Out of the tub and on the soap box for this one. Maybe I’m in an overly critical mood tonight because the Voice featured another contestant with a debilitating hearing issue. TUBES IN YOUR EARS as a child. Oh, you poor thing. You’re gonna have to look both ways before you cross the street and answer the phone using only one ear. You’ll get through this. I did and you can too.
But another article hit the internet today talking about one brave woman’s “epic” post that tells invasive friends that fertility is “none of your business.” She sneakily grabbed followers’ attention by posting a Google image of an ultrasound that wasn’t hers and really caught them looking silly. Just kidding, it’s not mine, and you don’t have any right to comment on my pretend-baby.
I have a problem with this and you guessed it, I’m going to tell you why.
The woman (based on the article) has a problem with the cliche comments she sees from her “friends”:
“when’s the next one coming?”
“When are you starting a family?!”
I get her reasoning why, and she explains this saying that you don’t KNOW if someone is having fertility issues. You don’t KNOW if someone is struggling in their relationship. You don’t KNOW their personal hardships that they are dealing with.
But these questions are not posed with the intent to harm. What is really at work here, is an inability–a discomfort–with dealing with anything.
1.) Are strangers asking you these questions to you on social media? Why are you ‘friends’ with strangers? Get rid of them.
2.) Is your family making you uncomfortable asking you these things? How about addressing this to them IN REAL LIFE. You don’t like your family? Well, sorry, you’re stuck with them. Make the best of it.
3.) You don’t wish to share anything personal on Facebook? Get off Facebook. I would imagine you are sharing personal things or else how would the context of such a comment come up?
4.) Somebody random just has no boundaries and hits up your threads with garbage? Delete it. Unsubscribe. Don’t respond. All reasonable measures to take.
Listen Jets, I’m no stranger to feeling uncomfortable. I freaking used to hate when my local gas station would try to hit me up for a donation to the Leukemia foundation every time I bought a Coke. But you know why I hated it? Because it makes me uncomfortable–makes me feel guilty. But guess what? That’s my issue, not the Cumbys cashier’s problem. Took me 30 years to grow a pair of balls and say “No, thanks” once in a while. The same issue comes up when I used to hate-follow people on Facebook who had (in my opinion) horrible political views. How dare you post something so close-minded on MY FEED! Again, my issue. How do you know if it’s your issue? If you’re secretly harboring ways to drown them when they have no idea.
I’m not trying to belittle the issue of fertility, family planning, or any other issue. It must be horrible. But there are sensible ways around this–or ways to confront it. I’m not much for the efficacy of prayer or the idea of “sending someone prayers” but there is a well-known prayer in the recovery world:
Usually, the most focused-on part of the prayer is the “Accept the things I cannot change” part. For me, it’s all about the “Courage to change the things I can” part. A lot of people work on accepting things they can’t change (IE. I can’t change the fact that this person is an asshole). But you CAN change how you respond to people and situations. You can speak up. Simply going through life avoiding pain and uncomfortable things is only setting you up to fail when one of those things smacks you in the face. I tried avoiding any situation that would bring attention to the fact that I was drowning in a hot tub of vodka. It didn’t work. Also–bring it in everyone–let’s stop using the word “epic” today and forever.
So read the piece and respond on your soap box. It’s been 40 days since my last soak. I’m so dry.