Just Laughin' at Life

Being Thankful for Knowing How to Handle the Relatives

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To me, it’s not really quite the holiday season yet. But since Halloween wasn’t over for an hour when stores started having their Pre-Pre-Black Friday sales and the Hallmark Channel already started replacing my beloved Murder She Wrote with their heartwarming holiday “classics” (which already put my husband in a thankful mood… He’s thankful for anything that cancels Murder She Wrote. He doesn’t care whether it’s a holiday movie or a power failure.) Anyhoo…

People prepare for holidays in many ways. Some people buy decorations the year before when they’re heavily discounted and put them away in the closet. Some people buy presents at the last minute. A lot of us have to emotionally prepare for the holidays. Especially if you’ve been trying to have a baby for a while.

So this year, whatever holidays you’re celebrating, whatever gatherings you’ll be attending with family, friends, or co-workers… the turkey, ham or whatever may be roasted but you won't be. I simply refuse to let it happen.

You won't be roasted (or grilled or fried) by the relatives on whether or not you're finally pregnant, if you're really trying to get pregnant, if you've taken a vacation recently to unwind because that’s probably all you need to get pregnant, or “have you seen a doctor?” or “tried adopting?” because women always get pregnant once they decide to adopt…

Or have you spoken to cousin Kathy who has six kids because she must be doing something right...

Or if maybe you're husband isn't doing "it" right...

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Or do you want me to move over so you can sit next to pregnant cousin Marianna because maybe you'll catch it "stupidity, stupidity, don't know what else to say to you so I'll say some more unimaginative, stupidity, stupidity, and... more stupidity" 

No, you will not be grilled, roasted, or fried by the end of this holiday season. I will not permit it.

So over the next month or so, as everyone starts to get ready for the holiday season frenzy, this blog will help everyone to get mentally and emotionally prepared.

You will not be alone. Together, as a group, we will tackle the holiday season and your relatives right here at Laughing IS Conceivable.

(Yes, I said "tackle". At this time of year, I feel compelled to use football terms... and truthfully, aren't there at least one or two of your relatives whom you'd love to see a barrage of angry infertile women throw to the ground and hold down on the front lawn until someone blows a whistle?)

From dealing with whether or not we should even attend these heinous holiday shindigs to--if we go: Who to hang out with, which rooms to avoid, who not to sit next to, and how to divert the conversation without blatantly cursing people out, although…

"Do you guys still want children?" 

"Screw off".

Yeah, that could work.

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you’re already feeling just a little less anxious about the upcoming holidays. If you’d like more laughs at infertility’s expense, please consider subscribing to my infrequent newsletter or checking out my little book. It’s been read by 1000s like you who have looked to laughter to de-stress from infertility / IVF and is recommended by renowned fertility professionals nationwide. http://laughingisconceivable.com

Laughing  IS  Conceivable: One Woman’s Extremely Funny Peek into the Extremely Unfunny World of Infertility

Laughing IS Conceivable: One Woman’s Extremely Funny Peek into the Extremely Unfunny World of Infertility

"It's Infertility, Charlie Brown!" - A Holiday Classic

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A quick note: If you’re in the New England area or will be on Saturday November 3, 2018, I strongly recommend you register for RESOLVE New England’s 25th Fertility Treatment, Donor Choices, & Adoption Conference. Great speakers planned. Lots of info. Lots of support. Register@ http://www.resolvenewengland.org/conference/

Every year at this time, it is a tradition to re-post this. 50% nostalgic tradition. 50% lazy tradition. But a tradition nonetheless. Hope you enjoy it! xo  

I've never hidden the fact that I love the autumn and every corny thing associated with it: Football (not the least bit corny), Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade (cool with many corny parts), fall foliage.

So in the past, I've written about going through infertility later in life ("The Autumn of My Fertility") and spooky infertility stories for Halloween.

I can't see what could possibly be left to write about that's autumn-related except, of course the obvious: Charlie Brown.

This long lost Charles M. Schulz classic, "It's Infertility Charlie Brown!" was shown on TV for years in between the Halloween and Thanksgiving specials. I can't believe you haven't seen it.

I'm not ridiculous enough to suggest that Lucy Van Pelt grew up and battled infertility. With that attitude of hers, likely the only men who would even talk to her would be chiropractors and orthopedists looking for an explanation as to why their patients are in such terrible shape. Namely: Charlie Brown for ailments caused by decades of her pulling away that damn football and Schroeder being hunched over the piano to avoid looking at her shamelessly flirting with him. Then again there are lots of men who seem to adore crabby women. (Seen Bridezillas lately?)

Here's the episode in its entirety. It takes place in the classroom. Hope you don't have a Peanuts allergy. (ar ar ar):

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I present to you: "It's Infertility, Charlie Brown!"

Teacher: Today, boys and girls we are going to be discussing "Infertility". (Peanuts Translation: "Wa wa wa wa wa").

I know that several of your parents have had fertility treatments. Can any of you tell me if they were successful? ("Wa wa wa wa wa wa wa?")

Marcie: I got a sister.

Violet: I got a brother.

Franklin: I got boy/girl twins.

Charlie Brown: I got a rock.

Peppermint Patty: Good one Chuck.

Teacher: There can be many reasons for a couple's infertility: Weight, medical issues, low sperm count, age. As for your parents... I think being invisible is the likely cause. (Wa wa wa wa wa wa wa wa wa wa)

Charlie Brown: Ma'am? Could you tell me ma'am?

Teacher: What is it now, Charlie Brown? ("Wa wa wa wa wa?!")

