still amazes me! Wow.


Susie said...

kids have a way of trapping the travel bug in a very small cage. I've been around a little bit, but this list makes me feel like a stunted homebody!

Me. Us. She. said...

I found your blog through Is There Any Mommy Out There which I read religiously. Then I read your #13 and am fascinated. I work in development and did my thesis on ECD in refugee camps. During the field work I interviewed dozens of women in Gulu who told us about exploitation from the aid workers...

We are adopting from Ethiopia. My passport has extra pages. I am terrified that someday it won't need them.
Thanks for writing. I can't wait to