"Sharing the Holidays with Close Friends- Who Needs It?" (Wednesday)

(Start with "Monday" if you can. That's when I'm usually full of energy (or full of something). By mid-week I lose my luster. My posts may not be brilliant, but you might find my daily decline entertaining. And consider becoming a subscriber. I send out weekly emails. You can witness what shape I'm in on the weekend.) So, what were we talking about? Oh right. How instead of lamenting our infertility situation and being envious of our friends with kids, we should focus on the facts: How incredibly dull our friends become during the holidays.

Never is this more evident than in their greeting cards. Bad enough we have to see the one big happy family all dolled up in their holiday best. Must they also sneak in their annual: "Our Family's Year in Review"?

If you've been fortunate enough never to have received one: It's like the New York Times "Week in Review", except instead of being "All the News That's Fit to Print", it's "All the Boring Sht That's Fit to Flush".


And they never sum up their whole year of tedium in one sentence: 

"2010 was a great year for the Gibsons! Hope it was for your family too!"

No, they have to go month by excruciating month. And of course they have to highlight the dullest details they can dig up. 


Leslie started gymnastics! The teacher says she's a natural! Maybe she'll be in the 2015 Olympics!

(Okay, not only am I already bored, I'm already offended. There are no summer Olympics in 2015.  Is it so hard to "Google"? Geez, how can you be boring and inaccurate in the same sentence?)  


In addition to gymnastics, Leslie started dance class. She takes tap, jazz, and modern. The teacher says she's a natural! Maybe she'll be on "So You Think You Can Dance 2025!"

(Or maybe she'll be on "Cops" getting cuffed for selling crack: Rebelling for being forced into a life of extra-curricular activities at such a tender age.)


Stephen is on the honor roll for the first time!

(I suppose it's easier to just make note of that in March, than mention the dozens of  previous months when he didn't make the honor roll. There also seems to be no mention of him in April, when, sources tell me, he reverted back to being an imbecile.)

If you've got to send us this nonsense (and I don't really see why anyone would), could you at least throw us a bone and include some of the juicy stuff?

January: My husband Frank nearly drove us all into a tree watching a twenty year old in size zero jeans cross the street.

February:  I tried to return an ugly night gown that Frank bought me for Christmas. The manager at JC Penney said I waited too long. I got a little upset and security had to escort me out. It was really no big deal. Made the local papers though. 

March:  Got the phone bill. Our son Stephen apparently racked up $1200 calling 1-900-lick this. 

April: I won the bake-off at the state fair with my chocolate chip cookies! I wonder if I should have mentioned that they were Chips Ahoy. 

May: Frank hired a new guy to cut the grass. A real cutie patootie.  He could mow my lawn anytime. 

But nobody ever gives us anything like that to hold us over until the next year. Every December I walk to the mail box like I'm walking to the electric chair. The driveway is my Green Mile. I open up the mail box and take out the contents, my hands trembling: " A bill, good. Another bill, good. Another bill, good. A greeting card from Lisa.  ( I suck in my breath.)And I see several folded sheets of paper in the envelope. Shoot me."  

Listen I gotta go. I have to watch "A Charlie Brown Christmas". My husband taped it for me last night. So if you know how it ends, don't tell me.

Be sure to check out a new article on surviving the holidays by psychologist and social worker

Irene Celcer:

I'll talk to you tomorrow.

"Sharing the Holidays with Close Friends-Who Needs It?" (Tuesday)

(Start with "Monday" if you can. I don't really remember what I wrote. Could you maybe take a look and let me know if it was any good?) So, what were we talking about? Oh right. Holidays. The time of year when your friends become your "friends".

When I was going through infertility treatments, I always felt especially low at this time of year: Low in self-esteem, low on holiday cheer and particularly low on my friends' priority lists.And everything high on their priority lists was something I really dreaded discussing:  Buying gifts  for... the kids. Buying holiday outfits  for... The kids.  The holiday TV shows that we grew up with that they watched last night with ... the kids. (Didn't this used to be a humor blog? What the hell happened to me?)

Conversations like: "Mikayla wants this new special edition (Prostitute Barbie, Butch Barbie, whatever it was- who was listening?..Oh good, I'm back)..." 