Charlie Brown: Ma'am if we were created in 1950, how are we only somewhere around eight years old?

Teacher: Have your parents ever mentioned freezing their embryos, Charlie Brown? (Wa wa wa wa wa wa wa?)

Charlie Brown: The thing is Ma'am- Do we even have parents? What I mean is, Ma'am: Don't we kind of live by ourselves? Like when Linus stays out all night in the pumpkin patch every Halloween waiting for the Great Pumpkin, his sister Lucy always goes out to get him in the middle of the night and she's not that much older than he is. And I've been wearing the same shirt for over sixty years. And my little sister Sally's hair has just kind of been stuck like that forever and none of us can get it down. And Pig-Pen has taken a bath only once through eleven presidential administrations and that was in The Peanuts Movie. And Peppermint Patty wears her open-toed sandals outside all year long, even in the Valentine's Day special and that's in February. And Linus' blanket has NEVER been washed. And Marcie hasn't been to an optometrist since 1968. And Snoopy eats turkey on Thanksgiving with his bird friend Woodstock and nobody ever tells him how wrong that is. And nobody's ever told Schroeder to sit up straight while he's playing the piano. And Lucy takes money for giving psychiatric advice without a license and nobody ever tells her how wrong that is either.

Lucy: You Block Head!

Charlie Brown: Arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrgh

(Thanks a lot for stopping by. I hope you're feeling a little bit better than when you got here! Please consider subscribing to my newsletter and/or checking out my books which can both be accomplished at the bottom of my homepage: http://laughingisconceivable.com

Laughing  IS  Conceivable: One Woman’s Extremely Funny Peek into the Extremely Unfunny World of Infertility  https://www.amazon.com//dp/B007G9X19A/   (disponible en Espanol- La Risa  ES  Concebible  https://www.amazon.com//dp/B018Y136Y8/ )

Laughing IS Conceivable: One Woman’s Extremely Funny Peek into the Extremely Unfunny World of Infertility https://www.amazon.com//dp/B007G9X19A/

(disponible en Espanol- La Risa ES Concebible https://www.amazon.com//dp/B018Y136Y8/)

Laughing  IS  Conceivable No Matter How Many You’re Carrying: Insanity in its Infancy  https://www.amazon.com//dp/B07J2QSDL9/

Laughing IS Conceivable No Matter How Many You’re Carrying: Insanity in its Infancy https://www.amazon.com//dp/B07J2QSDL9/

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Trying on Halloween Costumes As An Adult- Oh The Joy

None of these is me. None of these was ever me. None of these will ever be me.

None of these is me. None of these was ever me. None of these will ever be me.

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Dressing up for Halloween- some years I'm into it, some not. If I go ahead with it, I choose what I'm going to be very carefully. My costume has to meet strict criteria: I must be able to see. I must be able to breathe. I must be able to pee. I also don't do props. On a long night of party-hopping or trick-or-treating, I can't be bothered wondering every twenty minutes where I left my pacifier or my sword.

Some years I think I'm making it easy on myself by going for a store-bought costume. No cutting, gluing or hunting for accessories that they have every day at every dollar store all year long, until you need it. I can just buy the thing and be done with it. It's always a mistake. More costly than the ridiculous price of the costume itself is the emotional price. Trying on Halloween costumes is about as much fun as trying on bathing suits. The costume always looks so cute on the girl in the picture on Party City's wall but somehow, when I try it on, my parts never go where her parts went on Party City's wall.

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This year, I tried on a white Wilma Flintstone costume. I figured: "It's one simple piece. How bad can it be?" (Better left as a rhetorical question I soon discovered.) I scrunched up the dress from the bottom and shimmied my head through it. And that's where the journey ended. Not one single part of the dress made it over my shoulders. It may have been a costume for someone else, but it was basically a forty-five dollar neck brace for me. I debated whether to take it off or put one bone in my hair and another sticking out of the dress and go as a victim of a Stone Age hit and run accident (or a prehistoric prostitute since I was in my underwear from the neck brace down.)

Doesn’t every single one of us know we're doomed when anything is marked: "One size fits all". Granted, sales would probably plummet if the tag told the truth: "One size fits nobody." They try to be more diplomatic nowadays and say: "One size fits most". Even still: Define "fits" say I, the woman wearing the pricey neck wear.

One aspect worse than bathing suit shopping: The fitting rooms at our party store has the mirrors outside the dressing rooms. Now how could this go wrong? Allow me to tell you. There are two unisex dressing rooms side by side. Forget the fact that every time you emerge from one of them to look in the mirror, the person next in the sprawling dressing room line makes a beeline for the swinging open door, leaving you to explain that you're not actually done with it yet. This isn't a sneaker store. Chances are you weren't planning to throw your clothes in a bag and wear your naughty nun outfit home.

Truthfully, you really don't have to even look at yourself in the mirror. You can tell if your ensemble's a disappointment by the looks on the faces of the strangers in line. All around there are people pretending not to notice you-- people looking at their phones, asking their kids what they want for lunch-- all in an attempt to keep their faces from revealing their feelings of pity and horror. After which, dozens of customers around the Country every year quietly hustle back into the dressing room, close the door, and shoot themselves. Then as two employees drag out the bloody lifeless body through the store and into the window display. all the while whispering into her ear: “No returns after October 21st”, a third employee stays behind and signals to the next person in line: "This room's free."

Thanks a lot for stopping by! Hope you had a few laughs at my expense. If you’d like more of my buffoonery, please consider signing up for my not-annoyingly-over-frequent newsletter and checking out my little books—all at the bottom of my homepage. http://laughingisconceivable.com But most of all, please always remember that no matter what’s going on in the world or what you’re personally going through: Laughing IS Conceivable… And Humor Heals.

