Archive for the ‘ME’ Category
Yesterday Daniel and I were walking Wendy, trying to take her to more heavily populated areas because we’re trying to train her to be less of a maniac around humans who aren’t us and as we were headed home we ran into one of Daniel’s friends. It had been a few years since they’d seen each other and the guy was with his clearly pregnant wife.
We caught up, discussed career and homes and “have you talked to this person?” type-stuff and as it was going on I was thinking that I probably wouldn’t bring up the fact that we’re doing IVF. I just didn’t want to take anything away from her pregnancy and didn’t want to make her feel weird around me and I think there’s just something intrinsic in my female core that knows there’s cultural discomfort around the woman who wants a child but who is having trouble having a child and not only do I not want pity, I just would rather keep the focus on her news which is happy as opposed to mine which is complicated and awkward.
I am very open about our struggle with infertility—too open, many rooms full of men might say—but the one situation where I don’t immediately trot it out is when someone else is pregnant.
As I was thinking this, sure that not bringing it up was the right move, I heard Daniel say, “We just started IVF.”
There are times when marriage truly feels like a commingling of spirits, like you are two halves of the same whole, like you complete each other and are one heart in two bodies (which suggests you each have half a heart. How is that a good thing?) and you wonder how you existed so long without this other person who knows you so intimately it’s as if you communicate without speaking.
And then there are other times where you feel like what you are, two strangers who share a bathroom, use each other as their emergency contact, truly hope the best for one another, respect each other enough to both set an alarm when one has to be up super early which means two people are waking up every ten minutes while one of you hits snooze repeatedly and who often have a hunch about how the other feels but who don’t know for sure until you ask.
“If she guesses Moonrise Kingdom I’ll believe in telepathy,” Daniel told me he thought recently, as I guested on the Doug Loves Movies podcast. The game was to name as many Bruce Willis movies as possible and I was struggling. Daniel was in the live audience thinking the name over and over. Focusing on it, visualizing it, trying to send it to me with the power of his mind.
“The old Jim Belushi movie?” Doug asked incredulously.
“Yep!” I laughed as if maybe I’d been saying it as a joke.
Anyway, back to yesterday, before I had a chance to shoot a look at Daniel I heard the couple say they’d also done IVF. “Oh! What clinic do you go to?” I asked.
Turns out we go to the same clinic.
This is what I meant when I said, on a recent podcast, that ever since I’ve entered into the world of infertility, where I’m open about it and people are open about it with me, I feel as if it’s so much more common than you think. And so, as I explained on the podcast, I was briefly pulled out of this mindset when my good friend and fellow podcaster Jenna Kim Jones announced her pregnancy, which she achieved naturally, and which was a reminder that some people actually get pregnant naturally and easily and without spending enormous amounts of money and time and that also, though it’s become normal to me, there is a problem here and there is something a little broken about my lady bits and it shouldn’t have to be this way.
But then yesterday happened and now I’m thinking maybe I was right all along, that most of the kids in Los Angeles are conceived through IVF and that the reason everyone I know goes to the same clinic is because everyone does IVF, they just aren’t always open about it.
I just hope Jenna doesn’t feel alone. Everyone has their own pregnancy story and her way is just as valid, if a little less talked about.
Ok so earlier today I unveiled some big news about how I want to start blogging again but where to begin? I have so much to say after, well, saying so much all these years. But the thing is I’ve been saying it into a mic and on twitter and in text messages and have gotten away from my one true love: parasailing. (I bet you thought I was going to say blogging. Just when you think I’m going to zig, I snarfle!)
Anyway, fuck where to begin. Let’s just jump into right now and the specifics of right now which is that my face is very twitchy and I can feel a certain crinkling happening circa my left eye, nose, mouth area. If I were to give into it entirely I’d blink the fuck out of my eyes and crinkle up my face like a toothless old man suffering some kind of palsy. Like a caricature of a pirate if that pirate stuck his hook hand into a socket. It’s like I have Tourette’s of my facial muscles. I guess it’s really less of a twitch than a tic except a twitch is so much more socially acceptable. Sort of like the difference between a blister on your toe and foot fungus. A cold sore vs. herpes. A bladder infection vs. a yeast infection (anyone?)
A twitch is involuntary. A tic suggests some kind of mental situation manifesting all over your face. Which is probably what’s going on.
