…today, I will send you to Band Back Together, where we’ve compiled stories about the ten year anniversary of September 11, 2001. You’ll see perspectives from everyone from those who were physically there watching life lost to those who were giving birth to a new life. You’ll even find my story among them.
We’re all answering one simple question: “where were you?”
I hope you’ll join us.
We’re Banding Together for 9/11.
It started with half-eaten dinners left cold, sitting at the table, waiting for the work crisis to pass. It never did.
Movies partially watched together, while a pressing work need called.
Dueling mortgages with a pressure to sell our former house while waiting to sell our condo.
A pregnancy that made me so ill that I could no longer go into work, for fear that I would vomit all over myself while driving.
A baby so needy that I didn’t sleep for nearly a year, during which point, I had a minor nervous breakdown.
An unexpected string of miscarriages that left me in a puddle of hormone soup.
A precarious pregnancy that seemed doomed from the get-go, hallmarked by severe, crippling prepartum depression.
A baby born with a severe neural tube defect requiring neurosurgery within a few days of her entry into the world.
A debilitating case of PTSD coupled with chronic, daily migraines.
Work that can never be enough, never is enough, requiring total dedication to that, and that alone.
Years spent overcoming my past only to have it wallop me upside my face.
Realizing that what had once been a marriage, something so strong that I’d never doubted it, had turned into a yawning chasm between two very different people.
Figuring out where to go from here. Unsure if that chasm can ever be crossed.
There are traditions that are bullshit and traditions that are not bullshit. The whole groom removing the bride’s garter with his teeth? Kinda bullshit. It’s just too skeevy for me.
Decorating the Christmas tree while listening to Britney Spears croon, “My Only Wish?” Totally awesome.
One of my favorite traditions – besides drinking gallons of coffee and diet Coke – is to make something so ridiculous, so heinous, and so morally reprehensible as to embarrass as many people as possible. Namely my uber-conservative in-laws.
That’s right, Pranksters, I took a bit from a Saturday Night Live Skit and made my own.
What, I can hear you ask, could you possibly have taken? The weird cheerleader bit? The Church Lady? The Ambiguously Gay Duo?
I know I’ve spoken of it before, but when I was a child, my parents listened almost exclusively to NPR and the local classical radio station. Don’t get me wrong, hearing about how 3000 children in Afghanistan by some horrible disease is pretty much UN-scarring for a kid (also: positive and uplifting), but I spent most of those years, stuck in the living room listening to the announcers drone on and on, praying, hoping, praying that one of them would slip up and swear.
They never did.
So when SNL put together a skit about Alec Baldwin’s Schweddy Balls, it was like a childhood dream come true. FINALLY, those announcers were talking about dirty shit WITHOUT skipping a beat!
Here’s the video for those of you who live in a cave and haven’t seen it.
I’ll wait here while you compose yourself; perhaps get a new chair or keyboard.
So I decided when Alex was a wee babe that what I needed to do was to make Schweddy Balls and put them out for Christmas. If I could successfully dead-pan the delivery of Schweddy Balls to my family, I would win.
(what would I win? Maybe a Mr. Peanut medal or something)
Each year, I’ve diligently made something with a dirty name (Meat Sticks, anyone?), and my own family has laughed uproariously, whereas my in-laws don’t even blink when I say, “Here, try my Schweddy Balls.” Perhaps it’s lost on them.
Either way, it may be September, but I’m already pondering what to make this year for “Schweddy Balls.” I’m thinking Rum Balls, but you know, it’s a Schweddy family recipe, so we’ll see.
Then, this morning, my sister-in-law sent me something on The Facebook. I’m not sure whether to be thrilled or furious at Ben and Jerry’s.
No, the more I think about this, the more I feel Furious George.