relatives

Infertile People are NOT the Only Ones Who Dread Holiday Gatherings

I don’t buy those smiles… not for a minute.

I don’t buy those smiles… not for a minute.

Expectations. They’ll get you every time. Approaching holidays fill people with expectations and people dealing with infertility with our own dirty little list of expectations tacked on to those.

Year after year, a lot of people seem to head towards the holidays expecting to be happy, to celebrate, to be around family, to open up fabulous gifts that we’ve always dreamed of, to give fabulous gifts that our friends and family members have always dreamed of, to skip down memory lane, everyone together hand in hand, fa la la la la, la la la la. Okay, let’s all shake ourselves awake for a second here. Here are the REAL expectations that we can REALLY expect. (Do note that most of these are “include alls” meaning- they will apply to holidays with friends, families, and coworkers equally.)  

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First, we expect that we’ll feel obligated to spend too much money to buy presents for people who don’t deserve them and won’t appreciate them. Then, we expect that everyone will get together. We expect that many don't want to be there. Many are simply there because they don't want to be the person who's talked about behind their back… and also, of course, for the copious amounts of free food and alcohol. 

We expect that at least one person will say something to humiliate him or herself and at least one person will say something to humiliate someone else.

As for specifics with family gatherings:

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 bullshit.

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 to be declared to be “crap” 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:    

So, remember:

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Don't ask your 40 year old cousin Brian why he's still living with his college roommate. (Better to keep thinking it’s a beautiful romance than to suddenly confirm it’s a really creepy bromance.) 

Don't ask your uncle Steve why he was on the news with his jacket over his face.

Don't ask your designer-obsessed 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 that’s been passed down from generation to generation on her father’s side, there are always a bunch of empty Stovetop boxes in the garbage.

Don't ask your second cousin Bill why he spends his days collecting disability from a fall at work and training for an ironman triathlon.

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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!

Thanks a lot for stopping by! I hope you feel even just a little bit better than you did when you got here a few minutes ago. If you’d like more laughs at this moment in your life, please consider subscribing to my not-overly-frequent newsletter and / or buying my book for yourself or someone else who could use it this holiday season. All can be done 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

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

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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

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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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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Mother's Day for Women with Infertile Bodies & Fertile Minds

The Land of Infertility is sometimes referred to as: The Land of If. On Mother's Day, we modify it further to: "The Land of 'What Ifs'. "

How did you handle the "Mother's Day What Ifs" this year?

Those who are going through infertility are typically pretty spectacular at conjuring up "What Ifs" at record speed. But really,  how many Mother's Day "What Ifs" can one woman with an infertile body but incredibly fertile mind create in her head?

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Some quick calculations here: 270 per minute, x 60 minutes in an hour x 24 hours in a day, carry the 6, divide by my BMI... Got it. The average woman going through infertility can create 8,626,509 "what if" thoughts in two weeks. And how many are positive thoughts? Quick calculations here... Carry the 4. Subtract my zip code. Divide by my BMI again. Okay, the answer is "zero".

What IF:

1. ...I run into someone I know on Mother's Day and they say: "Happy Mother's Day"?

If they don't know you don't have kids, you can't be that kind of close to them. So screw 'em: Say "You too!"... even if it's a guy... and keep on walkin'. The last thing you want to do is have an actual conversation with this person.

2.  ...I feel pressured by my family to go to my mother's for Mother's Day?

Drink herbal tea and hear Deepak Chopra's voice in your head until the feeling passes. Later, you can call your mother from the spa, the gym or the inside of a pint of Edy's cookies and cream to wish her a happy day.

3. ...I actually go out with my family for Mother's Day like every other year and everyone starts asking me when I'm going to become a mother already?

All of the following are acceptable answers: "I don't think now's the right time to discuss it." "I'd rather not talk about it." And if they still persist: "I'll tell you later" and then just don't, or my favorite: "None of your fucking business. Will you people let it go already?"

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4. ...I feel depressed the whole day?

See "Edy's" comment above.

The point is: Just like there's no wrong way to eat a Reese's peanut butter cup (and I truly believe that with all my heart and soul- like how Oprah always asks: "What do you know for sure?" That's what I know for sure.), there's no wrong way to spend Mother's Day. The only obligation is to yourself. If you want to go out and feed your body and soul at the beach or hiking in the woods or at a spa, great. If you want to hide from the world and be depressed... uh...am I wrong or isn't that what guilty pleasures were invented for?: Reading your back issues of US magazine, bubble baths, manicures, watching a Real Housewives of Anywhere marathon or using only curse words for 12 straight hours... This weekend... it's up to you... it's all about you.  And I'm talking as an expert here. Between the time I lost my mom to the time I got finally pregnant, there were count 'em- 19 Mother's Days. So for once I know what I'm talking about here. Hang in there! xo

And if you'd like some more laughs at infertility's expense... -please consider my book: Laughing IS Conceivable: One Woman's Extremely Funny Peek into the Extremely Unfunny World of Infertility. It's recommended by renowned fertility professionals around the U.S. and subscribing to my not-ridiculously-frequent newsletter-- both are on the home page.

 

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"Year-in-Review"- Why oh Why Must They?

We all know that holidays can be tough for people dealing with infertility. We brace ourselves for getting attacked from all sides: Family, friends, coworkers... Even though it's almost always unintentional, everybody throws their kids in your face with great enthusiasm: They'll tell you what they're buying the kids for Christmas or Hanukkah. They'll ask your opinion on what to buy them. They'll take the adorable items out of the bag and show them to you. They'll scroll through the photos on their phone and narrate every single one: "This is their first Christmas." "This is the first Christmas that they understood what was going on." "This is the first Hanukkah where they didn't put the dreidel in their mouth. It's the first Hanukkah we didn't have to do The Heimlich Maneuver." But for me, over the many years before, during and after my bout with infertility and IVF, the worst torture is the one that comes in the mail.  Has anyway ever sent you an "Our Year-in-Review"  card?

 

Don't get me wrong: I love and really appreciate when people mail an actual personalized holiday card. You so seldom get those. Sometimes I only get one from the dentist. "Happy Holidays! Time for a cleaning!" But an "Our Year-in-Review" card or letter is quite... different.

If you've never received one, they're similar to the friends on Facebook whom I call the "Living the Life!" people. They only post to make people jealous with their "spectacular" life. It's like the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. And they add exclamation points to everything like US magazine does to make sure we get properly excited over very little.

"Stephanie turned 12 this year! She spent the summer in Brazil!"

"Doug just opened up his third hardware store! Business is booming!"

"Doug Jr. won the Science Fair! He's sooo smart!"

Why oh why doesn't anybody ever include any details worth waiting the whole year to see? Something we really might be interested in?

"Stephanie turned 12 this year! She spent the summer in Brazil! The judge said it was either the camp for troubled tweens in Sao Paolo or juvenile detention!"

"Doug just opened his third hardware store! Business is booming! So what if he sleeps curled up in a ball on the floor and started sucking his thumb?!"

"Doug Jr. won the Science Fair! He's sooo smart! I knew he could figure a way to convert his meth lab into a water purifier!"

Even worse than the people who give an overview of their year in-review are those who give it month by excruciating month. They make you not even want to live another year. Let me end it now, so I won't have to suffer through this again a year from now.

They have to highlight the dullest details they can dig up.

Our Year-in-Review

January:

"Leslie started gymnastics! (How unique of her.) The teacher says she's a natural! Maybe she'll be in the 2022 Olympics!"

(And of course there is only the winter Olympics in 2022. So Leslie had better either double up on her classes so she can get in on 2020 or take it easy until 2024.)

February

"Gymnastics are still going super super super well for Leslie! She also started dance class! (And? So?) She takes tap, jazz, and modern! The teacher says she's a natural! (Imagine that.) Maybe she'll be on "So You Think You Can Dance!"

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

Every day of December I go out to get the mail like I'm walking to the electric chair. The driveway is my green mile. I open up the mailbox and take out the contents, my hands shaking: A bill, good. Another bill, good. Another bill, whew!  Oh no. I "whewed" too soon.  A greeting card from Lisa. I know her handwriting. I suck in my breath. The envelope is unnaturally thick. I'm pretty sure she's enclosed neither a check nor a gift card. I pull off my glove, drop it on the driveway and tear into the envelope right then and there. Let's rip off that Band-Aid as fast as possible (and while I'm still within tossing distance of the garbage can.) I see several folded sheets of paper which are about to punish me for all of her boring bullshit, which, for twelve months, I successfully ignored on Facebook. Shoot me.

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you feel a little bit better than you did when you got here. If you'd like a few laughs while going through infertility during these holidays, I'd be honored if you'd consider reading my little book: Laughing IS Conceivable: One Woman's Extremely Funny Peek into the Extremely Unfunny World of Infertility. Available on Amazon, Nook, and Kobo.  https://www.amazon.com//dp/0692950117

 

Expect to have Holiday Expectations

So you think you dread the holidays this year because you're dealing with infertility? How about before you were dealing with infertility? I truly believe that many many people- those with normally functioning reproductive systems included- either dread or at least would rather not go to these family soirees and there's one main reason: Expectations: Either we fear that our holiday gatherings won't live up to what we expect. Or, even worse: They will.

Approaching holidays fill us with expectation: Expectations to be happy, to celebrate, to be around family, to skip down memory lane, all of us together, hand in hand.

So here we have on perfumed stationery our dainty, holiday expectation list, engraved in gold calligraphy. And on the other side, scribbled in leaky pen with a mayonnaise stain on it, is our real expectation list.

We expect that everyone will get together. We expect that most don't want to be there. We expect that most are for one of four very good reasons or a combination thereof: 1) They couldn't get out of it. 2) Free food 3) Free alcohol 4) 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 about himself that he shouldn't have and at least two people will say something about someone else that they shouldn't have.

