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Friday, July 28, 2006

1-2-3 Distraction! A Piece of Cake...

I just baked a cake.

And when I say, "baked a cake" I don't mean I ripped open a box of Duncan Hines. I mean I hauled out the professional cake-making equipment and made a cake with four sticks of butter--which is okay because my professional cake pan feeds 60 people. And by okay I mean that you're only getting several hundred grams of fat in each bite.

Welcome to my new series on DIY channel--infertility-induced hobby collecting.

Come on, you know you have strange equipment stashed somewhere in your house. Is it quilt making? Knitting? Bread-baking?

Because this is what happens to a Stirrup Queen when she gets that infertility label. She cries a lot. She avoids places with babies. She realizes that people who are pregnant are rarely starting huge new projects so she throws herself into one of these huge new projects. She takes a quilting class to distract herself. Or joins a knitting circle. Or has her desperate husband buy her a bread stone and a bread-baking cookbook and say, "here, here, distract yourself. Just stop peeing on those sticks, for the love of G-d!"

(clears throat, glances at the bread stone, mutters, "I'm not that crazy.")

Which is how I ended up with professional cake-decorating equipment (as well as the bread stone). I started taking decorating classes because they were a good distraction and because I secretly thought I would need these skills once I had a child because I would be making birthday cakes. And then I became crazy about cake decorating because I was pouring all of my making-a-baby energies into cake decorating. If I couldn't make a baby, I would instead be the best little cake decorating woman the world had ever seen. My cakes would be my babies. I would only lock myself in the classroom bathroom once each lesson to cry for a few minutes.

I dropped out of this class after wedding cakes but before the final fondant lessons. A classmate became pregnant and loudly discussed her pregnancy. And I started spending more time in the bathroom crying because she was ruining my child-free space. For the sake of self-preservation, I dropped the class. And turned to bread baking.

It's nice to have these skills. I mean, there is a silver lining that can come from throwing yourself into a new hobby or drowning yourself in work. It just always gives me pause when I take out the cake pans and remember why I have them.


statia said...

Vintage sticker collecting. If "it" lives, we're going to be in the poor house thanks to mommy's bad ebay habit.

Royalyne said...

I started a beautiful cross-stitch to match the toilet seat we got as a wedding gift (don't ask, it's a long story, and are using that toilet seat). 5 months later it really doesn't look like anything (I kinda see the shape of what it's supposed to become, but that's only because I've seen the diagram of the finished product), and I haven't touched it in almost 2 months except to move it to a different shelf to make space for my card-box from the wedding. I did go nearly cross-eyed in the first week after I started it, but that fascination is over now.

I'm great at starting hobbies (ceramics, stained glass, cross-stitch), but I pretty much suck at completing them. Hmmm, that pile of dishes I need to wash today looks eerily like the blobs on my canvas, and very much not like the palm tree it's supposed to be.

Lisa P. said...

I enrolled in a six-week floral class before pregnancy number two, got brave enough right before the fourth week of class to tell one of my classmates (who was also pregnant, in her third trimester) that we were expecting, only to learn that we were losing the pregnancy within the next 48 hours. I skipped the fifth week of class (so I don't know how to make a floral swag, darnit) but went back for the final class, surprisingly. So now I make a mean boutonniere, even if I have trouble spelling it.

Anonymous said...

Indeed! Thank G-d for distractions. However, I have to admit that I have been making it through my present two-week waiting period with much-needed and enjoyable RETAIL THERAPY!!!!! It's quite the mood-changer! Beta test on Thursday - all fingers are crossed!!!!!!!

SaraS-P said...

oh dear...I just bought a "Learn to knit" kit 2 weeks ago.

And I am considering downloading audio lessons to learn Spanish... and I am not going to a Spanish-speaking country any time soon. I just felt I needed to expand my skills.

And I currently don't meet the prerequisites for childrearing skills lessons.

JJ said...

Oddly enough, my "distraction" is crocheting baby blankets. It helps that they're for all my infertile friends babies, though.

Anonymous Infertile said...

My hobby has been spending cash on things I don't need... my shoe and purse collection just keeps growing. I use to buy clothes but gaining weight through all my IF treatments has caused that activity to not be as much fun as it once was.
I did also spent a period of time while I was dipping things in chocolate...mainly pretzels but also cookies, fruit, and anything else I could think of.....


Tina said...

Not so odd, jj -- my distraction hobby was knitting baby booties and hats. Made them for all my friends when they announced their pregnancies. But I also scrapped and painted. And renovated our house.