The Daily News

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My Status: Fed Josh's almonds to the squirrels. They needed them very badly.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The ALI Awards

The glitz, the glamour, the red carpet chit-chat. The dazzling amount of bling. The are-they-or-aren't-theys. The lavish after-parties. It's the first ALIes* (The meaning will be clear once you read the rest of the post, but pronounce it like the girl's name--Ally--but think about it like "allies" yet missing the extra "L")

What are the ALIes? Only the most exclusive award ceremony for the adoption (A), loss (L), and infertility (I) world. Given at irregular intervals whenever we feel like it, they honour ALI celebrities and fine art.

At Embryo Motel's request, I am opening up the awards panel for nominations. Each category currently has one suggestion and three empty slots. It's sort of a fun game to try to come up with the people that fit the categories. Once the panels are complete, it will be put to a vote by the 1300+ members of the academy (er...otherwise known as the blogroll). And then...the first ALIes in all of their glory. With a lot of champagne. And kissing-and-telling with B-list celebrities. And not being able to recall much the next morning. And learning about your escapades in the gossip rags.

The nominations can come from any decade and nominees can be in their element or completely washed up and botoxed out.

1. Best movie with an adoption/loss/infertility (ALI) plotline
1. Juno
2. Open; make a suggestion in the comment section.
3. Open; make a suggestion in the comment section.
4. Open; make a suggestion in the comment section.

Rather than do this for every category, assume that there is one suggestion and three open slots. The one choice already listed may be bumped out of the running if the suggestions are better than the current choice.

2. Best book with an ALI element to the book
1. The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood

3. Best television series with an ALI storyline
1. Brothers & Sisters

4. Best song (and hence musician) with an ALI theme
1. Dixie Chicks's "So Hard"

5. Best mainstream magazine/newspaper for ALI coverage
1. New York Times

6. Best ALI actor/actress
1. Marcia Cross

7. Best ALI musician
1. Melissa Etheridge

8. Best ALI writer
1. Peggy Orenstein

9. Most interesting ALI mother/mother-one-day (one you'd actually read an entire People magazine article about--may overlap with another category)
1. Courtney Cox

10. Most interesting ALI father/father-one-day (again, you'd like to read more about them in a magazine article and may overlap with another category)
1. Dan Savage

11. Celebrity of the Year (a public figure who has been upfront about their ALI status and used celebrity to educate)
1. Emma Thompson

To make it easy, use the numbers on the side (1--11) in your comment when leaving a name for a category. Feel free to fill in as many names (even more than one per category) as you can. The more the better.

Unlike the stodgy, inflexible Oscars, the ALIes are completely open to new category suggestions. Please place them in the comment section and I will move them into the body of the post so people can add their suggestions for nominees for that section too. for instance, we don't have a childfree after IF category because it's sometimes difficult to know unless the person is out (and I don't know any celebrities off the top of my head despite all my hours reading People) whether they are childfree after IF or childfree by choice. But if you can think of people, please let me know.

The ALIes are kind-at-heart so put your inner bitch back in your make-up bag because we're not going to create categories about outing people or painting them as the most unworthy of having the money to do treatments. We're talking about allies here. ALIes and allies and all the people who chip away at the taboo.

*The award statue is from Ghana and she's an Akua-ba fertility doll. The story is that a woman, Akua, was given the biggest assvice of all time that the way to cure her infertility was to carry a wooden replica of a child on her back at all times to simulate motherhood. Everyone in the village laughed at her (I guess they knew assvice when they saw it), but lo and behold, she became pregnant and delivered a daughter. So who's laughing now, bitch?


Lisa said...

These are great and I will definitely think about them over the next few days!

As for living childfree, I believe I remember reading about Patrick Swayze and his wife having two m/c's and then deciding to live childfree.

Anonymous said...

Ha! This is like the story of my life - always "missing the extra 'L'". :o)

MamaSoon said...

Oooooh this is fun.