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 bullshit.

We expect your aunt to continue the charade of 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. And we expect that some of the ones who over-drink, will somehow find a way to over-drink even if there's no alcohol served.

We expect all the food will be great while we're sitting within earshot of the person who made it and most of the food will stink when we all talk about it on the drive home in between popping Tums.

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, (although you might not be so sure when you see what they were capable of producing), your dear relatives have plenty they don't want to talk about either:

So, remember:

Don't ask  your cousin Brian why he's 42 and still living in his bedroom at home with the New Kids on the Block posters on his wall.

Don't ask your uncle Steve why he was on the news hiding 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 Stove Top 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 put it down as #1 on your New Year Resolutions' list.

Thanks a lot for taking time during this busy season to stop by! I hope you feel even just a little bit better than when you first got here.  My eBook is now available in paperback too. So if you want to have a copy for when you could use a laugh during your infertility travels, or you're tired of the waiting room magazines.. (That's Chapter 6, by the way) Or want to give as a gift to someone in your life who just doesn't get what you're going through.  https://www.amazon.com//0692950117/  

 

 

Infertility at Work- at the Company Holiday Party

"My Co-Workers are like Family" office-of-angry-people

Why do people think that's a good thing? 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 eternal grudges?

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.:

"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 the vehicle 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.

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

If someone you've confided in at work about your infertility starts gabbing at the big celebration, maybe after confusing the open bar with the buffet two or twelve times, or maybe you yourself imbibed more than you should have and, mistaking catty coworkers for friends, sailed your own 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 2017 (assuming they even remember the holiday party 2017) will grow and flourish until New Year's Day... 2019. 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 2017 holiday party won't even be at the December 2018 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 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 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 above- now available in eBook & paperback: Laughing IS Conceivable: One Woman's Extremely Funny Peek into the Extremely Unfunny World of Infertility. (Recommended by renowned infertility professionals) https://www.amazon.com//dp/0692950117)

 

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Infertility Busy Bodies - You Know, Family, Friends

So last week was sort of an introduction to infertility with a few terms and definitions sprinkled in among my usual smart ass remarks. http://laughingisconceivable.com/infertility-virgins/ This week, let's discuss "Infertility Busy Bodies, You know, Family & Friends etc" in other words-- those who deserve smart ass remarks.

Besides dealing with the medical side of infertility- the drugs, the tests, the doctors- and the emotional side of infertility- the stress, the sadness, the fear- there's also the social side of infertility: What to tell. How much to tell. Whom to tell. When to tell.  First there's the sense of obligation. "I have to tell him. He's my husband."  "I have to tell her. She's my sister." "I have to tell her. She's my mother." "I have to tell her. She's my best friend." Some of us even extend our sense of obligation from the reasonable to the ludicrous: "I have to tell her. She's my coworker. I work with her every day." "I have to tell her. She's my neighbor. I see her at the mailbox every day." "I have to tell him. I've been going on his line at the supermarket every week for five years."

As far as I'm concerned, there are three categories of people in our lives when it comes to who to tell and how much to tell:

The People Who Have the Right to Know Everything: That would be the direct contributor to the other 50% of your future child's DNA. Whatever you call him: Partner, spouse, husband, lover boy, neighbor with the tight jeans. End of list.

He should know every step of the procedures and be in on the decision making because even if he's not lying on that table getting probed every few days, "oh Honey, I could never have done this without you" is literally true. You should be there as emotional support for each other and so you both need to know what's going on all the time. So, "The People Who Have the Right to Know Everything"? Make that "The Person" Who Has the Right to Know Everything. He's it. 

       

The People Who Have the Right to Know Some Things:

a) Your boss. Your work schedule will be constantly affected by fertility treatments. He or she will know something is up and have to know there's a good reason for you needing time off or coming in late or leaving early frequently. Still, there's no need to get into all of it: "I'm going for a procedure that requires a lot of doctor's appointments and may take a few months or so. But I'm fine. Nothing to worry about." (Meaning: No need to train my replacement.) As opposed to: "You know, I've been married for a while now and we've been trying to have a baby for a while, and you might remember I was in my sister's wedding party last year... Remember I took off that long week end last May because she had a destination wedding to the Bahamas? So anyway, she's already pregnant. And, even though  my periods are regular..."

b) Your Human Resources person- or whoever handles your specific insurance questions. Tell your personal business only to the actual person with the answers. My human resources person was just the nasty, vindictive woman whose sole job was to give me the runaround when I was trying to get reimbursed for mileage for using my car. If you've got one of those, just do what I did: Politely and professionally get the number for the benefits person from her, yell "& send my mileage already you useless...!" and slam down the phone.

The third category is:

People Who Have the Right to Know Nothing.

Everybody else. Your mother, your sister, your BFF since elementary school, your Facebook friends, your LinkedIn connections, your cousin who's more like your sister than your sister, your neighbor who you see at the mailbox every day, your coworkers who you work next to every day, the cashier at the supermarket who you've seen every week for five years. Screw them all. If they're not a direct contributor to this child's DNA or directly involved in your insurance or keeping your job--- they have no rights. There are a lot of people in our lives who you're close to, so close in fact, that you just know you're not going to get the response or reaction you need from them right now. Or it's all so draining and you just don't want to get into all the details with them right now. Or you're afraid if you start telling them something, they're going to keep annoying you for updates, or it's someone who's got a big heart and an even bigger mouth and the whole family/ office/ neighborhood /supermarket / school/ post office / gym / yoga studio will know your business within the hour.

So, if you feel guilty because you're not ready to share with those people closest to you--- get over it. Because you know if your gut (that's the spot right above where the doctor keeps poking) keeps telling you not to talk to this person about it and then you finally give in and talk to this person about it, the next feeling out of your gut will be: "I knew I shouldn't have talked to this person about it!"  

I'm not saying this will be easy-- especially with people you have historically shared everything with or people you see or talk to all the time. Acceptable answers to their proddings should be short: "I'm really not ready to discuss it now." "I'm fine. It's nothing to worry about." "It's kind of personal."

And to this question: "When are you going to have children?" I like this response: "We're working on it." People like things that sound dirty.

Even if you have to tell them more than once, a reasonable person will give you your space. An unreasonable person will ask you every day trying to wear you down. The appropriate response to them is:

"Mind your own fucking business." Desperate times call for desperate measures.

Thanks a lot for stopping by! If you'd like more laughs at infertility's expense, please check out my little eBook of my own personal bout with infertility & treatments: Laughing IS Conceivable: One Woman's Extremely Funny Peek into the Extremely Unfunny World of Infertility. It's been downloaded by 1000s of infertility sufferers, their friends, family & medical personal. 66 reviews on Amazon. amazon.com//dp/B007G9X19A/ Also on Nook & Kobo

Infertile Holidays: Checking Our Expectations List

So we've been talking about how the infertile among us dread holidays and despise family functions. And my theory (my Masters thesis) is that many many people- those with normally functioning reproductive systems included- I won't say "hate going to"- let's just say- "would rather not attend" these wingdings and there's one main reason: Expectations: Either we fear that our family holiday gatherings won't live up to what we expect. Or, even worse: They will.

Approaching holidays fill us with expectation: 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 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 about himself that he shouldn't have and at least two people will say something about someone else in attendance that they shouldn't have.

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. And we expect that some of the ones who over-drink, will somehow find a way to over-drink even if there's no alcohol served. Namely: They arrived drunk, smuggled the booze in with them, or both.

We expect all the food will be great while we're sitting within earshot of the person who made it and most of the food will stink when we all talk about it on the drive home in between popping Tums.

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, (although you might not be so sure when you see what they were capable of producing), your dear relatives have plenty they don't want to talk about either:

So, remember:

Don't ask  your cousin Brian why he's 42 and still living in his bedroom at home with the New Kids on the Block posters on his wall.

Don't ask your uncle Steve why he was on the news hiding 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 Stove Top 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 put it on your 2017 appointment calendar so you don't forget!

(Thanks a lot for taking time during this busy season to stop by! I hope you feel even just a little bit better than when you first got here. Please consider subscribing to my infrequent newsletters and giving yourself a little laughter at infertility's expense during this holiday season: For Amazon reviews & previews of my eBook, click the icon above or: http://laughingisconceivable.com)

 

Infertility Transparency: Tell them Everything

Infertility Transparency. Tell them everything. No secrets. CEOs and politicians talk about transparency all the time. Let the people know everything that's going on. I think people struggling to get pregnant should have the same policy: Infertility Transparency. The people in our lives-family, friends, neighbors, acquaintances, coworkers think they want to know everything about our infertility. I think we should tell them. We should tell them all. We should tell them everything. And I mean everything.  If that doesn't get rid of them... women gossiping -funny old fashioned at work

So next time you visit, shall we say, your mother-in-law, before she starts in on the "When are you going to make me a grandma? I'm not getting any younger you know" (Yeah, no kidding)... Perhaps cut her off and start this conversation:

"And then they gave your son a specimen cup like they give you for a urine sample. But they don't need urine of course. They need his sperm and there's really only one way to get it. So he goes into this private room with his cup and a magazine. He actually brought his own old magazine--wow I just realized-- he said it was the one he had under his mattress when he lived in that room right there... What a coincidence. I'm right here telling you this story and we're standing not eight feet away from where he kept that magazine for like six years. Anyway... he takes the cup into a private room and "reads" his magazine... Did you ever know that he was ambidextrous? I mean he writes lefty and eats lefty but... anyway... It turns out you were wrong about what you told him when he was fourteen--it can't possibly make him blind. We've been through this four times already and he's still only mildly myopic like he's always been."