Laughing  IS  Conceivable: One Woman’s Extremely Funny Peek into the Extremely Unfunny World of Infertility  Recommended by renowned IVF professionals around the U.S.   https://www.amazon.com//dp/B007G9X19A/

Laughing IS Conceivable: One Woman’s Extremely Funny Peek into the Extremely Unfunny World of Infertility Recommended by renowned IVF professionals around the U.S. https://www.amazon.com//dp/B007G9X19A/

NEW! Laughing  IS  Conceivable No Matter How Many You’re Carrying: Insanity in its Infancy  https://www.amazon.com//dp/B07J2QSDL9/

NEW! Laughing IS Conceivable No Matter How Many You’re Carrying: Insanity in its Infancy https://www.amazon.com//dp/B07J2QSDL9/

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Insanity in its Infancy

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This week, I wanted to give you an excerpt of my new book that’s just out (currently in eBook). It’s all about what it’s REALLY like to get pregnant with, stay pregnant with, give birth to, and take care of more than one baby day after day. Even though the book is a sequel of sorts to my infertility book, this first chapter is all about my infertility experience so readers would be up-to-speed and fully appreciate how I got myself into this whole “multiple babies” situation in the first place. In fact, as you can see, that’s what I called the first chapter. Hope you buy it! (I mean “like” it. Did I say “buy” it? Wow. That was awkward.)

Laughing IS Conceivable No Matter How Many You’re Carrying: Insanity in its Infancy

Chapter One: Getting Pregnant with More than One Baby aka How I Got Myself Into This

Even if you haven’t read my first book, Laughing IS Conceivable: One Woman’s Extremely Funny Peek into the Extremely Unfunny World of Infertility, you just read my summary-length title which I’m thinking is enough of a hint as to how I got myself into this whole “multiple babies” situation. And this is how I got myself into the situation that got me into that situation.

A.    Waiting for Mr. Right... and Waiting... and Waiting... So what’s the holdup? Is he stuck in traffic or what?

My wedding, actually the engagement, actually the actual dating is when the lunacy began. If my husband-to-be and I had been younger, that common remark: “Let’s get married and start a family” might have been a two-part undertaking. We’ll get married and then, at some later date, down the road apiece, over yonder, start a family like a normal couple. But since we were both in our extremely late thirties when we met and neither of us had ever been married or had kids, we went from speed dating to speed mating. It was about as romantic as it sounds.

“Hi I’m Lori.”

“Hi I’m Lloyd.”

“Our names sound cute together and you smell nice. We should get married. If you don’t mind me asking: How old are you?”

“I’ll be thirty-nine in two months.”

I’ll be thirty-nine in two months!”

“Wow, that’s another cute thing to tell our kids!”

“Do you want kids?”

“I do!”

“Congratulations! I now pronounce you husband and wife.”

“Speaking of kids...uh oh look at the time on my biological clock... Half past thirty-nine. We’d better go. The rest of you can stay. The band is booked for another hour.”

After having waited so long to find the right person, I would have liked to have been a fiancee for more than twenty minutes. The only problem is that when you’re older, so tend to be everyone and everything around you. Families, both the ones we already had and the one we hoped to create, played a large part in the decision to set our plans on warp speed. Had we waited even another year or two to get married, who knows how many elderly relatives-- or potential children-- we would have had left? We weighed the pros and cons of waiting.

“On the negative side, we might not have some of our family at the wedding. On the positive side, we might not have some…of...  Hmm. It sure would un-complicate the seating chart. And we could probably save a few bucks by lopping a tier off the cake.”

But waiting was too much of a crapshoot. Who really knew how many good eggs I had left or how long our relatives would linger?   

Our plan was simple: We were going to get married and start a family all in the same day. After all, everyone gets pregnant on their wedding night, right? 

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Boy was I going to be productive that day. I was going to dance with all four of my new sisters-in-law and create their future niece or nephew all in a three hour span. Following the reception and conception, Lloyd and I would celebrate in the bridal suite / baby moon Jacuzzi (after I cleared it with my OB/GYN, of course) from which I would order everything non-alcoholic on the room service menu because, after all, I was eating for two, right? Maybe I could even speed up the pregnancy process and have a water birth since I would already be in the tub and check-out wasn’t until noon.  

Well I didn’t get pregnant on my wedding night or the night after that or the night of our first anniversary.

A.    Who Needs Medical Intervention When You Have Divine Intervention?  

During our brief engagement, Lloyd and I met a monsignor at a barbecue who blessed us, finishing with:

“Usually when I bless couples they end up having twins.”

Wait, what? I don’t know much about Catholic prayers but isn’t “Amen” Latin for “The End”? What’s with this “Oh by the way” he just tossed in there? You’re allowed to add asterisks to prayers? My first thought was:

“Oh geez, how do you undo a blessing? Isn’t that like trying to squeeze eye drops out of your pupils?”

If I’d known then how excruciatingly complicated, exhausting, and expensive the next year of my life would be, I might have taken the monsignor’s generous no-hassle twin set offer more seriously instead of gambling on what was behind Door #3. That’s the last time I ever try to undo a blessing.

Thanks a lot for stopping by! Both of my books are available on Amazon.

