Ashley~ the Younger, Lonelier, Depressed, Fat Version

So I saw a young wife/mother when I was in a public place yesterday.  She & baby were meeting her husband, who worked there, to say hello.  When they were done saying hello and chatting for few, she reluctantly started to make her way to the door to go home with baby.  She whispered something to her husband that I couldn't hear.  Then the husband said, "Yeah, I can walk you guys out to the car."

I thought of myself in that moment- a young mom; a desperate, great, hideous mess.

In the first few months of 1997, which was also the first few months of my marriage, I couldn't figure out why I was so unhappy.  Oh, the shield of the sub-conscience!

I thought, "Oh, well, it's time for us to have a baby.  Heavenly Father is telling us that we cannot really be happy until we have a kid; start a family; multiply and replenish!"

So I got pregnant after 6 months of marriage.

I was so excited to be preggers just like one of my new sis-in-laws!  I was starting in (oh, dear Lord).  Mormon culture:  get married, attempt to have babies PDQ, be like everyone else, lose your identity, get on anti-depressants, put on 80 lbs, do it all over again.
(I am not a native Utahn, and, yes, there is a culture specific to Utah Mormons).

But then I flopped right onto the other side of that thinking:  There is nothing special about me.  I am like every other woman in this valley- pregnant, church-going, looking to husband for priesthoodly support, round brushing my hair! Nooooooo!

When my first baby was crawling and I was pregnant with my 2nd and I was all fittin' in with the haps of the Valley, I was so miserable that I would call Matt at work daily; several times a day; some days almost hourly.  Baby and I would visit him at work a lot.  When it was time to leave, I'd start to panic.  When he would leave home for the day to work his 2 or 3 jobs, I'd panic then as well.  I was able to mask the panic from him most of the time.

I decided last night that I need to have a chat with Young Mom Ashley.  The interview went as follows:

Today Ashley:  Young Mom Ash, I need to talk to you.

Young Mom Ash:  Oh, hello.  What is it? I'm really busy and crying and ordering a cheeseburger.

TA:  I know your secret.

YMA:  Excuse me?

TA:  You're miserable.

YMA:  Oh. Yeah. That.

TA:  You can talk to me about it. You can trust me cause, like, we're the same person.

YMA:  We are not the same, you skinny bitch! Look at me!  You seem happy and care free! I have a mild heart attack whenever my child poops in her diaper in public!

TA:  Good news, Ash- I am future you!

YMA:  Oh.  Oh?!

TA:   I want to talk to you about your depression and such.

YMA:  Um, okay.

TA:  I know why you're so unhappy.

YMA:  Why??

TA:  A tiny baby to take care of, one on the way, and a gay husband.  Um, anyone would be struggling to break a smile.  These huge things happened back to back to back, and you never had a chance to figure out who you were first before you dove into all of this.  Then, you put on quite a few pounds with pregnancy.  You don't recognize yourself.

YMA:  Yes!  What's wrong with me?!  Why am I not skinny like before?  Why do I not love sex?  Why do I have to eat fast food everyday to feel some semblance of happiness?!

TA:  You're going to be fine.  There is nothing wrong with you.  Hang in there.  In 2008, you're going to meet a tall Italian dude who seems a like a real a-hole.  Then you'll meet him again in 2011.  He'll still seem like an a-hole.  But he's awesome.  Tell him you wanna kiss him.

YMA:  What?!!!  What about Matt?

TA:  Just know that by then, you will both be on new paths, living more authentic lives, sexually, spiritually, socially.  And...everything will be fine. 

YMA:  What's this dude's name that I'm gonna meet??

TA:   If I told you, I'd have to kill you.

YMA:  Go ahead.

TA:  Oh, one more thing, this Mormon thing...are you sitting down?

YMA:  No.

TA:  Okay.  The Mormon ain't gonna work out for you real good. 

Super successful interview! 


  1. Maybe I've been watching way too much Doctor Who, but that last part of the interview sorta reminded me of Silence in the Library...River chit chatting with the Doctor, not knowing Donna, Donna being all "why didn't she know me?" and River telling the Doctor not to worry, he'd see her again, blah blah.

    Okay, yeah, been watching too much DW.

  2. Some days, I read your blog and I weep.

    Today was one of those days.

  3. Aw, quin. Loves from my computer to yours.


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