Alright I’ll admit it. There is more to my new found drive to lose weight than simply wanting to be healthy and feel better about myself. I keep reading over and over about a possible link between obesity and male infertility. While I don’t buy for one second my weight is the root cause for my infertility…it may well be a secondary factor in making my condition much worse than it needs to be.
The whole purpose of the testicles residing in the scrotum is to regulate their temperature for optimum production. I look at my situation below and my balls are basically incubating between too large thighs all day long. A perfect condition for roasting nuts, and not at all an ideal situation for sperm production.
There is also that small varicocele my Urologist found. All these questions on what to do next. Do I go ahead with a surgery with another uncertain outcome? Shall I walk around with ice packs shoved down the front of my pants all day long? Should I invest in Snowballs, underwear designed to keep the family jewels cool? Or do I commit myself to losing the weight?
With the bank account begging for mercy, I weighed my options. Although surgery could see an improvement, and insurance would cover part of the costs, that’s another $1000 or more out of my pocket. A debt I’d be happy to take on if there was a good chance of the surgery leading to an improved sperm count. Even if the improvement was only enough raise my chances for the next IVF round to work, surgery would be worth it. Right now with too many unknowns, this is another shot in the dark just like those HCG injections that work for some men, but not for me. So I’m holding off on the surgery.
Forcibly cooling the area with ice packs or specially designed underwear sounds promising on the surface. But this is just another one of those crazy infertile ideas like when I tried using a depilatory cream on the sack under the same reasoning. That crazy idea lead to several days of agony. Ice packs in the pants will definitely be uncomfortable and would need to be worn continuously for 3 months before finding out if this treatment is even working. I’m not walking around with my junk on ice for another long shot.
That left me with weight loss. It’s something I need to do and the hope of increasing my fertility is certainly additional motivation to keep me focused. I already had the weight set just sitting in the spare room, so there is little in additional cost required. I’ve found a work out buddy who is at the same level of strength as myself. This option just seemed to fall into place.
For me, the biggest reason I’m going with weight loss is that if in the end my fertility doesn’t increase, I’ll still feel good about accomplishing something. I can put my energy into a task where the results will be good, or could be great. Right now I need this, because few paths on the infertility journey have a lesser outcome that is still a benefit. I need a vacation from the heartbreak or euphoria result set. And if weight loss does result in some form of an increased sperm count, I’ll feel much better about going under the knife to improve my fertility further.
I’m 3 weeks into my weight loss plan. Although the flaky home scale says I either lost 2 more pounds or stayed the same this week depending on its mood, I’m down another belt notch and see a big difference all over my body that my plan is in fact working. I’m also feeling a lot better and seeing a noticeable increase in my energy level.
Finally a journey that only looks up. The only question that remains is, how high?
There I am standing next to door belonging to my vampire Psychiatry doctor. I call him a vampire because his office hours don’t start until 9pm. (Technically they start when he arrives, so it could be 9pm or 10:30pm.) He has weird hours and is flaky about arriving on time, but he really knows what he’s doing. The kind that actually cares what you’re dealing with and will work with you to find a solution without automatically reaching for the prescription pad. Talking to him you feel like a person and not just a patient. And for that reason, I and many others overlook the odd hours and lack of punctuality.
This is “fast track” night. The night the receptionist has off, so no new patients. Just those patients he is comfortable our treatment is working and basically only need prescription refills. Making the whole operation a first come first serve system. It’s important to arrive early, or you may end up driving home at 2 in the morning.
To the chagrin of the stranger walking towards the door, I’m first tonight. He appears to be in his mid 40’s and we start up a conversation. He’s a guitar player who’s looking to start another band. (Sorry Bub, Jingle Bells on the keyboard is all I know.) He’s also a hairdresser and originally from New York. Moved to the area several years ago to help take care of his father and lives with his brother for now until he can save enough to move back to New York.
I found this conversation interesting and amusing even though my ADD was screaming this was utterly pointless and would rather get back to playing the game on my phone. Then he said, “My Brother and his wife live in a huge 4 bedroom house and I don’t understand why they don’t have any kids.”
Before I had a chance to respond his phone rang. He rushes off to have a private phone conversation leaving me standing there with the revelation that his brother and wife’s childlessness is probably not by choice dangling off the tip of my tongue. I waited, hoping to continue the conversation upon his return when a disturbing thought struck me, forcing me to swallow my words.
Would his brother thank me or hate me for revealing this information? Am I a radio broadcasting the word of infertility to this guitar playing hairdresser? Or am I a rat revealing a secret this gentleman’s brother didn’t feel comfortable talking about to his own sibling? There is a small possibility his brother likes big houses and doesn’t want kids, but I’m finding that to be more the exception rather than the rule. I stood there like Holden Caulfield feeling dumb for not knowing what I should do or how I should act.
