At 9:16 last night, when the children were in bed asleep I made a final announcement.
"So we go downstairs and write this post, or we end it all tonight, sell everything we have, and move to Idaho. Those are our choices," I announced to Chup.
The heaviness I felt about writing a post about my personal beliefs, about my religion and my family and how it would be perceived had been pulling me down. I was sick, I was anxious, I was secretly making alternate life plans.
And for an hour we debated. I mean seriously debated. Chup looked at the floor, picked a fuzzy off the couch and rubbed it on the top of his lip--indications of serious thought. We calculated out loud what we could get for everything--$50 for the lawnmower, $200 for the yellow couch, plus a priceless ticket of private sanity. I mean, we were at 85% ready to hightail.
I leaned towards the Sell Everything and Move to Idaho Idea. I hadn't even written the post and already the jury was out. It was so consuming you'd think I was the secretary of state. Writing about this now, twenty four hours later, I have calmed down, but at the time I despised how this decision was eating at my soul. I felt dark, angry and horribly sad, and I was tempted to regret decisions I had made to be a public blogger instead of a paperback writer. (Beatles song?)
"Let's go downstairs and I will sit there and see if the post comes to me, if it comes to me I will write it, if it doesn't we will apologize to everyone and make our escape plans."
And so Chup and I headed to the office in our dungeon. He sat at the table on the laptop and I joined him across the room on the computer. I sighed. He sighed. Then I decided to check my email.
There were so many messages of hope, encouragement and readers promising me they would pray for me that night as I sat down to write the post. It was a cache of kindness-a treasure I didn't expect to open at that point. I was overwhelmed as I opened letter after letter--Chup and I started reading them together on our respective machines. The last email we read was from our friend Jen in Texas. She wrote such a genuine, supportive email I was wondering if Chup had paid her to do it. Like maybe he had already sold our lawnmower and sent the cash southward . . .?
Plus Azucar, beeping text messages to me, "Anything I can get for you?"
So I wrote the post. It came out of me like lava from an active volcano (was that simile as good for you as it was for me?) and when I finished the first draft I told Chup to take a look.
"It's good," he concluded.
In Chupacabre language good means: great. It was what I wanted to say and it was said. And Chup, in his hard-to-please reluctance, called it good.
We spent the rest of the evening working on drafts to clarify points and pick a part thoughts. In all the years I have been writing, we've never collaborated like this--not so earnestly, so honestly and so late into the night. At four o'clock we were done.
"Before we publish let's go through all the arguments we are going to hear tomorrow, and decide if we are still confident in this post," Chup suggested.
"You didn't answer the question. You didn't make any sort of point. You created this whole controversy for traffic. You built all this up for nothing. You are a fence sitter. You want to please everyone. You want fame. You want to be popular. You hate me. You are stupid. You are silly. You are bad example for your/our church. You are a bigot/racist/elitist. You are a#$%!$%^&*. You don't get it. You are ignorant. You are fat."
"I still feel okay about it," I said after we exhausted the possibilities, "except the "You are fat part'. Don't I still get to claim postpartum?"
But Chup never cares about the fat stuff--he never even gives it the energy to respond.
"I feel good about it too," he said bowing about the dungeon in his tallness.
And so we went to bed.
Chup read me the comments in the morning. Not all of them, just the earnest ones. The honest ones. The ones who care (a nod to you, my loyal friend Fresh Hell, Texas!) The only comment I actually read myself was from someone proposing my purpose in writing this blog is for money. Lucre. Riches. Fortune. An aerodynamic chair that doesn't wad up my neck when I am working. (Actually, check! That one is true!)
If only they knew. First, there is no spilling lucre, and secondly at my very primitive point I write to impress my husband. To woo him with words and please him with cleverness. This whole blog is a mating call. A public mating call I started in the throes of infertility. And now we are two-children deep. So I think it is working.
(If yesterday's post didn't phase you, tonight's confession might do the job.)
I suspect one day Chup will say to me "That is enough woman". And then we'll sell everything and move to Idaho.
But it might be a while. Did I mention he is hard to please?
*photo up top is not an actual self-portrait because Chup took it. Do you think I look like a lioness?
I present: Sarah Sample!
Read with caution!
I am c jane and I am a writer. I just decided.
firstname.lastname@example.org jane on twitter
c jane on facebook
c jane on facebook