The muse has descended, and her name is Little Miss Pissypants.

Despite being in a good mood lately, with the kid stuff going well and Law & Order/Cold Case/ER re-runs firmly established on UK daytime television, I've found myself stopping to think of all the things that annoy me. First of all, yes, I am that cynical and negative. Second, I am so self-absorbed as to think you care enough to read about them.

1) Disease. The past few weeks have been full of holiday cheer - The Dude's grandfather's rapid decline as a result of aggressive lung cancer despite never having picked up a cigarette, and my uncle's recent diagnosis of ALS, a disease so horrible I can barely fathom its equal.

2) Christmas cards. Other than my own blogging Christmas card exchange (naturally), I hate them. By the by, folks getting the cards with the mini photo album- my ass looks great in the hot pants. Anyway, what is the point to giving Christmas cards to people you see all the time? Can't I just wish them a Merry Christmas in person? This Christmas card bullshit was emphasised to me last week when I wrote out the cards for The Dude's family. I worried that a couple of them were left over cards from last year, and I was assured that no one would possibly remember what Christmas card was given a full year ago. Everyone except The Dude's Aunt Rudetta McRude of course. She was very quick to point out that we had in fact given her this very same card last year, and gee...wouldn't we like to invest in new Christmas cards so she doesn't have to suffer the indignity of getting the same card yet again?

3a) Peoples' perception of IVF, specifically, my IVF. As I mentioned awhile ago, I have gradually been edging out of the closet regarding my illustrious reproductive history. Three times now I have been smacked in the face with, "Wow, it worked the first time? Lucky you!" from women far more fertile than myself. Yeah, lucky me. IVF #1 did in fact work, but unfortunately 1 year of trying sans medication, 6 months of Clomid, and 4 cycles of IUI did not. But yes, lucky me indeed. You are qualified to say this to me if you have also been through this shit, but if you got knocked up thanks to a quick fumble after a bit too much wine at the Olive Garden, shut the fuck up. That's all I'm sayin...

b) When I tell you about my IVF, do not express regret at my troubles and then say, "I had a friend who did a couple of cycles of IVF. When I got pregnant the first time we tried (editor's note: this is a completely true account), I felt so bad because I don't have any trouble and it's so easy for me!" Ha! Thank you for telling me this! When someone tells you about something so personal and painful for them, please, tell them how you have had a completely opposite and positive experience. They love that.

4) Clueless men. I was watching a birth show today and a woman in labour asked for an epidural after her contractions became too painful. This woman's husband, clearly an asshole, said to the camera, "I don't want her to have an epidural. I'm disappointed in her. I wish she could just work through the pain." Oh no he didn't. I didn't have any drugs during my labour and delivery, but that was mainly because I didn't think I was going to have a baby anytime soon. By the time my contractions got so painful that I was ready to rip my spine out through my mouth it was too late and P. was on her way down the birth canal, all bags packed and ready to leave the comfort of my uterus. The Dude wasn't there for much of my contractions having been sent home by the midwife, but had he said anything remotely similar to that fuckwad above I think I would have ripped his testicles off with my bare hands.

5) Husbands with no tact. Yesterday I left the house to take P. on a quick walk in her stroller. As soon as I got to the sidewalk, The Dude shouted down to me from P.'s bedroom window about some random crap I can't remember. This is followed by the very loud statement, "Hey! That guy in the white van was just totally checking out your ass! He nearly crashed and everything! I'm not kidding, he was so staring at your ass!" I live in England. In a city in fact. A city with streets that have a lot of houses and apartment buildings crammed in a small space. Given the condensed nature of everything, people walk places. If you shout something like this from a 3rd story window, people will hear. At least 4 pedestrians were lucky enough to witness this event, and no doubt tried to sneak a look at this wagon I'm draggin'. For the record, please do recall my Mom's regular insistence that I have no ass at all. Yes, my Mom chooses to tell me this. All the time. The flatness of my ass is of primary importance to her it seems.

As a quick aside, I will tell you that contrary to my Mom's "Pru's butt is flat" theory, at least three times my ass has been the subject of compliment. The first time occurred when I was 18 and working in a sporting goods shop. I was reaching up with one of those long pole things to get a shirt off a high rack, and the customer I was helping leaned over and said, "Your ass looks really good in them jeans." You can imagine my joy that not only was someone commending me on my ass while I was at work, but it was from a person who would say "them jeans". It was a proud moment.

Time number two was just last year when I was at a cash machine. I was feeling fat, frumpy and like the muffintopping was crazy out of control. As I was entering my pin, some guy walked by slowly and said, "Hey, nice ass." Well, it was probably "Hey, nice arse.", but to-may-tos/to-mah-tos, right?