Well, that takes care of your mother-in-law. Doubt if she'll ever bring up the subject again. I'm sure she left the room appalled when you spilled the specimen cup details. You probably told the entire magazine monologue to the kitchen cabinets.

So, now that you've begun to experience how freeing it is to be so open about your infertility escapades, who else around the house tonight might benefit from your new-found infertility transparency policy?

Your father-in-law naturally. Na, he doesn't want to know. Not from you anyway... Your mother-in-law will tell him later. Maybe she'll give him the Disney version (though I'm not sure what the Disney version of that story would be.) Maybe she'll just say how disrespectful you were to her. Either way, you win: 1) You won't be there to hear it and 2) Neither of them will probably ever ask you when you're going to give them grandchildren ever again.

So who's next? How about some neighbors? They always seem interested in why you're not pregnant yet. Let the infertility transparency opportunity knock and see who answers, shall we?

"Hi Michelle. Remember the other day at the mailbox when you came across the street to ask me if I was pregnant yet? And I just gave you the short answer: 'Nope' and ran into my garage? I don't want you to think l was blowing you off so let me fill you in now. You might want to put down that laundry basket. It looks kind of heavy. Well, that day I went to the doctor to have them check my uterine lining. So I'm wearing nothing but a paper gown with the back open and my mole is pressing right against the examination table... You know about that mole I have on my right cheek don't you? Well the whole time, my legs are flying high in the air in a "v" shape. It always reminds me of when I was a cheerleader. What's with the look? I'm talking about doing splits during the games. What did you think I meant? Anyway... There's only one way to check my uterine lining. You guessed it. They take a flashlight thing with I think a condom on it and put it up there and have a little laser light show in my uterus. They could at least play Pink Floyd or ABBA, right? And I seem to always get the exam room with the air conditioning vent directly above the table. I mean of course I've had my hair blown dry before but not... Wow, did that laundry basket just land on your foot? I knew you should have put it down. Should I maybe come in? Or do you want to hear the rest on the porch too? It's actually great out here. I won't have to repeat myself. Now all the neighbors know what you know."

(Thanks a lot for stopping by! I hope you feel at least a little bit better than you did when you got here. If you liked the lunacy above, please think about subscribing to this blog or taking a gander at my eBook (& reviews)--downloaded by thousands of infertility patients, partners, & medical professionals-- by clicking the book cover icon above or visiting the home page. http://laughingisconceivable.com)

Microblog_Mondays

How to Get Relatives Off Your Back & Out of Your Ovaries This Holiday Season

I've been writing the past few weeks about how to best dodge impertinent, indiscreet, and very personal questions from our so-called family and friends during this holiday season. Relatives are a necessary evil at holiday time. There are three categories of kinfolk:

1) Those we can't wait to see. 2) Those who are great to see a few times a year and 3) Those who make you certain that in a past life you stole from a children's charity and their visit is your little holiday gift from Cousin Karma.

Sometimes infertility turns holidays into one big ugly sixth grade dodge ball game for us. You spend family gatherings ducking and side-stepping personal, obnoxious, stupid, and embarrassing questions. And you spend (did I just misspell "waste") weeks before the family powwow anticipating who's going to ask those questions and trying to duck and side-step those people altogether.

Here's the solution: Present them with a nice gift. A book. Wait! I know you probably think this is about me trying to hustle my ebook which I do on a regular basis. You don't have to give them my book. It would be damn well appreciated. But my book might not be the one they need to read. (Did I just type that? My fingers must be possessed. Where's my eraser?)

The point of giving them a book is to minimize your angst and your pain. Sure, it's gift tag has their name on it in your handwriting, but make no mistake, it's a gift you're giving yourself.

It doesn't really matter when you give the gift. You can do it a week before the family brouhaha. Call it preventative medicine. Instead of waiting for the holiday joy to nose-dive: When you're mid-holiday soiree and the yentas corner you in the kitchen and your only response to their barrage of conception questions is to squirm and hyperventilate.

Days before the big family gala, give the book (even better-- send it--what you pay in postage you'll save in hand sanitizer). And make sure you include a note in big bold, neon letters:

"I'm really not comfortable discussing what we're going through, but this pretty much covers it." OR

"I know you've been concerned that I'm not pregnant yet. I think you'll really enjoy this and it will explain it better than I can at the moment."

I recommend you start your statement with something to the effect of: "I'm not ready to get into my personal business..."

By starting off with a statement like that you're swatting the gnat before it starts buzzing in your ear. So if after reading your generous gift, they come back and say:

"I was shocked by chapter 8! You're not really doing what's in that chapter are you?!" Now you can just hit "rewind" and say:

"Remember two weeks ago when I said I wasn't ready to get into my personal business? Yeah...well...ditto this week...Bye"

The point of giving them your present is: You're giving them lots of information about your infertility situation without giving them any information about your infertility situation. For example..just an example..not hustling: If you give them, let's say, my ebook, I'm spilling my infertile guts to them so you don't have to. I don't care if they know my business. I'm not related to them. Screw them. They mean nothing to me. My ebook, I'm told, is fast, fun, humorous reading. Your family and friends will get what it's all about, and what you're going through daily, but it's not profound enough to leave them feeling overwhelmed or freaked out.

But maybe you don't want anyone to yuk it up over infertility. Maybe you want them to better understand your particular issue that's causing your infertility. Then find a book written by a Reproductive Endocrinologist.

Or maybe you want them to understand the emotional toll it's taking on you better and a more serious book by a psychologist is in order.

The point is: No matter what the title of the book you give them, the sub-title is: "How to Get You Off My Back & Out of My Ovaries...(You Nosy B)"

Below are just a few books out there you may want to consider for yourself this holiday season or as a gift which, as we said earlier...is really a gift for you too. You just can't lose with this system. It's fool-proof. Remember that ebooks can also be given as a gift via Amazon if the giftee has an account. These are just ones I know about. Nobody's giving me any cash or sexual favors to tell you about them...except the last one.

1) Dr. Richard Marrs' Fertility Book http://www.amazon.com/Dr-Richard-Marrs-Fertility-Book/dp/0440508037

2) On Fertile Ground: Healing Infertility (Helen Adrienne, LCSW) http://www.amazon.com/On-Fertile-Ground-Infertility-ebook/dp/B00529QMOM

3) The Fertile Secret: Guide to Living A Fertile Life (Robert Kiltz MD) http://www.amazon.com/Fertile-Secret-Guide-Living-Life/dp/0983845891/ref=la_B005EIXDWU_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1355191947&sr=1-1

4) Conquering Infertility- (Alice Domar Phd) http://www.amazon.com/Conquering-Infertility-Domars-Enhancing-Fertility/dp/0142002011

5) Laughing IS Conceivable: One Woman's Extremely Funny Peek into the Extremely Unfunny World of Infertility (Yes this IS MY ebook. It's my blog for chrissakes. Throw me a bone will ya?) http://www.amazon.com/Laughing-IS-Conceivable-ebook/dp/B007G9X19A

Thanksgiving: Let's Talk Turkey

Quick Note: My eBook is now (finally, mercifully) in paperback. The regular price is $9.99 USD but the new launch price through November is $8.49 (and of course free shipping for Amazon Prime.) The eBook is also on sale this month. Usually $4.99/now $3.99.

Print: https://www.amazon.com/dp/0692950117

eBook: https://www.amazon.com//dp/B007G9X19A/

(Contact me directly for orders of 5 books or more-I'll hook ya up.)

*

It happens every year. The first cool breeze wafts through the air and with it comes the smell of panic from infertile people everywhere. Everyone anticipates the holidays. Many think: Family! Food! Football! Infertile folk also think: Interrogations! 

Soon Thanksgiving will be upon those of us in the U.S. and it's all downhill from there. That pain in the pit of our stomachs is 1/3 too much turkey, 1/3 funny tasting green bean casserole that we knew was a bad idea from the start... & 1/3 dread. Whether it be before dinner is served at 1:30, or during the meal... it's coming... we know it's coming:

"Speaking of kids... Why don't you have any yet?"

Any reasonable person would know that 1) there's likely no easy answer to this question and 2) the answer, whatever it is,  is none of their business, but we're not dealing with reasonable people.

"Aren't you trying?" (wink wink to the husband)

"You shouldn't be waiting so long. I mean, you know it's harder to get pregnant as you get older." (Knowing glare at the wife)

"How long have you guys been married? Oh, we had three kids by the time we were married that long."

And then the fricken infertility poker game starts with each person trying to up the ante. "I have a friend who had twins at 40"

"I have a neighbor whose daughter had triplets at 42."

"I read about this woman in India who had quadruplets at 51."

"Remember the octomom?"

"John Travolta's wife had a baby at 61 or was it 49?"

"Isn't he married to Kelly Clarkson?"

Luckily most of the time, you don't have to answer or even speak at all. These Thanksgiving think tanks usually run out of intellectual gas pretty quickly and simmer into a sea of stupidity.

And even worse than the family gatherings where everyone grills you like a cheese sandwich, are the ones where nobody even mentions your "situation". They all just look around and pretend they're not wondering what the deal is and you become the giant elephant in the room.

It was so much nicer in past years when others were the elephant in the room.

"Hmmm. I wonder why Uncle John didn't come this year? I'm not going to be the one to ask Aunt Celia. I'll wait until tomorrow morning and call Mom. She's bound to have found out something by then."

"Hmmm. Who's this guy Jef that cousin Susan's with? What happened to Mike that she was living with? Why am I spelling Jef's name with only one 'f'? He just seems like a "one-f-er". My sister Beth's roommate used to be in a band with Mike's sister. I'll bet she'll know what happened. I'll duck into the bathroom and call her on my cell phone."

