Laughter Is the Best Medicine


laughterEvery once in a while I need a re-set — you know a “walk it off” moment.  I started today with some good aerobic exercise to summon the endorphins. On the exercise bike I lost myself in People magazine to pass the time. I came across an interview with Keri Russell called, “Five Things I Learned About Being a Mom.” Before I knew it I was translating in my head and laughing rather than feeling put upon by another irritating cult of mommy story. I  also realized that we infertiles share a few more things in common with moms than I once thought. Here’s how the translated (word substitution) version goes:

Five Things I Learned About Being An Infertile

1) I thought before that you would be diagnosed infertile and you would instantly be like, “I’m infertile!” But I still feel like a kid. I didn’t anticipate that. I have this infertility but I’m the exact same! (You nailed it Keri! I totally feel like a kid, too! In fact since kids don’t factor into my schedule I can indulge in kid-like behavior whenever the spirit moves me. Sometimes I feel like Peter Pan.)

2) You can’t control things like you used to, and you have to roll with things better. (Wow, I guess we do share more things common than I thought! I have had to cede control, too, to the 28-day cycle watch, the demanding prescription drug schedules, and the never-ending two week waits.)

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3) You still have to see your friends, but the one thing that changes is you have to develop weird bedtime rituals … so that kind of exes out the dinners with them. (So true! Sex on demand can sort of throw a monkey wrench into planning — “excuse us, the ovulation predictor kit says we need to get it on right now”… )

4) You can’t wear nice clothes. But none of that stuff matters as much anyway. There’s something else that’s so much more important. (Okay, she was referring to projectile vomiting, which is not altogether unfamiliar to infertiles — I threw up plenty of times after the anesthesia wore off … and my nice clothes shopping was curtailed when I had to stop discretionary spending so we could save for treatments that weren’t covered by insurance.)

5) You just become that much more empathetic, and your heart is that much bigger. It’s wild, but it happens. (Yeah, Keri, I know what you mean. I’m much more empathetic now to the loss and pain that infertility brings into relationships, life planning and getting through the holidays…)

And for those of you who missed the inaugural word replacement post you can find it here. Next on the list is planning dinner and movie with Mr. PJ.  The movie criteria: a story that will tickle my funny bone. I want to laugh my ass off.

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17 Responses

  1. Yodasmistress

    December 1, 2007 10:37 pm

    I don’t have a funny movie for you. But I do have a good one. Gone”>“>Gone Baby Gone. Absolutely Fantastic Move. And I think most of the IF community would have a fairly unilateral reaction… that would be very different than say the individuals who occupy my sister’s social mileu. Good stuff. But NOT funny. (It’s the best I could do.)

  2. Bea

    December 2, 2007 12:31 am

    I love these – the substitutions always fit so well!

    I guess there are a lot of different ways to learn the same lessons in life. Just because parents often learn them from becoming parents, doesn’t mean others don’t learn in different ways. Some parents tend to assume that non-parents haven’t had a chance to learn at all, which just isn’t true.


  3. meghan

    December 2, 2007 1:43 am

    I can’t believe I forgot to tell you this but your little word substitution game got me through the worst conversation last month. This old friend that I’ve grown pretty apart from with all this IF crap was going on and on about wanting to get a (and I quote) “mommy boob job”. You have no idea how many times she said that she needed this done b/c she’s a mom. If it wasn’t for you I think I would have gone out of my mind…or at least told her off, which she probably did deserve a little bit

    So thanks! And hope you picked out a good movie!

  4. Farah

    December 2, 2007 1:44 am

    I wish I could recommend a good funny movie. I haven’t seen one of those in a while either. Great compare/contrast list

  5. Geohde

    December 2, 2007 4:24 am

    PJ, I always love your word substitution posts. Such a simple concept, so well executed.


  6. chicklet

    December 2, 2007 3:31 pm

    I read People and Us and Life & Style at the gym, cuz well, they’re fun sometimes. I’d read this particular article and just been annoyed. Thx for switching it up. Nicely done.

  7. peesticksandstones

    December 3, 2007 3:31 am

    Funny! Yeah, there was also a huge, multi-page cover story on “new mom Keri” in Self this month, including tons of photos of her showing off her effortlessly slimmed-down, you-can-never-tell-I-had-a-baby body.

    Looking forward to that half-naked pregnant Christina Aguilara Marie Claire coming out in January, I believe…

  8. SaraS-P

    December 3, 2007 7:11 pm

    Oh, the loss of pretty clothing… oh wait, I didn’t wear much to start with. And for me it is the IF bloat that limits my fashion possibilities.

    Thanks for the laugh!

  9. motherofnone

    December 4, 2007 4:07 pm

    OK, it’s not out yet, but I’m looking forward to “Walk Hard,” the John C. Reilly movie that spoofs music biopics – it looks hysterical! Also, Juno – about a teen who gets pregnant and gives the child up for adoption. Seems poignant and quirky. Both come out later this month. Can’t wait! When you don’t have kids, you can time your life to these things, and I often do!

  10. May

    December 4, 2007 10:21 pm

    Number 5 made me shriek with laughter. The amount of times my sister poleaxes a discussion with me by telling me I couldn’t possibly understand/ empathise/ feel like she can, because I am childless. And now I have a riposte! Heh heh heh.

  11. Sara

    December 7, 2007 1:20 pm

    I needed this…if I heard one more happy thing from a celebrity about them becoming a new Mommy I thought that I was going to puke on my not so nice wardrobe…thank you for making me smile again!

  12. kareno

    January 6, 2008 12:37 pm

    The other day my mom practiced a speech she was preparing to have with my sister on me. Here is what she wanted to relay: “The day you decided to become a mother, you decided to put yourself 2nd in every way, and that’s the way it has to stay.”

    Playing your game it reads: “The day you decided to become an Infertile, you decided to put yourself 2nd etc etc.”

    Translating it comes down to Infertiles being selfish and putting themselves first? I think this might make a good post on my blog… or did I translate it wrongly??

  13. biodinamico

    October 28, 2009 10:09 am

    I was just thinking about Five Things I Learned About Being An Infertile
    and you’ve really helped out. Thanks!

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