Sunday, October 28, 2007

Tell Me You Love Me: Episode 08

Palek is trying to fix the door to the new place when Carolyn announces she is pregnant. He asks if she is sure. She says yes - 2 tests are both positive. His face is like a deer in headlights. He says "Wow. Okay". Carolyn says she knows he wasn't expecting it but she doesn't want him to bullshit her. She said she needs him to find a way to be in this with her. He asks what will happen if he can't. She says he can repeatedly, manipulating him with her puppy dog eyes. He smiles, unsure of himself.

I don't know about you girls but if my husband responded to me like that, I think I'd tell him to get going. Then again, after last week's episode, what did she really expect? What would you do if your husband was less than thrilled at your announcement?

Palek goes to counseling by himself, saying he's worried about his marriage. He tells the therapist about the pregnancy. He says he's not sure he wants it - actually he is sure he doesn't want it. He says they were supposed to be done. The therapist asks if he thought Carolyn was done and he said he "hoped". She asks what he's losing by having the baby. Palek says he'd lose "my wife, my life, my sanity". She asks when he realized he didn't want to be a father. He said after they quit trying and he was relieved. He confesses he never had a father figure and how his father only stayed with his mother because of him. He doesn't want to be a father and he wants to run away. Just like his dad did. The therapist says it will be alright and Palek angrily says it won't be okay. She says he is not his father because he is there. The work they do in the office will determine what kind of father he is. She urges Palek to continue therapy and to bring Carolyn as well.

Now, I see more about Palek's anxieties. Part of me says he should've thought about that before having unprotected sex repeatedly with his wife. But I can understand how infertility can make a man (or woman) question why/if they really want children. I often think about the type of parent I will be and wonder if my screwed up family past will rub off on my children. I think I see the mistakes my parents made and want to do everything in my power from making those same errors. Do you think about what you will sacrifice for the sake of having children? Do you think your childhood will influence your parenting style in a positive or negative way?

Palek orders Thai food as Carolyn walks through the door. He asks if she can have Thai and she says yes, although she might avoid the peanuts because she read something about allergies. She tells him she wants to start telling people. He mentions it is early but she says she waited a year for this moment and she wants to share it. Palek confesses he went to the therapist without her. She asks why and he says it "is a dumb question". He says the way she felt when she couldn't get pregnant is the way he feels now. He says they have a problem and he needs her to go to therapy. She hesitates at first but after his insistence, says she will go. She tries to initiate sex but he isn't in the mood. She says she wants him but he says "he doesn't want her right now" and he doesn't know when he will. She is shocked and leaves the room.

Do you think it is too early for Carolyn to start sharing the news? I know that it was hard for me to keep it inside when I got my BFPs. Reason told me to wait but yet I wanted to shout it out off the rooftops. The good thing about never experiencing loss is that you can feel free to share the news without the expectation of something going horribly wrong. Unfortunately, I know that telling too many people in the early stages of pregnancy only sets me up for heartache later on should I have to explain about a miscarriage.

As far as the sex, I think this is just a culmination of everything that has happened over the past 8 weeks. Their communication problems are now evident and are spiraling out of control. Hopefully, counseling will help them overcome these issues and help them to work together as opposed to living parallel lives.

Carolyn is in a meeting at work, looking distracted as usual. As everyone exits, her boss asks if she is holding out for London or NY. She says no but her boss says she should. Carolyn tells her she shouldn't fly because she is pregnant. Her boss says congratulations and tells her it is "shitty timing".

Yikes! I couldn't imagine hearing that from my boss! I think I would either fly off the handle and quit on the spot or I would shrink. Is the timing ever good to announce your pregnancy to your boss? Are there some careers where it is a given that it will be harder to balance work and family?

Carolyn goes out for drinks with her sister and orders a decaf latte. When her sister questions the decaf, Carolyn tells her she is pregnant. Her sister first ignores her, but then says to "get ready" because she thinks Carolyn hates kids. Carolyn tells her that she is being a bitch and laments that no one is happy for her.

I kinda felt sorry for Carolyn here and that is unusual. It is hard to get the guts to tell people about infertility and when they are unsupportive, it is a punch in the gut. How would you have responded if your family member or friend responded in such a way?

Palek is at home watching TV. Carolyn tells him they were invited to their friend Nate's son - Dashell's - birthday party. Palek says they went to the first 6 parties and he doesn't see why they have to go to his 7th. Carolyn says she wants to go and gives him the Spongebob invitation, at which he looks disgusted.