Point being - Mom says it's flat, but apparently at least some people think it's round.

6) The Us vs Them mentality: IF'ers and The Fertiles. As I'm sure you're all aware, a certain website has chosen to select a few IF blogs to pass comment on. Regardless of what you think on that matter, I was disappointed to see that many of the commenters on that site chose to point out how little infertility matters in the great scheme of things. Additionally, a lot of the commenters who expressed this opinion also saw fit to slag off the irrational nature of the infertile. I don't doubt that many of us would admit to being irrational. I'm sure many of the things I've said in the (nearly) two years of this blog's existence aren't necessarily popular, and I am the first to admit that I'm capable of being completely, utterly and absurdly irrational . However, I do find it strange that infertility is one of those subjects that people who have never experienced it still find themselves suited to pass judgment. For some reason it's still not viewed as a very serious issue, so I think many are quite casual about it. Shame.

Conversely, some of the commenters have a point when it comes to the irrational. Ever since I started reading IF blogs it has driven me batshit crazy how defensive some bloggers and their commenters can be. Post a slightly disagreeable, non troll-like comment about something that was said, and suddenly you have a group of infertiles on you like piranha. The commenter who hasn't kissed ass is insulted, innundated with emails if they haven't posted anonymously, and told how they don't understand. I don't think it really helps this perception of IF bloggers as crazed bitches. If I posted something that invited comments from people who didn't agree with me, fair play. I don't want rabid people jumping to my (or IFers as a whole) defense and thus hijacking my blog to serve the purpose of all the poor, misunderstood infertiles out there. Just to let you know in preparation for my post on the need to behead all women who can get pregnant without the aid of a petri dish.

Ahh...I feel better now. I must go fluff my ass in preparation for my Mom's arrival on Sunday. On with the fluffing.


Isabel said...

You are hilarious!!!! #5 had me dying of laughter!!!! Hope the annoyances dry up, though. Even though they bring on your funny.

Fertiles say the damndest things. I might post about it myself.

Flicka said...

I think your ass is like the earth. Some people think it's flat but science has proved it's really round.

The rabid infertile thing gets me, too, but on the whole I think it's a defence mechanism born of the very thing you complained about: fertiles expressing their opinion on a matter they know nothing about. Creates an overeaction. I'm guessing the hormones don't help (as you pointed out, we are sometimes irrational.) Just my two cents.

Nice ass, by the way.

Thalia said...

Oh I'm looking forward to your post about the women who can get pregnant without a petri dish, because that irrational set of muderous feelings you described? That's EXACTLY how I feel right now, wreckers be damned.

Lut said...

#1 How awful!

#2 I was just thinking whether I would risk reusing the leftover christmas cards from previous years. Maybe, I should make my own ... nativity scene with empty cradle or something. ;-)

#3a First, IVF?! Really! I'd forgotten.

#3b Response to that person "You poor thing. Didn't your friend tell you it's ok, it's not your fault you can have what she's fought for so hard at the drop of a hat? That cow".

#4 His wife should have stopped squeezing his hand and aimed a little lower, as you suggest.

#5 Well, well, is the Dude territorial?

#6 That's a tough one. I have fertile friends who show honest empathy, and others who just don't get it. Even the ones who do empathize, don't get it as other infertiles do. To an extent, Us vs. Them is part of the deal. The fact that I'm no longer alone in a sea of fertiles is what draws me to the IF blogosphere.
I don't quite agree that you can only have an opinion on things you've experienced first hand. But if you don't have the experience, you ought to inform yourself at least a little. I have opinions on adoption, but am neither adopted or adopting (yet).
I wholly agree with you on not pouncing on anyone who dares voice dissent, though the I understand the knee-jerk reaction to defend our own. Sometimes it's hard to distinguish between a real troll and a dissenter who could have put more thought into the wording. Name-calling and passing judgement raise troll flags.

That site (I'm assuming we're talking about the 'railroad disasters' site) is a whole different thing. They're self-chosen name says it all, really, they're what is called 'catastrophe tourists' in my language. They enjoy looking at other people's misery.
Infertility blogs are an easy target, misery to spare.
Pretty unimaginative of them though. I mean, middle class people picking on other middle class people. They can do better than that. What about a nice Iraki blog? Civil war, oppression, no food, no health care, .... Or a Chinese blog? Work 12h a day, measly pay, forced separation from single child, ... Or an African one? Scrape a living of 1 dollar a day, loose parents to HIV, ...
What do you say, these people are too poor to blog? Well book a flight and go check it out in person. Bring popcorn too.

So I've disagreed with you and used satire in 1 comment. Shall I go hide now ;-)

Panda said...