So this year's your year. Once all the small talk has died down about how the traffic was and gas prices and "you know who I ran into last week?" and the lies about how nice her new haircut looks and how much weight we've all lost and how thank goodness she brought that green bean casserole because I look forward to seeing it every year (seeing it, not eating it mind you), then you can almost hear the thoughts shift their focus onto you and your "problem".

The key is: You must never ever leave the room. They can't talk behind your back if your back is always in front of them. You must be the last one to leave the festivities otherwise they'll dig into you before you're even off the driveway. Don't give them the satisfaction. Linger. Any excuse will do.

"Can I wash some dishes?"

"They're paper plates."

"What about the pots?"

"Aluminum foil"

"Okay, so I'll carry out the garbage."

"Well if you really want to. You can put it in the can out back."

"Nice try.... But I think I'll just sit it over here...in the corner of the living room, by the door... until we're ready to go... which we're not quite ready to do yet."

Putting trash in its place. It's what these holidays are really all about. B'dum bum.

Mother, Mother on the Wall: Who's the Fairest of them All? Mother's Day Comedy Blitz

So have you ordered my e-book yet? (Geez, that was subtle. I promise I'll peddle quickly and then move on to the real reason you've come for a visit.) My e-book is on Amazon. It's available on Kindle or if you have a phone or other device like i-Pad that has a free Kindle app. It's called: Laughing IS Conceivable: One Woman's Extremely Funny Peek into the Extremely Unfunny World of Infertility.

It's a measly $3.99 and got some great reviews from people I'm not related to, have never slept with, and am not planning to be related to or sleep with any time soon. See for yourself if you'd like and get a sneak preview and more reviews when you click to "see more" or "see inside": www.amazon.com/dp/B007G9X19A Thanks!             

So, why did I name this post: "Mother, Mother, on the Wall: Who's the Fairest of them All?"? I have no idea. Sometimes when things pop into my head I just let them pop out into the blog. I figure it's cheaper than getting a prescription for schizophrenia medication.

So have you started holding your breath yet in anticipation of Mother's Day?

"How will I feel? Will I be depressed all day? Will I be around people who will make me feel sad or anxious? Will people ask me when am I going to become a mother? What will I say? I never know what to say. How do I respond to people saying: "Happy Mother's Day"? Should I say: "Thank You. You too" and let it go at that? Or should I tell them the truth? Why don't people just shut up? Why are they always in my business? Look how their kids turned out. Who needs to see these losers on Sunday anyway? I just saw them at Christmas. Why don't people ever stay at their own house? "... Okay, I got a little distracted at the end there.

So for this Mother's Day, (Warning: The following visual may not be suitable for sensitive audiences) I decided to stick my finger down my throat and vomit up all of my old Mother's Day posts from Mother's Days gone by. (I hope nobody was snacking while they read that. Well if they were then, they're not now. )

Here's my Mother's Day blitz. I think there will be a little humor somewhere in the blitz for everyone. Also, there are a couple of posts by Tracy Birkinbine. She's a counselor who specializes in infertility as well as an infertility survivor herself. You probably won't find her posts funny...I mean you shouldn't. I mean, she's not trying to be funny so please don't email her and tell her it was hilarious. I've sandwiched her posts in among my own so you can get a break from my ranting and listen to a voice that's calmer and more reasonable.

Have you bought my e-book yet? Okay, I'll stop...Here's the comedy blitz or so I say.

This first group of posts was written about a month after I first started this blog in May 2010.  Back then, I had some delusion of grandeur that I could write a spectacularly hilarious post every day of the week for the next 70 years or until it killed me. I think I had visions that I would be sitting at the keyboard at 91 typing: "And don't you hate when you go to the fertility clinic..." and then my head would hit the keyboard and that would be it. I should have realized even back then that I was fighting a losing battle. I was the infertility blogger version of Lucy Ricardo at the chocolate factory. And that is why this set of posts was written the week after Mother's Day. So pretend it's not would ya? Hopefully you'll still get a smile or two out them anyway. Without further ado, I present to you:

Because Every Woman Has Been Some Kind of a Mother to Someone 

first posted: Monday May 16, 2010

Obviously Mother’s Day is an extremely touchy subject when your blog is largely read by people in the infertility community.  For those in that community...stay with me...I'm rooting for you as much as ever this week...For those still unfamiliar with the infertility community, it’s the same as a senior living community: A bunch of cranky people who go to several doctors’ appointments a week and whose hobbies include comparing medications and side effects, and asking each other for a second opinion. In fact, the only difference between the two groups is that we’re a little younger and they eat out a lot more.

So the $64,000 question here is: Why in the world am I dredging up Mother’s Day two weeks after most women have already rolled their eyes at their husband, thrown the gift back in his face, and asked the rhetorical question as it was heard around the globe simultaneously through clenched teeth in 803 languages: “Do you know me at all?!”

Followed usually by the shocked husband’s standard comeback: “I didn’t have to get you anything for Mother’s Day. After all, (all together now) you’re not MY mother.”

This warm repartee usually sentences the husband to a week of getting the wife’s cold shoulder followed almost certainly by all of her other body parts being temporarily relocated to the freezer section as well.

So most women have celebrated Mother’s Day, seen Shrek every time they looked at their husband for a week or so…and now moved on. But most of you going through conception issues probably didn’t feel much like celebrating and are getting extremely mad at me right now, mumbling under your breath: “I made it through that horrible weekend and now this sadistic bitch with the blog wants to drag me through it all over again?”

I’m sorry if that’s the case. I suspect, however, that some of you haven’t moved on. And now you feel guilty because everybody is telling you it’s time to move on…including you. Mother’s Day was two weeks ago. But maybe some of you still can’t move on.

I totally get it…to make a long story short (my sister’s favorite preface to a story via telephone which usually indicates I have enough time to put down the phone, take a shower, and shave my entire body, including my head, before she gets to the wind-up…a family trait, I suppose.)

Let’s just say there was nearly a twenty year period in my life, nineteen Mothers' Days to be exact, when I was neither a mother nor had one. That’s all I’ll say lest I suck the entire word “Humor” out of “Humor blog”.

So hang in there. If you’ve read my blog before, you know that by the end of the week, Thursday, Friday of the latest, I will have beaten down this holiday so badly, people will be embarrassed to admit they ever heard of it, let alone celebrated it.

Listen I gotta go. I’m going to sit down by the pool in our development. It doesn’t open for another two weeks, but the dues are so high… it’s the principle of the thing. Even if I blister. I’ll talk to ya tomorrow.

Tuesday

(Start with "Monday" if you can. I promise to wait until you get back)

So, what were we talking about? Oh right. You were holding your breath waiting for Mother’s Day to be over, and then, just as the sun finally set on the wretched holiday, you came up for air and I shoved your head back down into the Mother’s Day mire.

I really don’t want you to be so upset over this holiday, because, well, like most holidays, it’s a stupid one. I’m sure it didn’t start out as stupid. Probably none of them did until someone decided there was money to be made.

Maybe the Jehovah’s Witnesses have it right: No celebrations: No Mother’s Days. No Thanksgivings. No birthdays. Nobody gets depressed. Nobody gets bloated. Nobody gets older.

Let's look at Thanksgiving, shall we? At what point did the pilgrims gather round, raise their goblets, and announce: “We have survived the long, hard winter. We must now rejoice with football, a giant Kermit The Frog balloon, Seinfeld’s Mr. Peterson announcing a Dog Show and many Tums”?

Our family Thanksgiving tradition usually includes me watching every bit of the Macy’s parade on every channel by myself. Most people’s Macy’s parade experience ends every year with Santa riding gloriously into Herald Square.

Mine ends with my husband standing in front of the TV with his winter coat and gloves on, looking as far up Broadway as our 26” screen will allow, and muttering: “I want to get out of here already. Where the hell is he?”

Now here are all of my Mother’s Day memories growing up……………………………..

I admit, I was the kid, not the mother. Maybe I don’t remember anything about any Mother’s Day because it wasn’t about me. I don’t remember anything I ever made for her in school. I don’t remember going anywhere, doing anything, a particular card I gave her, buying her anything. 

Honestly, I doubt if my mother were still around, that she would have had any memories of any Mother’s Day either. She wasn’t sentimental over stuff like that.

On the other hand, I have a few vague memories from Thanksgivings past. My sister and I basically use Thanksgiving as a point of reference of when people died. “No. You’re wrong. Aunt Blanche definitely didn’t die in 1996. She was at that Thanksgiving. She brought her same crappy cake that nobody ever liked….The next year, the one on Long Island---She wasn’t there. I don’t remember if she was still alive, but she wasn’t there.”

Mother’s Day, if you can believe everything you read on the Internet, began as part of Lent in seventeenth century England. Older children were either away learning a trade or working as servants. On this special day they all came together, there was a feast instead of fasting, and Mom was honored.  I would have remembered doing that.

I suppose shelling out sixty bucks for a dozen roses, guilt-laden commercials from mall jewelers and dinner at Cracker Barrel came much later. 

Listen, I gotta go. It’s the sixth inning, two out, bases loaded, and the Mets desperately need me. I'll talk to ya tomorrow.

Wednesday

 (Start with Monday if you can. I'll await your return with bated  breath)

So what were we talking about? Oh right. I was saying how pointless a holiday Mother’s Day really is.  There’s no parade, no football, and no good food. Who makes the best food? Mom. But she has the day off. So in honor of her, the great cook, let’s cram eight people around a table for six at a restaurant chain.  Personally, I’d just as soon visit the drive-thru.  At least there aren’t forty other loud happy families in my car.     

