My magazine problem knows no bounds. I am a magazine junkie. I have subscriptions to Glamour, PEOPLE, Better Homes & Gardens, Martha Stewart Living, Country Gardens, Whole Living (although I've let that one expire)... and Parents magazine. Yup, Parents. I used to have that awful subscription to American Baby but due to a marketing ploy and a small lie on my part about due date that could have been but wasn't (not an actual successful cycle, so it's not as awful as it sounds) it went away. I graduated to their partner (and not free) magazine, Parents when my "baby" was 6 months old or so. It was just as well, because this was for my vision board and my Baby Binder. The vision board is now facing inwards in the closet in our back office/junk room because it is just too painful to look at at this point. So much hope went into that board, and I put three cycles worth of embryo pictures on it with the caption "We Love You and We Welcome You!" on the orange cardstock frame. And then we lost you. Every one. So the board became less a beacon of hope and a wondrous imagining of what world lay ahead for us and more a reminder of all we kept losing. So I didn't really need pictures for that anymore (although I can't bring myself to dismantle it and I kind of want to just rearrange it a bit to "freshen" it up and put it in the little room during our next cycle...). The Baby Binder still exists at the bottom of a drawer in our coffee table, next to the drawer that holds all my medical crap and plans from all of our cycles, including several beautiful pictures of my rosy, perfectly fine little uterus (inside and out) from various surgeries. The Baby Binder is another beacon of hope, but one that I can stuff to the bottom of a drawer when I can't bear to read articles about an experience that I am worried I may never have. It is a beautiful book, but I haven't taken it out since our last doomed cycle.
The Parents magazine was supposed to be for Baby Bindering in the absence of American Baby. I ordered it when I could get 12 issues for just $1 and I was pregnant. Shortly after I ordered it I was placed on bedrest (but it was too late), but I still hung on to the thought that things could work and it would be fun to receive in my mailbox. Nope, not the case. But then I thought about it, and I wrote about it, and I said, "I can read it and razor it for the Baby Binder when I'm in a good place, and I can stuff it in a drawer when I'm not. It will be fine." Needless to say I have not added any pages to the Baby Binder anytime recently, or rather anytime since I was last filled so completely with hope in the face of possible (and then certain) tragedy. They have been stuffed in the drawer, too painful to even be out on the coffee table. I have about 4-5 months of largely unexplored Parents magazines waiting to be cracked open when I feel like this experience is in my very near future. The one thing I do check for every once in a while is recipes. This magazine is a crazy treasure trove of deliciousness. Roasted Broccoli is a favorite in our parent-free home, as are the Cider-Roasted Carrots and Parsnips. If you want tasty veggie recipes, apparently Parents is the place to go. The other stuff is great, too, I'm sure. I will gorge on it when I am actually in that place. Past the first trimester this time, probably.
Although maybe not. Because I DON'T LEARN FROM MY MISTAKES. I have this crazy selective memory and shiny optimism that overcomes all logic and sense. Today I received a SPECIAL OFFER in the mail--from Family Fun magazine! Oh, holy jeezum, THREE WHOLE YEARS of Family Fun for only $11.99!!! Strangely, as I wasn't even trying to have a family at that point, I used to subscribe to Family Fun years and years ago. I was a Big Sister mentor, and it has awesome craft activities that I used with both my Little Sister and my next door neighbor, and I made a Craft Ideas Binder that has become neglected and dusty in the basement craft area because I have no one to craft with at the moment. But again, this stuff does not go bad. These crafts won't go out of style when I finally have little people to craft with again. This is a wonderful magazine with great activities and tips and again, photos that worked well for that vision board. So I spent a lot of time looking over the awesome direct mail marketing materials--so glossy! So inviting! So persuasive! So many great ideas for an expanded family I DON'T HAVE!!! I started talking out loud about it. I started admiring the crafts and thinking loudly about how this could be a fun magazine to have--hey, we're headed into a new and exciting cycle that could be our best chance yet! Why not? I think the thinking out loud was a subconscious cry for help. Because Bryce, wonderful Bryce, paused chopping jalapenos for the slow-cooker chili and very carefully looked at me and said, "Is this such a good idea? Maybe you hang on to this offer for a little while. Do we need another magazine like this? Maybe having something to look forward to isn't such a bad idea." He is so wise! But of course, my first reaction was to say in a slightly whiny tone that means I know he's right but I'm not ready to give up, "BUT IT SAYS I ONLY HAVE 10 DAYS FOR THIS SPECIAL OFFER!!!!" First he said, "How about you wait until the 11th day to make your decision?" I gave him the evil eye. And then he just looked at me. And I knew just what he was thinking. How do I save my wife from more heartbreak at the mailbox? Family Fun came from the Parents subscription, if she signs up for this one we will officially be on parenting mailing lists and the mailbox will become a veritable minefield of sadness. And we are coming up on LUPRON here, so this is NOT GOOD. Please realize this is a horrible idea without me saying any more. Realize it! Realize it! Realize it... And so I looked over at the pile of Parents magazines that I had just hauled out from the drawer, searching for that stupid Cider-Roasted Carrots recipe, and I looked at the shiny happy families and small children that are years in the making for us, and I teared up and realized. THIS WAS A VERY BAD IDEA. I don't need one more thing in my mailbox to remind me that we are a unwillingly childless household. I don't need to keep confusing my mail carrier who can probably tell by looking at our house and our carseatless vehicles in the driveway that I am a big fat poser. I need to wait this one out, as tempting as it is to have a shiny glimpse into the world we haven't quite entered yet. Today was a kind of good day, a hopeful day, but it is true that the evil Lupron days are coming sooner than later and this is the kind of thing that sets off the waterworks and the crazypants funks.
So I ripped up my special offer and recycled the direct mail pamphlet and burst into tears. I just want so badly to be ready to order freaking Family Fun. But it is absolutely the right decision to wait. It's not going anywhere. I need to remember my promise to myself to not buy or sign up for anything pregnancy or child related until I am absolutely viably pregnant, as much as that can be assumed. It's better that way. And I can trust that Bryce will keep me in check, for his sanity as much as mine. It's a wonderful thing to want something so much and be so optimistic about it. However, I am grateful to have had a mini-intervention tonight to save me from my Pollyanna tendencies that would cause my mailbox to, yet again, become a black box of torture. Well done, Bryce. Well done.