October 25, 2008
Yesterday I told you about all of the people I am currently avoiding during my visit to a city full of friends and family, as well as the few people that I’m still willing to tolerate.
But those aren’t the only friends we still have in life. In other cities, we have:
Several dear friends who range from gently puzzled to sensitive to truly fabulous and understanding on the topic of infertility. Some of them do happen to have children, and although it can be painful to interact with them sometimes, it’s entirely different from the parents that we now avoid because of the respect that these friends show to us.
Dear friends with whom I haven’t discussed IF, many of whom are so much older that their children are grown and having children of their own. Being around these families isn’t painful because my friends themselves are at such a different place in life, and the direct comparisons aren’t made nor are Those Questions asked.
Infertile couples with whom we occasionally commiserate. Generally, DH and I relay information to them since we’re usually further along in the process. Although I would never wish IF on anyone, I feel strangely better when I learn that someone else we know is in the same boat.
Gay friends with whom the topic of children never comes up.
Gay friends with whom the topic of children frequently comes up. We talk about their struggles to build a family rather than my own, which I much prefer. My vast knowledge of reproductive interventions actually comes in handy.
Friends who’ve turned into acquaintances over the past few years, sometimes because of IF and sometimes for other reasons. The casual nature of the relationships and infrequent communication means that children aren’t discussed. Phew.
A whole new set of friends that DH has made recently, who happen to be 7 to 10 years younger than he is. Historically, my friends have tended to be my age or sometimes much older, and his friends have always been exactly his age. DH goes on weekend trips with them, the kind that his married friends aren’t allowed to attend. He’s the only married guy around who is kept on such a long leash (or, rather, no leash at all). I haven’t met most of them. These friends had cell phones in middle school and have a completely different set of cultural references. They are years away from getting married, much less having children. And that means that Those Topics never come up. It is liberating, even by proxy.
Infertility takes you to all sorts of places you never thought you’d go.
Tomorrow, I’ll tell you about how it’s been going to avoid certain people and seek out certain others like That Guy, and I’ll give a report on an incident that happened with family yesterday — but I need to see how it gets resolved first.