Yesterday, my ovaries turned 37. Well, i guess the rest of me did too, but I'm more concerned about my ovaries. I've heard that these particular organs have an expiration date on them, and the closer I get to that point in time, the crazier my emotions get about the whole still-being-single thing.
Is there such a thing as ovary transplants? That would be something! I could replace my shriveling ovaries with those of, say, a 25 year old. That would buy me at least 15 more childbearing years!! Plus, my ovaries will have that young ovary smell.
Perhaps, I need to stop saying the word ovaries now.
Needless to say, concerns over certain internal organs which shall not be named, made it difficult for me to be excited about my birthday. I thought about wearing a tiara, but didn't expend the energy to find one. I thought about inviting a group of friends to join me for dinner, but thought that would be pretty pathetic. I thought about sending myself flowers just so i could have some sort of nice surprise for the day, but thought that would be the most pathetic thing of all. So, I just went to work, and accepted a friend's invitation to join her family for dinner at their home. A nice, quiet family dinner and snuggling her newborn for a couple of hours sounded really nice...and not nearly as pathetic as my other ideas.
I arrived at my friends home just before 6pm and spent some time taste-testing a batch of salsa she'd just made, chatting with her sweet mom, and, of course, snuggling her new baby girl. In the midst of that, her husband arrived home from work and headed upstairs to shower and change for dinner. I continued to hold the baby. A little while later, after her husband was done showering, my friend asked me to walk over to a neighbor's home to get a dessert from her freezer. She was nursing the baby and he was loving on the other two kiddos, so I said, "sure" and headed over to the neighbors house.
I rang the bell.
The door opened.
A bunch of people yelled "surprise!"
I stood in shock.
The whole night was pretty surreal for me. I didn't know what to do with myself. Generally, if I'm at a social function, it's for someone else...and I am either running around doing hostess things or taking pictures. Tonight, I could do neither. I was at a loss.
A very touched, slightly overwhelmed, loss.
The party was thrown together by some friends from my church small group. They invited a few of my other friends and my family. It was very sweet...and very pink. There were pink balloons, pink flowers, a pink princess pin for me to wear and even a pink cake.
After I arrived, and some of the shock wore off, they played a game. A survey/quiz type game about me. That was pretty fun. There were questions about my disdain for my name, my baby tooth, and, of course, my love of blogging.
I love surveys and quizzes.
Then, they went around the room and took turns saying nice/encouraging things to me. This was the most difficult and meaningful part of the night for me. I just have a hard time when people say nice things to me. It's dumb. I should love it. But, I don't. I squirm inside. I feel vulnerable and exposed and weird. I don't feel that way when people say critical or unkind things to me. I expect those kinds of things...and they are easier to believe.
Yes, I've considered psycholocial help.
During this sharing time, my sister-in-law spoke up and even this morning, I get choked up thinking about it. Since she became part of our family, the Lord has led me to be a specific way with her, to be intentional and consistent in how I relate to her...regardless of what is going on or how she responds to me or how I feel. I've never communicated any of this to her, I just try to do it as much as I can. But, last night, as she spoke, I could see that she got it. She knows it. She sees it.
I almost lost it.
Then she told the "mall story", about the time I almost jumped a guy I thought was coming on to her. He turned out to be a guy she went to high school with who just happened to have a very seductive method of greeting an old friend. He swaggered over and looked at her like a lion looks at a zebra, and I said "you better keep on walking. she's a married woman." Then my sister-in-law recognized him and I was able to de-clench my fist.
I'm a bit over-protective, it would seem.
After that, my friend Lisa spoke. My Lisa. I love her. I want to be her when I grow up.
My friends Amanda, Todd, Brenda, Regina, Steve and Wendy also shared and said some very sweet things to me. I was blown away by their kindness and thoughtfulness in what they shared. I just sat there thinking I could say so much more back to them about how they've blessed my life...and how they made all these things sound so special and like a big deal when really it wasn't...I just love them. But, also, their words helped me to see a little bit more clearly the true state of my life. So often, I feel alone...very alone. I feel like my friendships are on the periphery of other people's lives and don't really make a dig difference. I feel like that a lot...but not last night. I'm very grateful for that.
I think my ovaries are grateful, too.