So what were we talking about? Oh right. My first appointment with the fertility doctor. I was telling you yesterday how I tried to enter my year of birth into the computer at check-in and it nearly exploded. Apparently it wasn’t used to mature women such as myself signing in. I wondered if everyone was looking at me standing there forever and figured I was just one of those old people who grew up before the computer age and never learned how to use one. I sat down among them in the waiting room and looked around.
Every woman in the room appeared to be young; very very young. Apparently panic attacks can cause hallucinations. For a second I thought it was a Girl Scout troop. I blinked hard like I was Jeannie. (I just gave my age away again, didn’t I? Come on, Nick-at-Nite, reruns, yeah, yeah, that’s where I’ve seen it.)
I surveyed the room again. I felt like I was a contestant among other contestants in a Miss America pageant and someone was about to mistake me for Miss South Dakota’s aunt. I tried to engross myself in a magazine. There was Madonna on the cover. Great. Had her first child at sixty. Still looking fab at seventy-two. I turned it over in disgust leaving Seventeen magazine for the next old infertile masochist.
I turned my attention to the forms I was given to fill out with a pen that was chained to my clipboard. I looked at the women around me and their pens and clipboards. Mine seemed to have an unusually short chain.
It was a conspiracy. Clearly the staff didn’t want me there. And as for the other women…Here was a group of ladies, all of whom were like me- Potentially suffering some reproductive malfunctions- and I still hated their guts. I think the true definition of low self-esteem is when you can look at a group of people who share your afflictions and still envy them….
Why couldn’t I have had fertility problems at twenty-eight like that girl over there? If I have to have fertility problems why couldn’t I at least have that girl’s hair? Or that girl’s bracelet? Or that girl’s best friend? Or that girl’s cell phone?
Then my hallucinations started again. This time they were the therapeutic, self-image booster variety. The “twenty-eight” year old, I called her Staceeé ( spelled with three “e”’s and an accent aigu. I figured she may as well be cutesy, pretentious, and idiotic), was not quite so young after all. In fact her fertility issues, as I fabricated them, were caused by complications from her Alzheimer’s medications. I had never heard of that happening before but there you are.
The girl with the hair was evidently not so young either. It seems Penelope had been married for thirty years, divorced when her husband discovered she had gone back to being a sixties cover band groupie and was now trying to have a baby with her eighteen year old boyfriend Gustav who may or may not love her for her green card. I put my hallucinogenic arm around her and we cried together. We bonded immediately.
Then there was dainty Helen with the bracelet. She had always wanted to have children. But until she was forty-eight her name was Sergio and he was a welder in Pittsburgh.
His wife had had children from a previous relationship with Julio Iglesias, but now, as a female…I interrupted her at this juncture to ask if she knew Chaz (née Chastity) Bono. She said “No” that all transgender people didn’t know each other as I had believed and asked how I could know back then, in 2005, that Chastity was going to become Chaz in 2009.
By the time my husband came back from answering a call on his cell phone in the hallway, not only did I have everyone in the waiting area neatly named and demoralized, I had the median age of the room set at sixty-three. It would have been higher had I not figured myself into the math.
Listen, I gotta go. Miss Lalani just rang the bell. It’s time for my monthly hula lesson. I’ll talk to you tomorrow……….