Monday, December 13, 2010


I arrived at my new job in June 2008 and promptly filled my cube with a cloud of tragedy and despair. Everyone in the office shivered and felt as though they may never be cheerful again. Because, though I felt like this on the inside...

...I looked more like this on the outside.

Just to bolster my Gen X cred, here's another example:

Felt like this -

Looked like this -

And so, despite the fact that I was a party planner and holiday skit auteur at my previous job, I've been mostly friendless for the past 65-odd pay periods.

Work friendlessness is sort of freeing. My boss seems to like my lack of interest in small talk and office hijinks. I'm left out of most work drama and I never spend more on coffee or lunch than I intended. As a natural introvert I find the opportunities for silence and solitude comforting.

But, alas, the world is changing and me along with it.

I don't exude despair anymore. We've had some turnover in the office and the new people don't remember the bad, old days. My mystique is gone. The shard has been reunited with the crystal. Now I'm like a less-glamorous J.C. Wiatt. I can almost hear the cheesy '80s soundtrack music following me when I schlep up my front walk after a long day at the office.

I'm considering one of those shirts with the floppy bowtie...

If it's solitude vs. 'alrightness,' I guess I'd have to vote for the latter but it does sting a bit. I've read this sentiment a lot lately on the blogs that I follow--as horrible as those early days felt, fresh grief was so much simpler.

I've been befriended by a pregnant woman. She was 32 weeks last Thursday. She likes to talk to me about pregnancy because I'm so positive and supportive (that high-pitched sound you hear is me whimpering like a puppy).

This woman has a name picked out! And, dare I say it? A birth plan!

Saints preserve us, a birth plan!

I can't figure out how she got this 'positive and supportive' notion. As far as I can tell I just nod along while she talks and do my best not to furrow my brow. There's not much else I can do. My entire personal pregnancy experience is built upon a foundation of weirdness and she seems to be having a completely normal pregnancy. The vast majority of women I know who incubated one fetus and made it to 32-weeks brought home a living baby amidst a cloud of balloons and flowers 8-weeks later. The odds are in her favor.

Yet...I feel like such a liar.


  1. Argh, just lost my comment! Suffice to say I said something along the lines of I'm sure it will go well for your friend. Always does. How I wish I could go back to that world. You're a good egg for supporting her.
    And I also wanted to say I think for many of the reasons you have articulated, this is why I have not gone back to work. I was always an extrovert and someone who had lots of work friends, but I know when I find a new job, it wont be like that anymore. Just one of the ways babyloss changes us.
    ps: love the 80s movie pics! Both were watched over and over in our home as kids!

  2. Maybe she thinks you are supportive just because you listen and don't talk. So often, women want to talk about their pregnancies to the current pregnant lady, and she doesn't want to listen - she just wants to talk!

    I worked for 2 mos after Serenity died and it was torture. I definitely was the second grimlin both on the inside and the out.

    Now, almost 3 years and one living baby later, I can function in public. Pretty reliably. It's kind of nice.

  3. First of all, love the Gremlins and the Dark Crystal pics! So fitting.

    Like Sally I did not go back to work. In fact, I was a teacher, home on maternity leave still with our first son. I was to have an additional year with our daughter . . . and then I had to go back or resign. I chose the latter; I couldn't face working with kids again, especially when I knew I'd inevitably meet with an ungrateful, annoying parent. Nope.

    A birth plan. Hardy har! Best wishes to her family, and to you for being so supportive :) You're a better co-worker than I could ever be.

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  5. One more time!

    Oh you have NO idea how terrified I was (and still am) of those Skeksis. And yet, yes, I strangely resemble one too on occasion.

    I went back to the same job. So people kind of forgot that I was 'supposed' to be exuding despair (which was annoying) and I suppose I'm just normal as it all happened 'so long ago' now.

    Despite also having had a pregnancy built on a foundation of weirdness, people are now recommending me pregnant co-workers as friends. My internal monologue is going to be including the phrase 'Saints preserve us!' and 'Hardy har!' (thanks Mary Beth) rather a lot I suspect.