I first became aware of said tics when I was in 2nd grade. The teacher called me up to the front of the room at the end of the day and asked if I was having trouble reading the chalk board. I said I was not. I’ve always had perfect vision which I make a big point of telling people, as if it’s some kind of accomplishment for which I should be lauded. (Ride in the car with me some time when I make out street names from really really far away. 9 times out of 10 I’m wrong but ten percent of the time it’s like magic!)
The teacher was curious, she said, because she noticed I was blinking a lot. I know the kind of blinking she was talking about. It’s less the volume than the intensity. These weren’t the fluttery blinks of someone with something in her eye. They were slow deliberate intense blinks that started in the top of my forehead and bottom of my chin as if my face was trying to fold in on itself. As if with every crashing together of my lids I was hoping to open my eyes to a new reality. I feel sad and Robert Durst-y just thinking about it.
What was really going on in 2nd grade was my home life had taken a big hit in the stability department. My mom’s parents had both died within a few weeks of each other over the summer—I don’t know what age kids normally encounter death but six for me and two for my sister felt awfully young—and we were thrust into a culture of sickness, sadness and then grief and mourning. There were a lot of hushed closed-door conversations, adults worried about things, discussions of wills and lawyers and funerals and belongings. Then my dad turned 50 and had an intense, prolonged mid-life crisis which pushed my parents’ marriage—it seemed to me—to the near breaking point. There was all sorts of fighting and yelling and door slamming and crying and tension and things which I took in stride except I didn’t, because there I was in school, scrunching up my eyes as if to make it all go away. Add to this the fact that the hardwood floors were being done or redone and we were all living in my parents small bedroom. But where did my sister and I sleep? On the living room couches which had been crammed into said smallish space. I actually thought it was fun, I enjoyed walking out my parents sliding glass door, around the perimeter of the house and through the front door to get to the refrigerator which had been moved to the foyer. It was like very early glamping. But my parents were already on edge and the close quarters plus a house full of workers just made them edgier.
Fast forward a great number of years (but not an unattractive number mind you in case you’re some kind of Hollywood casting agent) to 2013 when I was on The Adam Carolla show and once a week the shows were being broadcast in video form on the internet, giving the world a chance to see us instead of just hear us. I was pretty sure I would be great seeing as I’m overwhelmingly photogenic and God’s gift to the small screen. I mean, I’m better on screen than I am in real life. Just ask anyone who knows me.
So imagine my shock when I discover the electrical storm flashing across my face on one particular show and by discover I mean read a bunch of shitty comments talking about the non stop blinking twitchiness. Except the commenters assumed all the blinking was because I must have disliked the guest. If only it were ever that simple and obvious.
After despairing over the manic goblin who’d taken up residence in my face, I chalked it up to what was going on in my life at that exact point which is that Daniel and I had just gotten a puppy which I found, initially, to be much more stressful and overwhelming that I’d ever imagined. I remember, the second or third morning we had Oliver thinking, “Holy shit, I’m never going to be able to relax ever again.” It’s like I felt his survival depended on my being aware of him and his whereabouts one hundred percent of the time—which in a way is accurate when you’re dealing with a puppy—but I didn’t even trust his survival instinct to keep him alive. I remember the first time I left him alone for a couple hours being convinced he’d choke on one of his chew toys while I was out. Why did I leave that toy in his pen, I admonished myself. I was meeting with a producer for lunch and thought numerous times about leaving to go home to remove the toy—which wasn’t truly a danger—but then telling myself I was being ridiculous while also preparing myself to find his lifeless body. (The irony of what ultimately happened with Oliver is too sad and awful to work into this so I’ll just leave it out there, hanging uncomfortably on the edges of this overlong blog post.)
Also whenever I took a shower I felt like it was a race against the clock because while I was in the shower he was being left unattended. The crazy thing is he was in his little pen in a confined space with everythig he needed away from harm and yet I still felt like I was endangering him. I suddenly understood the appeal of the sensible mom bob. I stopped wearing makeup. And my sleep was affected quite a bit at the beginning as we figured out our routine which involved constantly getting up to let him out of his crate with the hopes of potty training him. I felt that whereas childbirth gives you nine months to prepare to be wholly overwhelmed, puppy ownership just ramps up without any warning. Except that’s not quite true because we did do some preparation, the worst kind. We read a bunch of books that only freaked us out more. My head was full of neurotic dog equations. Ok so he has to meet 100 other dogs within the first this many days or else he won’t ever be socialized and if you try to do it once he’s this many weeks it won’t take and he has to be exposed to this during this phase of his life and this during this phase or else all is lost and suddenly you have an ill-tempered feral brute on your hands. We were under such enormous pressure—entirely self-inflicted although I kind of blame those books—to get it right in a very short amount of time. “If all else fails, just play with your puppy when you bring him home. Just enjoy him and get to know him,” a dog trainer at Petco told us as we were buying all the things we’d need before bringing him home. Just play with him? Get to know him? I had half a mind to call the ASPCA on this loon dispensing such irresponsible advice.
