Wednesday, November 02, 2005

What do you see?

Edited: This is absolutely hilarious. Some of you are nearly exactly on the mark... and some, well - not so much. It's really entertaining though, much more so than what I'm *supposed to be doing*. Is being scatter-brained and emotional a side effect of Follistim?

I've learned a lot about myself, my husband and our marriage through this battle with infertility. In some ways, I've willingly allowed infertility to define who I am to other people - such as here, on this blog. In other aspects of my life, it remains very much a stigma - the hidden secret we never talk about, the topic to be avoided at all cost. For that reason, I've been reluctant to post actual pictures of us on here, because I've been too afraid to lose the safety of the cloak of anonyminity. Maybe you do know me. Maybe you know my husband, or our families.

Like many of you, when we first realized that we were dealing with more than a little "trouble" I sought stories of other people online, hoping that I might learn something from them. I found Grrl, and Julie, and then all the rest of you and I realized that infertility affects so many people. I decided to post anonymously first, using the blog basically as my journal to catalog our fears and hopes. And hey, let's be honest, it was cheaper than therapy - and for me at least, it was a lot easier to "talk" here than it was to someone face to face.

But I've learned to accept the vulnerability inherent in posting about something so personal, one could even say that I've embraced it. I've opened up the most personal, painful aspects of our lives to a literal world of strangers. I've told you (and by "you" I mean the Internets) things my closest and dearest friends don't know about me. And you know what, my deepest fears didn't come true. Instead of having these hopes ridiculued, instead of having my personal failings mocked, I've received the love and support and friendship from people all over the globe. It's helped, tremendously. I know that I'm not alone - and the despair and burden of loneliness being lifted is simply indescribable.

I've also learned as indicated with my previous post, that other people have gone through many of the same nightmares. Perhaps the subtleties are different but we're all going through similar versions of the same hell. I've learned that I can count on you for support, and I hope I can offer the same reassurances.

And perhaps it sounds conceited - although it's certainly not meant to, but I feel that we are helping others by posting our stories, the vignettes from our daily lives. Every day I get a surprisingly tremendous number of hits on a post I had a few weeks ago about progesterone therapy where I was asking for help and advice. The advice you gave me in the comments is now helping, I hope, others who have questions about the treatment they're undergoing and don't have people they know in "real life" to turn to. [that phrase has always bothered me - because to me, this is as "real" as it gets, but I digress].

With the advent of technology, I think that in some ways we've lost a sense of community. The days of sitting on the front porch just talking with neighbors until the sunset are for the most part a thing of the past. Michael and I lived in the same house for three years and never knew the names of the majority of our neighbors, not that we didn't try to make an effort. But with blogging, I feel that we are in some ways creating another community. Like any community it has its cliques, there are times we don't agree, but for the most part, it's an open and embracing group of people. For those of you lurking, we're here - and we'd like you to be a part of it as well. {thinking to myself, wow - I sort of sound like I'm recruiting for a cult there. Very come on over, the kool-aid is tasty, no?}

A friend and I were talking yesterday about radio personalities and how you "picture" what they look like, and how surprising it can be when you see them in real life and they look nothing at all like what you expected. Or for that matter, the casting for characters in books that are remade into movies. For me, blogging is somewhat analagous. I "picture" some of you to look a certain way, and sometimes I'm surprised by how differently you look in your pictures. For others of you, your picture looks exactly how I imagined you would look.

A favorite pasttime of mine growing up was "people watching" - I'd sit on the fringe of activity and make up lives for the people who pass - wondering what they did for a living, if they were in a relationship, who they talked to, what made them laugh. This is in some ways the reverse of that, you know those things about me, and I'm learning them about you.

So, now, I'm curious. How do you picture me? Do you picture me as a certain race, body type, height, eye color? Who is it that you imagine is typing these words? Do you see me with glasses or without? If so, what kind? A perfectly coiffed newscaster hairstyle, or dreads? Something different? Do you picture piercings or pearls (or both)? Tattoos? Do you think I'm more Pottery Barn or crunchy? Is my wardrobe more traditional/preppy or thrift store chic?

And tomorrow or Friday (assuming I can remember how to link pictures) we'll see how close you come to the face behind the curtain.


At 2:11 PM, Blogger Lala said...

The "picturing" is the one reason I still identify myself by my older blogger blog. It gives people an idea of what I look like and they come to my story already knowing I have one child. I don't have a picture in mind for you but I look forward to putting a face to a friendly name.

At 3:23 PM, Blogger Blue said...

Oh you do know how to have fun with us, don't you.
OK, I'm thinking blonde hair which you style but you said in a previous post you don't do hairspray so it isn't anything too outrageous. The glasses I never thought about so I will say reading glasses for the tons of research you probably do on cases but not for distance (take them off while talking in court for that added dramatic effect?). I see Pottery Barn style but not over the top. Dressy for work obviously but then probably jeans and tennis shoes at home.

At 3:23 PM, Blogger Stephanie G said...

Oh how fun!!!
Well... I have a mental "picture" of you, and I'm a new reader. :-) I picture you young (you did say 26), with shoulder-length blonde hair. I don't picture glasses. ??? And I'd imagine that you wear very preppy clothes.
Just a guess, though!