If it were not for your enforced card-sending that I willingly put my hand up for, I would spurn the card-giving thing too. I NEVER do cards, not for anything. But apparently you can get me to do things others cant. Go you!

Commenters on that Other Site...really, who cares what a bunch of people who have no idea what infertility is like think about us? They are uninformed jerks with nothing better to do than bitch. Fuck em. But it is interesting that they say that infertility/fertility doesnt matter in the grand scheme of things. After doing an entire degree in Philosophy I came to the conclusion that the only thing that mattered ultimately for humans was to reproduce. We're mammals, its What We Do. Why WOULDNT it matter so much?

DD said...

Dammit, you've covered way too many good points here for me to do any justice at all. I have to admit I'm confused how can your ass look so good in hot-pants, yet be flat?? Does not compute.

I am a crazed infertile and if you dare disagree, I'll cut ya', bitch...

I look at those commenters as a group of bleating lambs who agree with whatever the posters are saying, just to get their names "up in lights".

Alexa said...

I didn't know one could fluff one's ass! I'll have to try that.

(And Flicka? Best. Comment. Ever.)

I have to stop talking to people IRL about infertility--I got both the "she got pregnant naturally after IVF" and "she got pregnant after she filed adoption papers" from the SAME PERSON the other day.

statia said...

You know, you never sent that picture of you that I requested, so I can't even judge your nice ass. And believe me, I'd tell you that indeed, you have a fine ass. If you'd just SHOW IT TO ME ALREADY, GOD!!

"Ever since I started reading IF blogs it has driven me batshit crazy how defensive some bloggers and their commenters can be. Post a slightly disagreeable, non troll-like comment about something that was said, and suddenly you have a group of infertiles on you like piranha."

This is actually nothing new to blogging. The minion mentality has been around for years. If you have a "fan base" they'll fight for you, whatever the cause is, unless you tell them to not be an asshole and feed the trolls. And since the internet just keeps getting more and more fucked up, it's just going to get worse.

Infertility is such a sensitive thing that I totally understand the minion attackers. We're all in the same boat and fuck them if someone comes and tries to tell us how we feel or call us idiots for feeling like shit because our bodies can't produce the way "normal" people do. It's really hard to not feed those kinds of trolls.

bri said...

OK. You have to tell me how to figure out what site this is on so I can get good and mad.

Michelle said...

Excellent post. Are you reading my mind?

If so, can you tell me what I was supposed to get at the grocery store? I know I forgot something, I just can't remember what.


Em said...

I agree with loads...except the flat but, which I would prefer to my fat ass! The blogging bitches was funny. It does seem that there are gaggles of chicks out there who are blog groupies and go nuts if you post something that may challenge or (agahast!) give an alternative opinion to that of the blog owner!

erinberry said...

Love the rant :)

The pack-mentality drives me nuts too!

Georgia said...

Ah yes.
The man who wants his wife to GO NATURAL. It's so he can brag about it after. I swear I've noticed that. Like somehow their wife's stoicism is a reflection on them. Whatever. It's okay to take Tylenol for a headache, but some drugs when, as you put it, you're ready to rip your spine out through your mouth? Just work through it!
And I think you sound like you have a nice ass, at least from how you write...;)

Lisa said...

This woman's husband, clearly an asshole, said to the camera, "I don't want her to have an epidural. I'm disappointed in her. I wish she could just work through the pain."

I read that and thought, well, she should have ripped his testicles off and told him to work through THAT. Men, honestly. Sometimes I wonder how any of them manage to get dressed each day and get out of the house.

This is my first visit to your journal, and I'm sorry all the other treatments didn't work, but glad your IVF was successful.

Kristi said...

#5. Ah, yes. I have one of those as well. My dear husband had the audacity to ask me, when Isabella was about six weeks old, "How come the house is always a mess when I come home from work?" Gee, I don't know. Why don't YOU give 12 consecutive hours of solo parenting a try and see how many dishes you're able to do. Grrr...

MC said...

Laughing my head off as usual. I have told you in the past I have a flat arse as well. My husband would love it to be round. I can't say I've had any comments from people saying it's nice, I would probably die if they did.

Labor Nurse said...

The same women who harrass..I mean email non favorable the posters who comment sans ass kissing and the like are probably the ones who also have the perfect babies that cook their own breakfasts at 8 months and write their names in Latin by 18 months and let every one know it.

Just a thought.

Anonymous said...

Oh, you're so right. If I can't say anything nice, I tend not to say it at all on most blogs, purely because I don't fancy being torn a virtual new one. The recent A Little Pregnant breastfeeding post was a lulu!

And I was irrational before the whole IF thing, too.