OES: Old Egg Syndrome

I need to explain something to all of you. It’s something I feel goes unnoticed on a daily basis by the majority of people, but it’s plaguing more than most people realize. I’ve only just come to terms with the fact that I myself am struggling with it on a daily basis. Because it is my struggle, it is also my family’s struggle because they have to live with me. This struggle is called “Old Eggs Syndrome.” I am now in my 6th month of being 37 and Old Egg Syndrome has taken hold of me and my life. It makes me confused, anxious, and weak.

Symptoms of OES include:

  • Weeping when seeing pregnant women
  • The urge to adopt all the cats
  • The urge to adopt all the dogs
  • The urge to adopt all the rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, mice, and chinchillas
  • The urge to hatch chicken eggs in your kitchen
  • Rubbing your belly when someone talks about babies
  • Feeling your ovaries try to lash out when you ovulate
  • Excessive hugging of small children who aren’t yours
  • Excessive morning kisses for your own children
  • Holding your 10-year-old like a baby
  • Failing at reminding your 7-year-old what it was like when she was a baby
  • Fighting the urge to suddenly let all your kids sleep in bed with you because pretty soon they won’t even try to come into your room unless they are looking for your hidden whiskey stash
  • Asking your kids if you can  hang out with their friends while they all still think you’re a “cool mom”
  • Insisting your kids listen to your 90’s grunge playlist because Kurt Cobain was the shit
  • Staring at your old maternity photos in bed while sobbing into your wine glass after the kids go to sleep
  • Talking to all dogs like they are toddlers
  • Cradling your bottle of wine before opening it
  • Warning your significant other when you are ovulating
  • Wondering if this will be the last time you ever ovulate
  • Thinking you’re having a hot flash every time you break a sweat
  • Wondering if your IUD is destroying your ovaries

I see pictures of babies, and I want all the babies. I see pictures of goats, and I want all the goats. I go to a friend’s house where I am approached by their dog…I now want all the dogs. I sit on my couch at night thinking back to the cat I saw at the animal shelter last month and can picture myself covered in all the cats. This morning my left ovary whispered to me, “Time’s almost up,” and then kicked me.

My kids already tore my stomach muscles and gave me arthritis in my hip, but my ovaries don’t seem to give a shit. They just keep pumping out little old eggs like it’s nobody’s business. Other people drink because of life’s stresses and struggles. I drink to shut my ovaries up. The struggle is real. So, if you know someone suffering from OES, do at least one of the following:

  • Buy them the world’s biggest box of condoms
  • Buy them a vibrator that will put all penises to shame
  • Call them every time your baby wakes up in the night to remind them what no sleep feels like.
  •  Offer to pay for their hysterectomy
  • Bring them all your poopy diapers
  • Keep them drunk until they are done with menopause

I Don’t Need to Feel Beautiful to be a Mother

I don’t feel beautiful anymore. I don’t even feel pretty. The word “attractive” doesn’t cross my mind unless I’m thinking about Mike Rowe or Bruce Willis. That’s a lie, the word “hot” crosses my mind when I think about them. “Fucking Hot,” to be exact. So no, I don’t feel beautiful or pretty. I feel…average.

Average Brandi, the woman who is a little larger than most 37-year-olds in the area. Average Brandi, the outspoken single mom. Average Brandi, the woman who spends time in the mirror each morning wondering where all the fun went. Average Brandi, the mom who is constantly asking other parents to be her Rent-a-spouse. Average Brandi, the woman who is used to feeling alone while surrounded by people. Average Brandi, the woman whose body hasn’t been a Wonderland in years. Average Brandi, the woman who loves her kids more than life itself. Average Brandi, the woman who has somehow helped two children thrive in a one parent household. Average Brandi, who constantly feels like she’s holding the world on her shoulders. Average Brandi, the woman who isn’t average at all.

I may not feel beautiful anymore, and I may no longer turn heads. Men don’t think I’m irresistible, and I’ll probably never be sexy again. I’ll never have that certain something that turns anyone on, or produces the feeling of passion in a person again…and I’m ok with that.

I’m ok with that because to two people in my life, I’m not average. To them I am amazing. To them, I make a difference.

If I only get to be those things to just two people in my entire lifetime, I’m ok with that. Why? Because I’m a mother. Those two people call me “mom” and that’s all I need in my life. It is all I need to feel complete, whole and wanted. Nothing in life matters more than that.

I am a mother. I am strong. All beauty aside, I stand tall. I am a pillar of strength for my children. I am their advocate. I am their everything. Even when the day comes where they rebel against me, I know it will pass and I will once again be “mom”.

I don’t need beauty or sex appeal to be who I am because I am a mother.

Today I Am Worth It

In the past two and a half years I have put on almost 20 pounds. I now find myself jiggling in places I haven’t felt jiggle since my daughter was born. When I walk, my ass looks like it’s bumpin’ at the club, and my sides wiggle  like they’re being tickled. Don’t even get me started on my boobs. The two things that are growing at such an obscene pace, I’ve maxed out my JC Penny’s credit card. I have wrinkles in places I didn’t even know could wrinkle, and hair growing in places no hair should ever go.

This past year, I let the weight gain, wrinkles, and hair get the better of me. To top it all off, I was letting the stresses of life get to me. I would look in the mirror, and not even recognize the person looking back at me. All I saw was a sad woman, carrying the weight on the world on her shoulders. She constantly looked exhausted. She never liked to smile. Her eyes were sad. Her skin was pale. I had let all these things define me. My struggles at work, a failing relationship, and overall struggle of raising two young kids had taken over what I thought I was. Boy, was I wrong! Letting all that define me made me into…well…a miserable bitch.

