Writing is like being able to put life into a snow globe. It takes the things that are too big and scary and reduces them into a form that I can put away when I want and look at from a distance. It also takes all that’s good in life and captures it into something I can take out when I want and look at close up and keep forever. It makes the bad things into something I can hold…and the good things into something I can hold onto. Both help so much that I need that little souvenir of life.
Saturday, January 23, 2010
Advice from the Bad Old Days
X-rays are mentioned as one of the ways to definitively diagnose pregnancy. Once that pregnancy is diagnosed (around the fifth month), be sure to consult this book before choosing your maternity corset! And for the baby’s layette, one should choose Gertrudes which are made from nainsook. I have no idea, but I still feel sorry for that baby.
It’s also clear that our mothers and grandmothers were impressively wasted when giving birth. Suggested drugs for a pain-free childbirth include morphine, scopolamine (“Its aim is not so much actual pain relief as forgetfulness”), rectal ether, barbiturates, and something called—gulp—paraldehyde, which sounds to me like the baby was born slightly pickled.
Never fear! That baby was sure to have been used to it by the time labor rolled around. On whether or not smoking is acceptable, the good professor says, “If you have been used to smoking considerably…by no means try to give [cigarettes] up in pregnancy. There is no surer way of upsetting the nerves at a period when you should be calm and happy, or of converting a placid, sweet-tempered girl into an intolerable shrew.”
Oh, and the price is listed as $1.25. For a hardcover. In other words, priceless.
From the movie, “Juno”:
Rollo: So what’s the prognosis, Fertile Myrtle? Minus or plus?
Juno: I don’t know. It’s not seasoned yet…. Nope…. There it is. The little pink plus sign is so unholy. [Shakes pregnancy test stick.]
Rollo: That ain’t no Etch-A-Sketch. This is one doodle that can’t be un-did, Homeskillet.