So, what were we talking about? Oh right. This week is filled with holidays for me. From Labor day to Rosh Hashanah, (the Jewish New Year). Yesterday we were talking about how the infertile among us dread holidays and despise family functions. And my theory (my Masters thesis) is that most people, those with normally functioning reproductive systems included, also hate going to these wingdings. And this is why:
Approaching holidays fill us with expectations: Expectations to be happy, to celebrate, to be around family, to skip down memory lane, all of us together, hand in hand.
But then, when we turn over the engraved expectation list written in dainty gold calligraphy on perfumed stationery, and on the other side, scribbled in leaky pen with a mayonnaise stain on it, is our dirty little real expectation list.
We expect that everyone will get to together. We expect that most don't want to be there. Most are there because they don't want to be the person who's talked about behind their back.
We expect that at least one person will say something to humiliate himself and at least one person will say something to humiliate someone else.
We expect some cousin to tell you how well he's doing in his business even though everyone present, even the kids, know it's B.S.
We expect some aunt to tell you how well her kid is doing and everyone else to be thinking: "Does she really not know he's a loser?"
We expect some to over-drink and all to over-eat.
We expect all the food will be great while we're sitting within earshot of the person who brought it and most of the food will stink when we all talk about it on the drive home.
And we expect at least one person in each vehicle to put in the request:
"Remind me not to do this again next year."
But those with infertility issues also expect scrutiny and being judged and being made to feel uncomfortable:
Personal questions, embarrassing questions, extremely "not-anybody's-business" questions.
And I'm here to remind you that, while all of their baby plumbing may be functioning correctly, your dear relatives have plenty they don't want to talk about either:
Don't ask your cousin Brian why he's 40 and still living with his college roommate.
Don't ask your uncle Steve why he was on the news with his jacket over his face
Don't ask your sister-in-law Brenda why she lives in a mansion and drives a BMW to the food stamp office
Don't ask your brother-in-law Sam how he failed his driving test four times and his GED three times
Don't ask your mother-in-law why every time she makes her "special-family recipe" stuffing, there's always an empty Stovetop box in the garbage
Don't ask your second cousin Bill why he spends his days collecting disability and training for an ironman triathlon
And the ultimate goal for the family festivities: After the whole debacle is over, be that person in the car who says:
"Remind me not to do this again next year".......And then write it on your appointment calendar so you don't forget!
Listen I gotta go. If you don't get to the cake early at a Jewish family function, you could starve to death.