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Follow This Mantra & Your Holidays Will Be Blissful

a blog by Lori Shandle-Fox, December 17, 2012

It's true what that title there says. And I'm not going to make you read 800 words to find out what the magic mantra is either. It's: "Here, read this".

It's so Zen. So Dalai Lama. So Kama Sutra. So Laughing IS Conceivable.

Okay, that makes no sense. Let me elaborate. There is a perfect gift to give all of those friends and relatives who are just dying to know about your baby-making issues. A book. Yes, it does sound lame. But think about it. If you give them a book (many books will do) that will answer a lot of their questions before they even ask them, you're home free.

Just think about what you'd love them to know about your infertility experience. Or think about what it would take to get them off your back and out of your ovaries...Either way.

If you want them to know about the emotional turmoil, find something written by a psychologist or social worker. If you want them to know what you're going through medically, find something written by a Reproductive Endocrinologist.

And you don't have to spend a lot on these people you're trying to get rid of either. You can give an ebook as a gift. Just give them a chachkila or something they can stuff...(I think I meant "stocking stuffer". I'm not sure. And I'm not mentioning "ebooks" just because my little, fun, funny ebook that would make a spectacular gift coincidentally happens to be an ebook...)

If you remember the game show the Weakest Link, the hostess used to dismiss the one voted off with the simple phrase:
"You ARE the weakest link. Goodbye."

In a nice way, that's what you're doing to friends and relatives who, during the holidays, have a burning desire to know about your baby-making journey...Be their motives naughty or nice.

You're giving them a gift and telling them to go away all in one short breath. But in your head, you are free to respond to their irritating questions any way you see fit.

"Aren't you guys ever going to have children? You've been married forever."

(I can see why marriage seems like an eternity to you. If I had your husband I'd have shot myself on the way to the reception.)

"Here, read this."
"You're not doing those fertility pills are you? I'm sure God wouldn't want you to do that."

(I'm sure He wouldn't want you to get that haircut either, but there you have it.)

"Here, read this."
"I heard you're doing that IVF stuff. That's so dangerous. You could end up pregnant with fourteen babies like the Octo-mom!"

(A decade of suspicions finally confirmed: You are indeed a total moron.)

"Here, read this"

"When are you going to make me a grandma?"

("I guess just being senile isn't enough for some people.")

"Here, read this."

"You shouldn't be waiting so long to have kids. You know it's harder to get pregnant when you're older."

("I love getting jewelry for the holidays. Thanks for your precious pearls of wisdom. You didn't happen to keep the receipt did you?)

Give the books in advance if you want to attend the party but avoid the whole sordid episode. Include a note:

"I know you've been concerned about this. I'm really not ready to discuss it but I think this will help clear things up a bit. See ya at the party! Remember: MYOB!" Let them ponder whether or not your hurried handwriting is responsible for making that first letter look a whole lot more like an "M" than a "B".

If you really want to distribute your presents at the shindig, cut them off at the pass. Don't even wait for them to open their mouths. When you see them approaching, just shove the book between you and them:

"Here, read this!"

It gives you the added joy of knowing you might just freak them out a little. It's like you knew what they were going to ask you even before they did. Infertility has not only made you momentarily's made you clairvoyant.

And if you're on a roll and feeling especially confident, mix it up. See who's really paying attention. Every fifth person try:

"Here, bite this."

"Here, read this." "Here read this." "Here read this." "Here, suck this."

It's like an immature version of duck duck goose.

And dare I bring up ebooks again, it works with those too.

"Hey, come over here. I want to give you your present. Okay, I just sent it to you. Happy Holidays! Where's my coat?"

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