I mentioned the other day that for nearly twenty years, I was neither a mother nor had one. Big deal.  Don’t cry for me Argentina, or Cincinnati, or Madrid. It’s life. We all live through one.  My point is, that for all of those Mother’s Days I never knew how to respond when people would say “Happy Mother’s Day.”

I took a little poll of women in my life to see how they handle it. Neither Julia nor Leonore have kids though they both breastfeed their dogs.

When someone asks Julia if she has children, she says: “No. I’m allergic.”

When someone says “Happy Mother’s Day” to Leonore she says “Happy Mother’s Day to the mother in all of us.” So, what we can conclude from my little study, I believe, is that, I’ve surrounded myself with smart asses. Go figure.

I’ve come to the realization that there are only two response options to the “Happy Mother’s Day” debacle: Educate or Evacuate. You decide.

Do you want to explain things to this person or do you just want them to go away? Personally, nothing is more pleasing to my ear than the sound of a greeting trailing off as the well-wisher gets smaller and smaller into the horizon. “Happy Mother’s Daaaaaaaaaaaaaaay.”  And they’re gone.

For years I used the “You too” method to keep 'em movin'.

“Happy Mother’s Day” “You too!”

“Happy Vacation” “You too!”

“Happy Birthday”    “You too!”

“Happy Anniversary” “You too!”

“What’s your favorite band?” “U2!”

About once in a thousand, it’s actually an appropriate response.

I mean, I could have taken the “Educate” route. If someone said “Happy Mother’s Day”, I would have gladly explained that I didn’t celebrate Mother’s Day because I had no kids because I was an old broad when I got married and apparently my eggs had turned to ash...

...... and then I went broke going for treatments and did 3 IUI’s that didn’t take...

...... and then the doctor OD’d me on hormones the fourth time so they had to cancel it...

...... and then I had an egg retrieval and they took out 21 eggs and 16 looked good...

...... and then they put 4 inside of me and froze four more…”

I think I'll stick with: “You too.  Keep it movin’."  It's so much simpler.

Listen, I gotta go. My lunch hour was over two hours ago and it's time to go home.. I’ll talk with ya tomorrow.

Thursday

(Start with Monday if you can. If you can't, don't worry. You'll just be hopelessly lost forever.)

So what were we talking about? Oh right. We were discussing how Mother’s Day began as a beautiful annual Spring ritual to worship Mother Earth, evolved into a tribute to the many attributes of women and has, after centuries, culminated in the pancake house visit we know today. 

If you can’t ignore the idiocy of that which is Mother’s Day altogether, consider this: The holiday is for you too. Even if you don’t have kids (yet), I guarantee you’ve still done plenty of mothering in your time.

When I was in my mid-thirties (back when we were still worshipping Mother Earth), I worked with girls in their late teens and early twenties. It wasn’t a counseling center. Not officially. Officially, it was a limousine company. I literally worked with them. 

I did customer service and in between clients, practiced social work without a license. I may not have been their biological mothers, but I spent many hours a week nurturing them in the same way my Mom nurtured me: 

“Why are you still dating that loser? You must be a moron. Only a moron would date a loser.”

“Don’t you think those pants are a little tight? I can see what you had for breakfast. Don’t you dare leave this office looking like that!”  

“You think this is funny? Don’t make me come over there and knock you out of your cubicle!”

“You were fifteen minutes late coming back from lunch. Did you even once consider that I might not be able to sleep at my desk because I’m up worrying?”

“I told you you should have gone to college. See what happens to people who are uneducated? They work here.” 

“Look at this desk. It’s a pigsty. Never you mind about the nine-layer pile of gas receipts, fast food napkins/coasters and candy wrappers on my desk young lady. Do as I say not as I do.”

Did I overstep my boundaries as their coworker when I put parental controls on the company computers? I think not.  You see what I had to deal with.

Listen I gotta go. I have to measure the grass. We have up until four and a half feet before the housing association reports us to the county.

Friday

(Start with “Monday” if you can. If the boss comes by, just minimize, Sista, minimize.)

So what were we talking about? Oh right. I was telling you how I felt entitled to celebrate Mother’s Day while I was going through fertility treatments because of all the babies I had to deal with at my job.

Mainly we were discussing the immature and irresponsible young ladies I worked with who needed my guidance and/or the toe of my shoe in the back seam of their extremely short skirts.

“What are you planning to wear for “dress down” day? That skirt without underwear?” 

“You are aware that in Customer Service, we don’t actually service the customer?”

I guess the maternal instinct just comes more naturally to some of us.

I also had an employer who was a whiner and a tantrum thrower: Going through his terrible 52’s I guess. “Where’s that paperwork? You said I could have it yesterday….You prooooooooomised. Where iiiiiiiiis it? Waaaaaaaaaa! I want my paypawok!” 

I apologize if this post is a bit of a mishmash, but there’s so much disdain I still want to share with you about Mother’s Day and here it is, Friday already. So here are some rambling thoughts. Call it stream of consciousness. Call it hormone injections that never wore off. 

If you didn’t get a Mother’s Day card this year, I truly am sorry. Your efforts to become a mother deserve a truckload of cards…

Now, please allow me to catch you up on the great literature you missed because, after all, a Mother’s Day card does say a lot.

A three page card says you paid four bucks and ticked off Mr. and Mrs. Squirrel for something with eight words on it:

“Happy Mother’s Day” (cover), “Mom” (page one), “You are” (page two) “the BEST!” (Page three). End of card and four bucks. Five bucks in Canada. I love Canada but I’ll admit I’m always grateful I don’t live there when I buy a greeting card.

A card with eight hundred words in fancy script writing says you paid four bucks to watch your mom squint, and skip every other word. (Why do you think nobody ever reads those cards out loud? If she read it aloud she couldn’t skip could she?)

Then there are the whimsical Mother’s Day cards, every single one of which has a kid’s messy room as the wind-up:

“Mom, here’s a great Mother’s Day gift just for you!” (Open card. Messy room.)

“I know it’s in here somewhere.” OR “I promise I’ll find it by the Fourth of July.” OR “I’m sorry I still haven’t found last year’s gift.” OR “Don’t feel bad. Dad’s Father’s Day gift is in here also.” OR “I think it’s in here anyway.” OR “Look! I cleaned my room” OR… please, someone, uncurl my fingers from the keyboard so I can stop. 

The point is, I suppose, what I’ve been beating into all of us all week: Mother’s Day, like most holidays is totally overrated. Some people get great joy out of holidays while probably a lot more suffer through them because of some phantom ideal of what it’s supposed to look like.

You want a Mother’s Day card? I’ll give you a Mother’s Day card.

“Mom, I took money out of your wallet every week when I was twelve.” “Just kidding! Promise to pay you back! Just Kidding!” “Happy Mother’s Day!”

“Mom, remember when I was sixteen and I told you about my boyfriend Robert?” "Happy Mother’s Day! It was Bob, your boss! Have A Great Day!”

“Mom, thanks for paying for my entire college education. I’ve decided to finish my sixth year at the University of Cancun! I even have a job lined up! I'm the alternate judge at the wet T-shirt contest during Spring break! You’re the best! Happy Mother’s Day!”

“Mom, you’re irreplaceable! That’s why I left my wife and drove right over with the three kids, two St. Bernards, and a giant U-haul! You’re number one! Happy Mother’s Day!”

Listen, I gotta go. There’s someone outside yelling my name.  I think it’s Hallmark calling.  I’ll talk with ya on Monday.

Now here's Tracy Birkinbine's posts:

Surviving Mother's Day for Those Facing Infertility   

Could there be a more painful day for a woman experiencing infertility than Mother’s Day? All the cards in the stores, the commercials on TV showing the joys of being a mother, the little kids scurrying around to find just the right gift or bringing home the nauseatingly cute homemade gifts made in school or daycare…it’s enough to make one want to boycott the whole darn thing. Well, I’m here to tell you if that’s what you need to do, do it!

The level of pain or comfort that you have when dealing with such holidays is something only you can gauge. If you can muddle through it with the fake smile while hurting inside (or wanting to strangle someone), then you go for it. If the pain is just too much to handle, then why put yourself through it? It’s perfectly understandable and normal for you to want to just get away from it all and seclude yourself from all the festivities and pain that it might bring. Like I said only you know how much you can handle.

Mother’s Day celebrations often include time with the family. It can bring with it the uncomfortable questions of, “So, will we be celebrating your first Mother’s Day next year?” Or, “So, when are you two going to get busy and bring us another baby into the family?” Or, for those who know of your struggles, how about the tried and true favorites of, “Just relax and it will happen. Take a vacation; people tend to get pregnant while on vacation.” Or, how about, “Why don’t you just adopt? You can have a child that way, and you know what they say, just adopt and you will get pregnant.” But, my favorite has to be, “Just relax!”

Relax? Are you serious? Have you been in my shoes? Do you know what I am going through? You try sticking yourself with needles every day and running to and from the hospital for blood work. You try buying boxes and boxes of pregnancy tests, so many that you realize you should have taken stock in them. You try having the disappointment month after month upon seeing the first drop of blood denoting yet another period beginning, and therefore, another FAILURE! Yes, you try crying yourself to sleep every night while thinking of how much you want a baby and then tell me again to RELAX!”