Life isn’t always fun, I know that. Life isn’t always awful either, I need to remember that. As I looked at myself in the mirror the other night, tears streaming down my face, flat out ugly crying I started to look at my life up to that point. Where had I been? What had I done? What had brought me to this point of self hate? I want to say this is the point where I had this amazing, snot induced epiphany…but it wasn’t. This is where I went downstairs, ignored the homework that was due in two hours, drank too much a beer. I was a failure. I was useless. I couldn’t believe I was allowed to raise children. My personal pity party carried on into the next day, at work and into the night.

I sent out a few “pay attention to me” text messages to friends, posted some adult emo content on social media, and cried…a lot. I was convinced I would never finish my degree, get a better paying job, buy a house, or find someone who thought I was worthy of a daily weekly foot rub. My kids deserved better, and I was the worst mother alive. I looked at myself in the mirror again, confirming all the horrible things. I then climbed into a hole, covered myself with dirt, and gave in. I let the all the negative in. I let it take over all my emotions. I could feel myself breaking apart, full of hopelessness. There was no way I was going to be able to climb out of this. Then I woke up.

The alarm was going off. The cat was starring at me. Same day, different date. But something was different. Something had changed. As I climbed out of bed, I caught a glimpse on my naked body in the mirror behind the door. Who was that? She had soft curves, smooth skin. She was younger and free. Then it hit me, I was looking at myself. My wrinkles were still there, but they were less harsh. My ass was still bumpin’ at the club yes, I checked, and my boobs were still monsters. Everything was still THERE, it was just different. Confused, I walked into the bathroom to look in a different mirror. There I saw strength and beauty. I saw a woman who had control of her life, and was going to do something about it.

I had let all the negative consume me completely. I let it fester and manifest. I let it have it’s way with me. Then it burned itself out, leaving me in a pile of ashes. This morning, from those ashes, I awoke and arose a phoenix. Today I can take on the world. Today I can give my children everything needed for a full, and happy life. Today I am beautiful. Today I am worth it. Today is the beginning of the rest of my life.

Yes, I’ll still have to shave my toes and work on losing weight, and that’s ok. I’ll still have days where life will push me down, but I’m ready. Today I have a confidence I have never had before. Today I love myswlf. Today and every day going forward.
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Oysters, Fortresses, And Love

I met a man in my early twenties while shopping at LL Bean. He was, simply put, gorgeous. He had eyes that could reach way down inside of you, and lips you couldn’t help but want to kiss. To my surprise, he asked me for my phone number. A week later we had our first date. I remember being so nervous. Dating wasn’t really my thing it still isn’t, so I had absolutely no idea how to act. Add the fact this guy was a dreamboat, and I was pretty much a blubbering idiot the entire day leading up to that night. Being young, dumb, and a college student, I was beside myself over the fact he was going to come to my apartment and pick me up. Like in a car and shit. Weird, right?

I had never had oysters so he insisted we go to a tiny little oyster bar down on the docks. When we walked in the smell of salt and ice filled my nose as he gently took my hand and lead me across the dimly lit bar. We sat at the bar between two burly fishermen just in from their day. Growing up in a fishing town, in a fishing family, this place felt oddly like home. The sounds. The smells. All coupled with a man I couldn’t take my eyes off of.

We sat bellied up to the bar, eating oysters and drinking beer, for hours. We talked about where we were in our lives. What our hopes were. What had brought us to this point. Conversation came so easy and smooth, as he sat there with his hand on my thigh the entire time. At one point I had explained to him about my rocky sexual past. The rape and molestation, and my inability to form valid physical relationships. I was afraid I was falling into a trend of only wanting to have sex with men instead of getting to know them and forming something meaningful. He took both my hands into his, looked me in the eyes, and said, “Let’s not let you slip away like that. No sex. Not tonight. I promise.”

Shortly thereafter we left the comfort of the salty smell and burly fishermen, and he drove me home. He walked me to my door, and I asked him to come inside. Our date continued as we sat on the couch and talked until we could barely keep our eyes open. I invited him to stay until morning. I felt secure in his words about not having sex, and I wanted to experience what it truly meant to sleep next to someone with no expectations. As we laid in bed, limbs entwined, he pressed his body against mine and kissed me gently. Every ounce of me wanted to rub my body against his, pull his clothes off, and feel him inside me. But he had already said “not tonight”. So we didn’t. We simply rubbed gently against each other and fell asleep.

The next morning he kissed my lips as he walked out the door saying he would call me later.

He never called.

When I saw him a few weeks later at LL Bean he pretended he had no idea who I was. He was polite, but still would not acknowledge that he had ever even laid eyes on me before. I was upset, as most people would be. I had felt something I thought was sincere. Something I didn’t know existed. I was suddenly left standing there wondering if it had all been a dream. I often went back to the oyster bar on the docks, looking for that same comfort I had felt that night. I went there with different men, my roommates, and even by myself. The salty air and the burly fishermen were all still there is the dim lights, but the comfort was not. I’m not sure why, but it took me a long time to get past the feeling of lost hope from that night.

I’m past it now, but there are times I look back and wonder what happened. So smooth and cunning. Easy going and handsome. I’ve never met a man like him since. Not one to that level of comfort I felt anyway. Perhaps it’s from the walls I built up after, or the hardening from military service. Now, however, I’m working on knocking down those walls. I’m working on finding that comfort with someone. I’ve learned it’s not the sex, or the lack there of, it’s the ability to let people in. The ability to be confident enough in yourself to open up without being afraid of the hurt that may follow. We are all our own fortresses, and we guard ourselves well. However, every now and then we have to let someone in because living in a fortress by ourselves can be very lonely. Life is, after all, better spent with love.