PLEASE NOTE: If you are struggling with infertility or are currently trying to conceive and you DON'T want to read about my pregnancy (which I totally understand), I recommend starting at the beginning of the blog (March 2010) and reading from there. I find out I'm pregnant in June 2011 so there is a lot of trying to conceive posts in between that you might find funny, helpful or relatable. Wishing you all the luck in the world!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Take My Polyp… Please!

As some of you know, I perform stand-up comedy from time to time. When I was younger and single, I use to perform on a regular basis. These days, I prefer staying home and writing in my comfy home office. It gives me more time with my husband, I don’t have the same intense pressure and most importantly, I get to wear my pajamas while being creative. Who else gets to do that aside from prostitutes?

Still, I do enjoy connecting with the public, looking at the humorous side of life and sharing it with others. Also, quite frankly, some shows are just balls out fun.

The best thing about performing stand-up comedy though has to be the overall shared experience of people in general. You see so many of them come in after work; they are stressed, tired, bereft of joy and looking like they desperately need a vacation. During the course of a comedy show, people relate to each other, they connect, and they laugh at universal topics such as marriage, weight, politics, celebrities, taxes and death. What could be better and more stress relieving than laughing at the sh*tty things in life? Whenever I see that same group of people at the end of a show looking lighter, happier and less homicidal, I feel like we’ve provided a service.

In my routine over the years, I’ve shared a lot about my life. Whether it was dealing with my family, trying to be successful, struggling as a single person (my bad dates could have filled several books), or being newly married, I’ve never had a problem putting my issues on stage and making fun of it. So, I’m kind of in an awkward spot at the moment since I know I should get on stage and share my struggles of infertility. Lord knows that I’ve built up enough jokes over the past year and a half!

Is that egg white cervical mucus or are you just happy to see me?

I’ve been trying to conceive for over a year and all I got was this lousy t-shirt!

I’m not having this much sex because I enjoy it people!

I said, ‘Doc, you could at least by me a drink before you inseminate me!’

I don’t know if my eggs are grade A or scrambled or fried!

The trouble is that the topic feels TOO personal. I’m still very much in the middle of it that I don’t yet feel comfortable getting up in front of two hundred people and being like, “Take my polyp… please!” Ba-dum-bum-bum!

It’s not that I don’t have a sense of humor about it and it’s not that I’m ashamed. I just don’t know if I want that many people all up in my fallopian tubes.

I also REALLY don’t want nor do I need strangers coming up to me afterwards saying things like, “Have you tried doing it doggie style?” or “My grandmother used to say that the man should leave his socks on.” Trust me, when a two drink minimum is involved, people’s sense of boundaries become fuzzy.

One time, I was in the bathroom after doing my set and while I was in the stall, someone woman I couldn’t even see said to me, “I loved your joke about going to the gynecologist by the way. It reminded me of the time I had this yeast infection and my husband mistook my Monistat tube for his toothpaste…”Ok... A) I’m in the middle of peeing. B) As f*cking hilarious as that story is (and it is), I don’t really know you and I’m not sure I want to hear about your yeast infection nor do I think your husband would appreciate you telling me this story especially since I’m SO putting it on my blog for everyone to read and C) No really, I’m seriously in the middle of peeing in here.

I have a big show coming up next week so I have a couple of days to decide what I want to do; if I want to talk about it, how much I want to talk about it and whether or not I’m capable of fending off that much unwarranted advice in one night.

Yes, I want people to laugh at my fertility issues with me as it helps. I also especially want anyone in the audience who suffers with the same struggles I do to know they are not alone. Truly - infertility must not be taken too seriously. You’ll go insane if you let it control your life or affect your self esteem. There’s so much in this world, in all our lives to be proud of, laugh about, enjoy, share and of course, make fun of. In the end though, this is my issue and I’m not sure I’m ready to make it a full on public punch line. The only ones I want laughing at this right now is you (yes, you!), my husband, trusted friends and mostly, me.


Leslie said...

The monistat story is hilarious!!!!

The problem with IF is that not many people relate... unlike weight gain and taxes, which everyone deals with. Not that it can't be made funny to a general audience (I am sure you can do it!!!), but I totally get that it is a challenge to make it general.
Most people complain that they have TOO MANY kids (I know, gag me).