This gentlemen returned holding a new issue of Guitar Player magazine and was now more interested in it than talking, so I went back to playing on my phone. I wasn’t ready to start outing another persons infertility. Not without at least attempting to explain the sensitive nature of the topic and why this information would be kept even from those family members closest to them.
Infertility is so much more than simply being unable to have a child. There is a huge emotional and social baggage that we carry with us. To be told we aren’t capable of preforming a task that everyone on the outside simply takes for granted. We in the infertile community took it for granted ourselves up until that one doctor’s visit when we found out a miracle or science would be needed in order to reproduce.
I think I may look into having some cards printed for this blog. So next time I can hand one to someone who questions why their loved one isn’t having children. Thereby spreading the word about infertility, and hopefully, providing them with knowledge allowing them to approach the topic with the sensitivity it deserves.
I’m open to suggestions.
With the holidays, I postponed the Dear Ivfmale segment. Let’s take a look over the last couple weeks regarding what folks are desperately needing answers too and hoped that my blog held the treasures they were seeking.
— can my wife force me to do ivf
Legally? I don’t think so. I’m not a lawyer, but I don’t see how an insurance company can avoid paying for ivf while a wife can force you into the procedure. But stranger laws have been on the books before. Who knows.
That being said, I’m not sure refusing is the best for your relationship. I really would need to know why you’re resistant to trying ivf before going any further. Financial and religious reasons are sure obstacles a couple must consider carefully. However if you simply don’t “want to” then I see divorce papers in the near future.
— men don’t care ivf
Most of us do care. We just get confused sometimes when you need us to be rock and when you need to see our softer side. Sometimes we appear as if we “don’t care” as a coping mechanism to keep ourselves in check. If you need to see more emotion out of your male partner, let him know seeing a little emotion from him would actually help you and it’s safe for him to lower his guard a bit.
— mimic brownie box mix recipe
FOR THE LOVE OF GOD WHY?!? This is so wrong on so many levels. I’m not completely anti box mix. Box mix brownies are quick, easy, and certainly better than store bought brownies. But if you’re making homemade brownies…MAKE HOMEMADE BROWNIES! Sorry but a ruined homemade brownie is still better than a box mix one.
— santa claus black gay
The primary influences for the legend of Santa Claus are Saint Nicholas who was Greek, and the dutch legend of Sinterklaas. Both of whom are not black. Does the race of Santa Claus really matter? Isn’t the message of loving all children regardless of skin color more important than the color of Santa’s skin?
But Santa’s not gay! I’m not saying there is anything wrong if Santa were gay, I just don’t see anything to indicate that he is. Why would Mrs. Claus agree to be a beard for someone who spends most of his life in hiding anyway? Would a gay man really wear a red suit with white fur trim? Santa may be infertile, but definitely not gay.
The Easter Bunny, he’s totally gay! Snazzy button vest. Can’t help decorating plain objects in pretty pastel colors. Hops around carrying decorated baskets from house to house. Then there is always that one Easter egg hidden in the closet. And given the fertility prowess of rabbits, the most likely reason the bunny has time to do all this and isn’t busy taking care of hundreds of little ones is the Easter Bunny is attracted to male bunnies over female ones. I’m not judging Mr. Bunny. Personally I think he’s awesome and could care less about his sexual preference. (But I still think he’s a gay.)
I’m still amazed by how many of us there are struggling with infertility. I have a friend at work I’ve known for several years. He’s married with no children, and both he and his wife are some of the nicest folks you’ll ever be lucky to meet.
Most probably think this couple have chosen not to have kids. I remember being one of them years ago. Since finding out about my own fertility problems, I have wondered if maybe he and his wife being childless might be more than simply a lifestyle choice. But how to bring up the topic in conversation?
“Dude, you shooting blanks too?” Seems a little too brash.
“Wife have a bum oven?” That won’t work. My nuts may be worthless, but they can still cause me pain when struck with a foot.
I didn’t want to bring up the topic of children, knowing how much I regret it when someone forces that topic on me. So we end up only discussing safe topics. Video games, movies, sports, heck even politics and religion turned out to be safe topics compared to discussing fertility.
Today at lunch the topic of diet and exercise was brought up. Considering it’s the New Year and we both struggle with our weight, not a surprising January 2nd conversation.
“Our diet got thrown off track when we started fertility treatments.” I blurted out of the clear blue. The initial horror of what I had said hung in the air. I first noticed the room was in fact empty, thank goodness. But the elephant I just laid still made me hold my breath, waiting for a response.
