March 17, 2007

3 Open Letters

Dear Cadbury Company,

I understand that, in the Christian tradition, Lent is a time of conscious suffering. Enduring Gestational Diabetes while your delicious products beckon from the grocery shelves has been my personal walk through the desert (on swollen feet).

For weeks, I have come face-to-egg with your purple displays when entering Safeway to buy protein shakes and pick up insulin refills. I have turned away from the strategically placed baskets of creme eggs at the gas station counter and feigned interest in polyester roses and tasteless keychains. I have resisted the urge to break open one of your smooth chocolate eggs and lick out the sweet goo inside while drifting blissfully into a diabetic coma.

You have tempted me with the impossible choice between your eggs filled with yellow-and-white sugar syrup and those oozing with velvety, buttery caramel. But now, Cadbury, you have gone an egg too far. Orange creme? How did you know that I place orange next to peanut butter in the pantheon of chocolate's most perfect companions? I haven't tasted you, but I've imagined your sweet and tangy decadence, the way the brightness of artificial fruit flavor shines through the creamy richness of chocolate like a ray of sun striking a pool of deep water.

I bought some of your eggs a few weeks ago. One of each flavor: classic, caramel, and orange. I held them each in my hand and fantasized about the moment when I could become one with their sweetness. I pondered their smooth shape, their delicate wrapping, the sensuous nature of chocolate imitating eggs. I contemplated fertility and the promise of new life.

And then I put them in my purple hospital suitcase, to be opened on another day of celebration and new life. This trial in the desert shall end before Easter, when Rasbaby is delivered and my G.D. becomes as impotent as a detached umbilical cord.

You have tempted me for long enough. In four days, I shall be triumphant. Victory shall be mine. And it shall taste very, very sweet.

Monica Wiant
Your once-and-future loyal customer



In the last nine months, we've spent a lot of time together. You're the reason my last few work projects took twice as long as they should have. You've been my first place of refuge when I've needed reassurance that someone else finds every little nuance of pregnancy as compelling as I do.

I'd like to thank the people who have posted their personal stories: Women whose selfish husbands and crazy mother-in-laws gave me a newfound appreciation for the people in my life. Women who asked "TMI" questions about strange bodily functions so that I didn't have to. Women who recommended miraculous products like Tylenol PM and sugar-free Dove chocolate.

Sure, there have been those stories that I wish I had never read. The woman whose uterus exploded after an improperly healed C-section incision. The "world's largest baby" discussion. The graphic descriptions of what happens to all the extra blood you accumulate during pregnancy.

All things considered, you have been a positive force in my life. You have taught me a great deal. You have spared my husband and friends from having to spend hours helping me contemplate the merits of crib bumpers, nursing tank tops, and circumcision. (Thank God I'm having a girl) You have made me feel less crazy, more normal, and - ironically - less baby-obsessed, even as you have fed and fueled my baby obsession.



Dear Mom,

I appreciate all the work that you're doing for me, but I can't relax until you relax.

It's time to trust that your granddaughter will be just fine. Even if some complications should arise, her healthy arrival is in no way contingent on whether we replace the shelf paper in the laundry room cabinets or not.

Rasbaby won't be eating solid foods for about six months, so the fact that you cleaned my George Foreman grill with an old toothbrush isn't going to help me be a better mother. It actually makes me feel like a worse daughter.

You keep telling me that someday I'll understand all this nesting-by-proxy. You insist that when I have a daughter of my own, I'll push myself to the brink of exhaustion to make her life as perfect as possible. You claim that I will never again accuse you of being irrational, once I understand the mindset of motherhood.

I'll let you know in about four days.

In the meantime, can you please try to ignore the linen closet?


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