The saying goes, the longer the relationship, the more locations that are ruined for future pleasure when the relationship ends (okay, so I just made up that saying, but doesn't it sound more important if I declare that it's a "saying" rather than something made up?). There is a direct correlation between the level of bitterness in the parting and the desire to avoid these aforementioned places. Which is why I do all of my break-ups and unpleasant conversations at a single restaurant: Cactus Cantina on Wisconsin Avenue.
Washingtonians are probably gasping at this moment--why would anyone ruin Cactus Cantina for themselves? To be honest, I've never loved the restaurant and I'm more of a Guapo's girl at heart. But beyond that, the restaurant was previously ruined for me by a boyfriend and I decided to keep using it as a dumping ground as to not contaminate any other establishments with bad memories.
Which means that when I ask a person to meet me at Cactus Cantina, it invariably means that I have terrible news to impart. And when I sense that someone has something to tell me that I don't want to hear, I suggest Cactus Cantina for a meal or drink.
But infertility and loss are so huge, so long-lasting and bitter-inducing that so many locations are ruined along the way. They become Location Casualties, those places that you never want to go back to because all they do is remind you of what you don't have or (if you currently are parenting) what you went through to get to your current place. For instance, the first place you started trying when your heart felt so hopeful. This, of course, assumes that your first time wasn't at home. For us it was a little bed and breakfast at Deep Creek Lake. We were absolutely giddy while we were there and two weeks later, we were absolutely disappointed.
Deep Creek Lake was ruined a second time when it was the site (actually, a gas station bathroom was the site) of a chemical pregnancy. While I would love to see Kentuck Knob or Fallingwater again, I really can't bring myself to jump on I-70 and drive up there. Perhaps if I had visited Deep Creek Lake any other time in life, I would have other memories to fall back on when I considered the place. But since my only experiences were naive giddiness and blood...well, it seems to be scratched as a future vacation destination.
The Doylestown area is a place I'd like to avoid forever. My memories of that vacation were summed up in this little nugget from my journal: "I want to throw things. I want to hit someone. I want to be by myself. I don't even want to be me." Which does not really sum up the natural beauty of the bed and breakfast we visited on a small working farm with hens scurrying around the front yard. But infertility has a way of blotting out the landscape. We were there during a canceled cycle and that area is always a place I associate with unhappiness, self-hatred, and no decent coffeehouses.
Most places that had previous associations managed to skate through the emotional hailstorm. We went to Disney twice during infertility and it has only remained a viable vacation option due to happy memories from a childhood visit. I was melancholy at the beach, but it's also the place we went before the wedding so it came out unscathed. But poor Georgetown? A whole section of the city? It doesn't matter if it was my hang-out space through college. Who cares if I even worked down there for years. I always associate that section of town with a retail therapy trip after a negative that yielded three hats as well as the NICU. Sorry, Georgetown. You're dead to me.
What places are your location casualties? The places that feel forever ruined--either due to infertility or loss or another reason.