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Monday, March 16, 2009

Barren Advice: Thirty-Five

This is the 35th installment of Barren Advice. You can ask questions that are fertility or non-fertility related.

Barren Advice is posted each Tuesday-ish. If you have your own question for Barren Advice, click here to learn how to submit. Please weigh in with your own thoughts in the comment section and indicate which question you're addressing if there are multiple questions in the post.

Dear Mel:

For the past three plus years I have wisely insulated myself from the thoughtless comments of people who have never considered how they might feel if they were diagnosed with infertility by (a) being closeted except to other people who I know have dealt with fertility issues or otherwise "get it," and (b) not bringing those issues up to anyone else. Until I went off half-cocked this morning and wrote a treatise about IVF and sent it to my entire email list because I was sick of hearing the ignorance propagated by the media in response to the octuplets issue (and put over the top by the Georgia bill).

From one acquaintance, someone who I was trying to befriend because our kids are the same age, I received the following response (excerpted, this is the pertinent part): "In my personal opinion (which is not, nor should be, a basis for law or how others live their life) I am not so keen on tampering with nature at all in this regard. I think that biology has a way of sorting out what's best sometimes. In addition, there are children available for adoption. Some may think it's easy for me to have this opinion because I have a kid, but I can honestly say that if I couldn't get pregnant, I would have taken the hint and if I really wanted to experience parenthood I would have adopted. Again, that's just me. I pass no judgment on others who choose a different course of action."

Basically, this contains almost every sentiment that pierces the heart of an infertile like a thousand tiny shards of glass. It's tantamount to saying that if you get cancer, you should just die rather than pursue treatment because it's nature's way of weeding out the weak. I know that these comments are based on ignorance, but I am horrified and dismayed to hear them from someone I otherwise like. I am supposed to have brunch with this person on Sunday and I don't even want to go anymore.

I'm sure this question has been asked before, so forgive the repetition, but: How do I respond to these comments in such a way as to preserve the relationship, raise awareness about infertility, and frankly, convince my acquaintance that she is in error without making her feel like too much of an asshole? It seems like a delicate balance, and I'm typically a bull in a china shop with respect to these things.


It is really hard to work that many judgmental thoughts into a single response (and then mention at the end that you don't stand in judgment of others). So I think first and foremost, you need to marvel at that.

Here is the difference between your two sets of words: I'm assuming your letter addressed how people should think about infertility and her response (as well as items such as the Georgia bill) address how people should act within infertility. Actions beget consequences, therefore, no one should be telling another person how to solve their problems as long as their solutions are not harmful to another person or themselves (for instance, I think we could all agree that if a person were trying to solve the stress of infertility by cutting themselves, we'd step in and try to help that person. But if the person was choosing to solve the stress of infertility by meditation, even if we think it is a bunch of crap, we'd say, "to each their own."). She doesn't need to live your life, she only needs to live her own.

This question actually hasn't been asked before--at least not this type of situation where you need to see the speaker face-to-face. It is very different when a hurtful comment is left or you fall into disagreement with a faceless person over the Internet. There is a different investment unless you are also friends off-blog. But this is a person who you must socialize with, who has children that your children will play with, and may even overlap with other people you know in the face-to-face world.

I would still use the same three-tiered guide that I've spoke about before: start with a kind response (assuming that the person is speaking with kindness albeit thoughtlessness), move to a firm response (the aim of which is to cut off the topic entirely if they didn't get it the first time around), and finally, the free-for-all. The free-for-all takes into account that some friendships may just not be possible, even if there are other traits that drew you to her. If you had a shared history already built, it's easier to step back and agree to disagree. But depending on her response, you may be building your friendship on that agree to disagree ground, and that simply isn't stable land for a friendship.

I, personally, wouldn't befriend someone I just met who told me that they liked me but also thought all Jews were going to hell--regardless of how easy it would be to get together because our kids were in the same class. At the same time, I can tell you that I did have a friend in college who believed all Jews were going to hell. She only shared this belief with me once we were deep into our friendship and while this assertion sounds offensive taken out of context, it was explained to me in such a way that was palatable within our relationship. I would love to explain it, but it would take too long to explain here and truly, those who think I'm crazy to be friends with someone who thinks I'm going to hell won't understand even if I type out her words. How this applies to you: we can't judge friendships out of context and if she can explain her thoughts in a way that work for you, run with it.

