Will the Real Baby Daddy Please Swab Up

There are home pregnancy tests, home HIV tests and home drug tests. There are home ovulation tests, diabetes tests and cholesterol tests.

Home medical testing is a booming market, and so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that you can now answer the Who’s your baby daddy? question without leaving home. Just go down to the Rite Aid and drop $20 per possible Daddy. A cheek swab and another fistful of dollars for the lab later and you have your answer.

Maury Povich and Judge Hatchett must be shaking in their Manolo Blahnicks.

My first reaction to this news was a serious eye roll, followed by the usual lamentations about the deterioration of the family and it’s effects on society. Blah, blah,blah. I just couldn’t imagine someone getting pregnant and not knowing who fathered the child.

And then I remembered my Mom.

When I was thirteen someone broke into our apartment and raped her. I was on a sleepover at a friend’s house, but my sister was asleep in the bedroom next door. My mother did not resist; she was thinking only of my sister’s safety.

The next day she brought a huge Siberian husky home, and a few weeks later she found out she was pregnant. She didn’t know if the baby was her fiance’s or her rapist’s. She had enough issues, and didn’t feel that she could take on raising the child of her rapist. She couldn’t take the chance that it was his.

So she had an abortion. While I’ve always supported her decision, I’ve always felt a profound sadness when I think of the loss of my little brother or sister. I’m sure the experience has led to my own feelings about abortion.

Yeah, this test would have been good to have.

And people make errors in judgment. I thought back to a certain get-rid-of-the-new-guy-and-get-back-with-the-old-guy indiscretion in my youth where I could have been faced with this possibility if not for my at-least-two-and-sometimes-three-methods-of-birth-control-at-all-times policy.

So amidst all of the drama of uncertainty and irresponsible promiscuity that makes it’s way onto the public stages of Maury and Jerry and all the rest, I hope these tests can give some terrorized, ravaged, brave women, and some other regretful, now-making-better-choices ordinary women, some private peace of mind.


Perfect Day at the Beach

I am not one to sit for hours in the hot sun on a crowded beach. I grew up in New Jersey and spent lots of time at the beach, but once childhood passed I’d be bored stiff whenever I joined my friends for a day of tanning (or burning, as fate and my fair skin dictated). I’ve lived in Florida for twenty-five years and I doubt I’ve been to the beach on a typical beach day ten times.

But invite me to the beach at night, or on a windy, overcast or cold day and I’m there in a heartbeat. I love it. I love the solitude, the roaring surf, the endless sky. I love how connected to the earth, and to G-d I feel. I love that it seems like I’m sharing a special secret with whomever I’m with, even if I’m alone.

Today was a perfect beach day, at least to me. I knew the weather would keep the crowds away. Son and I arrived and found a parking place easily. The sky was mostly overcast, and the winds were blowing pretty strongly. The surfers were in their glory, enjoying the windy day’s rougher seas.

Son and I walked, and played in the sand, and climbed on the rocks. We saw birds and jellyfish and lifeguards. We ate sand (three-year-olds like to throw it, don’t you know) and held hands and buried each other’s feet.

What could be more perfect that that?

Making My Bed

Making my bed is something I don’t necessarily like to do. It’s actually a bit of a pain.It’s not as simple as just straightening the covers. It also involves replacing my ‘headboard’, which is three large, square purple velvet cushions I got on clearance at Pottery Barn. Then I need to arrange the rest of the six king pillows (yes, six) to lean against the ‘headboard’, and artfully place the four throw pillows. Finally, the purple velvet bedspread must be folded neatly and placed, just so, at the foot of the bed.

I make my bed every morning, unless I’m washing the sheets that day. I have to. I have to because if I leave my bedroom messy, then my day will be messy. Putting my bed in order in the morning helps me keep my life in order. Simplistic, but true.

My mother always used to tell me that she could tell how I was inside by how neat or messy my bedroom was. Given all of the internal struggles inherent in adolescence I’ll bet you can guess how rarely my room was clean. If you think about the teenagers you know I think you’ll find the correlation exists not just for me.

The same connection between the state of my emotions and my environment still exists today. But I’ve learned a few things since high school. I now know that having my environment neat helps keep me calm. Having mess outside just exacerbates the mess inside. When my home is neat I feel happier, calmer, more effective, more powerful and even sexier.

I still hate to clean. Hate it. And there are still times when I feel the weight of the world on my shoulders; when I do let my emotions get the better of me, and I let the mess start seeping down the stairs.

The first step in getting things back on track, to clean up the mess on the inside, is to clean up the mess on the outside.

I just wish the first step was bake some brownies. That can be step two, I suppose.

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