Sunday, December 10, 2006

Famous last words

I hate to admit this, but yesterday I found myself thinking “this is it?” After all of the hoopla, IVF so far seemed pretty, well, ordinary. Each morning I stick a few needles into my belly. Other than that life goes on as usual. Honestly, I felt a little cheated. When would the clouds part? The angels sing? The Valkyries ride in? Something!


This morning, I got up, stuck a needle into my belly, and watched as a red rash started immediately spreading across my skin. Wondered idly if I am allergic to the suppression meds. Also wondered if being allergic would make me stop taking them. Still wondering about that. Should have known that this was a sign that I should just go back to bed.

Today a co-worker got married. Given that my husband is still out of town, and that I wouldn't actually know many people at this wedding, I wasn’t exactly looking forward to it, but I was experiencing some kind of pleasant anticipation, based mainly on sheer curiosity. I hadn’t yet been to a wedding in Korea, and had no idea what to expect. Having been assured by my assistant (Korean, and a close friend of the groom) that Korean weddings are generally very institutional and devoid of a spirit of festivity, I wasn’t really expecting it to be FUN exactly, but was hoping for an interesting show anyway. So, I got ready and headed out, expecting an adventure. Once I had gone down the elevator (I live in a high rise), and out almost to the subway station, I realized that I had forgotten my wallet. So, I went back up and got my wallet. Then at the bottom of the elevator again, I realized that I had forgotten my mobile phone. Since I needed to co-ordinate with friends to actually find the right place for the wedding (the directions on the invitation were in Korean, and while they had been briefly summarized to me verbally in English, they involved complicated steps like “go 100 meters, take the shuttle bus to (incomprehensible name), go left...”), I really did need my mobile phone. Back up I went, and back down again only to realize (while still moving downward this time, apparently I am capable of learning, although it occurs slowly) that my phone battery was dead, and that the spare freshly-charged battery was, you guessed it, still in my apartment. By the time I made it to the station, I was already 30 minutes behind schedule. It was clear that I had zero chance of making it to the wedding on time, so I screwed up my courage, phoned my friends, and told them to go ahead without me, since there was no sense in all of us missing the ceremony. [Geographical aside: mobile phones work on the subway in Seoul. How brilliant is that? Where could you possibly need to use the phone more than when you are stuck on the subway and running late. A+ to Seoul for good urban planning.] To their credit, they resisted, but I was insistent. I assured them that if I had any difficulties, I could just take a taxi from the station. They reluctantly agreed to go on without me.

40 minutes later (and five minutes into the ceremony), I was still standing on a street corner trying to hail a cab. Someone had thought that it was a good idea to build a wall between the sidewalk and the street [D- to Seoul for bad urban planning], and it took me a good 10 minutes to figure out a way around it. Finally I got a cab, and made it to the right building, only 20 minutes late.

I had been imagining a hotel with a single wedding space and banquet hall. That’s pretty much what I found, except for the 400 billion weddings going on at once, on three separate floors of an enormous city building apparently entirely dedicated to marrying people as efficiently as possible. I saw a sign and thought “A HA, no problem, I will just use my newfound hard-earned command of the Korean alphabet to look through the list of wedding names to find the one that I am looking for.” Have I mentioned that about 40% of the people in Korea are named Kim? That left about 10 weddings, on three different floors of the building. At this point, I started feeling a little anxious. Nonetheless, I forged on into the building, where I was met by huge swarms of well-dressed middle-aged men and women, all of whom seemed to be determined to shove me out of the way to get somewhere VERY IMPORTANT. Then someone rushed by pushing a huge cart of some food item that looked suspiciously like a brick covered in that gravy normally reserved for elementary schools and prisons. Then I realized that each wedding had approximately 300 guests, all of whom were SHOUTING at each other in Korean.

People, at this point, I cracked. I realized that if I didn’t get out of that building that second, I was going to burst into tears. I debated the merits of each course of action:

Option 1. Go to colleague’s wedding 40 minutes late with tears streaming down face.
Option 2. Bolt.

I went for option 2. By the time my friends called to see where I was (again with the handy subway phone action), I was already most of the way home. I really didn’t know how to explain that the lupron (and some large and determined mothers-of-the-bride) had suddenly hit me like a ton of bricks, and that if I wasn't home in 10 minutes I would DIE, so I just mumbled something about not feeling well. It was thoroughly unimpressive.

I may never leave the house again.

1 comment:

NorthRose said...

Oh Sara! What a rollercoaster this is! I'm right there with you (including the twisty parts and the "I want to get off!" parts). You are so brave to be doing this!
I am with you every step of the way.