My friend knew that it wasn't cool to try to convert me and I knew that it wasn't cool to not respect her belief in Christ. And we were able to move past this difference and keep the friendship because of where the information came in the continuum of our relationship. It wasn't something she shared UNTIL she knew that we had a close friendship (in other words, she knew how she felt about Jews prior to the friendship deepening) and she wanted me to understand something that was really important to her. And I can respect that--my friends do not need to be a mirror-image of me and her viewpoint really strengthened my own commitment to Judaism. Her words were not about forcing her viewpoint on me; it was about her concern for me as her friend. And that is the major difference and how a friend can drop a bomb-of-a-thought on you and still be standing after the wreckage has cleared. This woman didn't share her thoughts out of concern for you, but out of a love of hearing her own thoughts.

So says the advice columnist...

But, hey, you asked.

If you want to repair the friendship (and frankly, I could still be friends with someone who holds these views, but that's just me), I would respond and begin with kind. You could also not respond at all; not every email needs a response and responding is not always the healthiest option. But in this case, I think you'll carry it with you unless you put it to rest. So kind: It's great that we live in a world where everyone can make their own decisions and you're really happy with your decision to pursue fertility treatments.

I'd aim for breezy and confident--you're still sticking to your guns, but you're not angry, which allows the other person to save face. Hopefully the topic won't come up again--I think you made it pretty clear from your response. But sometimes it does; the person still needs to make sure that you know just where they stand on fertility treatments. And then you move to firm, making sure you smile as you either say the words or write them: Tell her that you hear her thoughts but they obviously don't mesh with your own which you stated in your email so maybe it would be best to not talk about infertility. But you'd love to get the kids together for a playdate.

Finally, the free-for-all. I have to tell you, if she is still bringing up the topic and she doesn't have a vested interest in the topic (for instance, I can see someone who ended up in the hospital with OHSS wanting to make sure you know all the dangers. But it sounds like she just has an opinion on this topic like every other Dick and commentary on the fact that these names are Dick...or Aunt Jane), I think she either can't pick up on social cues or she truly doesn't have your best interests at heart. And personally, that's when I'd cut her loose. You can still see her in the context of other mutual friends, but that's when I put the stiff arm up and hold her at a distance. Without that shared history, a new friend who requires this much negotiating isn't worth the friendship.

No really, the beauty of a blog advice column is that you get to weigh in with your two cents too. Let the questioner know if you support the advice, add to the response, or dispute it completely.

Leave a comment in the reaction box below--only keep in mind that conflicting advice is embraced and rudeness is not. Want to ask your own question? Click here to see what you need to send in order to be included in a future Tuesday's installment of Barren Advice


Anonymous said...

I really struggle with this because I *am* an infertile who holds some of the beliefs shared by Star's friend.

I absolutely do not judge other people's choices. Those choices are governed by each person's personal beliefs and experience and that is exactly as it should be.

I find myself in a situation in which, as an infertile, I am uniquely required to really test my feelings on the subject.

I'm comfortable with my choices and I'm comfortable with the choices of others in the community. They are making the choices that are right for their families and I am making the choices that are right for mine.

I have a great desire to really be a part of this internet community. We share so many experiences and heartaches. The support and understanding that we are able to give each other is so comforting and difficult to find in the "real" world.

And yet I feel like I can never really belong. I feel like I'm not truly free to share my experiences and struggles because the very fact that I'm struggling with decisions about treatment will likely be seen as offensive or hurtful to many members of the community.

Jen said...

I really like Mel's answer, but maybe you could also mention to her that there isn't a "just adopt" like everyone seems to think there is. The average person doesn't seem to know how expensive, difficult, and lengthy the process is.

Anonymous said...

I should add that I do, of course, see that the response of Star's friend was inappropriate.

I can also see how Star's friend might have seen Star's email as an invitation to share her beliefs, especially as they are building their relationship and learning more about each other. It is incredibly unfortunate that these beliefs were shared before sympathy, comfort, or understanding. While the response of Star's friend was definitely thoughtless, I think that it was not likely meant to be hurtful.

Erin said...

This was a very timely Barren Advice for me...

I too have a friend who believes an inability to conceive naturally is natures way of saying I shouldn't be having children. At first I took that very personally, as if my friend felt that I personally wasn't good enough for children, but after some reflection I came to realize that her belief was bigger than that and didn't hold any malice towards me. It's still hard to swallow at times and I know that my own friend could have worded it better when she said it to me.