Now, maybe I’m getting a little carried away with myself. Not all families react this way. Some are very supportive and loving and truly do understand what you are facing. Some family get-togethers can be the perfect refuge during such an emotional time. Sometimes surrounding yourself with those who love you and care about what you’re facing can be very comforting. So, like I said, only you can gauge your level of comfort regarding how you plan to spend this year’s Mother’s Day. I personally just like the idea of imagining slapping the next pregnant woman you pass or encounter who decides to rub her belly longingly in front of you! But, that’s just me! ;-)

Keep in mind that you are a mother already—in spirit. You are in heavy duty training that will pay off big for you when the time is right. I loved the way I saw it put in writing the other day (unfortunately I can’t give credit as I don’t know who wrote this), the writer stated, “A woman experiencing infertility is already a mother whose child just hasn’t been placed in her arms yet.” Beautiful, huh? So, celebrate yourself…no matter where you are on this journey. And celebrate the way you want. If others around you don’t understand, does it really matter? Happy Mother’s Day…or not! ~Tracy

Tracy Birkinbine is a licensed professional counselor specializing in infertility and adoption. She bases her private practice out of St. Louis, MO.  You can find information on Tracy Birkinbine and her private practice, Counseling With TLC, LLC by going to www.counselingwithtlc.com.

The next is also from Tracy:

Don't Tell Me "Happy Mother's Day!" (Unless you want to risk getting slapped!)

I have been noticing more and more that I have been getting a lot of Mother's Day greetings.  I went to the store to buy cards and the cashier sent me on my way with, "Happy Mother's Day!"  I was at the bank and the teller cheerfully ended our transaction with, "Have a nice Mother's Day!"  I went to get a morning latte and the barista handed me my beverage and stated, "Enjoy your Mother's Day!" 

Hmm.  Now, I will admit to sometimes wearing the occasional awful Mom Jeans, and perhaps, at age 40 I have now developed a very matronly appearance despite my effort at still trying to look "cool!"  But, at each of these places I didn't have any children with me.  I didn't open my wallet to show pictures of any kids.  I didn't have those "oh so typical" #1 Mom necklaces on, and I wasn't sporting a World's Greatest Mom t-shirt.  So what made these individuals assume I was a mom? 

I got to thinking back to my days of struggling with infertility and how desperate my feelings were to be a mommy and to have a child.  My minutes were consumed with overwhelming urges, needs, wants, and desires to become a mom.  I was more aware of the day called "Mother's Day" than most moms I felt!  I would treasure that day more than anything if I could just have a child.  I would love having people tell me to have a good Mother's Day...someday...

But, I hated hearing that then.  It was like driving a knife further into my chest and made me even more keenly aware that I was not celebrating what I so badly wanted to be...a MOM!  I hated the Hallmark commercials.  I hated the 1-800-Flowers ads.  I hated the card aisles at the stores.  And I absolutely hated the items stating the above mentioned "World's Greatest Mom," or #1 Mom!"  Surely none of the moms out there were as good a mom as I would be.  Surely none of the moms appreciated the day as much as I would.  So, the last thing I wanted to hear was someone say "Happy Mother's Day!"  It made me just want to slap that cheerful grin off their face! 

So, now, even though I have been blessed to be a mom, I still remember those feelings of hurt and pain as if they were yesterday.  I urge you to be careful when wishing a stranger a "Happy Mother's Day."  Those simple words, however well intentioned, may be the most hurtful thing you could say to someone longing so desperately to be a mom.  Proceed with caution.  Never assume.  Unless you know for sure that someone is a mom, take a moment to consider your words.  I'm sure you would hesitate about asking a woman when she is due if there was a chance she could just be overweight!  Food for thought!  For now...have a good DAY! 

*********************************************************************************************************************************

The final set of posts were from Laughing IS Conceivable at this time last year. In fact, precisely one year ago today. Please enjoy:

I've Met All Sorts of Mothers in my Life

Monday

About twice a year I have a serious moment. So here's one now and then we're a'movin' on:

Before I went through infertility treatments, in fact, before I ever knew I would have difficulty conceiving, in fact, before I even met my husband... I was this nearing 35, single woman living in an apartment- a four floor walk-up- in Queens NY.

One day, I was at my girlfriend's apartment across the hall (about 8 feet away from my front door). We were all hanging out there: The six of us: My friend,  her two pre-teens, my low-self-esteem, my self-pity, and me. 

I made a comment: "I know I would be a good mother."

Her daughter, who was about twelve at the time said:

"Lori, you're already a good mother. You just don't have any kids yet."    

Not many things can make me shut up but that sure did. And  I guess it had enough impact for me to remember it since that twelve year old young lady just turned 26. 

I thought I'd pass along that sage quote by a twelve year old, in case, by chance, it might also apply to you.

Now, back to our regularly scheduled shenanigans:

So this week of posts will attempt to ease you out of the horrible little holiday that was yesterday and maybe, hopefully, a little bit back to the world of "When in doubt, ridicule everything."

So this week I may mock the wretched holiday and its traditions: 

Taking that special woman in your life out to a buffet lunch. Show how much you love her by giving her the motive, means, and opportunity to eat twice her body weight in macaroni and cheese.  

Or the men who treat their wives or girlfriends like crap all year, then on that one day a year, yesterday, spent $200 on a bouquet.   

Or saying "I love you" with a card that costs more than a gallon of gas. So if you drived a few miles to buy the card---there goes eight bucks you'll never see again.

Then we might delve into all of the mothers in our lives:

The Mother Teresa's for instance: Those women who are so needy they give and give and give  even though nobody asked them to and then get pissed that nobody appreciates it enough.

Just let's all hope that my posting time is up for the week before I run out of different types of mothers  to discuss.

If I only get to my Mother A, B, C, D and E files, we'll be fine. But if I have to dip into my Mother "F"  files, it could get messy. It's a very thick file---I'm on Volume 42... and adding new entries all the time.

Listen, I gotta go. My boss has been really nasty to me lately. I wonder if it has anything to do with my "Mother 'F'" file. I noticed the other day that Volume 14 was in front of Volume 9... and  I don't remember ever putting it there. 

I'll talk with ya again tomorrow.

Tuesday

(Start with "Monday" if you can.  When I get going ridiculing a holiday, you don't want to miss anything.)

So, what were we talking about? Oh right. Now that the horrible little holiday is history for another year....What do you say we make fun of it behind its back? 

Mother's Day was always a great holiday for me. Except in 1988, 1989, 1990, '91, '92, '93, '94, '95, '96. '97, '98, '99, 2000, 2001, and 2002.

You might say, during that time period, spanning two centuries, I was in a Mother's day drought.  

My mom was no longer around (I'm trying not to be morbid... I figured  "no longer around" sounds like maybe she ran off to Bermuda with a flamenco dancer) and I had no babies arriving in the foreseeable future.

And for those fourteen years, I never could figure out how to respond when random people would say:

"Happy Mother's Day!"

Being a non-Christian, I had the same predicament with "Merry Christmas!"

I apologize that I've mentioned this before, but I've created a system that I think works well in these awkward or at least, pesky situations that I always like to share.

When people wish you well on these holidays that you don't celebrate, I feel there are three possible solutions: 

A) Be sarcastic- (My first choice for most everything) 

Pesky Person:  "Merry Christmas!"

My response: "Happy Rahmadan!"

Pesky Person: "Happy Mother's Day!"

My response: "Happy AA Meeting!"   

B) Educate (My least favorite option)

Pesky Person:  "Merry Christmas. Did you buy your tree yet? "

My response (against my better judgment):  "I'm not Christian. I'm Jewish. We celebrate Chanukah."

This is my least favorite option because it's too much work and never goes well. The dialogue usually continues thus:

Pesky Person: "Oh. But did you get your tree yet?"

My response: "I told you we don't celebrate Christmas. Will you stop with the tree already?!"

And educating people about your Mother's Day situation is ten times worse.

"Happy Mother's Day"

"I don't celebrate Mother's Day. My mom passed away and I have no kids."

Well that's going to brighten anyone's day.  That's why the best choice is usually #3.

C) Don't Educate...Evacuate...(For those of you who are rock fans: aka "The Bono Method")

"Merry Christmas"

"U2"

"Happy Mother's Day"

"U2"

And keep on walking.

Listen, I gotta go. "Dancing with the Stars" is on for two hours tonight and I've got to plan something else to do for two hours.

I'll talk with ya again tomorrow.

Wednesday

(Start with "Monday" if you can. We're looking back at Mother's Day and giving it the kick in the teeth it deserves.... And speaking of kicks, please consider subscribing to this here Laughing IS Conceivable blog to receive weekly blog happenings, offers, and chats on why in the world I wrote what I wrote that week.)

So, what were we talking about? Oh right. How to respond to those who wished us a Happy Mother's Day, the bastards. The reason why I'm discussing this now is that there may be an aftermath. Like an after-shock from an earthquake.  

As if it wasn't bad enough to have all these yutzes wishing you a Happy Mother's day, now they might boomerang back at you with:

"So, how was your Mother's Day?"

Friday they wished you a good Mother's Day, and now the psycho control freak wants to know if her wish for you came true. Like she's your fricken fairy godmother.

As we discussed a bit yesterday: The way to handle anybody who is trying to suck you into any holiday that that you're desperately trying to avoid is: "Don't Educate...Evacuate". 

There are precisely two ways to approach the following question: 

"So, How was your Mother's Day?"

1) Educate:

"Well, I don't have any kids yet. We've been trying to have a baby for two years. First we went to this one clinic and I was on some drugs to regulate my cycle and then we were going to do artificial insemination, but now we think maybe my husband also has a sperm count issue.

And I know Mother's Day should be time I spend with my mom, but I'm really too depressed and watching her celebrate with my sisters and their kids and having to listen to them all tell me 'not to worry so much...if it's meant to happen it will happen' really just depresses me more...."

OR

2)  Evacuate

"So How Was Your Mother's Day?"

"Fine thanks. See ya tomorrow!"

It's all about keeping the goal in mind. You really don't want to confide in the average passerby. You want them to keep passing you by.

