Friday, December 17, 2004

A few observations on the festive season from under the palm tree

Well, well, quite the Christmas social whirl here since I got back. What this basically means is going out for lots of overpriced lunches/dinners with friends I haven't seen in a year. Also colleagues, as we are corralled like braying cattle into forced festivities. Invariably, this involves staggering home at midnight having eaten too much rich food and imbided more red wine than is really good for one.

I have to confess, I am having more than a little trouble getting in the Christmas mood this year. Last December, we were in the middle of moving house, so I had the perfect excuse to be all bah humbuggy.

This year? I think it has something to do with being stuck on a certain tropical island. It's a bit like the way I felt in Florida. Hard to get in the swing of the holly jolly holidays while sitting under a palm tree sipping a frosty drink and scanning the horizon for the rescue ship. Maybe I can try to carve some reindeer out of those coconuts while I wait.

And there's another thing...Christmas cards. I'm not sure why, but I tend to think the whole idea is dumb and pointless at best, particularly the ones where people just sign their names. And if people scrawl a bit of news, or God forbid, send a newsletter with photographs of the happy clan, I more often than not feel overcome with an urge to stick something sharp into my eye. Maybe it's because I know a lot of people, many of whom I know fine well to be experiencing complexities of life. But none of that is conveyed in the card. It's all shiny happy Pottery Barn shit.

Please. If you love me, send me a note sometime when you have a minute to write something real, and tell me about your life, not just your big new promotion, your holiday to Cuba, your child's trophy in some obscure martial art.

Actually, I had a big fight with E. the other day about Christmas cards. I got back from Florida to find a card from a friend I shall call "Smug Polly". I went to university with Smug Polly, and we were on extremely friendly terms for a few years. We then had a spectacular falling out over something really dumb, and didn't renew our acquaintence until she was pregnant with her first child. At that stage, E. and I weren't yet trying, and I was more than a little curious about the whole pregnancy/birth/parenting thing.

Smug Polly, in addition to be very smug, falls firmly into the Uber-Fertile category. So there was lots of allusions to the fact that it had been incredibly easy for her to get knocked up, and she hoped it would be the same for me. Then, as time wore on, and it wasn't happening, she joined the Just Relax Brigade. We'd go for a walk in the park with her adorable, delectable toddler, and she would lecture me on the need to chill out and stop being so "goal oriented".

Unsurprisingly, I once again stopped hanging out with Smug Polly shortly thereafter.

But guess what Smug P's news was on the Christmas card? No, really, you'll never ever guess in a million...oh, right, another baby on the way. Smuggity smug.

I threw the card away. E. fished it out of the bin and lectured me on "not being very nice". You know, I love him more than life itself, but sometimes I want to give E. a nice sharp slap upside the head.

However, several days later, buoyed by the good news post-HSG, I was overcome by yuletides gay. I figured I may as well e-mail Smug Polly to say congrats and all that. Peace on earth, good will to fertiles. How quickly I regretted that move, since her reply went something along the lines of "see, there is nothing irreversibly wrong with you. It's all your head, so just relax, and by the way, you are so lucky not to have any kids, because you can go on vacation whenever you like."

WHY do people not appreciate how inappropriate that kind of comment is? I hate to drag out the overused cancer analogy again, but would you really say to someone undergoing chemotherapy that they just need to chill out, and by the way, isn't it neat how they get to wear all those fun wigs? No. I think not.

Now, maybe I shall distract myself by trying to make a sand sculpture snowman.


At 9:19 PM, Blogger Sheri said...

Ugh! She needs to be boiled in her own Uber-Fertile cervical fluid for writing that to you!
Burn her card and give in to the eggnog.

So sorry.

At 9:37 PM, Blogger Soper said...

Since you don't like her, anyway, send her a reply email that says something REALLY SNARKY.

If you can think of something mean, clever and cool to say, we can put it on t-shirts and wear them as cover-ups while we work on our tans. IF island has some really bad fashion (those paper gowns cover NOTHING), so we need to get busy changing that!

At 10:48 PM, Blogger Miss W said...

Gimme her address and I'll kill the fucking bitch.

In case you didn't pick up on it, E is not the only one giving the "be nice" talks -- I'm getting them from my lovely husband on a regular basis. When will these men learn? Infertile does not make one nicer -- it creates bitches!

At 12:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fuck smug Polly. I've got a whole fucking gaggle of them over my way. I've worked hard, very hard, all year to alienate all my friends and family just so I wouldn't be bothered by smug friends and their happy fucking 'family' cards. I still can't believe that a handful of them slipped through like a fox in the hen house. Honestly, what is wrong with those people? Does the non-responsiveness on my part not give it away? No, of course not, because it's all about them and their need to show me their happy family. I hate this season, I really do.

Part of my job is opening the mail and my boss gets a lot of xmas cards. Try opening up about 50 cards a DAY of happy, smiling families with newsletter and beautiful cards of cherubic new additions.

I'll be so glad when it's all over.

Thinking of of you.


At 1:02 AM, Blogger E. said...

Infuriating! Why is it that when one relents and gives one of these uberfertiles another chance, they immediately and spectacularly throw it back in one's face???

I'm sorry, Mare. Thank goodness it will be behind us soon.

At 7:37 AM, Blogger amyesq said...

My fellow infertile friend K and I decided we should keep the fugliest family cards we receive this year and then trade them. Yes. So VERY not nice. But, well, you gotta do what you gotta do.

At 7:37 AM, Blogger amyesq said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 12:04 PM, Blogger Toni said...

Time to say something to Smug Polly - agree with Soper...gotta be GOOD!!!

At 2:47 PM, Blogger The Barrenness said...

I've received 4 "Pottery Barn Cards" so far. Anyone received more than that? I'm sending out a card of my JRTs' posterior ends (read: butthole view) next year.

At 5:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh honestly. Smug Pollys are the devil. I recently confided in a friend that we were having trouble, and he said (similarly) "You're so lucky - kids are so EXPENSIVE! Do you have any idea how much day care is these days?" Um, probably less than day care on top of two year's worth of IF treatment followed by adoption.

If you come up with a good mare-elicious response, PLEASE share!

Meanwhile, sending sympathy and hopes that you don't really stick something sharp in your eye.



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