I have to remind myself often that when I open up the topic of IF that there will always be people who need to ask questions, feel the need to voice their opinions and often times do it without any sensitivity. In those instances I try to use the opportunity to educate them. It's okay to have opinions but it's not okay to be rude and insensitive.

I think if you're willing to have a dialog with this person, or anyone who questions your motives in IF, that you have to be willing to hear them out. It's okay to set boundaries with them, and even explain that what they may have said was painful to you. Chances are they didn't even realize it, all the more reason to gently remind them that it's a personal subject for you, that is often painful.

This friend of mine, we're still friends, we're always going to be friends. I know that she wants me to be happy despite her personal beliefs on IVF and other infertility treatments. She's okay with me making my own decisions and not judging me for them. If your friend can find that balance, and you can too, it's possible to maintain the relationship.

KLTTX said...

I agree with Jen. So many fertile people in the word say "just adopt" and after just completing an adoption, there was no "just" about it. It was an expensive, painful, intrusive process. I love my son dearly but think that if more people had to "just adopt" they'd stop using that phrase.

k8 said...

I have a confession to make - before I experienced infertility myself, I was one of those people. I had similar vague apprehensions about "tampering with nature" and didn't understand why people would pursue such unpleasant and expensive medical treatment instead of adopting. I wish I knew what someone could have said to my former self to help me understand how ignorant and hurtful my attitude was, but I honestly don't know. Education on the causes and treatment of infertility, on the difficulties of the adoption process and unique needs of adopted children could help, but only if someone actually wants to understand. I think a lot of people don't. It's more comfortable that way.

As for Star's acquaintance, it's easy to proclaim what one would or wouldn't do, with the not so thinly veiled insinuation that it's what any reasonable person would do, from the comfort of the hypothetical. It's another thing altogether when you have to face it in reality. Yes, I only pursued a minimal amount of treatment and am now pursuing adoption, just like I always said I would if I had problems getting pregnant. But it was far from an easy or straightforward decision to make. Star's acquaintance should know that while once upon a time I may have nodded in agreement with her words, now they only rankle. That in itself should say something.

Chickenpig said...

I can say that a neighbor who didn't know my husband and I had undergone treatments to conceive our children said pretty much the same exact stuff in my presence about someone else. After unlocking my jaws because my teeth were gritted so tightly, I explained for some people, like myself, "tampering with nature" is the only solution. My husband and I are lucky people who had insurance that covered IVF, all of it, unlimited cycles, drugs, the whole nine yards! (the insurance company has since tightened its belt on that policy, but we got in under the wire) but we didn't have the thousands of dollars needed for adoption. Most people can't say that ART is the easy and affordable alternative when faced with infertility, but we did. Maybe this woman would have just seen our inability to pay for IVF or adoption out of pocket as just a sign that we don't have enough money to be parents. Even though she is so non judgmental and all ;)

Star said...

So I did go to brunch, and the topic didn't come up (our husbands and children were there, so it was easy for it not to). By then I had cooled down and didn't think about it much. What I forgot to mention in my letter is that my friend hit reply all and broadcasted this to a bunch of people she doesn't know instead of just saying this to me, so I was extra horrified. Though that detail doesn't alter my question or the advice. The other bit of background I can offer is that I suspect that her thought about nature comes from being on the crunchy side (we met in a Bradley class); if you tend to be suspicious of medical intervention in some situations, it would be an easy leap to make to rule it out in any situation that wasn't life-threatening, particularly if that situation hadn't happened to you.

I do intend to take the opportunity, if it comes up again, to explain, in the kindest, most nonjudgmental way possible, that "just adopt" when it comes to children is not as easy as adopting a cat from a shelter (which seems to be the assumption). I honestly believe that her comments were based in ignorance and not having put much thought into the subject. My inclination is to try to educate, because I have a hard time with the idea that an otherwise nice, intelligent person who as far as I can tell basically shares my values would not be able to "get it" if informed. In other words, I don't want to accept the idea that you can't "get it" on such a basic level unless you or someone you're close to have personally gone through it -- about IF or anything else, for that matter.

Thanks much for the advice, Mel and commenters so far, and I hope to hear more from other comments.

~*~Bodhi~*~ said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
~*~Bodhi~*~ said...

I have to agree with some of what 1tsp-grace said.

DH and I made the choice a long 10 years ago that if we couldn't conceive naturally then we wouldn't seek our a baby via any form of fertility treatment.

