Do you read plays?
I started reading plays in high school. Being quite the little drama queen (Shocking, eh?), I got involved with theater. I also did interp events for sp.eech team which involved making cuttings from plays. In college, it was more of the same and I used to spend hours in the dusty stacks of the library (which, as I understand all school libraries are, was supposedly sinking into the ground from the weight of the books) rifling through thin cheaply printed playbooks.
When I went to NYC in August I spent a few hours at the Drama Book Shop flipping through plays trying to find material for the kids I coach. On the shelf of new plays I found one that made my chest tighten as soon as I read the description on the back:
What They Have by Kate Robin
Set in contemporary Los Angeles, the play explores the emotional strains that the decision to have a child -- or the inability to have one -- can put on married couples during the years when a pregnancy can be a tense and potentially traumatic experience, not to mention an expensive one. More broadly, it asks how we get what we want out of life, and how we learn to stop wanting it if we can't get it.
The two couples in the play start with one couple having had three miscarriages and no money to pursue treatment, while the other couple has money and is pregnant and is basically an IFers worst nightmare. But later on, the wealthy friends lose the baby and can't get pregnant again even with IVF, ICSI, etc, while the other couple has finally gotten far into a pregnancy and suddenly forgotten what infertility is like. [Edit: I know most of you have not forgotten, you are all incredible and sweet, it's just this character!]
At one point the two female friends are together and the newly infertile is admitting that they have been trying IVF and failing. After her friend asks her why she didn't tell her, Connie replies:
You don't want to hear about it...trust me. At first you'll feel bad for me, but then, in about ten minutes, I'll be ranting, because I've totally lost my mind, and you'll start thinking maybe I'm a little self-indulgent, what with all the problems in the world, the war and the famine, I can't expect to have everything, and actually now that you think of it, I have gotten everything I ever wanted (which isn't true, at all, but I know you'll think it), so isn't it only fair that this one thing should evade me?Isn't there a really wonderful spiritual lesson, a character building exercise to be found in all this? And the less compassion I feel from you, the more shrill and intolerable I'll become until you'll move past thoughts like "Why doesn't she just adopt?" to "Maybe it's better she not be a mother actually. Some women really shouldn't and Connie's always been a bit brittle, ambitious. She's not nurturing at all. Thank God she can't conceive. In fact, her infertility is yet another proof that God does exist and is always making the best decisions for the greater good."
(There is so much more. If I could buy this play and send it to all of you, I would. It's almost like reading a blog in play form.)
The feeling of almost losing your mind? And recognizing it, being deeply embarrassed by it, but still being unable to stop? I have that.
I'm also embarrassed by my lack of blogging and reading and supporting my friends. But I've played that tune before and my apologies grow stale - I just hope you understand, and if not, well, I understand. (Um, or quite possibly most people barely noticed and are now thinking I should shut up and move along here...)
So I was really busy for a minute there. And then I was lazy. And then I was both lazy and busy. And then I started looking at my reader so I could catch up and it sort of hit me that everyone was pregnant or parenting. (Yes, I know it's not true, but.) On an individual level I am really happy for everyone. I can look at pictures of Calliope's W and fall half in love with him or I can hear about Shinejil's belly growing and be thrilled for her, but it all just sort of adds up somehow.
Also, two of my real life infertile friends posted ultrasounds on their faceb0oks in the last two weeks. And instead of being happy that they had moved beyond, I saw one ultrasound and thought petty dark thought about the fact that all she had to do was a couple IUIs.
I don't want to be a selfish bitch. I just am.
New York was fantastic (and crazy hot - somehow nobody sweats as much as do, I was positively drippy, especially when I walked several miles to a party where I was surrounded by thin gorgeous German women. I think I may have alarmed them with my just-got-out-of-a-pool-with-my-clothes-on appearance.) My best friend L always makes me happy even when we are driving each other nuts. (I try to force her into loving BSG, she tries to force me into loving fondue brunches. She won the fondue argument, I lost the BSG one, but I am convinced it was just because she decided not to love it because I told her she would.)
The best part of NYC was that I got to meet Dora, who is totally a badass and is no doubt going to raise an awesome girl. I wish I had half the cool factor.
Really, not much is new - mostly I'm working. I've been coaching in the evenings, which is half fun and half makes me want to pull my hair out. (Oh sheltered Catholic kids who attend Mass twice on Sundays and use GW Bush as an example of a great president in your impromptu speeches...) I took the kids to their first tournament and taking them to another in a couple weeks where I will hopefully NOT run into A's ex girlfriend who had no trouble popping out a singleton and twins and who hates me despite the fact that she is all happy familied.
Okay, I must get moving now, quite literally, because this house next door that has been on stilts for two months?
They are lowering it today and I don't want to die when it collapses dramatically onto my office, so I'm grabbing up the dogs and heading next door.