Alone: A Love Story

Chapter 3: The feelings I don't feel

Marriage is awesome, an ultimatum and the happiest look on his face.
I'm not ready yet. I'm not sure I will ever be ready. (Alone/CBC)
Listen to the full episode18:55

Married life

This episode takes place between 2002-2007, basically from the time we get married right up until I'm just about to have a baby. Which accounts for the episode title. All the feelings I didn't feel, but took a chance on any way! Marriage, baby, big ole house, the works.

In this vignette I say "Being married is awesome!" and you know, it really was for most of it. It really, actually was. There isn't all that much I can say more than I say in the podcast. Listen to it! Haha.

I scribbled out the first draft of this vignette in the back of an old notebook.

Fun Toronto fact: The bar where we'd watch hockey games and eat macaroni and cheese and they knew our drinks, was called The Victory Cafe, a great old bar in Mirvish Village, that sadly was torn down in the great tear down of everything in the Honest Ed's block. So sad. I have so many memories in that place!


This first half of this vignette is hard to listen to. But life is hard sometimes, people are hard sometimes, things are hard.

That's the whole point of me telling this story! The hard parts, like ultimatums and arguments, are as much a part of all our love stories as the sunshine and roses parts.

The second half of this vignette is fun! The way I approach getting pregnant like a producer, see? Fun! I mean, it's how I approach everything in life — get it organized and get 'er done.

The Husband was like this too. We were a good team in that way, and still are today as co-parents. We really know how to take care of business. Even the business of baby making. And later, the business of surprise marriage dissolution. Goooo team!

I don't like being pregnant

I didn't.

I really, really didn't like it. I'm not ashamed of that. I know women always talk about how much they loved being pregnant, but I was not into it. I suspect it's not all that for other women too. So I wanted to talk about it.

I chose to say it all in this podcast, even if people roll their eyes at me. Go ahead. Because motherhood isn't always this blissed-out Earth Goddess Instagramable wonder-show that it's often presented as.

And then I know. I'm pregnant. Just like that.- Michelle Parise

You know what? For some of us, it hurts and it sucks. Why can't we say that and still be good mothers? We can. I just did.

It hurts and it sucks to be pregnant — your body is stretched and pulled and your pelvis is actually tilting and your hormones are all wacky and you can't sleep. People give you all kinds of unsolicited nutritional advice about nitrates and soft cheese.

And strangers touch you, because as a pregnant woman out in the world you are now somehow public property, like a park bench or a new city-approved sculpture. Everyone can just put their hands on your belly and congratulate you or comment on how HUGE you are. Thanks, well-meaning old European ladies of Toronto, but I have enough Italian aunts of my own to talk about my body like I'm not even there!

Here I am in 2006 pretending, for the sake of Christmas, that pregnancy is bliss.

Look, being pregnant is a beautiful thing too. You're making a life! There's a body inside of your body! How crazy is that? It's like you're a human matryoshka doll! I mean, that's pretty amazing, even if it's uncomfortable.

Also, for the record, I really enjoyed painting the baby's room. I did that while pregnant! I read in some magazine that you should paint your baby's room YOUR favourite colour, since you're going to spend so much of your life in there. So I painted it orange, and my sister and I painted those giant circles on the wall.

The Husband bought the mobile for above the crib, a solar system that actually orbits the sun. He's a scientist, what do you expect?

Music nerd alert!

Did you catch the Tom Waits reference in this vignette? Here's the excerpt:

'What's she building in there?' I always say 
I just can't believe how much activity there is in my own body!

Tom Waits released an album in 1999 called Mule Variations and What's He Building? is just about the most bonkers song ever. I don't know why, but The Husband and I thought it was hilarious. It brought us much joy to ascribe it to the baby in my belly.

I'm not kidding, it really felt like she was building something in there.