That was OUR choice. It does NOT mean that we don't desperately want a child as much as the person willing to spend thousands on IVf and the like, it just means that we're not willing to go down that route, it's a decision we've made and like we respect others choices TO do IVF, others must respect our choice NOT to do it.

I still desperately want a child but I fear I will never have one because it just doesn't seem to be happening for us naturally BUT I know I couldn't put my body through any form of fertility treatment, I've seen what it does to people, to their bodies, to their emotional well being when you pump your body full of drugs and yet the process still fails and you come out the other end with no baby- no thanks, not for me.

You may not agree with your friends views Star but she is entitled to have them and if I'm honest, I have the same views. I don't want a baby produced in the lab, I want a baby that my husband and I have made. I say that after struggling with IF for 10 years and having 4 miscarriages. You say her comments are based on ignorance and they be but they also may not be as I am here sharing the same views and mine most definitely are NOT based on ignorance because I'm living the hell that is IF.

I have to say that I don't believe her when she says that if she didn't have children she'd still have these same views because how could she know that? She's never been in that position and never will be.

suThats the beauty of the world, we all have different views and opinions and you know what thats fine....

Jennifer said...

Here is what I tell people:

My husband and I got to see our friends struggle with infertility before we experienced it personally. We decided that if there were problems, we would take the easy road and adopt. At the end of the day, we didn't care about passing on our genes.

After the diagnosis (very severe male factor) we still felt that way. We wanted to become parents the easy way no matter what the genetic connection. We read books, did research, got on the internet, asked people who had been there.

We were still doing things the easy way. That's why we start IVF #2 in another month. What can I say? We're lazy.

Io said...

Whew. My advice is probably shitty because I would just write back to explain why I disagree and then never ever be able to really be good friends with this person. But I take things way too personally. I'd probably do the same if she were a staunch Republican or something.

eden said...

Wow. Star your friends comments, and the way she broadcast them to everyone, really annoyed me.

If I was in a plane crash, I would just stay calm and put my oxygen mask on and it would all be ok.

If my husband died I would be bereft but I'd never hook up with anyone again I'd just remain focussed on my kids.

If I leave the house today wearing my red hoodie, someone will walk up to me and give me a thousand dollars.

.... it's all nonsense. You can NEVER predict how you would react to anything in life, ever.

How the hell would your friend know how she would survive infertilty? She might have become the worlds most outspoken IVF advocate and gone on Oprah.

Sorry. Am a bit touchy lately. Good on you for still going to brunch. I wouldn't have.

Deathstar said...

It's good to hear from those on both sides of the fence, so to speak. Mmmm, typically such strongly held beliefs are unlikely to be changed with educational efforts. Experience is always the best teacher, but even better would be some compassion. That would all everyone their opinion without trying to convince someone to change their minds or judge.

Indeed if one were to extrapolate further with medical intervention, why bother with disease fighting treatments at all, if letting nature take its course is the better choice? Why bother with birth control? In fact, why bother treating sick people at all? They'll either get over it or they won't. I happen to that there are things in nature and science that can dramatically improve the quality of our lives. Those of us in Western society have the luxury of having a choice (that is, if we can afford it) and either choice is better than no choice at all.

k8 said...

Bodhi & 1tsp-grace: I may just be projecting, but your comments come across very differently to me than those of Star's friend, and I don't think your own ambivalent feelings about IVF are really equivalent to hers. Both of you clearly understand the difficulty of deciding if and what infertility treatment to pursue, and that it's a highly personal decision without clear right or wrong answers. Between her choices of phrasing and the context of the quoted email, I don't get the same vibe from Star's friend. Her message comes across to me as, "Hey, not to judge you or anything, but here's what I would do if it was me," and doesn't give any indication that she has any idea about what's really involved with either infertility treatment or adoption.

Lollipop Goldstein said...

I have to agree with K8. I think the difference with this woman is that Star wrote her letter, clearly stating what she is doing (or what path sits best with her right now), and the response was an invalidation of her feelings. I don't even think it comes down to educating her on adoption--I think it comes down to explaining social cues. If someone tells me that they're doing Jenny Craig, I'm not going to tell them that Jenny Craig sucks and they should do Weight Watchers. If someone tells me that they love meat, I'm not going to tell them all about vegetarianism.

This woman certainly didn't need to agree with Star or even support her if she felt uncomfortable with the decisions Star was making. But she did need to hold her tongue unless her opinion was asked or if she thought Star was doing something damaging to herself or others.

