That First Waiting Room is the Most Special

Microblog_Mondays

Most of us know that there are a myriad of reasons a woman could need to see a fertility doctor: Things wrong with her parts. Things wrong with his parts. Things wrong with both their parts. Things wrong with nobody knows whose parts. Since I was 38 3/4 years old when I met my husband, 39 1/2 when I got married, and 39 1/2 and 4 hours when I first tried to get pregnant, everybody assumed my age was what sent me kicking and screaming into a fertility clinic at the over ripe old age of 41. Nobody ever came right out and said that that was the diagnosis but the writing was on the wall (not to mention on the outside of my chart when I finally did get pregnant. Since I’m not a physician, I could only assume that “AMA” in bright red letters (so much for Hippa) meant: “Advanced Maternal Age” not “American Medical Association”.)

I remember that first day at the fertility clinic well. Particularly the waiting room. Every woman in the room appeared to be young– extremely young. For a second I thought it was a Girl Scout troop. Apparently panic attacks can cause hallucinations. I blinked hard like I was Jeannie. (I just gave my age away again, didn’t I? Come on, Nick-at-Nite, reruns, yeah, yeah, that’s where I’ve seen it.)

I surveyed the room again. I felt like I was a contestant among other contestants in a Miss America pageant and someone was about to mistake me for Miss South Dakota’s aunt. I tried to engross myself in a magazine. There was Madonna on the cover. Great. Had her first child at sixty. Still looking fab at seventy-two. I turned it over in disgust leaving it for the next old infertile masochist.

I turned my attention to the forms I was given to fill out with a pen that was chained to my clipboard. I looked at the women around me and their pens and clipboards. Mine seemed to have an unusually short chain.

It was a conspiracy. Clearly the staff didn’t want me there. And as for the other women…Here was a group of ladies, all of whom were like me- Potentially suffering some reproductive malfunctions- and I still hated their guts. I think the true definition of low self-esteem is when you can look at a group of people who have the same afflictions as you, and envy them….

Why couldn’t I have had fertility problems at twenty-eight like that girl over there? If I have to have fertility problems why couldn’t I at least have perfect skin like that girl? Or that girl’s bracelet? Or that girl’s husband? He has nicer hair than mine does. Or that girl’s cell phone?

Then my hallucinations started again. This time they were of the mean, nasty, catty and, oddly enough, therapeutic, variety. I decided that the “twenty-eight” year old, was named Staceeé (spelled with three “e”’s and an accent aigu. I figured she may as well be cutesy, pretentious, and idiotic). Upon further analysis, I determined that she was not quite so young after all. In fact her fertility issues, according to my diagnosis, were caused by complications from her Alzheimer’s medications. I had never heard of that happening before but there you are.

The girl with the hairy husband was evidently not so young either. It seems Penelope had been married for thirty years, divorced when her husband discovered she had gone back to being a sixties cover band groupie and was now trying to have a baby with her eighteen year old second husband, Gustav, who may or may not have a secret family in Sweden. I haven’t made up my mind yet. I put my hallucinational arm around Penelope. We bonded immediately.

By the time my husband came back from answering a call on his cell phone in the hallway, not only did I have everyone in the waiting area neatly named and demoralized, I had the median age of the room set at sixty-three. It would have been higher had I not figured myself into the math.

The loving fantasy support group came to an abrupt end when the nurse called my name… and then asked my husband if he needed help bringing me into the office eight feet away.

(Please check-out my eBook, Laughing IS Conceivable: One Woman’s Extremely Funny Peek into the Extremely Unfunny World of Infertility by clicking the book cover icon to the left or by visiting Amazon:  http://amazon.com/dp/B007G9X19A. Also available on Kobo and Nook.)

If Only Men Had Kvetch Forums

homer simpsonWhen you’re done here, come see my guest post also for Father’s Day on Bianca Smith’s: “Where’s My Stork?” blog. The post proposes an alternative holiday whether you’re celebrating Father’s Day or not: “Happy Thank You for Not Being a Schmuck’ Day” http://wheresmystork.com
For the past two weeks, my goal for this here Laughing IS Conceivable blog has been to get us to help take the sting out of this impending Father’s Day thing for the loving husbands/partners/spouses involuntarily turned antiseptic sperm donors in our lives.

