This picture is of a 17 year old Bill Clinton shaking the hand of President John F. Kennedy during a Boys Nation trip to the White House in 1963. Regardless of your politics or feelings toward the Clinton presidency and legacy; you have to be impressed with this unique moment in history. The current president is looking into the eyes of a future president. I wonder if the photographer or any of the other boys were aware of what they were witnessing.
We ventured to Arkansas for the long weekend to attend a wedding and to tour the Clinton Presidential Library, which is a big deal for a political junkie like me. Husband is one of four ex-pats from his University in England who immigrated to the States. Each year they arrange to get together for a guys weekend, but for the past two years, we've gathered for the exchange of nuptials. After our first attempt at "officially" trying to conceive resulted in the first of many BFNs, we received a 'save the date' announcement for a wedding on a date that would have our due date. It became a silver lining at the time, but nine months of BFNs later, it felt strange to be at Barney and Robin's wedding and to not even be pregnant. A few weeks after our miscarriage, we received a 'save the date' flyer for another September wedding. We didn't have to say it out loud, but we both knew we wouldn't have been able to attend the wedding with a newborn less than a month old. Yet, we here were are; guests at the wedding for Marshall and Lilly, still not pregnant and preparing for our last hope with IVF. (For purposes of my analogy, Husband reprises the role of Ted and the previously named fourth Englishman, is Raj -borrowed from another series.)
I'm not sure why these weddings represent such markers for me, perhaps it is the not so subtle reference to the promise of children that is meant to follow after the honeymoon. True Story: when I was composing my speech to deliver at Myrtle's wedding, I was careful not to include any mention about having children. Although I knew she how much she wanted to have kids, I was aware of the infertility potential for a woman over the age of 35. You know the rest of the story; two months later she was knocked up and two years later, I'm still barren.
So far, this trip as called our attention to two facts. One, we are getting too old to take red-eye flights, although it is somewhat unavoidable when you live on the west coast. Two, we are at the phase in our life where we are attending a friend's second wedding. Marshall met his first wife while he was spending a year in America during a study abroad program. Before he left, he had declared his intention to immigrate and to eventually pledge alliance to the Stars and Stripes. Although she was very nice, they just didn't seem to fit together and many suspected this was a Green Card relationship. In fact, he was even assigned the nickname 'Gerard Depardieu' on a hockey tour. He obtained his law degree from the University of Arkansas and was granted a work visa from a local law firm, which allowed him to eventually pursue citizenship. Eight years into the relationship, they finally tied the knot. On the surface, they seemed really happy, but three years after their wedding date, he expressed concerns about their stability and a few months later, she confessed to having an affair.
Mere moments after his divorce papers were signed, his Facebook status announced that he was "in a relationship" with Lilly -a woman ten years his junior. It was widely presumed that she was "the rebound girl" and after meeting her, many of his friends expressed that notion. I was introduced to her for the first time at Barney and Robin's wedding, but before I could formulate an opinion, they announced their engagement. This brings me back to the Clinton-Kennedy photograph: how often do we recognise the initial instant when we are confronted with our destiny?
How many of you recall the first moment you met your spouse -did you know then that he/she represented your future? My cousin claims she did. She had been in a two year relationship and was expecting to be asked "the question". Instead she received the statement: we need to talk. Her friends encouraged her to sign up for a volleyball league in order to lift her spirits and maybe meet someone. The night of their first match, she spotted a handsome man who arrived late from work. He was wearing a three piece suit and carried a volleyball under one arm and a six pack of beer under the other. As soon as his eyes met hers, she knew that he was the one for her. When I first met Husband, my thoughts were hmmm, he might be spongeworthy.... but mind you, I was motivated to end my dry spell before it reached the one year mark. Myrtle and I didn't notice each other much during nursery school, but one day we both brought the same Raggedy Ann doll for Show and Tell, and Kindergarden rules dictate you must play together under that situation. We were inseparable after that incident, and I have often wondered if the friendship would have developed if one of us had selected a different toy. Relating all this to infertility, I'll be trusting the embryologist to examine our 70-100 cell blastocysts and to determine which one is destined to be our baby.
Thanks to the recommendation of the concierge at our hotel in Little Rock, we dined at a local Microbrewery and ordered an eight flight sampler. As it has become customary to do, we were each updating our Facebook accounts. Husband posted this photo:
|Boozing with my wife...|