That, of course, is a fine line because perhaps this woman thinks "tampering with nature" is hurting others. But still, I hear "treatise about IVF" and I think you close the email politely if you disagree or email back supportive words if you agree. And it came down to the fact that this woman overshared her opinion with someone she doesn't know very well.

So...yeah...I'm in total agreement. IVF isn't for everyone nor should it be. But I support all people to choose which of the paths out of infertility work best for them--since they are the only ones who can weigh a plethora of factors to make the decision.

luna said...

I was reading the comments and alternately nodding and shaking my head. I agree with K8 and mel -- broadcasting her "opinion" on the subject was no such thing; it sounded like cruel judgment, and worse, shouted from the mountaintops. no compassion, just ignorance. like Io, I would have no tolerance for that sort of thing.

and eden is right -- she can't possibly know what she would do in that situation, UNlike the commenters who may share the same beliefs but whose actions are rooted in the reality of having been there.

Sara said...

It sounds like the friend was more dense than malicious, for what it's worth. However, as previous commenters have noted, the whole tampering with nature argument is bullshit. Aside from the benefits of drugs that we benefit from each day, we tamper with nature on a regular basis. Humans were designed to be hunter-gatherers with a limited food supply too tough to be digested until a child was a preschooler, so prehistoric moms breastfed until three or four. This essentially kept our fore-mothers too malnourished to support more than a pregnancy every four or five years. So, if you really want not to tamper with nature, go live in a forest and grow or trap your own food exclusively. Anything less than that is tampering with nature...

Seriously, though, people are thoughtless. Think of the average person and remember that half the population is dumber than that.

Star said...

In response to the commenters who have elected not to pursue treatment, let me clarify that I don't think that's the only or best way to deal with IF. Plenty of people have reservations about IVF, and I understand those concerns. What I objected to about my friend's comments was: (1) that she was implying that anyone unable to conceive without assistance is evolutionarily unfit to procreate ("take a hint"), which seems to be an unnecessary dig at infertiles unrelated to the issue of whether IF treatments may have negative consequences; and (2) that she was expressing the factually erroneous view that adoption is simple, and the morally erroneous view that people who are subfertile should have fewer choices about how to form their families than people who can pop out babies like the Duggars (who may also choose to pursue adoption instead of or in addition to having their biological children).

IOW, I definitely did not mean to imply that people who would prefer to pursue adoption or live child free and who choose to forego IF treatment are wrong in any way.

Sara said...

Another thought, piggybacking on Eden...
What you think your reaction to events will be and what your reaction actually is when such events occur are not necessarily the same. Speaking as someone who does not think a first trimester embryo is a person, I thought a miscarriage would not be a big deal. Until I had one. And I held onto it not being a big deal. Until it was a REALLY big deal. As has been the next one (although less so). You cannot plan for your emotional reaction or truly know what it will be, and it is ridiculous to use your imagined reaction to show your superiority to others. Ugh.

Anonymous said...

I think all of y'all are way more compassionate and thoughtful than I am. I can't believe the thoughtlessness in this friend's comments. "Take a hint." !?!?! Seriously? And while I know Star was looking for relationship advice, and how to manage a friendship, reading that email makes me go immediately to the political. I think so much of this is about sexism. Do these same people who think women should give up on the fertility dream also think that if a man can't get it up, he shouldn't go see a urologist? Or shouldn't take viagra? He should just "take a hint" and never have sex again? It's bullshit. It goes straight to our sexist notions about what makes a woman - and ability to procreate is right up there with being a good woman. So if you can't, it's not a medical issue, it's a moral issue. You somehow don't deserve to have kids. And pursuing medial options isn't about health, it's about morality? Really? How many other medical problems do we view this way? Argh! Sorry, I'm angry girl today.

Anonymous said...

Here's what I notice about this that bothers me a little. Star herself admits that she went off half-cocked and CC:ed half her address book on something that essentially is no one's freakin' business. My usual response to unsolicited e-mail with a stance on a personal, political, religious or otherwise nunya beezwax situation is eyeroll, delete. So I more than likely wouldn't have responded at all, and If this was a good friend whose comments were made in a personal context or if Star was looking to a select group of friends for emotional support or venting frustrations and I have misread the circumstances, I apologize and totally agree this person was insensitive at best, but ultimately if you blurt out personal information or belief uninvited, especially if that information comes out sounding like a lecture or a directive about how others should think or feel, are you not inviting those others to do the same?

elizabeth said...