Laughing  IS  Conceivable: One Woman’s Extremely Funny Peek into the Extremely Unfunny World of Infertility https://www.amazon.com//dp/B007G9X19A/ (also on Nook & Kobo)

Laughing IS Conceivable: One Woman’s Extremely Funny Peek into the Extremely Unfunny World of Infertility https://www.amazon.com//dp/B007G9X19A/ (also on Nook & Kobo)

NEW! Laughing  IS  Conceivable No Matter How Many You’re Carrying: Insanity in its Infancy https://www.amazon.com//dp/B07J2QSDL9/

NEW! Laughing IS Conceivable No Matter How Many You’re Carrying: Insanity in its Infancy https://www.amazon.com//dp/B07J2QSDL9/

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Storms of All Kinds

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Things are strange here. Maybe it’s just us. Like during this Hurricane Florence, for instance. In my four decades of living in New York City and its suburbs, I remember exactly two hurricanes. One happened when I was in high school or at least on my way to it. Everybody got to school in the morning as usual but there were gates up when we arrived and administrators telling us to go back home. Then, about sixteen, seventeen years ago, I was walking home from my job at the limousine company in Long Island City and, while waiting for a light to change at a very busy intersection, I blew into the middle of Queens Boulevard. (Luckily I was able to fight my way back to the sidewalk and grab onto a telephone pole until the light changed.)

We had only been in North Carolina a couple of months when there was a tornado warning. I nonchalantly stopped in to a supermarket to pick up a few things.

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As I stood in the express check-out line, I took a gander at the shopping carts around me: Bottles and bottles. In fact, cases and cases of water. Piles of batteries of all shapes and sizes. I looked at my hand basket: Raisins and yogurt. My husband, Lloyd called my cell phone while I was standing there. He had desperation in his voice.

“Did you check out yet?!”

“No. I’m waiting to.”

“Thank Gd! We need salad dressing.”

“Oh yeah.” I said. “We’re prepared.”

While the North Carolinians went home, put their supplies away in case of emergency and went on with their lives, we arranged our babies on a blanket and all huddled together on the bathroom floor like we were waiting for an enemy attack in a scene from M.A.S.H. Lloyd and I looked at each other, faces against the tile and said simultaneously:

“It was your idea to move here. Look what you got me into.”

Another thing we haven’t quite gotten used to in the decade plus since we moved here: How, what and when places decide to close as a storm approaches. While schools, stores and medical facilities may have a more wait-and-see approach to impending weather, churches are always the first to bail. The hurricane could be two states away and there comes the announcement scrolling at the bottom of the screen on the six o’clock news: “All services canceled.” You always have to wonder: “Is all of that ‘faith’ talk of theirs bullshit or do they know something we don’t?”

And the schools don’t have districts like we were used to. So if you live in a huge county here and the roads are fine where you live, your kids may still be home from school for weeks because the county’s schools are all closed at the same time even if the road problem is an hour away from you.

Our kids go to a year-round school which everyone but us loves. That means they go to school for nine weeks and have three to five weeks off all year long. When the schools are closed because of weather, instead of lopping off one of their weeks off and using them as make-up days, they have them go to school on Saturdays. If the county goes through with their proposed plan, this Saturday would be the first time that my kids would be subjected to this weirdness. And they’re not taking it well.

“Saturday? Well at least you’re not going to make us go. Right? Right? We don’t have to go. Right? Right?”

But my husband and I couldn’t hear their pleas over our own gleeful thoughts:

“The kids will be at school all day on a Saturday?” Cue the organ at the hockey game: “Date! Date! Date! Date! Date! Date! Date! Date! Ta dum da dum… Charge!!”

Images wafted through our minds. The first was of us being cooped up the past five days and who knows how much longer with these people. (How have families ever spent years together in one room hiding from Nazis, guerrillas, drug cartels…? After five days in our five bedroom house, I’m about to run outside and offer myself to Florence as her love slave) The next images were more pleasant: Lloyd and me- fourteen years younger. He and I were at that innocent, carefree, age: forty. Okay, so it wasn’t our ages that made us as youthful as much as our children’s ages: “Not yet born.” I’ve mentioned often how Lloyd and I had met and married “later in life”. (I hate that expression. It sounds like we were introduced at a card table in the nursing home.) So we kind of hurried it up to get married and trying to start a family. In fact, we got engaged seven months after we first met and married three months later. We are pretty lovey-dovey in general (much to my kids’ dismay), but I can’t help thinking that we long for dates in part because we’ve never given up on trying to have those dates we never had when we were dating. So in answer to my kids’ question an hour ago: “Damn right you have to go to school on Saturday. Those are make-up days! For us anyway. You’ll probably just be sitting there doing nothing for seven hours but oh well… And take the bus home, will ya? And remember to bring your key. Just in case…”

Thanks a lot for stopping by for my buffoonery! Please consider signing up for my newsletter at the bottom of the home page and perusing one of my books under well, "books". They are designed to de-stress during some of life's most anxiety-producing moments. Please always remember: Laughing IS Conceivable... And Humor Heals.  

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Write here…

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Bringing Lousy Customer Service into my Life

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I'm one of those people who is a big believer in universal energy and that we play a major part in who and what we attract into our lives. So, what's so appealing about lousy customer service that I've been attracting it in droves lately?

1) The "stylist" at Great Clips. I know. I know.  But between the time I checked my son in and he had come off their hair-cutting assembly line only about 12 minutes had elapsed. Shouldn't everybody in the world over 17 be able to keep their surliness, disdain, boredom, and eye rolls under raps for 12 minutes? 