And the conversation went on and on and on: "I've tried online but nobody has that Barbie. It was $105 at Macy's but I heard it was $95 at Toys-R-US. Anyway, I've got to run home. We're going to see Santa. This will be the first time Sean has seen him. I'm going to dress him up in this adorable onesie I bought that says 'Grandma let me eat Santa's cookies'. Isn't that cute? Do you think I should take the kids to a place to get their pictures done for the holiday cards or should I just use the ones from the mall?"  

With each passing word, I wanted to rip another facial feature off of her face because: 1) She has children to run around and do all this crap for. 2) She'll have adorable photos to keep forever. 3) She's squandering $95 on a  doll for a three year old when she could be supporting the Fertility Clinics of America. Make the check out to me. Trust me, one way or another, they'll get it. 4) She brought back the memory of me ringing her bell early one Saturday morning years ago, and her husband opening the door wearing some Dr. Denton onesie pajamas. I'd hoped I'd repressed that memory forever.     

We spend so much time feeling so excluded during the holidays and so separated from our friends that we forget one very important thing:

Our friends are at their absolute most BORING during the holidays. We want their company but we shouldn't. They're a total drag to be around. Nowhere is this more evident than when they send us holiday greeting cards. No, I don't mean the card itself or what they've written. It's what's so cleverly slipped inside the card. No, not a gift card. That would be nice.

"Hey look, Honey! Mia sent us a $10,000 IVF Center gift card! Look what it says on it: 'This Season, Put Your Money Where Your Uterus is. Happy Holidays: From Our Family to Your Future One!'"   

No, what I'm referring to: Does anyone else ever receive, from their friends, especially those who live far away---the much dreaded annual: "Our Family's Year in Review" insert?

Let's talk more about that tomorrow. I've got a whole chubby stack of 'em from years gone by stuffed into my "W" file. That's "W" for "Who gives a .....?

Listen, I gotta go. There are only two more days of Chanukah left and I'm way behind on my overeating and artery clogging.

I'll talk with ya again tomorrow. In the meantime, if you like what you just read, please consider becoming a subscriber to my weekly updates. If you don't like what you read, take a look at "The Health Experts". There's a new article from Iréné Celcer about surviving the holidays. She's a psychologist and social worker and she's definitely not me. Maybe you'll like her better.

"Sharing the Holidays with Close Friends-Who Needs It?" (Monday)

I have no friends during the holidays. And frankly, that's the way I want it. I think those going through infertility make a big mistake in believing that this is the time you really need your friends the most. You definitely need your infertility-friends the most. The rest of them: They're of no use to me.Most of my friends are too busy shopping, cooking, rushing around, or just plain being overwhelmed. They're all absorbed in their own little lives and their own little rituals and traditions. They're thinking: "Oh no, here comes Lori with her beaten down ovaries again. I just don't have time for this now!" That's fine. Because I'm thinking: "Oh no, here comes Liz with that glazed over: 'Just one more store! Just one more store! I promised myself: Just one more store!'" look in her eyes. She's a wreck. How can I lean on her right now? She looks twenty years older than when I saw her the week before Thanksgiving.

Her hair's a mess. She looks like she hasn't slept in a week. It's 9 AM and she's eating greasy french fries and a candy apple out of a Saks Fifth Avenue bag. Ew let me avoid her until sometime in February. By then she'll have cashed in her annual spa gift certificate from her thoughtful if none too imaginative husband. Then we can continue on merrily with our relationship for the next many months.  

Geez look at her. I don't even want to go near her. I hope that spa has someone trained in CPR... or at least licensed to write a prescription for anti-anxiety medication...something...I mean look at the shape of her. I really don't think a facial's going to do it this year.  

So, right, my friends don't want to be around me during the holiday season. Well, as luck would have it, I don't want to be around them either.   

I have a self-imposed restraining order. I don't come within a hundred yards of any friends. (I'd say fifty yards, but my normal speaking voice tends to carry without me really trying.) I swear if I walk into a store I frequent and the cashier says: "Hey, your friend just came in. ", I turn around and wait in my car.

Stress, exhaustion, frustration, financial strains. Wow. I never realized how much infertility and holiday shopping had in common.

So this week we'll be discussing exactly how useless our friends are to us at this time of year. All the articles this month from Health Experts will be centered around: "Get Through the Holidays... Any Way You Can"  The first article just arrived and is by psychologist and social worker Iréné Celcer. Take a look if you can.

Read about Iréné on her profile: 

Listen, I gotta go.  It's Monday during the holiday season and the only employee who showed up at work today... well, will probably be me if I can coerce myself into getting dressed.  

I'll talk with ya again tomorrow.