3. Sex and the City - TV show
4. I Would Die For That - Kellie Coffee

That song is so moving.

Deb said...

I second the suggestion for #4 of I would die for that

#2 Happiness Sold Seperately

#10 Steven Curtis Chapman

Heather.PNR said...

6 and/or 11: Jamie Lee Curtis

Still Standing Strong in A Bloom of Hope. said...

Hmm....will need to think..but at the top of my head now is Best Actress - Angelina Jolie?

Love the Award...will link it to my blog! :)

Deepika said...

Best ALI for books:
I liked Missing Joseph by Elizabeth George and The Deep End of the Ocean by Jacquelyn Mitchard, dealing with issues of loss

kate said...

2. Best book with an ALI element to the book

I would nominate Jennifer Weiner's Certain Girls. Yeah, it's chick lit, but it sensitively and honestly deals with a couple's decision to expand their family by using a gestational surrogate. Furthermore, it explores gestational surrogacy as a simple fact of life for a woman who lost her uterus, rather than as some sort of sensational "Baby Mama" style joke. It describes fairly accurately the egg retrieval process and even correctly uses the term "transfer" (yahoo!). I was pleasantly surprised when I read it.

Shelby said...

Fantastic idea!!
2- The Shop on Blossom Street- Debbie Macomber- one of the main characters deals with IF/loss, and I believe she then adopts (but it's been ages since I've read it, so I may be wrong)
6- Brooke Shields

kate said...

Oh, and here's a link to the book I nominated...
Certain Girls is the first book listed. I think you can read a chapter there, too.

calliope said...

wow! This was tough...but I spent some time mulling & here are my nominations:
1) Maybe Baby
2) Little Earthquakes by Jennifer Weiner
3) Private Practice
4) No Less than a Woman by Lady Saw
5) Redbook
6) Brooke Sheilds
7) Lisa Marie Presley
8) Beth Kohl
9) Julia Roberts
10) Dennis Quaid
11) Alexis Stewart

BethH6703 said...

Off the top of my head - #4 Kellie Coffey's "I Would Die For That"

(I had to look it up on youtube to be sure I got the artist's name right, and I'm crying as I listen to it... for about the 400th time.)

Anonymous said...

Mel, I love this! I second the following nominations:

2. Certain Girls
3. Sex and the City
4. I Would Die for That
9. Brooke Shields


Io said...

Soo...I had a dream last night that I went to visit you and you lived on an organic farm. And it was this amazing place where infertiles would come to visit, like some sort of mecca or something.
And you had Josh outside working the vegetable garden.
There was a lot more to the dream (I think my mom lived in a house you owned?) and I remember waking up thinking it had some sort of deep meaning. But then I forgot the rest of the dream.
You should totally get a farm.

katd said...

What a fun idea!!
6. Jamie Lee Curtis
7. The Dixie Chicks
10. Dennis Quaid
11. Jamie Lee Curtis

I'm dusting off my evening gown and awaiting the red carpet. :)

Jendeis said...

Just scanning through the comments as I have no great ideas, but I'm loving Io's dream. You should totally get a farm! It will be like Ina May Gaskin's farm for midwifery, only yours will be all about IF and family-expansion. There should definitely be yoga. Ooh and meditation classes. And classes on how to cook sustainable foods like Cheetos and brownies and ice cream.

Barb said...

3. Friends - T.V. Show (yes it was unrealistic, but they dealt with surrogacy and infertility/adoption with a nice grace and humor)

4. I would die for that - Kellie Coffee

6. Brooke Shields and Jamie Lee Curtis

11. I love Emma Thompson on the list. She's awesome. I would also like to add Tori Amos. She's so eloquent about her miscarriages.

Joanna said...

This is cool. I say for:

#2 - "Baby B" by Michael Ryan
I love this because it is from the mans point of view and you just feel for the couple throughout the whole book.

#6 - Brooke Shields

Michell said...

For best movie: Martian Child and for the best song I would second the I would die for that by kellie coffee.