That's why it's vitally important that you don't use too many words (obviously I'm still working on that). You don't want to say anything that they have to break their stride to catch.

You also want to speak loudly and clearly. If you whisper, not only will they slow down (or Gd forbid, stop) to hear what you said, they'll come closer.

And whatever you do...I mean WHATEVER you do... Do not, I repeat, DO NOT "and yours" them!

"Hey, how was  your Mother's Day?"

"Great. And yours?"

Don't do that! This is no time to be polite!

"Great" was good enough. In fact it was perfect. Not only is it just one word, it's only one syllable. Nobody would have to slow down to hear that. You could yell it while they're closing the car door.

You had one quick altercation with them. Then you couldn't resist throwing in the "and yours?" and now you just obligated yourself to go another round.  

So remember: "Don't Educate... Evacuate."  I'm considering putting it on a bumper sticker and sticking it on schools in heavy natural disaster zones... Or on the side panel of an enema.

Listen, I gotta go.... Okay, it's how I always end my posts, but maybe an unfortunate choice of words directly following the enema remark. 

I'll talk with ya again tomorrow.

Thursday

(Start with "Monday" if you can. We're giving Mother's Day and the days following, the tribute they deserve: With plenty of good old fashioned anger and violence.)

(And if you'd like to see other aspects of my agressive personality, please do subscribe to this blog for weekly newsletters always guaranteed to be full of... well let's just say... info.)

So, what were we talking about? Oh right. The depressing, Hallmark-induced, pancake house celebrating, 24 dollars a dozen half-dead roses delivered to the wrong house on the right day or the right house on the wrong day---holiday that we affectionately (and sarcastically) refer to as "Mother's Day".

Enough I say! Today has been declared another holiday for all of us who survived Sunday's debacle. I proclaim today to be: "Give Yourself a Cookie Day!" For those who sat through your mother-in-law telling you how proud she is of all of her grandchildren (even the imbeciles among them) and wishes she had more... Give yourself a cookie. 

For those who spent time at a family gathering watching their nieces and nephews run around as you secretly hoped they would throw up on one of their parents just to bring a little joy into your day... Give yourself a cookie.

For those who bit the bullet while their mother cornered them in the kitchen and said:  "You know the only thing that would make this day better, would be if you were finally going to make me a grandma"... Give yourself a cookie.

For those who endured cousins showing pictures of their kids on their smartphone, while the damn kids were right in front of you... Give yourself a cookie.

For those who listened to their siblings complain to each other about how hard it is being a parent and how tired they always are, and how they never have enough time for themselves... Give yourself a cookie.

For those who went out with the extended family to some family-style BS restaurant and had to watch while everyone counted six times how many high chairs and how many booster seats they needed... Give yourself a cookie. 

For those who just couldn't deal with Sunday at all and stayed home and bitched to your husband... Give yourself a cookie. (Even if you already gave yourself twenty or forty on Sunday.)

And for those who were fed up to here with the whole stupidity of the holiday and told even one family member with unsolicited advice, or a thoughtless remark to "Screw-Off"... Give yourself a whole box of cookies.

And for those of you who did nothing...You survived the holiday...and that's plenty... "Give yourself a cookie" 

Listen, I gotta go. Father's Day is a month away. I barely have time to jot down all of my gripes. I'm probably the only person who brings a giant calendar with me to the shooting range.

I'll talk with ya again tomorrow.

Friday

(Start with "Monday" if you can. And I had a little glitch yesterday on this site and had the privilege of waiting on hold for eight minutes to speak to a nasty fool at godaddy.com on top of it, so if you missed yesterday's post, it's actually not half-bad I think, so please take a look. In fact it may even be better than what I'm about to write. Who knows? Surely not I.)

So. what were we talking about? Oh right. How proud of ourselves we should all be just for surviving Mother's Day. And it makes absolutely no difference how you did it.

Whether you were sociable, or merely polite, or ignored people, or avoided people, relationships got fractured, people got arrested, charges were filed...doesn't matter.

The only significant factor is that THAT was Sunday...Today is Friday...and, guess what? You made it.

I began this week with the title: I've Met ALL SORTS of Mothers in My Life: Now, in winding up our week long tribute to the wretched holiday, I'd like to spend a moment this last day, saluting some of those types of Mothers.

In fact, I think we'll do a twist on this all next week:

One of the biggest cruelties, of having to deal with infertility is all of the women around us who seem to have babies so easily. And in many cases, I personally take a good hard look at those who are pregnant, and they may not be the nicest most pleasant person and my first question is:

"I don't get it...Who would have sex with this woman?"

So here are some of the mothers we'll look into next week:

Mother Teresas

There's no way this woman wouldn't make any kid neurotic or drive any man crazy...and yet many reproduce with ease.

They give and give and give...Nobody asks them to. They'll tell you they do it because they're "just a good person" or "have a good heart".

No, this is a lie. They do it because they are fueled by a low self-esteem engine.

People who truly give for the right reasons, are satisfied just because they love to do for others. Mother Teresa's (unlike the real Mother Teresa) give and give and give without anybody asking and then are pissed that nobody appreciates it enough.

Mother Superiors

Women who have to top you at all costs. Whenever you chat with them, if takes about thirty seconds to discover that they only know highly educated, well-paid, extremely respected pillars of the community. 

If they've known me since high school, they'll never admit it. I'm just a short, broken-down impoverished writer with too much hair...what an embarrassment.

Mother Two-Faces

Perfect, friendly, happy,easy-going, smiley-smiley 1960's sit-com mom (June Cleever, Donna Reed) to your front, and nasty, bitchy, (possibly hard drinking) Roseanne-mom  to your back.

So please join us here at Laughing IS Conceivable next week when we further explore some of the lovely moms among us and mull over the question: "Who would sleep with this bitch?" 

I'll talk with ya again on Monday.

Funny Fertility Flashbacks (I Hope) #8

So today is the last day of us looking back at some fan fave posts of the past year+. Hope you've enjoyed a yuk or two down memory lane. I'll be getting off my fat ass and posting some new stuff on Monday. Have a great weekend! "Holidays: I'm Not Convinced"

Originally Posted: Sept 8, 2010 (Wednesday)

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:    

So, remember:

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.

Let the Grilling Begin! (Tuesday)

So, what were we talking about? Oh right. Preparing for the long weekend ahead and the mandatory Memorial Day barbecue: The unofficial start of summer for grill gluttons and beer guzzling alcoholics everywhere.  (Start with Monday's post if you can.) The perfect place to celebrate Memorial Day weekend for me would be at a monastery where the monks take a vow of silence: The ideal barbecue: Plenty of food and no talking.

And even if there was talking, nobody would be talking about their kids, and there'd be none running around (perhaps there'd be some running around at an apartment complex a half-mile down the road with a connecting underground tunnel to the monastery, but nobody would likely bring that up at the cook-out.)  

But since most of us don't have many monks attending our block parties, we have to work with what we got.

Sometimes as infertiles, you hold your breath as a big wingding approaches. "Will people ask us personal questions? Will we have to explain why we have no kids yet?"

No need to worry this time. For this weekend's barbecue, don't be concerned about the baby-making details. And don't bother buying a cattle car full of beef, pork, or chicken either. Look around the neighborhood. Plenty to grill right here. 

"Hey, look, it's Joan from down the block! Hi Joan. Glad you could make it.... So, Joan,  I've been meaning to ask...:

How much are you selling your house for? Is it really $440,000 like it's listed online? I mean, I'm sure all the other neighbors looked it up also.

I mean you can't really expect everyone to drive by that sign every day for six years and not go onto the realtor's website and search your address. I mean, it's not like we don't know the address.

So are you really asking $440,000 or is that some sort of a bargaining sales ploy? I mean you're not really expecting to get that are you? And it's been the same price for six years. I mean I know the housing market's in the toilet...But six years? And $440,000? It's kind of a pipedream...you know...maybe even a hallucination.

I mean, it's not that we're all nosy, Joan, it's just that we're all curious to know what houses in this neighborhood would be going for.

I mean, most of us are comparing your house to our own, and figure if you could get $440,000 for your termite-infested one-floor cramped mess, which by the way did you realize it's listed as three thousand square feet?

I mean, even if you count the garage, the deck , the hammock out back, and the mailbox, it couldn't possibly be three thousand square feet.

So do you really want to sell or are you just listing it to further piss off your ex-husband who built the house with his own two hands and lost it in the settlement when he ran off with that hula instructor?

Like I said, I know it's not really my place, but I just figured while we're standing around in this relaxed friendly atmosphere on this holiday weekend just chatting... and grilling...      

Listen, I gotta go. The long weekend's only a few days away and I've got to go buy some deck furniture.... and build a deck.

I'll talk with ya again tomorrow.

I've Met ALL SORTS of Mothers in my Life (Friday)

(Start with "Monday" if you can. And I had a little glitch yesterday on this site and had the privilege of waiting on hold for eight minutes to speak to a nasty fool at godaddy.com on top of it, so if you missed yesterday's post, it's actually not half-bad I think, so please take a look. In fact it may even be better than what I'm about to write. Who knows? Surely not I.) So. what were we talking about? Oh right. How proud of ourselves we should all be just for surviving Mother's Day. And it makes absolutely no difference how you did it.

Whether you were sociable, or merely polite, or ignored people, or avoided people, relationships got fractured, people got arrested, charges were filed...doesn't matter.

The only significant factor is that THAT was Sunday...Today is Friday...and, guess what? You made it.

I began this week with the title: I've Met ALL SORTS of Mothers in My Life: Now, in winding up our week long tribute to the wretched holiday, I'd like to spend a moment this last day, saluting some of those types of Mothers.