Maybe he didn’t notice or would ignore what was just spoken and continue with the conversation we were having?
Breathe, breathe, wait…what?
In an instant the connection was made. I knew what he had been suffering and he knew my own.
I wonder if my subconscious knew what it was doing blurting out those words. I sure hope that is the case, because I may have to become a hermit if I start shouting about infertility in a crowded restaurant. I may be open and honest on this blog and I certainly have told my closest friends and family about my situation. But as far as the general population is concerned, like all of you, I’m still hiding in plain site.
As one year ends and the new one begins, everyone is thinking about how they would like to set new goals to make the year better. Sadly many of these resolutions take the form of saving money, exercising, or losing weight, and most of them are forgotten by January 5th.
An infertile would like more than anything to resolve to be pregnant this next year, while we may strive for this goal, there isn’t any guarantee. If it were just in our control to make it so, we would all be happy parents already.
Why not combine some of these goals with infertility to make 2013 a little better for all of us. Asking an infertile to save money is nearly impossible when there is always a new test the Doctor wants us to take, but we can still curb our infertility costs.
1. I, the infertile female, resolve to only pee on 2 pregnancy tests per cycle.
Asking an infertile woman to limit herself to one test a cycle is unreasonable. However, a limit of 2 could be a resolution which may be kept. Save the 3rd one in the three pack for next month. You can use the savings on your next office copay.
2. I, the infertile male, resolve to shorten the time it takes to provide a semen sample.
The longer I sit in the little room knowing someone is waiting on me nearby, the more anxious I become worried I won’t be able to perform. No one has written a book to help someone with self performance anxiety. So I say practice makes perfect. Plop that folding chair in the closet and get to work. Maybe have the wife waiting on you to finish for some additional fun. You can put this activity in as exercise and you’ll be thankful for the shorter office visits of awkwardness.
3. Develop a poker face.
We are all surprised once in a while by a pregnancy causing us to struggle with our demon. We do have to power to contain the little monster and we’ll feel better about ourselves for doing so. Practice your poker face and limit the number of dirty looks given to those evil fertiles.
Anyone else have any infertile resolutions which us infertiles have a chance of keeping?
The plan was simple: my wife, Bandit and I would travel to Mobile Alabama on Dec. 24th to spend Christmas day with our families then return home the evening of the 26th…what could possibly go wrong? The stomach problems from last week were now a thing of the past. The youngest niece is in her teens, so no little ones or pregnancies to rile the infertility demon.
The drive from our home to Mobile is about a 7 hour trip and I was a little concerned how Bandit would handle the long car ride. The wife had to work until 5 pm to close the store, but luckily my company was letting us off early. I headed home, finished packing and prepared the wrapped gifts and luggage to be loaded into the car the moment my wife arrived. Fed Bandit and then took him to the tennis courts to play, hoping to tire the little guy out for the trip.
Apparently some people delay getting a hair cut until the very last minute on Christmas Eve. Thus causing the wife to stay at work later than she expected. By the time she arrived home she was understandably agitated threatening to cancel the whole trip. I figured she was talking out of frustration and ignored her tempting offer. With the car packed, we were on our way…that’s when I noticed I couldn’t take a deep breath without coughing. My sinuses were clear, no sneezing or sore throat to speak of. Just a cough and a small discomfort when taking a deep breath.
My fear was pneumonia. I’ve known several people since moving to Florida come down with pneumonia and know how dangerous it can be. But it’s Christmas Eve, we have a dog with us in a car, and an arrival time on the GPS that already says 2 am. I did what most men do, ignored the signs and pressed on.
Bandit was about as good as you can expect a 5 month old puppy to be on a long car ride. Playful and curious, but surprisingly controllable. He spent most of the trip in his crate or sleeping on my wife’s lap. Until the 5 hour mark when exiting the crate he suddenly got very angry. I heard him make a noise I’d never heard before and scared both the wife and I. I think he smelled his food from the backseat floor and realized he was hungry again. But I wasn’t ready to feed him yet. Giving Bandit food and water means he must poop and pee a half hour later. Not smells I wanted accidentally in the car after what I went through the week before. I pulled over to secure Bandit back in his crate, gave him a treat for his cooperation on entering the crate and assured him he would be fed and watered in about an hour.
I can’t thank enough the people working the gas stations and rest areas late on Christmas Eve. As I was feeding Bandit at one of them, an employee came by to pet him. Out of guilt for him having to work so late on Christmas Eve, making it possible for me to even take this trip…I spent 20 minutes listening to a man talk about how his Lab just had puppies and he is struggling to find them homes and can’t afford the puppies shots. There was a time I would question why he didn’t get his dog fixed and avoid the puppy issue. How strange we see fertility as a problem in our pets…nope not going there. Sorry Bandit, you’re getting them snipped!
