A Time to Laugh?

I’ve always admired people who can look at a horrible experience and see the humor in it. Take Barbara Johnson for instance, who endured not one but four tragedies in her life and yet shared her experiences in a way that left her readers with tears of laughter streaming down their faces instead of tears of sorrow.

So I’ve been thinking—is there any humor at all in barrenness? Well, no, not really. But there are certain things that often go along with this state of being which, if you look at them in the right way (and a week/month/year or two later) can bring on a smile. Take “Beth” for instance, who like many of you battles with those unpredictable hormones (which may or may not be contributing to the infertility) that can often leave her wondering who she really is and if she’s possibly losing her mind. Perhaps the pregnant and the menopausal ladies thought they had all the fun, but Beth can attest to the fact that the members of the Unexplained Fluctuation Organization (UFOs) have certainly had their fair share. Let’s take a peak into the life of Beth, shall we?

While cooking a meal for an upcoming church potluck, Beth received a call from a dear friend. Although Beth’s rational side told her that it was dangerous to cook and chat at the same time, as had been proven by several previous botched recipes, her impulsive side told her, “You can do it this time!” The chicken had been cooked and chopped, the pasta was draining, and the dressing was tasting just fine as she completed the long and delightful conversation. Beth hung up the phone and went to complete the final step of the recipe when, to her bewilderment, she could not find the chicken.

Frantic searches of the refrigerator and all the cupboards were fruitless. Remembering that she had wandered to other parts of the house during her call, she searched every other room, including both bathrooms. On the verge of tears of frustration and self-chastisement, Beth uttered her first attempt ever at a poultry prayer: “Dear Lord, please help me find this chicken!” Almost instantly, the front door opened and in walked a six-foot-four angel, home early from work. Hearing of her predicament and making a quick glance around the kitchen, the aforesaid angel spotted the above-range microwave, which was at his eye level and happened to contain the missing fowl.

It isn’t just Beth’s mind that is affected by the endocrine enemies, though. Several years back she began noticing some rather coarse facial hairs under her chin. Just a couple you know, which could easily be plucked out and explained away. Over the years however, the pair got together and decided to be fruitful and multiply so that now the otherwise very feminine lady must constantly hide the fact that, left to its own design, her chin would sprout a rather full and scandalous goatee. While many people express fears of being stranded in places without their medication, sleep apnea machines, or clean drinking water, Beth has nightmares that she is stuck on a cruise ship for weeks and there are no razors on board.

And thanks to that much-needed yet painfully evident hormone progesterone, Beth’s bosom also likes to play tricks on her, depending on what part of the month it is. Due to its naturally small size, fluctuations are probably only noticeable to herself…and the angel, of course. She hopes. Beth has a hard time justifying the purchase of two different sizes of bras, but realizes that were she to remain in 36B during days 25-3 she would not be able to breathe. And likewise, remaining in 36C beyond day 3 would not only be wishful thinking, but would give the huggers in the household the unpleasant sensation of embracing a couple of deflating balloons. Two sizes seem to be the best way to go—except on those in-between days. She has not yet figured out where to get a bra with a C cup for the left bosom and a B cup for the right which, frankly, is becoming a freakish and lingering problem. So if you ever see someone like Beth and she seems to be a bit off-balance with her gait, rest assured that her barrenness has not driven her to drink. It’s probably just day 28.