I too winced at the "take a hint" phrasing. It glibly dismisses an intensely emotional and fraught state of being. I would feel hurt if someone implied that nature has selected me as unfit to reproduce.

But I think we're caught up in two overlapping discussions here, one about "nature" vs. medical intervention (an ideological one) and the other about how to handle relationships across vastly different ideological lines (an interpersonal one). I think Mel's wonderful response focused on the latter, which was really what Star's question was, right?

Anyway, I guess I weighed in on both myself after all...

Michelle said...

I was another one who, before we even started trying to get pregnant, made a declaration that if there were any issues, we would not spend our time and energy on fertility treatments and would instead pursue adoption.

However, I made a complete 180 when we received our infertility diagnosis (severe MFI, go directly to IVF, do not pass Go). I did not give it a second thought; if modern medicine could help us have a baby, why *wouldn't* we pursue that route?

So, like someone else said, I'd like to go back to my pre-IF self and give me a smack and a stern admonishment to be more compassionate. However, in my defense, I did NOT express this opinion to someone going through fertility treatments (and her entire address book)! This distinction, I think, is what makes me simply uninformed and insensitive and Star's friend a self-righteous %$#^&. :)

Scrumpkin said...

I have been in a similar situation. I was once having an conversation about huting with a coworker and he brought up natural selection...and then brought up infertility. It was a serious WTF moment. People can have their opinions, but I honestly believe that unless you've been there you really have NO IDEA. I don't believe fertility is "God's Will", destiny, fate, or something people should suffer with if they don't want to. Having looked into adoption because of my fertility issues, and in that process getting pregnant thanks to meds and an IUI---I really don't know if anything can compare to having your own child (and I say this as someone who has very positive views on adoption). But I've never adopted, so maybe it is the same...?

If I were in your situation I'd email that woman back and tell her how unbelievably insensitive she is...and I'd be mean about it...but that's just my defensive personality talking.

Sometimes people suck and that makes me sad :o( We all want to be happy...however different we might be.

Lollipop Goldstein said...

Hey Scrumpkin, trying to understand since adoption is having your own child. Do you mean that a person can't ever truly speak to anything outside their experience in terms of how it will affect them/enjoy it/etc?

Three cheers for your last line: "We all want to be happy...however different we might be."

Anonymous said...

Coming in on this late...but I am so interested in everyone's responses.

Star, your friend is lucky to have your thoughtfullness, compassion and she has none herself in this contecxt anyway.

During my primary IF (about 4 years) I played the 'stay silent' or 'appropriately' educate game with any naysayers that came my way.

This time around, I've decided to adopt the 'unapologetically infertile' approach and assert if my feelings have been hurt by a comment. I don't intend to hurt others back, but I do intend to set limits with how people are allowed to talk to me.

I had to cut off a friendship last year with a woman who, upon learning about my secondary infertility, pointed to her baby daughter and said "At least it's better than having one when you didn't want to." Picture my mouth falling on the floor...I told her "I wouldn't know"...then she backpedaled her way through the God's will and God's timing junk (I'm not anti-God btw, I'm just anti-belittle someone's pain through these statements).

Anyway, this woman has diarrhea of the mouth, and it's just how she is...if it crosses her mind, she says it.

I decided I didn't need that kind of friend right now. Personal preference I guess.


JuliaS said...

Ugh, ugh, ugh.

I respect the opinions of others. When those opinions become heavy handed advice or criticisms of my choices or opinions, then, well, big thumbed up nose back at ya.

Mel, I'm condemned to hell too - whenever I hear that, I just smile and say I know I am going to be in some marvelous company.

Bea said...

Dude. I understand why you sent the email, and yet this was bound to happen when you sent the email. Because the world sucks, and people don't think through things, that's why.

I think what gets me most about the reply is that it's based in ignorance - not just ordinary ignorance, not just not knowing stuff, but that special kind of ignorance where you don't even realise you don't know stuff, and you haven't even thought about it (like, sure, a whole 12.5% of couples inherited genes for infertility from their infertile parents... who couldn't have children... I mean maybe that would explain a low % of sub and infertility, but seriously? Take five minutes to mull it over).

Also, I think it's the way she said she judges people and then says she doesn't judge people, like tacking on that sentence erases the judgement. If you're going to judge, be woman enough to own up to it, for fuck's sake.

Ultimately, I think I agree with Mel and would say "go carefully" and "don't get your heart set".