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Friday, December 07, 2007

Friday Blog Roundup

If you are anything like me, you receive a boatload of spam. Usually, I glance at spam quickly and hit delete, gulping right after the deed is done and wondering if I've lost something important in my careless need to speed delete. This week, I've noticed that a lot of email messages for the Creme de la Creme (have you gotten your link in yet? What are you doing this weekend? Hopefully reading your archives?) have ended up in my spam filter and I've been carefully fishing them out, going through the spam messages with a fine-toothed comb in order to not miss a drop of bloggy deliciousness.

Most of my spam messages are of the penis-enhancing variety (how did they know that I'm ashamed of my "one inch baby carrot?") but during one of my fishing excursions, I came across one that seemed worthy to pass along to you just in case this spammer hasn't gotten a hold of your email address yet. I placed periods throughout the message to stave off googlers though knowing my luck, the spammer is also a regular reader.

Gi.rlfri.end or "bo.yfri.end" le.ft yo.u f.or c.ircu.s mi.dge.t T.hum.b

I'd like to begin by focusing on the fact that the word boyfriend is in quotes. As if perhaps he wasn't really your boyfriend. Maybe he was just a friend and you were sending out a deceptively wrong message to mutual friends that there was something more going on. Or maybe you're still calling him a "friend" but he's really a "boyfriend." Or, perhaps, he's not really a boy at all.

Now we can get to the heart of this email which is that spammers should practice more sensitivity. What if I had just been left for s.ome mid.get nam.ed Thum.b T.ack What if it happened two days before I received this email and I had spent said two days alternating between crying incessantly and eating ice cream? Wouldn't this be just the thing to push me over the edge?

At the same time, how often does this scenario play out? Especially with someone named T.hum.b J.ack? Is it really that common that you're going to hit upon enough people who will nod along with the subject line and open your email to purchase your product? It sort of makes me want to write back with a critique reminiscent of the comments left on short stories during fiction workshop in my MFA program: "Dear Spammer, have you considered going with a more common name like John or Jim? I know ci.rcus mi.d.gets often have unusual names or perhaps even 'stage names' but I found your subject line to be too specific. It turned away the reader. It didn't let them 'in.' It's your spam, but you may want to consider reworking the name."

As if spam doesn't waste enough of your time, now I just needed to waste more of it discussing spam.

Ignore me; here is lots of bloggy goodness:

Square Peg, Round Whole had an amazing post this week called "Woulda Coulda Shoulda;" the ultimate what if. During graduate school, Squarepeg considered becoming an egg donor. They ultimately decided against it, but the Squarepeg with hindsight wonders if she had done that, would she have known about her egg quality issues early on? She writes: "Maybe this is the other way that story would’ve ended – I produce a lot of eggs, they are fertilized, and beautiful embies are transferred to another woman’s uterus. She achieves pregnancy, and I assume fabulous fertility. We would still be in the position we are in today, surprised and confused as to what the hell our problem is." It was a post that left me thinking all night.

Loribeth at The Road Less Travelled had a post about being busy. She was out with women from her pregnancy loss support group, she describes them as "women who intimately know & share my life's deepest pain -- the loss of a baby. Some of them also have had infertility problems. I can say my daughter's name and talk about "when I was pregnant" freely with them and without fear of a negative reaction. I feel more comfortable with them than with many other people who have known me a lot longer." Three years down the line and she is the sole member of the group without children. During dinner, they started discussing how busy and tired they were--this exhaustion always tied back to balancing parenthood with the rest of life. She notices that "there is still this automatic, ingrained assumption (which I've obviously absorbed as much as anybody else) that people with kids are busier than people without kids -- that if you don't have kids, you have oodles of free time on your hands to kill -- and that somehow, their tales of busy-ness are more "legitimate" than any story I could tell to try to match them." The whole post is interesting, but the ending is particularly poignant and would be a wonderful message to embroider on throw pillows for the conversation nook of the house. "In one of the online grief groups I belong to, we have a saying -- there is no "grief-o-meter." Pain is pain, grief is grief, regardless of whether you lost your child via ectopic pregnancy, miscarriage, stillbirth, neonatal death or medical termination. And busy is busy, and tired is tired, no matter how you got there." Just an excellent, excellent post.

The ever brilliant Bea presented a reason for the way she processes loss at Infertile Fantasies. It was Jester's unfulfilled due date a few weeks ago. She writes about the passing of these dates: "For every due date that passes, there has been a slight release, as if I have to bring each embryo to term in my mind, if not my body, and once that's done, my responsibility is over. I mean, clearly he's not here demanding feedings or nappy changes - my work must be finished." I love the idea of bringing an embryo to term within the mind. Poetic, yes, but also emotionally filling, a view that takes into account that just because the body ends the pregnancy doesn't mean the mind has followed suit. And both need to be considered in terms of closure.

The acutely uncomfortable feeling of being unable to find your way back to happiness was summarized so eloquently by Michell at I Want to Be a Mommy. It was the day before she tested and everything was wrong--from the patient she needed to care for to the nurse who doled out the assvice. The post just seethes with raw emotion--it is the perfect vent. I guess it is always amazing to step back and read your way through someone starting a post in one emotional space and ending it on another. It reminds you how powerful a tool writing can be.

At Redbook Magazine, Julie from A Little Pregnant has a post about announcing a pregnancy and how even if someone follows the ideal path to a T, there is still the potential for the receiver to walk away miserable. I think what I like most about this post is the frankness; the way the information is placed in front of the reader. If your hoohaahooterus is anything like mine, you will read this post and nod. And then think about creating a secret gmail account so you can anonymously mail it out to people who will potentially be pregnant soon.

That is it, my fine friends. I've noticed as I write this that my spam folder has filled up yet again. Must go read about more penis-enhancing products. You know, for my one-inch baby carrot.


Carole said...

You totally made my day. I was laughing so hard about thumbtackjack that I had to stop reading for a sec.

decemberbaby said...

Don't be ashamed of your one-inch baby carrot, mel. It sounds adorable.

loribeth said...

Oooh, a mention from Mel! I am truly honoured (bowing deeply). Thank you for the kind words, & happy spam surfing! ; ) (I'm not sure I will ever be able to look at carrots in quite the same way...)

Kathy V said...

I HATE spam mail. By the way, trying to respond to it only gets you more spam mail. I tried sending replies that I wasn't interested or telling them to check out the spam mail that says go deeper. I just got more spam on my inbox.

Thanks for posting a link to Julie's post. I agreed wholeheartedley. Even if it hurts we do need to be told by that person before 9 months go by and a baby arrives. We need to prepare ourselves emotionally.

reichmann said...

Thank you for making me pee in my pants today.

sltbee69 said...

Oh my, what a way to end my day at work. Laugh my butt off! Thanks for the laughs!

Meg said...

You have reminded me of this funny website:

Sunny said...

OH MY GOSH you totally made the rest of my day perfect. I couldn't help but laugh out loud! You ROCK!!!

Michell said...

Thanks so much for the laugh at the spam stuff. It is funny the things you get in your junk mail folder. The best one I used to get was about a dog named Harvey and his skills at pleasing women. (Ewww). Anyways, thanks for the compliments and the mention, I too am truly honored.

deanna said...

oh, dang---thumb tack jack = laughing spasms on the floor = dogs are afraid and run away. That was so awesome.

christina(apronstrings) said...

i want to know who orders penis enhancement stuff? maybe i'll blog about that next week.