I’m not implying that they were forced into doing fertility treatments but let’s face it: None of us got involved with treatments because we thought it would be a fun adventure. What kind of a lunatic would have IVF on their bucket list between “see the pyramids” and “climb Mount Everest”?

But, to be honest, I sometimes feel men are a little neglected emotionally in this process. Maybe not by us in our own homes… but on blogs and social media. It’s nobody’s fault.  Continue reading If Only Men Had Kvetch Forums

Remember this Father’s Day: You Picked Him

Microblog_MondaysI love whenever Judge Judy has a case where a woman is suing an ex and the woman goes on and on about how irresponsible and useless he is. Judge Judy’s response is always the same:

“So what do you want from me? You picked him!”

The vast majority of infertility blog readers are women, likely because the vast majority of infertility blog writers are women. I’m sure that comes as a huge surprise to not one person. Infertile women generally have a short agenda when we blog or post on social networks:

1) Kvetch to other infertile women

2) Help other infertile women

Kvetch and help…Help and kvetch. Sometimes we kvetch and hope it helps. Sometimes we help and it comes off as kvetching. Other times, we kvetch knowing that it helps nobody at all, (least of all ourselves), but we keep on kvetching nonetheless.

So this time each year, I like to pay a little more attention to the men in our lives. We all know that Mother’s Day when you’re trying to conceive is no picnic. I imagine Father’s Day is the same for them. Of course, they’ll never tell you that.

The last time I wrote about how men feel during the madcap infertility adventure was when I was going through fertility treatments myself. I grilled my husband like a burger on the Fourth of July so I could get the deepest insight into the innermost thoughts and feelings of the male half of a couple. I put on my best Barbara Walters face and aimed my most probing questions right at him while he checked his email on his phone:

“How do you really feel about Father’s Day?”
“How does all this make you feel as a man?”
“How do you feel as a husband watching your life partner go through treatments month after month?”
“How do you feel at family functions when there are kids running around everywhere?”
“How do you feel when people ask you why we don’t have kids yet?”

I taped the whole session, took copious notes, stacked them all up in one big pile, got my calculator, and then entered the data I had amassed which really wasn’t that massive and actually was a complete waste of time considering that his answer to every single question was:

“I don’t know what to tell you. I never really thought about it.”

So I’m sure this whole infertility thing weighs heavily on men…Even more so, I’m certain, if modern medical science declares that they’re the culprit. But most of them, from my experience anyway, won’t actually tell you they’re sad or depressed or frustrated about the whole damn thing. They’re usually not part of the “kvetch and help” brigade like we are.

So in these weeks leading up to Father’s Day, I think every woman should ditch the notion of getting into his head to find out what he really feels about all this infertility crappola…and just show extra love and appreciation for the guy you picked.

Think back…Think way, way, way back… to when he was not your balding business partner in this fricken baby making project, but a cute guy at the party, a first date, a serious boyfriend…or, if you’d prefer: Think back to just a week before you went to your first fertility appointment when he was an unshaven, gas-filled, beer gut taking up 2/3 of the couch. Either way, he’s yours and, like Judge Judy says: “You picked him.”

So for the next week or so even as the infertility battle rages on, remember why you picked him. And if your answer is: “I’ve never really thought about it.” Please…we’re women…Of course you have.

My eBook: Laughing IS Conceivable: One Woman’s Extremely Funny Peek into the Extremely Unfunny World of Infertility (Amazon: http://amazon.com/dp/B007G9X19A to read about it, customer reviews etc or click book cover over there to the left for Nook & Kobo.)

The “Other” Memorial Day

If you’re not in the U.S., you may not know about Memorial Day that we just celebrated yesterday. I hate to say “celebrated”. It’s really a day of remembrance for all of the soldiers who lost their lives while serving in our military over the centuries. There are typically moving events in most regions of the Country to commemorate the day. Then there’s the “other” Memorial Day: A three day weekend of this:

Soldiers died… so people could add “started drinking at 10 am” to their normal “texting and driving” repertoire.

Soldiers died… so people could eat their body weight in grilled meat.

Soldiers died… so thousands of people could all decide that Friday at 4 pm was the perfect time to take the five hour drive to the beach that’s 45 minutes away.

Soldiers died… so beer guzzlers could become fireworks experts.

Soldiers died… so thousands of people could all decide that Monday at 4 pm was the perfect time to take the five hour drive home from the beach that’s 45 minutes away.