Michelle said...

I think most fertile people have no idea what cervical mucus is or what insemination is all about. I understand your not sharing this topic.. especially with the drunk assvice you'd get after the show.
OMG..the story about the yeast infection almost made me throw up.

Secret Sloper said...

If you could make IF funny for a general audience while also not minimizing the pain that goes with it, I'd call you a rock star. And I'm sure you can! I just don't know how. I find it really easy to joke about with people who know what I'm going through (and can hear the hurt behind my jokes) and really counterproductive to joke about with people who don't (and assume that it's not that big a deal if I'm laughing).

Nancy said...

If you ever perform in the NY/NJ area...I want a front row seat. Laughter is...the best med out there!


sienna said...

omg, i love it that you do stand up comedy!!! i went to a marlon bros show last month and they put my group RIGHT in front of the stage!! i was convinced that all the "singles" would get picked up bc i have a nice big ring on my hand, but was i wrong. hubby and i were picked on left and right through the entire night. and both bros shoved their crotches in hubby's face on more than one occasion. he was freaking out.

the IF topic sounds way too raw for you to be talking about! i'd worry for you if you tried to address that.

you're my hero that you can get up and tell jokes in front of a crowd. i HATE HATE HATE the spotlight. even on my wedding day, i was like "don't look at me!!" to ppl.

Jennie said...

I think sometimes the funniest thing is all the bad advice! If your act was "you won't believe the stupid advice I've had forced on me" then maybe you wouldn't get the silliness afterwards. But all in your own time. You can run lots of practise material by us-we'd love it!

Heidi said...

"all up in my fallopian tubes" had me laughing out loud! i'm with nancy--i want front row if you come to chicago!!!

that's a tough call--i think that WE all find this stuff hilarious b/c we're in the midst of it and laughter is such a great defense mechanism to pain. i'm really not sure others who can't relate are as educated about it to find it as funny, but i'm SURE there are some general themes that would be funny to ANYONE! i say go for it if you feel like it might help you deal with it all--the word needs to get out there to release some of the stigma!

you could talk about the secret IF code--we speak in acronyms only! BD, BFP, DH, DPO, EWCM, FRER, etc. :)

Anonymous said...

Just remember when you are standing up there, at least one third or more of your crowd has had fertility issues. Plus most of the men can't get it know what I'm saying. Also, maybe half of those people have gotten pregnant etc and have some understanding of the whole process. Don't be scared your funny! No matter what you write about you make me and my husband laugh! Keep the energy going! Even if there is only one person there that gets it, you're going to make their night!

irrationalexuberance said...

I am in awe of people who can stand up in front of other people and do anything, and being funny has to be the hardest thing. So if you are ever taking your show on the road in NYC, let us know, b/c I'll be there (even if you aren't using IF as material).

I'm not sure IF makes great material if you aren't in the thick of it; we've all had more encounters than we would like with people who just don't get it, and I'm beginning to believe that is about 80% of the population. The shared experience of dating, family, marriage, jobs are fertile areas for comedy (hah -- I crack me up) because they are so universal. IF? I'm worried not so much. But if you can do it, seriously, I will come see you and laugh every night.

Tillie said...

You are hilarious. Seriously I am in awe of your comedic style. Whatever you decide I know you will be amazing. Just be honest. I think the alter ego of Jackson polyp would be awesome. Plus I know for some it would be a relief that you have dealt with the same things that they have.

Slackie O. said...

Jennie has an excellent point - remember that "1 in 8 couples" statistic! There are going to be IF'ers in your audience.

And while it IS a difficult topic, you've got a lot of great material right on this blog and there is a ton of opportunity to educate non-IF people with your humor. Particularly the god-awful assvice we get from people who don't get it. Might be good for them hear how insane they sound...

Maybe you aren't personally in a place to incorporate it into next week's routine, but I sincerely hope you are at least working on it for the future!

Anonymous said...

I think that whatever you end up talking about you will do great. I love your style of comedy and your entries and tweets always make me laugh.

praying4amiracle said...