So on day one and a half of dog ownership we recorded a show and it all came out on my face. Or at least, more than I was okay with.
I talked to a therapist around that time to find out why my face was betraying me and what I could do to get it under control. What I began to remember, as we talked more and more, was that when I was five and my sister was one we each got pretty sick and had pink eye, as is common in kids. For whatever reason the pediatrician prescribed an eye ointment for me and drops for her. Each night before bed my mom would squeeze a ribbon of ointment into my lower lid and I’d blink a few times and the world would be fuzzy. I’d keep blinking until it became clear again. It was pretty unpleasant and maybe a little scary to have this gunk squeezed into my eye but nothing like what was happening to my sister who got so sick and had such a high fever she stopped talking and began moaning. My parents began to panic, worried her fever was so high it was causing permanent damage which thankfully it didn’t. As I remembered all of this in therapy I began to cry, which is usually how I know I’ve hit upon something big. And I’m not sure why or how but after that, I stopped blinking hard.
Which brings us to earlier this year when I was thrust into a surprise transition which I felt I handled pretty well all things considered, not missing a beat with my own podcast and blah blah blah. The way all the violence of the beginning of the year manifested itself though was across my face once again. When I guested on Jordan Jesse Go, host Jesse Thorn pointed out that when I said the name of my former employer my left eye began twitching. That was a true twitch—involuntary—but the facial tics weren’t far behind. (Meanwhile I should point out that in the last four minutes I think I flexed and relaxed every single muscle in my upper body one-by-one. It’s like I’m doing upper body kegels. Which aren’t a thing.)
The thing about facial tics is you might think you can just squeeze this thing over here and stretch out that thing over there and blink and little and swallow and make a sound and no one will notice but what feels like a tiny little movement to you is actually very, very noticeable. See: Robert Durst whom I see myself in minus the murder and horrible spelling.
What was I saying? I don’t know. It’s weird it all happens on the left side of my face though seeing as how that’s my better side. What a cruel fate. Oh wait, I just crinkled everything on the right side of my face and that felt pretty good except now I have to balance it out by squeezing my left elbow.
I did some TV appearances recently and whereas normally I would feel nothing but ecstatic over the chance to be on camera since I think we’ve established it’s truly where I shine, I was worried that I might do a very particular sort of face scrunching that I was doing a lot of at that time. What is the face scrunching you ask? Wrinkling the top and sides of my nose. Not side to side, like Bewitched (although how cool would that be?) but kind of up and down. It’s not the most unnattractive thing, but still better to NOT do it on camera. I realized there was something I could do to keep the muscles of my face occupied for the duration of my appearance and that was to make sure I was smiling, which is an action, as opposed to trying to NOT do something which is an absence of an action and might result in a weird frozen expression.
As a side note: I also realized that my need to scrunch was much worse when I was applying under eye cream. I’ve gone my whole life eschewing moisturizer since I’m someone who tends to break out and it’s only in the last year or so that I’ve started moisturizing after a series of makeup artists pulled their hands away from my face in horror after brushing up against the crocodile skin handbags I call my cheeks. “You’re really dry!” they’d exclaim before slathering my face with something from France. It was always “from France” and it was always happening faster than I could start to say, “But I tend to breakout,” at which point they would assure me that whatever they just coated me in wouldn’t cause me to break out because it’s from France. I think it was this. It’s only in the last few months that I’ve deigned to put anything other than the lightest most oil-free moisturizer anywhere near my face. Maybe I do need a little something extra around my eyes, I thought. And I liked the results, the skin definitely seemed a little smoother and more youthful except I think I could feel it sitting on my skin, causing me to crinkle. And so, in an effort to be less scrunchy I stopped using it.
I should say that whatever’s causing the stress now is no longer the stuff from earlier in the year but new stuff! Maybe I should Botox my whole face?
