laugh therapy

Why Holiday Parties at Work Don't Work for Infertile People

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"At This Company, We’re Really Like Family" 

Why do people think that's a selling point at a job interview? So you're telling me that you get on each other's nerves, push each other's buttons, talk behind each other's backs, and hold grudges for generations?

Mercifully, most of our extended real family, the ones with whom we spend holidays, are people we don't see that often. So whatever idiocies are said at the big family gathering at holidays…

"I really think you should start having children. You're not getting any younger."

Or our response:

"I really think you should stop talking. You're not getting any smarter."

...are said and then we all get into our respective cars, gripe to anyone unfortunate enough to be trapped in there with us for the long & getting-longer-by-the-minute-ride-home, or a BFF on the other end of the hands-free. Then we rehash the emotional leftovers in our minds and to our spouses for the next 12 months. It's different after the company holiday event.

Infertility at Work: The Company Holiday Party: (Gd help us all... everyone.)

If someone you've confided in at work about your fertility struggles starts gabbing at the big company celebration, maybe opening up at the open bar, or maybe you yourself start sailing your secrets down the River Rum... unlike with your family, you won't have to deal with the backlash until.....Not next Thanksgiving. Not next Christmas..... Monday.

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And since a juicy bit of gossip is often the best holiday bonus people can bring home nowadays- Any seeds of "news" employees start spreading at the holiday party 2018 (assuming they even remember the holiday party 2018) will grow and flourish until New Year's Day... 2020. When finally you'll be able to get up off the hot seat because at least one of the following will have taken place:

  1. You'll be pregnant (yeah!) and they'll switch from discussing how infertile you were to how fat you are.

  2. You'll be a parent and they'll switch to discussing how much time you're taking off.

  3. People will finally have grown as tired of your infertility as you have.

  4. A fair number of employees at the December 2018 holiday party won't even be at the December 2019 holiday party because those holiday parties are only for company employees— Something which, for one reason or other, many will no longer be a year later. Of course, the most likely thing to occur to get you off the hot seat:

  5. Something new and way more delicious than your humdrum infertility will emerge at the 2019 party as the new reigning scandal:

A good old-fashioned boisterous, public cursing out; The manager feeding appetizers to the assistant manager from her cleavage; The CFO going to get her coat to leave and throwing up in the cloak room window... The possibilities are endless.

(I really appreciate you taking time at this very busy time of year to stop by. I hope you feel even just a little bit better than you did when you got here. If you'd like more laughter at infertility's expense, please check out my book Laughing IS Conceivable: One Woman's Extremely Funny Peek into the Extremely Unfunny World of Infertility and consider subscribing to my not-overly-frequent newsletter. Both can be done at the bottom of my home page: http://laughingisconceivable.com (Amazon direct link: https://www.amazon.com//dp/B007G9X19A/)  

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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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Laughing IS Conceivable: Not Just for Infertility Anymore

(The original "Ted Talks")

"It all started at a 5000 watt radio station in Fresno California." Of course this is Ted Baxter's story on The Mary Tyler Moore Show not my story but this is what I feel like I'm about to tell you. Laughing IS Conceivable started while I was struggling to get pregnant as a way for me to get my frenetic ramblings out of my head and onto paper where they luckily evolved into a book instead of one very long, incoherent suicide note. I've known since I was little that I saw things in life at an angle. (This coming from a girl who barely limbo-ed her way under the geometry bar before it crushed her trachea.) Maybe it's just me mentally and emotionally removing myself from situations that I can't handle or understand. Maybe it's self-preservation. Maybe it's denial. All I know is my mind has always gone into joke mode at seemingly the most inappropriate times. (Speaking of The Mary Tyler Moore Show- See the "Chuckles Bites the Dust" episode. That would be me- wisecracking at a funeral.)

Like just yesterday, a friend posted that her ex, her children's father, had died. So I'm scrolling down and everyone's sending their condolences and prayers and then I notice one post from one of her neighbors I guess: "I know this is a bad time, but if you're done with my step ladder, could I please have it back?" Obviously this particular ridiculousness wasn't just in my head. All I could think of was: "We're talking a step ladder here. So he's not looking to save a cat on a roof or anything. He's looking to make himself three feet taller." I felt like replying: "Yeah, now may not be the best time for her. Don't you have a kitchen chair you could stand on?"

So, realizing that everyone's mind doesn't go astray like mine does in times of crisis, I wrote that Laughing IS Conceivable book for others going through infertility who actually just try to deal with their problems without mocking them, hoping that my mocking and sarcasm might help.

From there, I started this Laughing IS Conceivable blog to further help others and to help sell the damn book. So now what? The whole theme of almost everything I've written over the years to me has always been: Laughing IS Conceivable... and Humor Heals.  With that in mind, I'm now looking to branch out into other areas besides infertility. Don't get me wrong (or like they say on the Maury show: "Don't get me twisted!") 12 1/2 years and 3 kids later, infertility is still and will always be a part of my life and my writing. But I'm exploring other topics that interest me and are, in my opinion, as equally worthy of mocking and sarcasm as infertility. What do all of these topics have in common? They're all extremely stressful seasons in a person's life. And they're times that many many people have to deal with in a course of a lifetime--and they're all things I've personally gone through like: Living below the poverty line, losing your parents, raising multiples, having a dead-end job (or several), relocating, anxiety issues, dieting and exercising...  No. No heartrending stories of abuse or neglect. Just stresses that I've been through in the course of my life so far... How about in your life so far? Anything sound familiar? Ring a bell? Anything?

Everything in Laughing IS Conceivable world is being revamped to reflect the shift. In the coming months, I will have a brand new website, a new book, audio-book versions, and a podcast where I can publicly interview renowned professionals and ask them personal questions that nobody ever asks them.

"Would you still be a fertility doctor if it paid $40,000 a year?" (Would that be wrong?--  It's one thing to read my words, but what a treat it will be for you to hear my actual voice. It's soothing  melodic, and uplifting: Like a hybrid of Deepak Chopra,  the Little Mermaid, and Joy Behar.)

I will keep posting here regularly while it's all in the works. I really appreciate all of your support. I hope you will come along with me on this Laughing IS Conceivable adventure... (For updates, please join my list of subscribers: http://laughingisconceivable.com- top of home page)

Current Books in the Laughing IS Conceivable Series on Amazon, B & N, & Kobo:

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

La Risa ES Concebible. (Spanish Version of Infertility Book) 

Laughing IS Conceivable: From End of School to Back-to-School- I love my kids. I love my kids. I LOVE my kids.