I'd have to agree with some of the other posts, most women I know have no idea what EWCM is or Preseed or OPK's or IUI etc, It's a foreign language to them!! I on the other hand laugh so hard when reading your posts I have to bring my husband over to read them! If you do bring up infertility just keep it simple b/c there are only a handful of us who get it, unfortunatly :(

Anonymous said...

I think Jennie is right - if you do choose to include it you should definitely make stupid advice part of the act. A lot of the advice is funny on its own. You could make it funnier and avoid the comments afterward. Whatever you decide let us know how it goes. You'll have them in stitches regardless.

the2weekwait said...

I hope you guys check back on the comments because I REALLY want to thank you. You've all made a lot of good points as well as great suggestions. It reminded me of two of my friends who knew about my IVF... they both got pregnant without any trouble and on the day of my transfer, they kept saying, "So they eggs are going to be implanted today?" I kept correcting them, "They are just putting them in and we're HOPING they implant..." No matter how many times I explained that, they didn't seem to process it so yes, it's pretty true that even though there are many infertiles in this world, there's A WHOLE LOT OF PEOPLE that have gotten pregnant that simply don't know the mechanics. I'm writing today and I think what I'm going to do is say we're thinking of trying to get pregnant and we've already gotten a lot of awkward advice. That really could be funny. And seriously - thank you so much for your feedback! I know one day, I WILL write tons of jokes about all this but just not for this show or at this time. Actually, in the end, it might make for one hell of a one woman show! Much appreciation -- Jay

Katherine & Jesus said...

I totally agree with you on not wanting to get all of these personal issues out there into the universe. Granted you are a funny lady but if it hurts its not going to be funny to you. Good luck.

DaisyGal said...

that Monistat story..CLASSIC !!!! :)

I think you should go with what is comfortable, where you "ARE" that night. I know that somedays I am in the mood to share all about the IF, the IVF, the pregnancy and the raising twins..and some days I just want people to leave me alone,...just depends on where I am with all of'll know when it's time. :)

Kelly said...

A one woman show about IF would be amazing.

Anonymous said...

Nia Vardalos has been semi-open with her infertility issues and has kept a sense of humor about it. My favorite quote of hers goes along the lines of, "don't ask a woman if she's pregnant unless you see an arm coming out of her." :)
I hope you do open up about IF on stage. It helps bring awareness and recognition to the 1 in 8 people in your audience. It's a scary step though, so maybe, like you say, intro the bit with a "so we decided to start trying to get pregnant...".
How about a string of "did you know?"s? Like...
Did you know that you have to have sex?
Did you know that you have to have sex upside down? They don't explain who is upside down... is it both of us?
Did you know that all you had to do was adopt a kid and you get pregnant? Whoa, watch out Sandra Bullock! You're in for a surprise!

Krissi said...

I say go for it! The worst advice you get can be put into your next set! And I would soooo mention the unwarranted "advice" in your set expecially that woman in the bathroom! Hysterical!!!

Mrs. S said...

I found you through ICLW and you're hilarious! I love your outlook. If you're comfortable talking about IF in front of a crowd, I say go for it. It would be a good creative way to start talking more about it. IF seems to be something that is very 'in the closet'.

Start with your monestat story and how complete strangers have no boundries and then move into your story? Talk about the stupid sh*t people say to infertiles. "How can I 'just relax' when now I want to punch you in the face?"

Best of luck! I can't wait to hear what you decide.

Miss Ruby said...

Anything that gets IF out there and talked about is a good thing!!


Kelly said...

I just found your blog and am glad I did. You're hillarious. How about if you have a huge IF stand up performance and invite us all...we'll come and laugh our asses off! I'm sort of serious about that. :)

In any case, I can see given the comments you've already received why you'd be reluctant. Tell us what you decide. :)

Liddy said...

If you ever do a one-woman show about IF, let me know. I will be there.

An ICLW Visit from #107 (mfi, speedskating, strength)
liddy @ the unfair struggle

Carole said...

Your blog is hilarious--and like all great comedy- true. That's why we laugh, we are shocked to the marrow by some insight about ourselves. Comedy is a great way to educate people about IF struggles! If you can do it in a way that is not painful to you- go for it. I too, would love to see you live. Let me know if you are ever in Indy! Best Wishes from ICLW.

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