2) The sales guy at Eyecare Center. Over a 3 month period, we got severely overcharged, my husband's glasses came back wrong 3 times and all was made worse by his patronizing attitude. He "yes ma'amed" me to death and constantly said things like: "I know it's hard having a husband and kids to take care of." to which I replied: "Not to mention a business." Another time he said something about me having to cook and all the things that come with being a mommy to which I responded:"Yeah, Lori don't play that."

3) The substitute dentist. I adore my dentist. So why oh why did the bastard have to go on vacation? I've only been going there for about 6 months and got the same guy twice. Well this time he was on vacation. I got a different dentist / used car saleswoman. All I wanted was to fill a cavity in a wisdom tooth. She wouldn't hear of it--- Okay, a lot of dentists agree with just pulling them out.... but this is what I got when I pulled onto her lot: "Why don't you fill the one in the front instead? Wouldn't you feel worse if you lost that one? And then pull those 2 wisdom teeth. And I would take out all of those old fillings and replace them. And those 3 are going to need build ups and crowns. But if you can't do the crowns, let's just do the build-ups, and Beth, set her up with Care Credit if her insurance doesn't cover that...." Needless to say, I drove off her lot, drove back a week later when the other dentist returned and had the receptionist add the substitute dentist to my list of allergies. I think they actually put a sticker of her face with a line through it on my chart.       

4) Scooper at the local ice cream place. She gave me the ice cream for 5 of us. I gave her my frequent shopper card that was full. Fine. Then I asked her for a new card to start. She said they had run out of them. I asked if I should just mention the 4 credits next time. She begrudgingly scribbled her initials 4 times on a slip of paper and handed it to me saying: "Well, if you want to keep track..."  

5) Wal-Mart cashier. I know. I know. Our interaction was maybe 7 minutes. I know that Wal-Mart doesn't treat employees well and many of them might hate their job. I know. But can you at least be pleasant? Half of them look like they're slipping in and out of consciousness. This one the other day just started ringing up the next person's order and tossing his items into bags while Lloyd put the credit card back into his wallet and I grabbed the last few of our bags off the carousel. As I looked to be sure that I had gotten all of them, she finally decided to speak: "I gave you all of your bags."... I said: "I'd like to double-check for myself if that's okay with you." So she hates her job. I've hated most of mine too over the years. So what? Apply elsewhere. There must be dozens of places looking for people with your sparkling personality. Can you cut hair?.

On the other hand: Once we found her, The EyeCare debacle was straightened out by a fantastic regional sales director. and the office manager, my dentist, and his assistant all went above and beyond to rectify the situation at the used car dealership.. 

So maybe all of my signals being sent out to the Universe aren't going totally haywire lately..  But really, the Universe has been around a while. It should know better than to accept messages sent via peri-menopausal hormones. 

Thanks a lot for stopping by for my buffoonery! Please consider signing up for my newsletter at the bottom of the home page and taking a gander at one of my books under well, "books". They are designed to de-stress during some of life's most anxiety-producing moments. After all: Laughing IS Conceivable... And Humor Heals.  

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Coming Soon!

Coming Soon!

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Women Who REALLY Make Infertile Women MAD

Okay, it's true. A LOT of women make infertile women mad. And, let's face it, what almost all of those other women have in common is that they're fertile when we're not. Maybe it's our hormones from everything we shoot into our stomachs, butts, or anywhere else on a daily basis. Maybe it's just the exhaustion. We're so worn down from all of this crap. Whatever it is, people get on our nerves like never before.

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Infertile women have to deal with other women inviting us to baby showers, and to go baby clothes shopping. Infertile women endure stupid advice on how to get pregnant: "If you take a cruise to Portugal... I got pregnant on a cruise to Portugal."  And insensitive comments disguised as spiritual comfort:: "If it's meant to happen..." 

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But when I was going through it, the hardest thing for me to suck up was dumb people who got pregnant so easily. And even worse, irresponsible people who not only weren't they trying to get pregnant, they just as soon not.  

 First the clueless: 

They don't know how they got pregnant, when they got pregnant, why they keep getting pregnant and sometimes, occasionally-- They don't even know that they are pregnant.

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One day she's trying on shoes at the shoe store and just happens to look down and see a little face in the little rectangular shoe mirror. And she exits the store in search of a whole different kind of pump than what she had intended when she entered twenty minutes before.

But back then, clueless women who got pregnant easily only made my eyes roll. Irresponsible women who got pregnant easily made me wretch repeatedly. Two words:

Maury anyone?

For those of you who aren't up on your daytime TV because you're dead set on doing something productive during working hours: A Maury show staple: Women get DNA tests done on an ex-husband, an ex-boyfriend, a boyfriend's son, a mother-in-law's husband, a husband's twin, an ex-boyfriend's boyfriend,  the guy who sat next to her at church --or all of the above--to confirm her child's paternity. 

Here's a direct transcript from the show, or something I'm making up as I go... You be the judge.

"Miss A" is seventeen and has four kids with four baby-daddy. All of them have their respective daddy name. I'm not sure which is the most irresponsible part: Having all of those kids at such an immature age, having four different baby-daddy, or saddling all four kids with the same name and then calling all of them, even the girls, "Junior".

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"Miss B" is twenty-four and has a husband. He is even a possible contender to be the baby-daddy. Hoo ha.

So are eight others guys: A few of his cousins and a few of their friends who happened to stop by at the family barbecue on that fateful late summer afternoon...leaving them all to rethink the true meaning of the "labor day weekend"... and to ponder if, perhaps, the grill should be the only thing turned on and heated up during it.       

********

"Miss C" has been stalking poor David for two years trying to get him to pay up for his child. There she is on TV calling him a bastard and belittling his little body parts.

