"Cheer up. Remember what the Monty Python boys say."
"Always look on the bright side of life?"
"No, 'Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition.'"

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Rolling on the River

The dance floor is full, the bodies are moving. The music is loud and it fills your head; you move to the rhythm. The room is dark and the colored lights are flashing; moving all over the room. Your friends are there with you and having the time of their lives.

Then, one of you notices off to the side, the older guy. He isn’t that old, but something about him makes you want to move out of his line of sight. He doesn’t belong there. Yet, you know he is watching you and your friends. He seems harmless. You accidentally lock eyes and he smiles. Crap, you may have given him a signal that you are interested in him. Oops. Look away and pretend you didn’t see him.

You glance over to him again, careful not to be seen peeking. He is still just smiling and watching the crowd. Dang; how unnerving. At least he didn’t seek you out right?

You and your friends leave a short time later, giggling and discussing the weird, creepy guy that just watched you like he was attending an exhibit at the zoo. You just hope he stayed in the club.


In the last several days, DH and I have been in two restaurants where we were in direct contact (line of sight) with the cutest little children.

The cutest twin boys (the all boy type) were playing in at the table next to us and I could help but watch them be cute. They would giggle and smile and romp around the general area. They had the glasses that made their eyes a bit bigger in the lens but it was nerdy in just the right 3-year-old way.

After several minutes, I see dad is getting antsy with us ~observing~ his children and he gathers them up and they leave shortly there after; he had a strange look on his face when our eyes met.

The second incident was a little curly headed angel playing with two balloons. He was smiling a laughing and having a blast. Once again, we observed and smiled. He was just to free and innocent that it melted my heart.

Once again, I get a strange look from mom and she moved the child to a different part of the foyer.

The two events above (one first one just for example) made me introspect just a bit.

Do we, as infertiles, have a look, a certain aura, a scent that only fertiles can see and smell? When we see a couple watching the playfulness of a child and melting, what do we think? Are they stalkers? Will they steal the child?

Have we become the creepy, too-old guy from the clubs when it comes to public encounters with children?

More often than not, creepy too-old guy is just not willing to admit his youth has been spent. He is clinging to the last thread of his early adulthood, unable to let go and move on to relationships in his own generation. He may not see his behavior as out of the ordinary or even creepy at all, but those around him, they know. “Keep dreamin’, Pops,” runs through the head of every girl in the room.

For us, we look at these little angels and ache to scoop up our own child. We want to be in the shoes of that parent whether it is good, bad or indifferent. We aren’t staring to be rude, we are just putting ourselves in their place, just for a moment, imagining what life could be.

As childless couples, we may be in a different boat then too-old guy, but the river is the same. It is the river of desire and longing; he chases after his wasted youth and we yearn for a child.

His boat’s dress code is noticeable which makes him easy to ignore/avoid. Our uniform is the same as every one around us. We are not forced to wear a large scarlet “I” or a badge for recognition. This is no difference in the outward appearance just the inside.

Start looking around, be the observer. Count the couples around you. For every 7 couples, one is dealing with infertility. You will see the telltale signs, each person carrying their own unique ‘bat signal’. One day, you may lock eyes with a couple enjoying the presence of that same child, then you will know and understand.

Unfortunately, we are not alone.


Wen782 said...

I love, love, love this post!!!

Monica Fayth said...

Sometimes, I think we should all have that "I". Then we wouldn't have to continually answer those questions like "so when are you having kids?"

Jen said...

Wonderful post Tam!

I think there are telltale signs. When I told my boss about how long it had taken us to TTC, he said he figured that was what was going on. Apparently he had been there himself 30 years earlier. I didn't ask what the signs were. I doubt that fertile myrtles would recognize them though.

Amy Paden said...

I think parents will react like that to *anyone* paying attention to their child-whether that person is infertile or not.

With all the stories you hear on the news about child molesters, and people trying to entice young children- this week on the news I've heard or read at least one *different* story a day-I think parents have become more cautious in general about who is paying attention to their kids.

I think the parents are just trying to protect the kids and "do what's best for them", not that I agree with the nasty looks and directing the child to somewhere else. I mean, they could just suck it up and strike up a conversation with whoever is paying attention to the kid.

Just an outsider's opinion since I don't wear the "I", "F" or "P".

Sorry if I'm rambling, didn't sleep much last night.

Tammy's Thought Pattern said...


If you get this emailed to you. Can I be invited to reading you blog, please? tlc520 at excite dot com