In fact, I think we'll do a twist on this all next week:

One of the biggest cruelties, of having to deal with infertility is all of the women around us who seem to have babies so easily. And in many cases, I personally take a good hard look at those who are pregnant, and they may not be the nicest most pleasant person and my first question is:

"I don't get it...Who would have sex with this woman?"

So here are some of the mothers we'll look into next week:

Mother Teresas

There's no way this woman wouldn't make any kid neurotic or drive any man crazy...and yet many reproduce with ease.

They give and give and give...Nobody asks them to. They'll tell you they do it because they're "just a good person" or "have a good heart".

No, this is a lie. They do it because they are fueled by a low self-esteem engine.

People who truly give for the right reasons, are satisfied just because they love to do for others. Mother Teresa's (unlike the real Mother Teresa) give and give and give without anybody asking and then are pissed that nobody appreciates it enough.

Mother Superiors

Women who have to top you at all costs. Whenever you chat with them, if takes about thirty seconds to discover that they only know highly educated, well-paid, extremely respected pillars of the community. 

If they've known me since high school, they'll never admit it. I'm just a short, broken-down impoverished writer with too much hair...what an embarrassment.

Mother Two-Faces

Perfect, friendly, happy,easy-going, smiley-smiley 1960's sit-com mom (June Cleever, Donna Reed) to your front, and nasty, bitchy, (possibly hard drinking) Roseanne-mom  to your back.

So please join us here at Laughing IS Conceivable next week when we further explore some of the lovely moms among us and mull over the question: "Who would sleep with this bitch?" 

I'll talk with ya again on Monday

I've Met ALL SORTS of Mothers in My Life (Thursday)

(Start with "Monday" if you can. We're giving Mother's Day and the days following, the tribute they deserve: With plenty of good old fashioned anger and violence.) (And if you'd like to see other aspects of my agressive personality, please do subscribe to this blog for weekly newsletters always guaranteed to be full of... well let's just say... info.)

So, what were we talking about? Oh right. The depressing, Hallmark-induced, pancake house celebrating, 24 dollars a dozen half-dead roses delivered to the wrong house on the right day or the right house on the wrong day---holiday that we affectionately (and sarcastically) refer to as "Mother's Day".

Enough I say! Today has been declared another holiday for all of us who survived Sunday's debacle. I proclaim today to be: "Give Yourself a Cookie Day!" For those who sat through your mother-in-law telling you how proud she is of all of her grandchildren (even the imbeciles among them) and wishes she had more... Give yourself a cookie. 

For those who spent time at a family gathering watching their nieces and nephews run around as you secretly hoped they would throw up on one of their parents just to bring a little joy into your day... Give yourself a cookie.

For those who bit the bullet while their mother cornered them in the kitchen and said:  "You know the only thing that would make this day better, would be if you were finally going to make me a grandma"... Give yourself a cookie.

For those who endured cousins showing pictures of their kids on their smartphone, while the damn kids were right in front of you... Give yourself a cookie.

For those who listened to their siblings complain to each other about how hard it is being a parent and how tired they always are, and how they never have enough time for themselves... Give yourself a cookie.

For those who went out with the extended family to some family-style BS restaurant and had to watch while everyone counted six times how many high chairs and how many booster seats they needed... Give yourself a cookie. 

For those who just couldn't deal with Sunday at all and stayed home and bitched to your husband... Give yourself a cookie. (Even if you already gave yourself twenty or forty on Sunday.)

And for those who were fed up to here with the whole stupidity of the holiday and told even one family member with unsolicited advice, or a thoughtless remark to "Screw-Off"... Give yourself a whole box of cookies.

And for those of you who did nothing...You survived the holiday...and that's plenty... "Give yourself a cookie" 

Listen, I gotta go. Father's Day is a month away. I barely have time to jot down all of my gripes. I'm probably the only person who brings a giant calendar with me to the shooting range.

I'll talk with ya again tomorrow.

Infertility, Vacations & Other Stressful Events (Wednesday)

(Start with "Tuesday" if you can. I've been on vacation for the past week but my tortured soul is still typing. And if it's entertaining at all to you, consider subscribing. You'll receive a free weekly newsletter of sorts that gives some inside details of each week's posts.)      So, what were we talking about? Oh right. The dozens of well-meaning do-gooders in our infertile lives who try to cure us by sending us on a vacation. They're a triple threat:  psychologist, reproductive endocrinologist and travel agent all rolled into one, operating without a license to advise us in any one of those areas.

Have there been studies to corroborate this: "Go on vacation and you'll get pregnant" theory? Is this one of those things that doctors don't want us to know about? Has there been an infomercial on this? I mean millions of doctors would be out of business if word ever got out that all we needed to do to conceive was lie on a beach in Cancun sandwiched between their warm sand and our warm man.

What's the secret? Is it the grains of sand in our swimsuit bottoms that survive ten showers and linger in our bodily crevices for a month? ("Wow, I can't believe I'm still finding sand in there. I haven't been at the beach since Memorial Day.") Is it the exposure to the sun? Maybe it's easier to conceive because the focus is taken off our fertility problems once we get a good melanoma going.    

And that's another issue I have. (Add it to my list, will ya?) This week in Florida, I indeed went to the beach. You're not allowed to bring pets, fish without a permit, sell anything on the beach, or bring alcoholic beverages. Is there not a way to restrict bathing suit choice?

Personally I would probably never choose a bikini for myself. I'm too top heavy. I know that sounds strange, but when you're older and top heavy and it's your natural top as opposed to a surgically created one, gravity sets in and your top becomes your middle. I just feel that if the top half of your bikini ends up, after as much hoisting as possible, only three inches above the bottom half of your bikini, you need to make a different bathing suit choice...for everyone's sake.

Then there are the women who have their top covered with the suit and their bottom covered with the suit and refuse to recognize that there's seventy pounds of macaroni and cheese in between that neither half is willing to claim.

I'll say but one quick note about men's speedos. No. Don't. I beg you. If you have a nice body, you come off as a narcissistic jerk. If you don't have a nice body, you are a nightmare virus. We have nightmares for weeks, then go home and tell our girlfriends who have nightmares for weeks and so on and so on. Until your dream has come true: Your body has kept women awake around the world.... Just not in the way you had hoped.

But I definitely believe that taking a walk on the beach during infertility/treatments is an exceptionally good idea. It's extremely therapeutic. You can't help but let the stress go: The feel of your toes being massaged by the sand, the sound of the waves, the smell of the ocean. Any beach will do. It doesn't have to be hundreds of miles or thousands of dollars away.  It just has to be in a good area. It's not very relaxing if the couple in front of you just got mugged.

The beach is especially beautiful, I think, at night. It's more romantic and well...nobody has to see what anybody looks like at the beach.

Listen, I gotta go. We're heading back home in the wee hours. It's a long drive. We hate to miss the complimentary continental breakfast, but passing it up is the least we can do since we're using the cloak of darkness to skip out on the hotel bill.

I'll talk with ya again tomorrow.

Don't Let Depression Get You Down (Tuesday)

(Start with Monday if you can.  It will be quite a pleasant surprise. Like finding a beautifully wrapped gift that someone hid behind the couch for you for Christmas that you just discovered. Hopefully it isn't assorted cheeses or smoked salami... No, I have a feeling if it were, you would have had a hint it was there before now.)  So, what were we talking about? Oh right, the lighter side of infertility...Namely: Depression.Infertility and depression actually have a lot in common. Millions suffer from it. Nobody wants to talk about it. If you do want to talk about it, nobody except someone who charges a hefty fee wants to listen to it.  Many sufferers deal with it by ignoring it until it goes away by itself...which it never does. Neither one makes you the life of the party.

"I haven't been able to get pregnant for three years."

"Wow,what a coincidence! I haven't been able to get out of bed for six months!"

***********************

"What drugs have you tried? I've been on Lupron, Clomid, and Gonal-F"

"I haven't been on that many.  Just pot, Tequila, and now Paxil."

***********************

"I hate going to family gatherings. My parents just tell everyone we're out of town." 

"I hate going to them too. My parents just tell everyone I'm shy."

***********************

"Sex has become a chore. I'd just as soon sleep."

"Me too!" 

 

I think a problem is, at least in the U.S.... can't speak for elsewhere: We're big on the appearance of things. We're big on fake. Fake hair. Fake breasts. Fake nails. We don't like people to know we're not perfect and we definitely, GD forbid, don't want them to know we're not normal. Normal people get pregnant. Normal people are grateful just to be alive. 

Of course at any given time, there are 7 million who can't get pregnant and 3-5% of the population who just as soon crawl into a dark corner and stay there for a month like a dust ball...and occasionally, they're the same people in both groups.    

And infertility and depression are both pretty easy to hide if you want to. If you're uncomfortable with being obese or tall, you probably can't hide that you're obese or tall. But nobody can tell by looking at you that you can't get pregnant. Nobody can tell by looking at you, that you're in a funk. And let's face it: People just as soon not know either anyway. It's too messy. Too inconvenient.

If I'm honest about it, I feel that way myself. Somebody comes within talking distance of me: Close friend, relative or passerby: "Hey. How ya doin?'"

"Well I got married pretty late in life. And then we had as much sex as I could tolerate for a year. And then I had a bunch of tests done. My hormone levels were pretty good. But I was going to the doctor every two days and then I went for four rounds of treatments that didn't work so now I'm about ready to jump out of the fkn window."

I just as soon say: "Fine thanks" and keep on walking. Notice I never end my response with: "and you?".

Listen I gotta go. I'm training for a triathlon next month and I have to learn how to swim and ride a bike.  Please check out Tracy Birkinbine's article this week about depression and infertility: http://laughingisconceivable.com/?page_id=642

I'll talk with ya again tomorrow.