Where does a young lady learn such behavior? Oh, wait, there's her mother sitting next to her calling David a c*** sucker into the camera.

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And naturally, when Maury and his official DNA report finally get a word in edgewise, David is officially declared to be not the baby-daddy. 

So, irresponsible "Miss C" has been barking up the wrong guy's little tree for two years, while her child has gotten two years older and the real baby-daddy, with a two year head start, has probably made his way over the border into Mexico, Canada, or Indiana.   

I didn't know those people. I was ashamed of myself for judging them by a TV show. But when I was dealing with infertility, I had such a tough time looking at the guests without forming some serious opinions. Maybe it was jealousy. Maybe it was the hormones. Maybe I should have just stopped watching. If only it wasn't so damn entertaining. And, I'm thinking I'm not alone. It's been on the air for 27 years. 

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Thanks a lot for stopping by! Has my buffoonery made you feel just a little bit better during this trying time? I really hope so. Please consider subscribing to my infrequent blog newsletter at the bottom of the home page and to get more laughs at infertility's expense, come read about my own personal fkd up journey in my little book: Laughing IS Conceivable: One Woman's Extremely Funny Peek into the Extremely Unfunny World of Infertility. It's recommended by world renowned infertility professionals and can be found on this website under "Books": (Duh)     

  

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One Person's Hug is Another Person's Smother

"One Person's Hug is Another Person's Smother." 

"One Person's Hug is Another Person's Smother." 

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I've realized recently how much you can tell about people in your life by the way they hug. My husband Lloyd and I are very affectionate with each other partly because we like to hug and kiss and partly because it skeeves our children. My one daughter in particular, Carly, always attempts to wedge her entire 62 pound self between us to pry us apart. She was probably the only child ever to secretly wish for a crowbar for their twelfth birthday who is not on the FBI's radar. It's her fault that our G-rated hugs sometimes go further down the alphabet in front of our kids. In an attempt to not have her succeed in pulling us apart, Lloyd will grab onto whatever part of me he can. (You're right. Now that I'm typing it, it does seem like an obvious ploy on his part.) Sometimes he will even fuel Carly's fire. She'll be in her room minding her own business doing her homework and Lloyd will yell up the stairs: "Carly, I'm home! And I'm about to kiss Mommy!" The interesting thing is that neither my husband nor I grew up in a home where our parents ever hugged, kissed, or even held hands. So of course back then I always thought that parents showing affection to each other was normal only on sitcoms. I once was at my friend's house in high school and saw her parents kissing and flirting. I said to my friend: "What is this like a second marriage thing?"

 

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But I'm not comfortable hugging everybody. Let's face it, nobody is comfortable hugging people whom you know are not "huggers"... like my sister and my father-in-law. They both hug from three feet away like I'm still eight months pregnant. They don't squeeze. They sort of just tap your back with their hands.  It's about as warm and fuzzy as hugging a cinder block. 

And what about friends? Anyone else still stumped on what the protocol is when you run into a friend on the street or meet up with someone you haven't seen in a while? I always get it wrong. I over think. In that three seconds it takes to visually identify the person and make my way over there, I've already weighed the eighty possible scenarios: "Oh geez, is this the one who kisses one cheek? Or is she the one who kisses both cheeks like we're in France? No, wait, I think she's a double hand grabber. Or is this the one who hugs? I guess she'll hug over and I'll go under because I'm shorter. And remember the number one unwritten rule: If we have an accidental boob bump, neither party will ever ever mention it. And then what do I do with her boyfriend? What's currently acceptable for a woman hugging a straight male friend? Do I shake his right hand and put my left arm around his back like another guy would? Or do I hug him like when I G-rate hug Lloyd and then forever wonder if he was trying to cop a feel like Lloyd does? When you see someone you know approaching and know it's going to end in an embrace, I say: Yell out instructions: "Grab both hands! Kiss right cheek!" For me, it might clear up all of my indecisiveness which typically results in something closer to a mugging than a greeting.   

Thanks a lot for stopping by!  Please stay tuned for previews of my latest book:

"Laughing IS Conceivable: No Matter How Many You're Carrying". Insanity in its Infancy

It's about getting pregnant with, staying pregnant with, giving birth to, and caring for-- more than one baby. Coming Soon! In the meantime: If you'd like Laughing IS Conceivable updates, please subscribe to my not-ridiculously-frequent newsletter at the bottom of my home page. And if you'd like more laughs at life's expense, kindly check out my books in my Laughing IS Conceivable series at the menu at the top... (One book is for parents right about now & one is for those dealing with infertility anytime.) 

 

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I've Just Been Malled

I revel in my immaturity. Maybe it's not immaturity as much as it is childlike-ness. I'm proud of the fact that I've pretty much liked and disliked the same things my whole life. So that makes me ponder: "What in the world did I ever see in the mall?" I think I do know the answer: "Freedom". It was the first place my parents ever dumped me off with a friend, let us walk around unaccompanied for hours and then picked us up later. I think I was about 12 but since my kids just turned 12 on Friday and that ain't gonna happen... let's just say I was 15. In fact why don't we just forget the "drop-off" part altogether and say I was 16 and drove myself? 

