Posted by: DD | March 14, 2007

no. 402 – Regretfully Yours

I have said some incredibly dumb things in my past. No surprise I’m sure to you, but the thing is it either takes a few days for me to realize it OR I have to be told by someone that what I said was insensitive or ignorant. Of course I’ve got an excellent case in point to share with you.

After my ballroom-dance teaching days were over, I took a job as a car salesman. The light bulb went off over your head with the words, "That explains why I don’t like her!", didn’t it?

Before they would let us on the floor, we had to go through a couple weeks of training, learning the different trims for the line of cars we were assigned to. All of us newbies would be cooped up in a room all day and we would take turns sharing stories about ourselves to avoid learning the difference between XL and XLE trims.

On one of those days, the topic turned to horses and I talked about how as a child we always had horses around. As my Dad had gotten older, he had turned his attention from the Quarter Horse to driving ponies and then eventually miniature ponies.

Bear with me, there is a point.

I then talked about how my Dad named the animals and they were always just names, and never had anything to do with the character of the animal: Sam, Jill, Al, Tess, etc. The donkey pair we had? Pedro and Pancho. The Chihuahuas? Juan, Desi, (another) Pedro. And for the two miniature black ponies he was going to train for driving? Nig and Jim.

Did your hand just fly up to your mouth? That should have been my first clue while sitting in a room surrounded by about 8 other trainees, one who also happened to be African American, who all basically did just that. I thought they were being polite as they nervously twittered.

Here’s the thing. I was just so oblivious to my Dad’s pet-naming that I didn’t think twice about the story or the horses’ names. It wasn’t until the next day, when I was called into the Assistant Manager’s office and reprimanded for my racial slur, that I even "got it". I would have preferred that they had fired me instead of letting me go back into those training sessions. Every time I think of that moment, I flush anew in humiliation at my total ignorance.

Now the reason I shared this very embarrassing moment with all of you is because I’ve done something similar. I said something that at the time felt normal, but in hindsight I am regretting with every ounce of my being. I feel panic because it’s too late to take back the words. I’ll admit that what I recently said doesn’t come close to displaying the complete idiocy I did those many, many years ago, but the overall feeling is the same.

I don’t want to give up infertility treatments right now. I don’t want to know that 2007 already has the same outcome as 2004, 2005 and 2006. I am at a loss. I hate my body and what it has done to my self-esteem. I loath my lack of will power. I am full of self-disgust. Why is it so hard to just sit back, just for a little while, and gather myself?

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Responses

  1. I too, suffer from Foot-in-Mouth disease on occasion (EVERY day).

    I did something similar when I was just a kid. I grew up in a “mixed” neighborhood. My best friends were African Americans.
    I’ll email you the rest because I don’t want to piss anyone off or offend anyone.

    Then you can tell me what you said.

  2. “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds…”
    Ralph Waldo Emerson

    Because (and don’t quote me on this), he seems to have a better way with words than do I.

    DinoD

  3. Stop on by the Playground and let me know if what you said was worse than what I’ve uttered.

    BUT, as I found out, everyone will occassionally have a moment of brain vomit (thank you to pageant mom for that phrase)

  4. Also having grown up on a farm and naming the animals I didn’t get it. Perhaps it is naivete. I would have been pissed that all those other people thought the worst of your story, HELLO! Who has the racist minds here? So maybe your dad did too, but why should you have been punished because of what your dad named his ponies and obviously if you would have had that mindset you most likely would NOT have told the story in that situation. I think some people get upset with what others innocently say because they have that guilt in their own minds.
    Sorry, kind of a hot topic for me as we have many people who file harassment suits against people who aren’t even talking to them and over stuff even more minimal then that.
    And you know what? I will support you no matter what you decide to do on the whole baby making plan. It is your life and for Pete’s sake, you are a woman and an adult and have the right to change your mind if you want to. You can post in an hour that you aren’t going to pursue it anymore and I will still be here for you. Do what is right for you and your family at that particular point in time. This is your blog to vent on after all and to work it all out.

  5. It took me a moment of reading the names to get it – yes I’m that slow sometimes. I would have just taken it as names of ponies… I too can be clueless and suffer from foot in mouth disease frequently.

    So – for the disgust you are feeling – I’m sorry… your words are your words – our interpretation of them can be WRONG and that’s where the problem lies. I think everyone here can understand not wanting the same outcome as 2004, 2005, and 2006… so my wish for you is that 2007 is a much better year in fertility terms as well as in just plain jane life. Now go buy yourself another purse I think that you’ve earned it.

  6. My regret is not really that I wrote on my blog that I was going to stop treatments for a while, but that I told my husband that’s what I “wanted” to do.

    Because it’s not.

  7. Eeps about the names.

    The foot-in-mouth thing is understandable, but Mr. DD has to know that you reserve the right to change your mind on such a major life-changing decision, right? Of course, then you reach the problem that he was probably happy to hear that and won’t want to hear the other. It’s probably not too late. It’ll just be difficult, as is everything else with IF. Everything. Why can’t something be simple?

  8. We call it tone-deafness in my family, and unfortunately it’s genetic and I got the gene. So I know exactly where you’re coming from.

    If this is NOT what you want (stopping, that is), then tell Mr. DD asap. Stopping when you don’t want to will eat at you, and eat at you, and eat at you (did I say it would eat at you?).