Soldiers died… so thousands of others could do a three day walk-a-thon, schlepping their luggage through rope lines at the airport.

And last but very least:

Soldiers died… so I could get my bras “buy one get one free.” And when they’re on back order, the bra company graciously sends me a postcard…a postcard… stating: “Your 34D bra is on its way!”

Very last but even more least…

Soldiers died… so my mailman could know my bra size. It may have been Memorial Day weekend, but there you go, buddy. There’s your Christmas tip.

Dedicated to all of you in the military or with spouses or other family members in the military or who have been lost while serving… Thanks…   Microblog_Mondays

Did they Really Mean: “Start Asking”?

Microblog_MondaysA little while ago, for National Infertility Awareness Week, infertility bloggers were asked to write a post. This year’s theme: “Start Asking”. So all of us who write and post about infertility got to work and wracked our collective brains to come up with our own unique takes on the topic: “Start Asking”. Now that a few weeks have gone by and I’ve had time to let that really settle in, I’m starting to wonder: Was that theme a misprint? No, I’m serious. Hear me out. I mean, Resolve (http://resolve.org) the excellent national infertility association, probably knows infertile people better than anyone. And yet… they… were… asking… us… to… ask… more questions? I’m sure in their time, they’ve seen a few posts on infertility support groups… heard directly from a few fertility patients… spoken to some medical professionals who deal with fertility patients every day… and yet… they still wanted us to ask… more questions? I don’t get it. Were they implying that in the course of our average, run of the mill, daily repartee we aren’t posing enough questions?:

“Why aren’t I pregnant yet? When will I get pregnant? Will I ever get pregnant? Am I too old to get pregnant? Are my ovaries okay? Are my tubes okay? Are my hormones okay? Is my husband okay? He doesn’t look okay. Do I have enough eggs? Are my eggs okay? Should I stop eating eggs or eat more of them? The white part and the yellow part? Does it matter which part I eat first? Should I go to a specialist? What kind of a specialist? A fertility specialist or an infertility specialist? Can you recommend one? How are her success rates? I’m only 5’1″. How are her success rates with short women? Has anyone ever tried acupuncture? Should I try acupuncture? I’m afraid of needles. Should I try IVF instead? Should I try fertility yoga? I’m afraid of yoga. Should I try yogurt instead? Do I eat it or insert it? Should it be low fat or high fat? Should I try herbs? Do you pronounce the ‘h’ in ‘herbs’? I’ve been drinking a lot of water and now I have to go to the bathroom. Has this ever happened to anyone? Does anyone know if this is normal? My mother-in-law wants a grandchild ASAP. Should I tell her to F off? Will my insurance cover anything? Will it cover anything if I cross the border and have treatments in St. Louis? How about Peru? Should I fly or take a boat?”

I’m not kidding. Obviously, the theme was a misprint. And by the time someone realized it, we’d all written our posts and it was too late. Oh, I hope nobody at Resolve lost their job for the blunder. Clearly what they meant to say was not:

“Start Asking”.

What they meant to say was a theme heavily supported by our partners, coworkers, family, friends, medical professionals and, truth be told, the remaining sane part of our own subconscious minds: ‘Stop Asking… Please… Just Stop Asking!!'”

Am I the Only One Stressed Out By Coupons?

option-2 (1)Maybe it’s a reaction to something in my past life. I don’t mean when I might have been a peasant in 18th century Ireland. I mean when I was sixteen and worked as a supermarket cashier and somebody would come on my line with fifty items and fifty-three coupons: A third of which were legit, a third of which were expired, a third of which were for products not sold in that state, let alone the store. Whatever the cause… I’m just not a coupon person.

I know… A lot of you must be thinking: “How lucky that you never needed to use coupons.” No, no… Don’t get me wrong. (Or like they say on Maury: “Don’t get me twisted”): I never said I didn’t need to use coupons. In fact, that’s how I knew I really hated coupons. When you’re flat broke and the free local paper is laying there on your driveway and you pick it up and see it’s packed with coupons and you still say:

“Na, I can’t be bothered.”

That’s how you really know you hate coupons. Whenever I’ve ever taken one to the store, I can’t think of anything else. As I’m parking the car, getting out of the car, walking into the store, getting the shopping cart, I keep repeating my angst-filled mantra:

“Don’t forget to use the coupon. Don’t forget to use the coupon. Don’t forget to use the coupon.”

