Betty Duffy

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Dry Bones

We're in the dog days here. No rain. No rain at all. For the past few days, we've had sort of storms that looked like they might turn into rain --huge windstorms, one that blew down a tree in our yard-- and not a drop fell from the sky. It was such a strange feeling to be out in the yard, seeing lightening in the distance, feeling all the coolness of a front coming in, and the sky does nothing but dry heave gusts at the ground that should yield some sort of moisture. What's wrong with the sky?

Even though I've stayed relatively hydrated, there's a parched feeling that comes over me whenever I go outside, so that I'm smacking my lips together and feeling a little claustrophobic in the great wide open. In addition to the tree that fell in the wind, four trees have died of drought. I've just about given up watering the garden--because of neurosis that a) it's not doing any good, and b) it could dry up the well. There's a sort of dead and barren sensation out there that usually doesn't hit until mid-November.

Meanwhile, I round the corner into the second trimester of this pregnancy, lying on my side for the better part of most days like an old sow. It's different being pregnant when you're older and hotter and drier than you've ever been. All, but one, of my past babies arrived in the Spring after winter hibernations. This one has me doing everything contrary to instinct--sleeping when I should be awake, eating when I'm sick, refusing to reap any seeds I sewed earlier in the Spring, and retreating to the house when everyone else is heading outside.

I keep trying to remember that some people continue to have lives when they're pregnant. I tend to only want to pass time until the end. Some of the earlier days, I spent on the couch with popsicles watching BBC dramas.  Then came a wild and reckless internet binge. Now, I'm reading. Books.

The computer has been cast in a cloud of associative nausea from the long hours I spent on it trying to survive at the height of morning sickness. Now I can just look at the computer and feel a little sick to my stomach--which I have to admit, is a feeling I used to pray for--technological detachment. Do I want it at the expense of vigorous health? Whatever.

I picked up Madeleine L'Engle's Circle of Quiet, which had the light meandering tone of most of the blogs I like reading. Followed by Gone With the Wind, which I've never read before, and had no idea I would like so much. I spend a lot of time picking up and dropping books that fail with the hook after a few chapters. I'm not in the mood right now to labor for a hundred pages, waiting for something to happen.

GWTW, has the addictive quality of being pulled entirely, and immediately, into another reality. I want to sneak away from other things to read it.

This morning I cleaned out my spam folder--which was very deep in viagra ads and invitations from various types of ladies inviting me to start working from home, to view their pictures, and/or try the dieting secrets that changed their lives.

I'm alert to names at the moment, what names connote--as we will be naming another person in less than nine months--and it was interesting seeing all the "names" of these ladies lined up side by side in my spambox. If she wanted me to view her pictures, her name was Kristin, Kelly, or Melissa--girl next door names likely to have been held by gen-X high school vixens. If she was speaking to me "mom to mom" about something, her name was Abby Mc Something--a nonthreatening name that I associate with brown haired ladies in Target Ads. If she had a job opportunity, her name was Millicent--a nude-stockinged, thick-ankled name if I've ever heard one.

It's probably no wonder there's such a trend right now towards non-traditional names, masculine names, or names not held by anyone since 1902. The common names of the past fifty years are so freighted with associations, compounded by media overload and fifteen-minute-celebrities of ignominy.


Julia said...

The combination of name-contemplation and heat exhaustion can lead you into strange places. Fortunately I did not give in to my husband's July-weather impulse to name one of our summer-born offspring Leo Pio, or the other Margaret Agnes (so he could call her Maggie Aggie Attaway).

Hoping you are feeling chipper-er soon.

Peter and Nancy said...

I really wanted to name our second son Julian. My husband said, "I might as well start hitting him as soon as he's born, so he's used to it by the time he starts school." In the end, it's good that we didn't choose that one -- doesn't suit him particularly well. (And if it were up to my son, he'd have Danger as his middle name. He actually said that.)

All the best to you as you cope with the heat and pregnancy fatigue,

nancyo said...

When the sky refuses to rain, despite all the makings of a storm, my husband says "the sky is constipated." That kind of dryness makes me anxious, and I'm not even pregnant. And I read your sentence to say that all you wanted to do when pregnant is pass out!

BettyDuffy said...

We've had a terrible time with naming. It usually takes us a couple or three days after the baby is born to come to a decision. People get so annoyed with us--"WHAT IS THAT BABY'S NAME??!!!"

For my daughter, we ended up flipping a coin between two names (mine won), and the boys all have pretty typical boy names. We're just not interesting that way.

But I do think I drove "Julian" by my husband once, and also got knocked down.

JMB said...

If I had to do it all over, i.e. naming all my children, I would stick with four letter first names. So much easier! Don't be so hard on yourself about being pregnant in the summer. RE: GWTW. I cried when it was over because I knew that I would miss them so much.

Joanne said...

I love GWTW, I started reading it when I was a teenager and I love to revisit it. My sister and I quote it to each other a lot! This time last year I was pregnant and I have often thought over the last few (rotten) weeks that I'm glad I'm not pregnant this summer, I couldn't take it. We had our fourth baby in October and we had a hard, hard time with the name. I loved Felicity for a girl and my husband told me he liked it but he wanted to pair it with a 'normal' middle name so the she could 'bo by' that if she wanted to. A normal name like Susan, he said! He always throws out names for NO rhyme or reason and I am the exact opposite, researching Lives of the Saints and finding an excellent story. Anyway, we ended up with a Felicity Rose and that's what we call her for now, ha! I hope you get some relief, we are supposed to cool down this week.