(oh.. and if you plan on posting picts... I'd highly recommend using flickr! Love that site!)

At 3:37 PM, Blogger MsPrufrock said...

I'm always wildly off the mark, so once you post your photo please forget what I said.

I too picture you as a blonde, perhaps mid-length cut. Glasses, but that's just my lawyer generalisation. I think perhaps quite a casual style. Not Pottery Barn, but fashionable and classy without being particularly formal.

You're going to be a big ol' hippy now aren't you...

I look forward to seeing the photo to see how very far off base I am.

At 3:38 PM, Anonymous Dooneybug said...

Ooooohhhh this is fun! Okay hair, slight curl to it with lots of body, trendy black rimmed glasses, gray business dress suit, painted nails, pointy shoes, very chic.

I mean, you HAVE to be cool, we have the same name.

Am I right or am I right? :)

At 3:50 PM, Anonymous Molly said...

Yup, definitely a rehead. Definitely curl. No glasses, maybe just for reading. I picture you very fair-skinned, with a casual, classic style. Freckles, maybe?

At 4:47 PM, Blogger Cricket said...

Okay, I'm not reading any others.

I see you as a petite brunette, long slightly wavy hair. You have a slender face with a fair complexion. Your eyes are wise and blue with a stunning clarity. I see you with relatively conservative dress, conservative for your age, I guess, not mine.

At 5:09 PM, Anonymous Caroline said...

Definitely brunette, chin length hair, petite - not glasses, blue eyes.

I will be out of commission tomorrow because of egg retrieval - can you leave picture up just one more day???? (please)

At 5:22 PM, Anonymous Jenn said...

I'm voting blonde too. I think I associate the name April with blonde, but I don't know why because the only April I knew had brown hair.

Pass the kool-aid, I love this community.

At 7:35 PM, Blogger Vacant Uterus said...

First let me say that you can come sit on my virtual front porch any time. I have plenty of that tasty kool-aid.

How I picture you:

Long dark hair (a la Demi Moore). Young but with a mature and brisk, yet warm attitude. Something like "I take no crap but I will buy you a coffee if you're having a bad day." I picture you in classic tailored style, with reading glasses, typing in front of a flat-screen monitor as you dispense your compassionate and honest brand of wisdom to the rest of Bloglandia.

At 10:57 PM, Blogger Nico said...

I am SO lacking in the imagination department. I think it's why I'm drawn to science and logic and have always been crap at anything creative. So if you don't mind, I'm going to hold out for the pic!

At 6:59 AM, Anonymous thalia said...

Red curly hair, cut short to fit with your tailored, very professional look. Fair skin (you mentioned freckles in one post). Not sure about the glasses.

Let me second caroline's request - can you leave the picture up until saturday?

At 8:43 AM, Blogger Toni said...

Hmmm...brown hair - shoulder length. Bright blue eyes that sparkle when you talk about something/one you love. Smarter than the average bear (although that'd be hard to get into a picture). :)

At 9:48 AM, Blogger Mrs. T said...

OK. I haven't read other readers comments yet for fear or tainting my own view of you. :D I picture you as caucasian, medium build, brown hair shoulder length. Green eyes, maybe hazel. Mid-Upper 20s. Maybe 5'6"-ish. No piercings, maybe 1 tattoo you got when you were younger, but well hidden. I didn't picture you with glasses, but if you wear them I'd say small wire rimmed possibly for reading or for the lawyer effect. :D I imagine you wear business profession/preppy type clothes with your job. I don't picture you as a thrift shop girl. Also pottery barn style.

This is fun. I agree with you that IF really makes you learn about yourself in a lot of ways. Like you my blog is sorta like my outlet to the world. I'm not as anonymous and figure if someone (ie, mom, dad, etc) finds my blog then so be it, but I don't go around advertising it by all means. It was amazing to me how much support you get from random people who don't know you from their own neighbor. It's so wonderful. I love reading about people who are going through the same stuff as me and seeing how they handle it. I guess it helps me feel like I'm not all alone.

So you've seen pics of me. How did you picture me?

I'm still an avid people watcher!

At 9:58 AM, Anonymous erin said...

Well, I assumed all infertile bloggers look just like me, of course!

My imagination is narcissism at it's best.

At 11:01 AM, Blogger Calliope said...

I am apt to agree with Erin - I think you look like me! I see so much of myself, my struggles, my fears in your post that I never once imagined what you actually looked like.
But since you asked...
I see you as a Bidget Fonda type with wire framed glasses and some Italian roots. & I think you have 1 piercing that you let go of & you have always wanted a tattoo, but never got around to it. Somebody that would rather be barefoot than in designer shoes & you are taller than average.
Am I right?

At 5:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, I wish I could see what everyone looks like. I posted my picture a few weeks back and I think people were suprised -- many had pictured someone else behind the keyboard, and it was fun to reveal the secret.


At 5:25 PM, Blogger The Everglades said...

The above comment was from me (the everglades).


At 8:06 PM, Anonymous statia said...

I was like that for awhile with infertility. Having been blogging since what seems like the blogging dark ages, I was leary about the entire world knowing what I was going through personally. It's like, even though, I'm a WYSIWYG person. You were only getting half the story.


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