When I finally get to the aisle where the item is, I’m already sweating and breathing heavily like I’m having a totally unnatural reaction to the stubbly guy with the dolly and the fuzzy butt crack who’s stocking the shelf.

Then I have to take out the coupon to read it. Then I look at the item. Read the coupon again and look at the item in my hand again: “Nabisco” “Nabisco” “12 ounces” “12 ounces” “Any Fruit Variety” “Mixed Fruit”. I’m still so paranoid I’m taking the wrong item, I need validation:

“Excuse me Sir, ‘Mixed Fruit’ counts as ‘Any Fruit Variety’ doesn’t it? I mean: ‘Mixed Fruit isn’t technically a fruit, but it’s a mix of fruits that are all fruits. Right? Or maybe I should just take ‘Strawberry’ to be sure, even though I’d really rather have ‘Mixed Fruit.'”

He doesn’t work for the store. He doesn’t even work for Nabisco. So he ignores me and keeps stocking bread on the bottom shelf and now I’m not only stressed out over the coupon but I’m dying to yell: “And pull up your Gd damn pants!” And run out of the aisle.

So at about 63% sure that I took the correct item, I continue along my merry way to finish my shopping, checking the coupon another three or four times to re-confirm and re-re-confirm that: 1) It didn’t expire 2) It wasn’t void in my state 3) I didn’t have to buy two to use the coupon 4) I didn’t drop it somewhere in the store as a result of taking it in and out of my purse so many times. (Once or twice I actually have had to retrace my steps to retrieve it from the floor of an earlier aisle.)

Finally, I’m at the check out and almost home free. (If you’re familiar with the Brady Bunch, at this point I’m feeling like the boys did when they were trying to get rid of the bad luck idol in Hawaii)…

And here comes the biggest challenge of all for me: I have to remember to give the cashier the coupon. Having cleared that hurdle, I hold my breath while they scrutinize it. Whew. It seems to have passed inspection. So, I saw the cashier pick it up at the beginning of my check-out experience, now I exhale and then hold my breath again, hoping they remember to pick it up again and actually take it off my bill at the end of my check-out experience. And what if it doesn’t scan because there’s too much of my hand sweat on the bar code? And what if they can’t manually enter in the numbers? And what if the manager finally comes over and they can’t do it either and what if… oh, it scanned on the first try… okay, good.

Once I forgot to hand it to the cashier until she was done with the order and she said cheerily: “That’s okay. Use it next time.” I looked at her like she’d lost her mind.

“Next time?! I can’t go through all this again! I just…… can’t.”

I will say, not to pat myself on the back, but I have come a long way in the coupon world: I no longer freak out when people pronounce “coupon” wrong. I won’t even boast by telling you which way is wrong. It must be a sign of maturity.

Please check-out my New l’il Humor eBook: Laughing IS Conceivable: From End of School to Back-to-School @ http://amazon.com/dp/B007G9X19Aoption-2 (1)Microblog_Mondays

 

I Proclaim Today as: “Give Yourself a Cookie” Day

So how’d your mother’s day go? Guess what? No matter how it went, you survived. It’s over. And damn am I proud of you.

If you cried. If you hid under the table.
If you never got out of bed. If you blew off family festivities because you were too depressed.
For you, I hereby proclaim today as: “Give Yourself a Cookie Day!”

For you 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 you who spent time at a family gathering watching your 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 you who bit the bullet while your mother cornered you in the kitchen and reminded you of how much younger you’re not getting…

Give yourself a cookie!

For you who endured cousins showing pictures of their kids on their iphone, while the damn kids were right in front of you… Give yourself a cookie!

For you who listened to your siblings complain to each other about how hard it is being a parent and how they never have enough time for themselves… And if you only knew how lucky you were…

Give yourself a cookie!

For you who went out with the extended family to some family-style BS restaurant and had to stand there while everyone counted six times how many high chairs and how many booster seats were needed… Give yourself a cookie!

For you who just couldn’t deal with the holiday at all and stayed home and bitched to your spouse… Give yourself a cookie! (Even you who yesterday gave yourself a case of cookies and washed it down with a gallon of ice cream.)

And for you who got so fed up, you told a relative who gave unsolicited advice, or made a thoughtless remark to “Screw-Off”… Give yourself one of those giant bakery cookies. (Preferably one with a huge smiley face looking up at you.)