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I'm not much of a shopper so I guess the whole mall appeal did wear off for me about the time I got a driver's license but that's where I found myself, for 5 hours no less, the other day.. When my triplets were small, their birthdays were easy. We rented a bouncy house party place, invited all of their friends to eat cake and get bouncy house burns on their arms and legs for 3 hours. That was then. Using my sound parental judgment, I thought that inviting a group of kids in varying stages of puberty might bring a whole new unwanted meaning to "the bouncy house". So for the past 2 years, I've let my kids each plan a "birthday day" to do whatever he or she wanted. This year, my daughter Carly picked the mall. Did I drop off her and her friend? Of course not. I walked 3 paces behind them for 5 hours like I was the Secret Service. I know that this would be the perfect time and place to critique my daughter's thirst for shopping that she inherited from I don't know where, but she actually did a pretty good job of shopping responsibly and not begging me for shit that I had no intention of buying. Instead, I feel more compelled to critique some of the stores. I read on the internet that if I write about the mall, I can write off all of her birthday purchases on my taxes next year. 

My disdain for certain mall stores has always been there. I distinctly remember being 17 and walking in and out of any store where the sales people seemed to be working on commission. I couldn't bear being followed around the store and asked "May I help you?" 5 times by 5 different sales people in a span of 10 minutes. (I think I actually preferred the ones who just followed me around because I was a teenager and figured I was shoplifting.) 

My short list of most annoying mall stores according to me and nobody else:

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Sephora: I am what I am so people and places that pretend to be something irk me. $20 for a blending sponge for those too high class to buy their make-up at Walgreen's. But it was the faux friendliness that was the most annoying. I told the greeter at the door that my daughter wanted the free mini-makeover as part of her birthday day. After she told us the makeover wasn't available she said: "Happy Birthday!!" with such exuberance to my daughter's friend who is of a totally different ethnic background than us as opposed to my daughter who looks like me with glasses which makes me think in all of her exuberance, the sales woman didn't even look at us.

        .   

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Build-a-Bear You've all undoubtedly heard by now about their debacle where they offered the bears at the price of your kid's age so a $30 bear suddenly became $5. (I thought of going in there to build myself a bear but didn't see the point in paying $54 for a $30 bear. ) Not that my daughter and her friend --2 sophisticated tweens-- went anywhere near this place the other day. I just hate places that make little kids want things that are so overpriced and that most of their parents can't afford.. and that require a la carte accessories. (You can imagine how I feel about American Girl dolls). I found that craze a few weeks ago very strange. People stood in line for hours and hours with toddlers. For what possible reason? Did their 3 year old say: "Hey Mommy, did you read on Facebook about the great deal that Build-A-Bear is having? Can we go? Please?!" 

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Claire's:  This is by far my least favorite mall store. Never mind that my daughter got her ears pierced there last year and almost had to go through life with a latex glove and a salesgirl's finger attached to her lobe. Also never mind the absurdly bright lights that make you feel like you got your pupils dilated at the eye doctor's then took a stroll on the sun. It's the blatant attempt to rip off young girls that I mind. Glitzy, novelty crap with jacked-up prices. Oh, but they have a great deal! Buy 3 glitzy novelty crap items with jacked up prices and get 3 free. My daughter's friend, when I wasn't looking, got a few trinkets that rang up as $40. Of course the cashier didn't tell her that what she had picked as her "3 free items" were not going to be her "3 free items" because they weren't the cheapest items she had picked. The woman just told her: "The free items come off at the end." When the girl had enough presence of mind to tell her to refund everything, the woman said: "You can pick cheaper items if you want." When she said "no" to that, the woman countered with: "Or you can buy one and get half off something else." Wait, let me go outside and look at the sign. Are we at a mall or a carnival?       

I guess we can deduce then, that I'm fine with the food  court, the parking, the kiosks, and the other hundred or so stores in the mall. My favorite mall stores by far though are the ones that nobody ever makes me go into.  

Thanks a lot for stopping by!  Please stay tuned for previews of my latest book: "Laughing IS Conceivable: No Matter How Many You're Carrying". Insanity in its Infancy -about getting pregnant with, staying pregnant with, giving birth to, and caring for-- more than one baby. Coming Soon! In the meantime: If you'd like Laughing IS Conceivable updates, please subscribe to my not-ridiculously-frequent newsletter at the bottom of my home page. And if you'd like more laughs at life's expense, kindly check out my books in my Laughing IS Conceivable series at the menu at the top... (One book is for parents right about now & one is for those dealing with infertility anytime.) 

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The Envelope Please- Awards for my Family, Friends, & Co-Workers

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My kids recently got a bunch of year-end awards at school. I'm proud to say that among the three of them, they amassed a whopping twelve awards. When I was a kid, the awards they gave in school were based mostly on academic achievement. If you did the best on a standardized test or had the highest grades, or were the best athlete, you got an award. If you didn't, screw you. But things are different nowadays. Even the older kids are given awards for being the friendliest or the most helpful or most respectful. Why can't life be like that? We should get a certificate of achievement for everything. And I have a few I'd like to give out myself: 

Co-Workers:

The Practice Makes Imperfect Award- For the coworker who started out okay and as time goes on, actually, somehow, inexplicably, seems to get worse at their job. 

The Consistency Award- For the coworker who made a lot of mistakes at the beginning and five years later, is still making the exact same mistakes. 

The Selfish Bastard Award: For the coworker who regularly shows up late, leaves early, and does nothing in between, totally unconcerned if they're lousing up everyone else's schedule or doubles their workload.

The Selfish, Annoying, Bastard Award: For the coworker who meets all of the requirements of the previous award recipient plus, when they finally do show up to work, they sit there and talk to you the whole time. So not only are they giving you more work because they're not doing their job, they won't leave you alone long enough to do yours,

Friends & Family:

The "I Couldn't Be On Time If My Life Depended On It" Award: Pretty self-explanatory. For that person who makes plans to meet you at 2 pm and while you're still standing on the corner waiting for them like a dumb-ass at 3, finally answers your text: "Sorry I'm running late. I'm just going to jump into the shower."   