P.S. I actually intended to write about IVF, infertility and how I found myself trying to get pregnant later in life but I thought, first, let me alienate you with a story of weird facial tics. Ok bye!
So it’s come to my attention that my ex-boyfriend who has been featured in some of those A&E Bios that I’ve also been in was recognized by a waiter over the weekend. How do I feel about this? I’m glad I asked. You might think I would be slightly disgruntled that he was recognized and I never am when I’ve literally been on TV 8 million times (no, literally! I counted!) but see, that’s not how I am. I don’t do it for the recognition. I do it for the adulation. Also, all the sex. I can count how many times I’ve been recognized on one hand and not just any hand but a hand that is missing all its fingers and also its thumb. I can count the times on a stump. Does this bother me? Again, you are getting the wrong idea there pal about what’s important to me. The children are important. My hair is important. People thinking highly of me, especially people I don’t know, is important. Being treated slightly better than a regular person. All that is important to me. But having someone lavish praise on me in public? Only some kind of asshole would enjoy that. It’s for this reason that the times that I’ve been standing next to Red Eye guys and they’ll get recognized by someone who goes on to say that they watch the show ALL THE TIME and then I’ll kind of preen and stand there waiting for them to notice me and then it doesn’t happen, and sometimes they’ll actually tell me how great the show is, like informing me about the show in case I don’t know, like I am one of them, instead of one of not them, well I find it incredibly humbling that I can pass for just a regular person. It’s very satisfying.
And just in case you’re thinking that in real life maybe I look different than I do on TV… the above has happened on nights when I’ve done the show. Meaning I look exactly like I do on TV, minus the TV screen around my head which I’m totally going to start wearing. But that’s not the only change I’m going to make:
1) I’m going to don recognizable glasses.
2) I’m going to print up this blog and hand it out at concerts and stick it on windshields under wiper blades
3) I’m going to begin hanging out on Long Island, where people watch A&E Bios and recognize you
4) I’m going to be the best me I can be
5) If it will somehow help me get stuff I want
6) I’m going to try to pretend more that I’m really listening when other people talk but GOD, so hard!
7) I’m going to buy Alleve because I’m almost out
I’m going to get to the bottom of the difference between sugar free cherry jello and sugar free black cherry jello because it’s keeping me up at night
9) I’m going to quit lying
10) I never lie
12) I’m going to think more about puppies and ducklings because they’re my favorite
Interested in seeing many photos of me, some I hadn’t even seen before, set to music? Of course I am. I mean, of course you are. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T1jZ-DMa3o0
I updated that junk on the right side of this here page to reflect tomorrow’s radio interview on Devore and Diana and the stand up which I’ve been talking about so much it’s like, lady, shut up already. You know?
Also, I bought some green beans today at the store because the quirky and whimsical placard said “Give your sous chef the night off,” with these pre-cleaned and trimmed and ready-to-eat beans. I don’t even have a sous chef but if I did he’d be named Henri and I’d never give him the day off because he’s a slacker and I’m thinking of firing him anyway. These water spots on my silver? Unacceptable, Henri! And is that a chip in my fine bone china which was made from ground down parakeet bones and purchased in China when I was sent overseas as part of a military gravy boat buying mission? The Audubon Society never let me hear the end of it.
There’s a lot of me on TV Saturday night/Sunday morning, in fact I feel slightly obnoxious pointing it out, which is weird because I’m all about talking about myself. I feel it’s my duty. Plus, I enjoy it. So I don’t really know what this sudden bashfulness is, but I know it feels foreign and I don’t like it one bit. Shall my horn go untooted? I think not.
Now, to the TV:
I’m on Chelsea Lately at 11:30pm and 2:30am on E!
Red Eye at 2am ET/11pm PT on Fox News Channel
Weekend Today in New York at 7:40am on channel 4 (WNBC-TV)
Chelsea Lately and Red Eye are repeats, but maybe I’ll say something different this time.
What will you do when the phone rings at 3am? You will let it go to voicemail because you’re watching me on Red Eye. Duh!
Now, I couldn’t help but notice the beginnings of some potential bickering in the comments. Let there be no bickering! It’s very un-Alison-Rosen! It’s against the very spirit of that which brings us all together: ME. Can’t we all just love me and celebrate me? Together? Let’s not let our petty differences distract us from the true meaning of this blog.