A non-vegetarian party for an unborn baby.
Friday, 11.22.2013 - 9:52 am.

I feel like writing, in general, but I'm greatly unmotivated and I have a headache. Also, it's friday: I start the week ok, Andrew and I wake up early (thanks in part to spring and the sun rising earlier) but by this day I can barely get out of bed and it seems I'm out of energy.

Today also I woke up particularly...in a way that ressembles depression. Could be the fact that I had a very shallow sleep and I have the same headache I had last night. I feel exhausted and I do not want to do the things I have to do today. I love working, I love my jobs, but yesterday was a bit demanding as well as frustrating and that perhaps gets to me more than I realize.

Last night I had a baby shower to attend. My friend Tamara is seven months pregnant with a baby girl. I love her, she was a wonderful support in my first months living here, we started with her being my supervisor in a research project and we've remained good friends. And we share the love for academia. In fact, she recently recommended me to her university so I can help her in one of her classes when the baby is born. We'll see how that goes.

But when I got the invitation for the baby shower, I thought long and hard about refusing. She married a succesul surgeon and she entered a lifestyle in which I don't feel I fit in. I couldn't attend her wedding a year ago, or was it two, because it was 900 or 1,000 miles away and Andrew and I couldn't afford the trip and the proper attire (and I was in the process of removing a suspicious mole and I had no insurance; luckily it turned out to be benign).

The baby party, as it was called, was at her neighbors' house, in a small cabin in their backyard. They're what you'd call beautiful people, I suppose, very attractive people in a very wealthy neighborhood. Still, very nice and very good hosts; the whole family of neighbors was involved in organizing the party.

I walked in that cabin and I found one of Tamara's friend, who is also very nice and more down to earth. I was talking to her and suddenly I realized what was in the wall behind her and in the rest of the walls: the skull of a dear, the head of a boar, the hide of an unidentified animal. And what made me want to storm out of that place screaming: an entire wall devoted to pictures of Pinochet and military paraphernalia all around. The guy, the neighbor, was in the military and loved to hunt. I kept my poker face while the inside me sweated and cursed and twisted uncomfortably like a worm.

Tamara and her husband and her in-laws arrived shortly after. She and her husband had just flown in from the capital, after attending a medical congress (she and her husband are in the same PhD program) and staying at a five-star hotel. It seems to me she speaks of these perks of her new lifestyle in a tone of wonder rather than bragging. She was happy with the decoration and the food (I'm pretty sure she seccretly didn't approve of the Pinochet-themed cabin though) and thanked her neighbors for putting this together.

It was a very relaxed evening, which I appreciated. I was afraid there would be games and whatever, but it was just chatting and eating and opening presents. Men were invited, friends of the father-to-be, and while there ended up being gender seggregation, including men was a really good thing. And well, he isn't a father to-be, he already has a teenage son from a previous marriage and a three-year-old from a past relationship. The teenage son was invited and it was cute seeing him getting all softy when his father and Tamara opened the gifts.

What really bothered me though was that this friend that was down to earth got picked on a lot by Tamara and her husband for being vegetarian. Tamara asked me twice if I was, in front of her husband, which I thought was kind of mean, because then he'd lecture about one patient not recovering from surgery because she didn't eat protein.

I can't consider myself vegetarian because I still give to social pressure and would rather chew the meat than getting picked on. But meat is weird to me and I avoid it whenever I can. I know it tastes good (some of it) and I could salivate like anyone else at the sight or smell. But from the throat down all I fell is disgust. I know where it comes from and the excruciating process to turn it into this tiny piece of flavor and I want to thow up.

I avoided meat last night. Nobody noticed. But I still felt bad for the friend, because it seemed Tamara pointed out at her eating choices, and more or less at mine, as a way to start a conversation, but not a relaxed, respectful, two-way one. More like, "such an anomaly you are, let me tell you how you can die from that". I suppose I'm more of a closeted vegetarian.

And that is all. I will do some exercise and sum up all my energies to go through this day and into the weekend. And hopefully the headache will go away.

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