Rebecca said...

The only new one I could come up with off the top of my head is for ALI Father - Hugh Jackman. He and his wife went through a lot before they adopted their two children. I read an article one time and the way he spoke of his wife and their experiences made me admire him in so many more ways than just eye candy...which he IS! LOL

Anonymous said...

I'm another fan of #4 Kellie Coffey's "I Would Die For That"

And Childfree by Choice - Rachael Ray! She's been open about her choice to be CF.

I also admire how she presents recipes to fit any life situation. she'll say "if you're making this just for yourself..." or "if you want a nice meal with your sweetie" or "this is a quick one to put together if you have to drive the kids out ..." just very respectful of all kinds of situations.

candy said...

1. martian child
2. happiness sold separately
4. all i really want for christmas by steven curtis chapman

candy said...

oh - or

4. when love takes you in by steven curtis chapman

nancy said...

I'm terrible at figuring out ideas for categories! I go blank, but when I see the other ideas, I'm like TOTALLY! DUH!!!

So I must wait for the nominations and I will vote!

Bea said...

Love the fertility doll. Where can we buy one?


vee said...

10. Gordon Ramsay (celebrity chef. Has 4 children conceived via IVF - very open and very supportive of his wife, Tana).
10. Ben Elton (UK comedian who wrote "Inconceivable" - the book that became "Maybe Baby".
2. "Inconceivable" by Ben Elton

I'll be back with more if I think of them!

loribeth said...

Off the top of my head:

Music video/song: "My Name" by George Canyon (inspired by friends who had a stillbirth)

Movie: "In America" which few people seem to have heard of, even though it was nominated for several Oscars a few years back. It deals with the loss of a child (albeit somewhat older, to leukemia), grief, a high-risk subsequent pregnancy. I bawled all through this movie but I absolutely loved it. :)

Living childfree after IF/loss: I also recall reading about Patrick Swayze & his wife.

Will try to think of more.

loribeth said...

Ooh, I remember another one -- Annie Lennox for Most Interesting ALI Mom. She had a stillborn son (has gone on to have other children). I've heard her allude to this time in her life in interviews, but I would love to chat with her about it, if she was willing.

Dyna Girl said...

For #1, definitely Children of Men!

Nicky said...

I know that you already have Peggy Orenstein up for an award in another category, but no good Academy lets that stop them!

#2. Waiting for Daisy

Or was this supposed to be a fiction-only category....

Barb said...

I want to add for #7, all 3 dixie chicks. I know it was just the 2 sisters, but all 3 have been so open and honest about IF and their struggles with it.

Tash said...

2. elizabeth edwards, "saving graces"
9. elizabeth edwards
10. Lance Armstrong. Very open in his book about how he and his wife needed ART given his testicular cancer.

Smiling said...

I love that idea of a farm/retreat...

I also never have heard of Smith Island - I am sad that it might be ages before I have a chance... and I lived not that far away in Boston for so many years. I love the imagine of the locals helping their problems with cake and a few outsiders who need a place with a low-kid ratio to visit to buys said cakes.

a couple weeks ago 4 of us with POF (premature ovarian failure) all rented a beach cabin near a hot water spring. It was only a weekend, but as a group we talked, laughed, got meals to the table quickly and easily, and had the safety we needed to dive into thing a bit. It was a very good thing.

I've been lucky that I've nearly always been able to develop safe places to go when I need that kind of space - normally family friend's houses. I could stop by anytime for a cuppa, a bath, a meal, or a quiet place to sit away from the to do lists at my house. Part of why I have been so open about my infertility in real life is I NEED these spaces so much, and I can't lie, and the infertility crap causes this need to grow some weeks.

But without those spaces I would love a place of safety to go and wait, recover, get away from things, reconnect with a partner etc.

A place of safety is a lovely idea... if anyone is down in New Zealand and needs such a place, please email-- I only have the most hubble 1 bedroom flat in the country, but I make a wicked cuppa tea;)