(Start with "Monday" if you can. You'll want to cram in as many yuks as possible before you have to start opening crummy gag gifts that well, make you gag.) So, what were we talking about? Oh right. Absurd holiday customs that parents do that all of the future parents among us swear we'll avoid. Here comes another one now: Beating our friends over the head with photos.
Nobody who's been trying to conceive for a while wants to see pictures of their friends' babies. It's a fact. So let's stop feeling guilty about it. They've got plenty of other people to hound with the photos. They don't need any of us.
When I was in the throes of infertility and someone would accost me with their holiday photos, I used to look past their hand at the floor instead of directly at the photo: "Oh so cute." I never said "He's so cute" or "She's so cute" unless I was sure what kind of kid they had. They were satisfied and would walk away. I always figured it was a lot politer than: "Get the fk away from me with that! How insensitive can one person be?"
I almost don't think it even pays to explain to anybody the truth in this situation. Their goal is just to get somebody to look at their damn pictures. Your goal is to get them to take their damn pictures and go away. Why prolong this encounter? It's easier just to lie your way out of it. Which scenario sounds more bearable?
"Hey. Come see pictures of Lily with Santa!"
"I'm really not comfortable with that. You know, I'm going through some personal fertility issues right now. And I'm sorry it's just too hard. Hopefully next year will be better."
"That is so selfish! You won't look at my baby because you're going through fertility issues? What's that got to do with looking at some photos with Santa? I can't believe you'd make such a big deal out of it. I'd never do that to you!"
"Hi. Want to see some great photos of Lily with Santa?"
"I'd love to but I have a really bad stomach ache. I mean, if you don't mind bringing the pictures into the bathroom..."
Mission accomplished. And hey, if you're anti-white lie, when you see her starting her rounds with the photos, down some dairy product and citrus...or coffee...or Taco Bell (yeah, that's a good one. You don't even have to buy anything. Usually just getting in line at the drive-thru will do it)
I think most of this getting through the holidays stuff is about being prepared. Carry some photos of your own. So when somebody says: "Have I shown you the Christmas photos of Melanie?", beat them to it: Counter with: "Have I shown you my vacation pictures at Yellowstone?" Be quick to the draw. Whip 'em out. By the time you've harassed them with sixty or seventy photos of you waving and pretending to lift a two ton boulder, they'll forget what they even wanted from your life.
Listen, I gotta go. I have to drive around the neighborhood and see which places have an "Open Christmas Day" sign in the window so I can plan my holiday.
I'll talk with ya again tomorrow. And if you like this blog, please subscribe. It's a lot more humane for you to do that than to make me look into my computer and yell into cyberspace: "Hello?! Hello?! Anybody out there?"
Also, please look at the newest entry in our "Get Through the Holidays...Any Way You Can" series of articles. This one is on the brand spanking new "Non-Health" Experts page and is written by Eloise Drane of Family Acuity. http://laughingisconceivable.com/?page_id=1623
I'll talk with ya again tomorrow.