And for you who did nothing, avoided everyone, went nowhere, turned off the lights and pulled the blankets over your head…You survived the day…and that’s plenty… So…”Give yourself a cookie!”

Microblog_Mondays

Happy Mother $#%&$* Day!

In a tribute to all of my current and former fellow travelers on the dark, longass infertility road, I am re-posting 3 posts here in the hope they will, in some small way, help you get through the dreaded day. 

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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, 2002, 2003, 2004, and 2005.

You might say, during that time period, which spanned 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.. Go Mom!) and I had no babies arriving in the foreseeable future.

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

“Happy Mother’s Day!”

Being a non-Christian, I’ve always had the same predicament with “Merry Christmas!” So precisely twice a year, once in May and once in December, I was speechless. The rest of the time, if you know me at all, I was then as I am now: Rambling. Words come out of my mouth and off my keyboard in no particular order. But back then, on those two occasions I could only stare and blink.

I’ve created a system of sorts 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 are not celebrating at the moment, for whatever reason, I feel there are three possible solutions:

A) Be sarcastic/ridiculous/obnoxious – (My first choice for most everything. Surprised?)

Pesky Person: “Happy Mother’s Day!”

My response (preferably yelled across a crowded room): “Are yoooou goooooing to your AA meeting this weeeeekeeend?!”

B) Educate (My least favorite option)

Pesky Person: “Happy Mother’s Day”

My response (against my better judgment): “My mother’s been gone several years and I have no kids yet.”

Now the reason why this is my least favorite option is not only does it garner sympathy from people, say coworkers, whom I’d rather have strictly a “wave and walk” relationship with. (You know, when you get into work you wave and walk: “Good Morning!” and on Friday afternoon you wave and walk: “Have a Nice Weekend!”) but now I’m setting myself up for further conversation thereby defying the rules of our unwritten wave and walk contract. It’s a chess game you never win.

So she said:
“Happy Mother’s Day!” then I said:
“My mother’s been gone for several years and I have no kids yet.” And now it’s back to her: Crap! And now she has only 2 possible moves each one as unsettling as the other:

1) The Sympathy Move
“Oh I’m so sorry. Well try to have a nice weekend anyway. I’ll be thinking of you…” (unsaid: …while I’m sitting with my family having breakfast at the pancake house)

or

2) The Comforting as Though We Were Friends Move

“Oh, I didn’t know. Have you been trying? You do want kids though don’t you? They’re such a blessing. How long have you been married now? Have you seen a doctor?

This is the worst case scenario. At least with the sympathy move, she says “I’ll be thinking of you” and I say “Thanks…Bye” and I’m in the clear, free to go.

But now she’s befriended me. Now it’s back to me to respond. So I’m saying as little as possible…(which for me is a bad scene. Needless to say: I panic when I Twee.t “Oh geez, only 7 characters left”). So I say to this one:

“Yeah, I’ll be fine. I’ve been to the doctor.”
The last thing you want to do is encourage more questions or even worse…advice. All the while in my head I’m thinking: (“Why didn’t I just say, ‘Have a Nice Weekend’ when I had the chance?! Fk me! Look at that it’s 5:08. Fk me again!)

And the third option…Also a goody:

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”

“Have a Nice Weekend”

“U2”

“Good luck at the dentist!”

“U2”
And keep on walking.

Of course there’s one more option: The Bright Side:

“Happy Mother’s Day”
“Not now. But say it again next year.”

Mother’s Day: Nope Don’t Get it

What is Mother’s Day really about and what does it want from my life? I mean it. What’s the point?

It was bound to happen. My anger was about to break loose sooner or later over this. My pressure cooker was about to blow. Usually I reserve my ire for those driving in front of me at 43 m.p.h. in a 45 m.p.h. zone. (You can’t do the whole 45? Is it a laziness thing? You refuse to expend the energy it takes to apply a little extra pressure on your big toe?) So this is the state that mother’s day has put me in.

Here are these millions of wonderful women around the world more than worthy of motherhood, more than up to the task, who are struggling to get pregnant.

For those women, all mother’s day does is send them screaming head first into a gallon of Haagen Dazs. I’m so upset I can’t even bring myself to capitalize either “mother’s” or “day”. (And I’m not even sure Haagen Dazs makes gallons. And did you know that just as 50 is the new 40, 14 ozs is the new pint?)

