Monday, October 5, 2009

My apologies are stale

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.

22 comments:

  1. Wow. That play. Amazing. I want to see it done... and I half don't want to see it done. I think I would be buckets of tears after it was over. Wow.

    You know you don't have to worry about excuses and that we understand. And some who do get pg or get their babies still understand. Lots I think actually. It's just that the ability to fix it eludes many of us. I wish I could. I know that. The adding up factor is something I understand quite well too. Even when you've reached a good place with it, it can be quite overwhelming.

    And it doesn't all completely go away with pregnancy. I'm trying (and mostly succeeding) to be really grateful for each stage and to not worry too much because each stage past a few weeks pg is something I've never gotten to have before. Not to say if something bad happened, I wouldn't have a horrible time healing, but at least I'd have those happy memories. So I'm trying.

    Lots of love and I do miss your wonderful writing.

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  2. P.S. I miss visiting the Northeast!!! NY is fun! I got to go to PA recently, so that was lovely, but it was for 3 days only and no city in there at all (much to Hub's chagrin)

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  3. Do you know who that play was written by? I have a friend who is trying to get a local theatre up and running, and this sounds like something he would definitely put on his "to do" list. (especially knowing me and if I beg him.)

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  5. Just read a post by someone saying that there's now Infertility: the musical that's hard to conceive. Love it.

    Glad that you are alive and OK. Missed ya!

    Captcha is "surif" like "sure, IF!"

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  6. That play does sound amazing. Although I do agree that it doesn't go away completely after pregnancy- or even baby. Not for everyone. I still wake up surprised some mornings. And I remember all the crazy very vividly- so there is never a need to apologize for it- or for disappearing for a bit. I remember that ultrasounds were always harder to take in for some reason than pictures of babies. At least for me. [[[hugs]]]

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  7. I'm in the middle of that play, that's amazing and terrifying all at once reading that no-bs-kind-of-style.
    I'd love to see it. Or read it. Or like Barb said, maybe I don't for fear of flooding :)

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  8. Always glad to see you :0) I may have to look into that play--I love reading them too--did high school musicals (ha--sadly, not with Zac Effron) and miss being in a great cast.
    And you go, Coach! Braver than I, my dear! Be safe around the settling house!

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  9. I will always understand. I have been wondering about you. Missing our dear Io.

    Even though, I may now be seen as "one of them" in your google reader. I completely know where you are coming from. I have been there feeling like I was getting left behind. Somehow magically when I had no hope left, things turned drastically around. This is my wish for you. Someday soon.

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  10. Welcome back...

    Connie's speech sounds like something that would go through my head.

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  11. "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."

    Um. Yesh.

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  12. Apparently I'm not supposed to invite you to read my blog. Oops, my bad, so I deleted my other comment.

    Thanks for checking in and giving us an update.

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  13. That play is very potent! It will take a lot of courage, if you take it up to fructification.

    Glad that your visit went well...Don't make any excuses...blogging does not have to be pressurized!

    Take Care!

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  14. Sorry for the cryptic message. Yes you can visit my new blog too.

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  15. I just love you and want to see you and the bobble head soon.

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  16. She posts! She posts!

    Woohoo!!!

    I hate feeling like I've come out of a pool with my clothes on. Boo on NY for serving up that weather to you.

    If A's ex does cross you, just remember your inner gangsta, repeating to yourself that you could cut a bitch (just add the "if I wanted to." to the end to keep the temper in check).

    I will admit that it is hard for me, too, to see pregnancy announcements. There have been many lately that have really bothered me. Most are ones that I eventually get over, because I know the hell they went through to achieve that blessed state. But some? The ones where I know that not so much as a single clomid has been popped in pursuit of their dream? Those just piss me off. And they echo back to me when some idiotic person tells me that I just don't know, that maybe it'll miraculously happen for me. Right. Because H's testicles are actually aging in reverse and suddenly, he's gonna pop out the sperm by the billion, eh? Or were you thinking that I was cheating on him? WTF...

    Just saying that I get it. As much as you adore the babies of friends, as much as you thrill at iFriends getting their every wish met, it still kind of sucks when you're on the other side of it.

    That play sounds awesome. I will have to put it on my Amazon list.

    Lastly, please do not fall under the house and get squished. Or if you do, can you manage to wear some striped socks and ruby slippers and have someone get a photo, because that would be cool. Sad, but you know. If you were a *real* artist, you wouldn't mind a little squishing in pursuit of your arte, right?

    Oh, Io. I miss you. I'm always so glad when you post, because it feels like you are coming back to the fold or something. Apparently, I'm part sheep dog...

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  17. Hope you lived through the house lowering. No apologies necessary--jumping in and out is just another way to do things. And I'm happy whenever you pop up, sweaty self and all.

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  18. IF just completely sucks and sucks the life out of you.

    I still love you, no matter how crazy you get ;)

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  19. Missing you, Io. I understand totally about the lazy/busy cycle taking a hit on the blogging. I'm sort-of stuck there myself.

    xoxo

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  20. I'd love to get my hands on a copy of that play! I'm sure I must've breezed by your site at least once when I first found this community about a year ago, but I haven't visited in forever and forgot how much I enjoy your writing. So glad Mel posted the link on Stirrup Queens! I'll visit again soon.

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  21. That sounds like an incredible play. I totally understand getting into a rut of not posting. I did that for a long time in '06 and'07. Glad you posted and I am so incredibly jealous that you got to meet Dora.

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