The Worst Timing / Pervert Award: For the person who only calls or knocks on your door when you're, for whatever reason, naked.

The "I Can Wear Anything." "No You Can't" Award: For the person who wears clothing whose shape, size, and / or color were never ever intended to be worn by them.   

The Promise But Don't Mean It Award: For that person who will always be there for you, any day, any time to_________ (babysit, help you move, help you pick out your wedding dress, plan a birthday party, return your library book) just not that Thursday, Friday or Tuesday that you________ (need a babysitter, are going to pick out your wedding dress, are planning the birthday party or your library book is due.)    

The "Most Likely" Awards:

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To The Teacher Most Likely to get pregnant and quit before the end of the semester.

To The Family Member Most Likely to hold a grudge for more than a decade.

To The Coworker Most Likely to flip out on a client.

To: The Child Most Likely to interrupt a private urination with a very important story involving a TV episode.   

To: The Cashier Most Likely to go on break and be replaced by the "Trainee" when it's my turn.   

To: The Friend Most Likely to interrupt my story so they can top it with their story. 

To: The Neighbor Most Likely to mow the lawn at 5 a.m.   

To: The Relative Most Likely to say multiple times that they'll come visit next time they have time off but never does. (And with this award comes my heartfelt thanks.)

Thanks a lot for stopping by! If you'd like more laughs at life's expense- please consider heading over to my home page and signing up to my not-overly-frequent newsletter or purchasing one of my little books.   

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Live Chats Will Be the Death of Me

I like to think of myself as a relatively intelligent person. So then tell me: When I need customer service or tech support, why oh why do I fall prey to the "Live Chat" option every single time? 

I think I get lured in because "Live Chat" sounds like the best option, doesn't it? I have a question or an issue and there's a highly trained professional waiting there in the wings like my personal customer service / tech support butler just waiting for me to beckon. No searching for a viable email address to send my question or concern to where I wait with my fingers on the keyboard for 72 hours for an answer. (Where the only immediate answer I get is: "Assisting you is our #1 priority. A representative will get back to you within 3-5 business days.") Personally, I usually prefer a good old-fashioned phone conversation. But hey, "Live Chat"- no waiting on hold listening to the same music, sales pitches and messages-- "I know my call is important to you. You've told me that 40 times in the last 20 minutes." And when there's finally a break in the music, messages, and sales pitches, no getting my hopes up that the silence is an indication that someone's finally about to actually pick up my call.  Plus, a lot of places I've dealt with lately don't even offer phone support anymore. Maybe word about me has gotten around. So "Live Chat" it is. Don't get me wrong. I've had excellent "Live Chats"  a few times. 3 out of 72 isn't bad. Most of the others, no matter how seemingly simple or complicated the issue, this is pretty much how every one of the other 69 "Live Chats" has gone:

I start with the obligatory contact form. Name. Got it!  Email: I'm on a roll. Subject: I can't type it. Oh no. It's got a little arrow. It's the dreaded drop-down menu... The first option: Definitely not. 2nd: Maybe but not really. 3rd: Don't know what that is. 4th: Definitely getting colder. 5th: Colder. 6th: Freezing! Freezing! 7th: Am I even on the right website? I just pick anything and head for the "Message" box. Finally. I can freely express myself. I can pour out all of my details: Everything this company's put me through since I first got involved with them in 1986 and ending with: "Quick question: The promotion that I had with your cable company is about to expire. I see that in the new packages, in order to get the football channels, I would have to sign up for the whole sports package which is mostly soccer channels. Can I just pay separately for only the football channels?" A few minutes later, after promising that a person will be right with me, they really are.

"Hi Lori! I'm Jamie! Hope you're doing great today!"

I always wonder if there really is a "Jamie" or it's just a generic unisex name they give anyone willing to be verbally abused for minimum wage so that when they leave, another batch of "Jamies" can seamlessly take over.  

"How can I help you?"

"Didn't you read my 6 page message with footnotes and a bibliography?"

"Great question! (Yay for me.)... One moment please."

Then nothing. Finally it says: "Jamie is typing" and the little ellipses dots start floating. 

"If I understand you correctly, you're looking to get The Soccer Channel, right?" 

"No. I'm looking to not get The Soccer Channel. I want football only."

"I can help you with that! One moment please..." 

(Jamie is typing.)

"I just checked with my supervisor. Yes! Football is part of the soccer package."

"I don't want the soccer package! What is so difficult?" I cut and pasted photos with arrows pointing to them. "I want this. Not this. Can I..." 

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(Jamie is typing.)

Oh great, now we're typing at the same time. Now I'm getting frustrated. I've gotten pretty good at typing frustration.

"Can... I... get... the FOOTBALL channels without buying the whole soccer package? N-F-L. A-La-Carte. Possible??? Yes or no?"

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"This question will have to be escalated to Customer Service. They will be in touch with you in 2-3 business days. Nice chatting with you!"

"Customer service? Then who the..."

(Jamie has ended the chat.)  

"Jamie?! Jamie?!" Where did he / she go?

The good news is: I've been escalated so many times, the next time I get suckered into a "Live Chat", I won't have far to go to jump off the roof.

Thanks a lot for stopping by! If you'd like Laughing IS Conceivable updates, please subscribe to my not-ridiculously-frequent newsletter at the bottom of my home page. And if you'd like more laughs at life's expense, kindly check out my books at the menu at the top.

 

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