They show up for the birthday party and Carolyn wants to help set up. Palek is given the responsibility to cut the cake but Nate takes over and tells him to man the moon bounce and make sure the kids don't get hurt. A short time later, a little boy falls and starts crying. Palek tells him it will be okay but the boy still cries. Palek climbs into the moon bounce to console him and helps the boy get back on his feet and jump happily. Palek stays in there jumping with the kids, trying to get used to the idea.

I think it was a good move for them to go to the party and interact with the kids. Especially for Palek. I think that it will either reinforce the fact that he doesn't want to be a father or it will help him to get used to the idea. DH and I don't have very many little kids around so whenever the niece or nephew are with us, we try to spend lots of time with them just to get that experience. Do you feel that having more face time with children before you become a parent is helpful?

Carolyn tells her friend she is pregnant, after said friend asks her if she's tried acupuncture. Everyone gathers around and congratulates her. They look at Palek in the moon bounce and say he is going to be a great dad and that "he's a natural". Carolyn looks on, pleasantly surprised.

It's funny how we can appear to others on the outside. If only they knew how he really felt...

I still say they are setting us up for a loss but only time will tell. I'm hoping HBO will not fall prey to the most predictable cliche and will stay true to the infertility storyline. I'm not giving up on it yet. Only 2 more episodes left this season. I think they have time to redeem themselves.


SaraS-P said...

I literally gasped every time she told someone. I think they are setting up for a loss. Or I just expect all pregnancie to end in loss. Either way, I can't picture this pregnancy going the whole way through.

Geohde said...

What complicated lives those characters lead.

I didn't tell at all about my pregnancy. I sure as hell wanted to, but the 'what if's' always kept me back.


LeRoy Dissing said...

I think Palek is a conceited, non-empathic ass. I can't imagine many women putting up with that kind of behavior for very long, if at all. Sounds to me like they both have some growing up to do, especially him. Regardless of what happens with the pregnancy, I'd say this marriage is definitely in some whitewater with rocks approaching.

I also think sharing the news is good to do. Holding it in takes a lot more energy and then you might have mixed feelings about sharing anything if the pregnancy goes south.

I think the boss was out of line and set her company up for a possible discrimination suit later. I have hired pregnant women and accommodated their job functions as a result of their pregnancy, but never made statements like the one she made. Poor taste to say the least and would not make me want to invest anything further into that company.
Companies need to realize pregnancy is part of life and regardless of whether they hire a male or female - both are entitled to family medical leave as a result of a birth/adoption. I think any career that requires overnight traveling would be harder to accommodate for family life.

I do think we bring our baggage with us when we raise our own kids and as much as we want to do it better than our parents did (and in most cases you will), some of what you do will be similar. After all, they must have did something right! What is comforting to a degree is that most kids will grow up fairly normal in spite of any failures we present - and yes, we will fail in some areas as parents. It’s all part of learning and growing. I've yet to meet a perfect parent or a perfect family. My Aunt Nellie told me a long time ago, if you stood under any family tree and gave it a good shake, you'd be waist deep in nuts. I think she is right!

While I think being around kids is helpful before having them, nothing prepares you for what it is like to have them full time, day in and day out, as just "having them". Each and every pregnancy/child is different then the one before it. In fact, you begin to wonder if two children who came from the same set of parents are really related after awhile. Each tests your patience and stamina in different ways, if not your sanity at times too.

Sorry that this comment is almost as long as your post but you brought up some intriguing questions I felt inspired on a Monday morning to answer - for what it is worth. Hope your week goes well.

Yodasmistress said...

"Are there some careers where it is a given that it will be harder to balance work and family?"

I work in an industry where a LOT of travel is required. It is not impossible to be in this business and not travel, but it necessitates the individual have skills that are at least slightly disparate from what lead them into this line of work in the first place. Kind of a difficult thing.

"I don't have very many little kids around so whenever the niece or nephew are with us, we try to spend lots of time with them just to get that experience. Do you feel that having more face time with children before you become a parent is helpful?"

DH and I have spent a LOT of time with my niece (5) and nephew (2) over the last two years. They are a handful - especially if one of us is busy, leaving a 1:2 kid:adult ratio. I have to admit that it has been quite eye opening. Ironically though, it isn't actually as hard as I thought it would be... guess maybe I'm more of a cynic than I like to admit.