Monday, October 1, 2007

I'm special

Before I get started: October is National Breast Cancer awareness month. This is a cause near and dear to my heart -- in more ways than one! Don't forget to do your monthly self exams!

Sometimes Mr. Daddy and I will be having a conversation and then a few minutes later I will come out with some comment, seemingly out of left field. Mr. Daddy will be like "Huh? Where did that come from?" But in my mind, the the conversation and my comment are totally related. Sometimes he'll make me take him for a ride on my train of thought, after which he'll usually reply "It must be hard being you."

This post is going to be a little like that.

This weekend I was watching my requisite TLC shows and saw an advertisement for a show that was tailor made for me. The show follows brides-to-be as they try on wedding dress after wedding dress in search of the perfect one. (I was going to link to it, but amazingly, even though I must have seen the commercial a go-zillion times this weekend, I can find no reference to this new show on TLC's website. Huh. Your loss TLC!) Anyhoo, I love wedding dress shopping. I've only actually done it twice -- once for myself and once with my sister-in-law -- but I could happily go wedding dress shopping every weekend if I could get away with it. I think, though, that the salespeople would start to get wise to me after a while.

And I must say that wedding dress shopping with my sister-in-law was COMPLETELY unfulfilling. First of all, she's like a size two or something and she knew exactly the kind of dress she wanted and was not willing to try on anything else. Maybe it was my inner princess coming out, but I loved having fluffy dress after fluffy dress brought to my dressing room and having my bridesmaids zip and button me up. When else do you ever have a chance to try on such gorgeous dresses and feel completely like a princess? She tried on two. TWO. And she bought one of them. Pitiful. Just pitiful. By the by, if ANY of you out there are going wedding dress shopping anytime soon, I am MORE than happy to go along as a personal assistant.

Then, thinking of wedding dresses made me think of one of my favorite Friends episodes, the one where Monica, Rachel and Phoebe are sitting around in wedding dresses. I have a memory of a scene -- I think it's the one after the credits, although I can't find it online anywhere -- where Monica says something like "I just know that I'm never going to feel this special again."

And then I started thinking about when was the last time I felt special, like the center of attention? And it was probably my wedding day. Which was ten years ago. Yes, I got some accolades when my kids were born, but we ALL know that from that point on it's really about the babies. Yes, you carried them for nine months, you went through umpteen hours of labor, you delivered them either the old fashioned way or via c-section -- either way, no easy task -- but really, the star of the show is the baby. On my birthday right before Bubba was born, my boss at the time gave me a card in which he had written "Happy Birthday. Enjoy it. This is your last birthday as Leandra. From now on you'll be Bubba's mom."

And you know what? He was right. I quit being Leandra and started being Mommie. I have put aside myself in so many ways. We all do, I think. We HAVE to, to some degree, to be good parents I think. Babies don't care if you want to finish your chapter, if you want to go out with friends for a rare night out. Try to plan something--they'll be sure to come down with latest virus to come down the pike. Dont get me wrong -- I loved every minute of it. But there's a difference in putting yourself aside and losing yourself completely. And I lost myself for a little while. I quit reading. I didn't have any outside interests. No hobbies. If you asked me what I wanted for my birthday, Christmas, I couldn't tell you.

And then I started thinking about my blogging and I realized that this has been my way to reclaim some of myself. Writing down my thoughts has helped me remember who I am, what I like, what I want. This is the first forum I've had in a long time to talk about ME. Which sounds very selfish when I see it written here in black and white. But do you know how long it's been since I talked about me? I've talked about my kids endlessly. I've talked about poop. I've talked about spit-up. I've talked about lack of sleep (and YES, I do blog about these things here, too). All of these thing AFFECT me, and my relationship with my children has helped make the person I am today, but they're not ABOUT me. The inner me. The me-ness of me. I missed me.

And THEN I realized (are you still with me on this roller-coaster thought-train ride?) that I like reading blogs (and bloggers' comments) because I'm learning about YOU. Because you're special too. Don't forget that.


AndreAnna said...

I had the big fluffy princess dress too!!! I loved it! My bridesmaids had to help me pee - all five of em! LOL

I do the SAME random thought thing with my husband and he's always amazed at how I got to random thought du jour.

And I'm glad you found you!

Susan said...

Madame, it's not selfish. You need to preserve you, and I firmly believe (now) in what they (whoever they are) call the oxygen mask need to take care of yourself -- even if it means blogging! -- in order to take care of everyone else. Why is that we all seem to learn that the hard way?

So it's OK if it's all about you. We won't tell:)

And by the way, I have the same rambling types of thought patterns. I'm getting better, though. i can recognize that confused look on people's faces when I just start talking about something, which is actually an extension of what was running through my mind. The scary thing is when they actually know what I'm talking about!

Lauren said...

oooo!! lets go wedding dress shopping!! I hated my wedding dress (long story. i feel a post coming on) and there are so many styles I wanna try! Think they make dresses in "8 months along" sizes?

BTW I started my FHM blog just for me, so don't you worry one second about that. If you didn't blog about you, what would I have to read every morning over coffee??!!

Madame Queen said...

Lauren -- I don't know if you watched that Friends clip I linked to, but it was when Phoebe was pregnant and she said "At least you didn't get your dress from a store called "It's Not Too Late". Maybe we could find one of those around here! ;)

el-e-e said...

VERY astute observations, and that's one of the reasons I started blogging, too. I was always a journal-keeper... until I got pregnant. And I like having a place to, as susan said, "preserve" myself. My thoughts. Me feelings. My Christmas wish lists. :)

MacKenzie said...

Okay, if Ryan ever pops the question we can definitely go dress shopping. Did you know there's a David's Bridal across from the Walmart on 316?

Or maybe we could just make it up and tell them I'm getting married and go for fun, but Ryan can't find out because then he'll really get freaked out!

Lulu said...

Great post, MQ!

I, too, LOVE wedding dresses. Perhaps because I never really got to wear a "real" one. It would be so much fun to go to a bridal shop and try some on just for the fun of it. They make such beautiful dresses these days!

And don't feel selfish about your writing. You are writing what you know, and it is a great way to preserve you (and your family!). Actually, did you know that you can have your blog posts converted into a bound book for an EXTREMELY reasonable price? Check with Sophie---she's already checked into it.

Esme said...

That doesn't sound selfish AT ALL. It's good to have an outlet like this for self expression -- it's healthy, and it keeps you sane. And it gave me a chance to meet you, for which I am grateful!

Incidentally, my brain works the same way as yours, in terms of seemingly random leaps that make sense to us in our heads...

Laurel said...

I'm so with you on this. Blogging is a great way to think through what really is important to you, or just vent, or just be a little silly. All things needed to be well adjusted. Now I've used up all my me time; I've got to start dinner.