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Philosophical Mondays: Unexpected Delays

So I know the big pregnant or not pregnant announcement was supposed to come today. But as it turned out, the staff at my fertility doctor’s office only come in on weekends for special treatments, so I wasn’t able to get the blood test until today. I’m going in at 7:30am, but I’ve no idea how long it’ll take them to process the results and for me to process my feelings about the results, so either way, I’ll post Tuesday about everything that happened today.

The funny thing is that I used to be very superstitious about talking about a pregnancy before the first trimester, but this situation has pretty much cured me of any superstition. And that actually reminds me of a funny story from my past.

When I was living in Pittsburgh for the year after Japan and before grad school, I applied to four African-American Studies Ph.D. programs and the Dramatic Writing program at Carnegie Mellon University — as a lark, because Pittsburgh didn’t have any top-tier schools with African-American Studies programs. The only thing was that I was dead broke, jobless, and couldn’t afford the CMU application fee. So I attached a short note about how I couldn’t afford the fee to my application and left it with an acting professor (Ingrid Sonnichsen for those of you who are familiar with the CMU Drama Department staff) that I happened to run into while looking for Milan Stitt, the head of the program’s office on January 2nd (the very last day to turn in the application, of course).

After that I found work as a freelancer for The City Paper, Pittsburgh’s alternative weekly, and as an administrative assistant at the United Jewish Federation. I told everybody that I had applied to several grad schools, with my first choice being Emory in Atlanta and my second being Duke in North Carolina.

The following Spring, I got rejections from all four African-American Studies doctorate programs, and I heard nothing from CMU.

Assuming that the head of CMU’s program hadn’t even bothered to process my application because I hadn’t paid the fee, I started making plans to move to New York City, in order to find a job in publishing. This time I didn’t tell everyone that I was planning to move to NYC, as I felt burnt by all of my doctorate program rejections. I vowed that from then on I would strive in silence and would never broadcast my goals again — especially if they were lofty.

Then in April, just a few months before I was planning to move, I got a call from Milan, the head of the Dramatic Writing program, and he invited me in for a meeting the very next day.

I was so shocked, that I forgot my vow and told everyone at the United Jewish Federation that I was interviewing with CMU at 4pm the next day.

My co-workers were very happy for me and sent me off to my interview the next day on a sea of good wishes. One of the first things Milan let me know was that he probably wouldn’t have gotten my application if I had mailed it, because I didn’t include a check for the fees. Then he offered me a spot in the program 20 minutes after meeting me. And haven’t been very good about keeping my life details a secret ever since.

Sometimes I look back at that time and shake my head. If I had gotten into any of those other programs, chances are that I wouldn’t have gone to CMU, wouldn’t have pursued screenwriting, wouldn’t have ever come to Los Angeles, wouldn’t have met CH, wouldn’t be happy in the same way that I am now.

So on the whole baby thing, I try to think of it in those terms. We’ve been rejected from all of our top-choice scenarios. But the alternative might change our lives in great ways that we never could have imagined .

Anyway, sorry again for the delay. Enjoy our Monday blogs, and I’ll see you Tuesday with the results, first thing.


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