    I’m guessing why you told him that – you’re looking back at the past three years and wondering what the hell it’s done to your family. And wouldn’t it make it all better if you just stopped. But now you’re feeling the pain of the (potential) finality of it all, and it just makes you want to shriek and tear at your clothes in grief. I hear you and I’m right there with you.

    Email me if you want to talk or just have someone to share the misery and uncertainty with.

  9. Maybe age has something to do with it, but I think it’s normal to change ones mind soon after making such a hard decision, if you didnt change your mind soon after, it would mean you were deep down ok with it, so maybe its not your time to give up, yet?

  10. My hand didn’t fly to my mouth but my eyebrows shot up to my hairline.

  11. My grandpa used to make comments that would be inflammatorily racist just to get the reaction. He thought it was funny. Thankfully, it made me aware of that kind of thing and I’ve always been a lot more careful as an adult.

    That said, I too, have said things in the past that, in hindsight, I regret saying. Usually when I become more viscious in a verbal attack than needed…but I always defended it with the ole’ “Hey, you attacked me? The gloves are OFF” logic. Meh. I’ve mellowed with age. Which must be a “mid life” thing, cuz my grandma is downright feisty lately.

    As far as the treatments…my only comment is that there’s two (ok, three) of you involved. If any one of you isn’t fully committed to the rollercoaster, then you’re riding off without the safety harness in place. If all parties are in agreement, then what they heck – change your mind and go for it. But marriage (and family) is a team sport. Everybody’s gotta work together and agree with the gameplan.

  12. I got nothing to say but CHECK ME OUT BITCH, I’M POSTING A COMMENT ON MOTHER EFFING TYPEPAD!

  13. It seems like most of the time the hardest road is best in this type of situation. Facing the person you offended, apologizing, being real. So hard, but so worth it, no?

  14. My hand shot up. Although in retrospect I once said something about calling a spade a spade not knowing that it potentially was a racial thing to one of my bosses. Her eyebrows popped but then we discussed it and I had never realized it was potentially a racial thing. I truly always thought it was about the cards.

  15. It is a woman’s perogative to change her mind. You will figure out what is best for you and your family.

  16. With such a huge and important decision, why wouldn’t you think twice about it??

  17. whoa. I never knew “calling a spade a spade” was racial. I thought it related to playing card suits.

    Doh.

  18. SWEET. I’m not completely stupid. I’m still wrong about it’s origin, but apparently, calling a spade a spade is NOT a racial slur.

    http://www.yaelf.com/aueFAQ/miftocllspdspd.shtml

  19. Dude! Oh, damn, I’m sorry, the horse thing really made me laugh, because holy moly, it’s just so awful it’s funny. Embarassing for everyone involved. Definitely a ‘where’s the hole I can leap into?’ moment.

    Tracy, it may not have originated as being a racial slur, but having been on the receiving end of it, I can tell you it’s certainly used as one.

  20. I’ve done things like this in the past, though in my case I wasn’t repeating someone else, but letting my own words get away from me. I know how horrifying it can feel. You can take it back.

    I know how you feel about the treatments. I am shocked sometimes to realize that I started more than two years ago. Hard to face, looking at this year stretching out in front of us.

    Thinking of you, even if not commenting hardly at all. (Adorable pic yesterday btw)

  21. Orodemniades – I’m not doubting you – and if you read down farther in that link – it does say that while that’s not the origin of the phrase, it has been used that way, and that it’s not “politically correct”. I just quite honestly NEVER knew it was used that way. I can’t say I’ve used the phrase a lot, but I HAVE used it, so I’m just surprised, because I never had that association.

    In my mind, it basically meant “Let’s just call it what it is”…not associated to ANY race. Like I said – I thought it had to do with playing cards!

  22. I worked in the auto industry for 10 years — but in corporate marketing. The old boys who’d been around for eons used to hold focus groups and query the chicks around the office to figure out what would appeal to women buyers. One female engineer said, “what’s the point? We’ll just change our minds!” Anyway, my lame attempt to extend your automotive visual … more importantly, don’t beat yourself up for vascillating a bit on a very significant decision. It’s better to follow your heart ’cause the head doesn’t always have it all figured out…

  23. Women always have the right to change their minds. To quote Bobby Brown, “it’s [our] perogative.” ummm…I’m not sure how to spell that word, but you get the jist.

    Shit, did I spell “jist” wrong, too?

    If you want to keep doing treatments, got for it!

  24. Ohhh, as you know I completely “get” the foot in mouth thing. My ADD is part of it, but also whenever my hormones are dipping or rising.

    But, what I’m surprised at is your husband taking your decision so quickly to heart. These are big things, and if you had said the same thing for 6 months or a year over and over again, maybe? But once?

  25. “Why is it so hard to just sit back, just for a little while, and gather myself?”

    Because my dear, what you want is so completely beautiful and awesome, and you’ve already had a taste of it. Take it easy on yourself.

  26. I think we’ve all had ‘brain burps’ and embarrased ourselves from time to time. I’d like to think I’ve learned from mine, as I’m sure you have.

    As for 2007 being your year, my fingers are crossed. You do indeed have to follow your heart on these things.

    Cheers!


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