Women trying to conceive who have yet to become moms, are angry, sad, depressed and anxious. Certainly mother’s day isn’t doing them any favors.

Then over here, you have women who are mothers. Most of us have had one of those in our lives. That woman who cooked, cleaned, and yelled at us through gritted teeth in the supermarket aisle. So, in return, once a year, we honored her for all of her love and tireless devotion by making her something out of tinfoil, macaroni, and a paper plate.

Nowadays, mother’s day has become more meaningful. We’ve expanded our displays of love and devotion for our mothers by taking them to the pancake house or Cracker Barrel. The celebration to that wonderful woman who has given us life is culminated by waiting/rocking outside the building for an hour until they call your name for the privilege of sitting all 8 of you at a table for 5 and the joy of getting to know your neighbor as the back of his chair is flush up against yours. As the family joins lovingly to say grace over the table, you are secretly praying that your Siamese twin behind you doesn’t at some point have to get up to pee.

So let’s sum this up shall we? Women who don’t have kids but are trying are devastated by this day. Women who have kids are treated to a crowded chain restaurant that’s going for the World Record for how many adult children with the same lame mother’s day plan can be jammed into a room with 15 tables.

So, who is this damn day for again? I’m fed up. I’ve had it up to here! (My hand is six inches above my head, making me a whopping 5’8″)

What Would “J” Say About Mother’s Day (Not that “J”)

I’m a talker. If you’ve read any of my stuff that shouldn’t surprise you. I write just like I talk. And somehow by my writing everyone can tell that I talk fast. And I talk a lot. And the problem with people who talk fast and a lot is that eventually they talk themselves into trouble. Enter my friend and coworker Jancy. She is the anti-Lori. I’m the anti-Jancy. And the way we each handle the Mother’s Day debacle is no different.

At one point in time, Jancy and I had a lot in common. A few things, in fact, we had in common with each other that we didn’t have in common with the vast majority of our other coworkers. Neither of us had kids. Neither of us was Christian. So we both had Mother’s Day wishes and Christmas wishes to contend with. Jancy did it expertly. I did it like an idiot.

Every year before Christmas, Jancy would be a woman of few words… and of course, Lori would talk herself into a deep, dark, bottomless pit through which she’s still tumbling. Jancy is Indian. I think most people wouldn’t automatically assume she’s Christian as opposed to any other religion. Yet people would say: “Merry Christmas” to her non-stop for the entire month of December and Jancy would say: “Thank you. Same to you.” And be rid of them.

I, for some unknown reason, feel the need to enlighten people. Well not really “enlighten”. I always have to set the damn record straight. So people would say: “Merry Christmas” to me and I would say:

“I don’t celebrate Christmas”. Then they’d want to know what I celebrate. Or they wanted to know why I don’t celebrate Christmas. Or they’d say they understood that I didn’t celebrate Christmas but still wanted to know why I didn’t buy a tree. And on and on and on and on. It would have been faster if I’d just converted to Christianity.

Then there’s Mother’s Day. People would say to Jancy: “Happy Mother’s Day” and she would of course say: “Thank You. Same to you.” Then they’d leave and she’d close her door and move on to the next ignorant well-wisher.

Not me. I’d see the greeting approaching and suck in my breath.
“Happy Mother’s Day”
“I’m sorry. I don’t know how to respond to that.”
“What? What do you mean?”
“Well, my mother died decades ago and I don’t have any kids. I mean I’m trying. I mean I’ve been trying for a while. We’ve had all the tests done. My husband’s fine. His sperm seem to be plentiful and swimming in the right direction. I have all my parts, don’t get me wrong, and I think they’re working. Maybe my eggs are just old. Anyway, I’ve gone through four cycles of artificial insemination and had an egg retrieval and we’re doing IVF…”

In the time it took me to tell that ridiculous saga, they could have walked across the parking lot, gotten into their car, and been half-way home. But no, I had to be a schmuck and prolong the agony for everyone concerned. Well at least I know there goes one person who will never say “Happy Mother’s Day” to me again.

As for Jancy, if I show her this post, she’ll tell me it’s good and keep on moving. She won’t even mention that I’ve spelled her name totally wrong so people would know how to pronounce it. Which, by the way…. is driving me crazy. Let me just set the record straight: It’s Jhansi.