Anyway, we arrived at 2:30 am by my watch. Thankfully with the time difference, we gain an extra hour to sleep. Unlucky for Bandit this meant another 5 hours in the crate until morning. Between my coughing and Bandit’s fidgeting, sleep wasn’t easy.
Bandit woke up Christmas morning in the land of Chihuahua’s. My parents have 3 females, who are all in their golden years and have no interest in a 5 month old playful puppy. It was a surprisingly peaceful introduction and I opened the door letting all 4 dogs outside to go potty while I continued visiting with my parents. Bandit sat outside the door whining. Poor guy thinks he only has permission to go to the bathroom when my wife or I are standing next to him. Not wanting to cause any unnecessary confusion at this point in his training, I went outside and walked around the backyard next to him while he did his business.
When we went back inside, my mother bombarded me with tales and pictures of all of my cousins’ children! I’m happy my cousins aren’t struggling with infertility. Every once in a while I will find my courage and stalk Facebook for the latest photos and tales in their lives, but on my terms when I can compartmentalize the negative emotions. Someday I need to have “the talk” with my mother about discussing another’s children to me. She doesn’t understand the emotional pain I must manage during these conversations. If I ask a question about the kids, I’ve prepared myself to manage the dark emotions so it’s safe to talk about them. If someone else asks my mother about the kids in front of me, I can mentally check out of the conversation and come back when it’s safe again. But to surprise me out of the blue with this in a direct conversation with me; I don’t care how cute, smart and adorable they are, they’re demon spawn from the fires of Mount Doom! But it’s Christmas and not the time to lash out. I take a deep breath…cue coughing fit.
Finally my sister arrives with her boyfriend and her Chihuahua. A middle aged male who saw Bandit as a threat. A lot of barking and growling, but no playing. With my mother handing out candy cane chew sticks for the dogs, peace was restored and Christmas continued.
Bandit loves chewing paper. Toilet paper, paper towels, candy wrapper, magazine and now wrapping paper are some of the items Bandit finds irresistible. Knowing his obsession with paper, I’m surprised how well behaved he was that morning. Between the excitement of a new place and new animals and all the additional attention, only a couple times did we catch him trying to sneak away with a mouthful of paper.
Then we headed over to my wife’s family to spend some time with them. My mother-in-law also owns a Chihuahua. This one a middle aged female, who was interested in Bandit. He quickly realized he wasn’t liking this kind of attention. He just wanted to play, she wanted something else. As I sat conversing with relatives, petting Bandit on the head, this female decided to try and mount Bandit. He freaked and is now probably scarred for life.
He spent the rest of the afternoon on guard and played with the squeaky toy chicken my MIL bought for him (his new favorite) and getting the attention from the nieces.
That evening the storms outside started. Tornado warnings popped up in Mobile. My parents moved to Mobile after I moved out, so I know little about the landmarks of the area. I did recognize one the news mentioned that I heard my father talk about before, but not sure if it was 5 miles or 10, or on the other side of town. Figuring my parents would be making sure the dogs were safe I waited until the threat passed before making the call. Of course the anxiety was causing me to take deep breaths in turn causing more coughing fits to deal with.
Finally I told my wife about the trouble breathing I was having. She was concerned but agreed there wasn’t a immediate need considering it was Christmas Day and storms producing tornadoes outside. While waiting for a break in the storm to head back to my parents, the family conversation turned to who inherited who’s nose. My nose being one feature I had no desire to pass on to my children, I found this conversation rather amusing, but I noticed myself having more and more difficulty breathing.
On the way back to my parents I called them to make sure everything was okay. They were fine and had no idea a tornado touched down a few miles away from them a couple hours earlier.
That night the coughing deteriorated to the point I couldn’t hardly sleep again. I woke up feeling even worse and agreed to go to an urgent care clinic. As I stood in the kitchen, bent over resting my head on the counter, my mother approached from behind to feel my head for a fever. Bandit, having survived a molestation attempt the day before, didn’t like the angle she used and I guess he thought I was in need of protection. I had to stand up and face her before Bandit would back down.
Two hours, a flu test, chest x-ray and a clear indication I need to get serious about my diet again, I walked out of the clinic with nothing more than just a cold. I felt silly for making such a big deal for just a common cold. That was until I heard about Norman Schwarzkopf dying from pneumonia. I’m so glad I did get checked out for a simple cold, because pneumonia isn’t worth messing around with.
When we arrived back home I was so proud of Bandit. He didn’t have one accident the entire trip. He chewed only on items he was supposed to chew on. He even protected me. As he laid at the foot of the bed, I considered giving him another chance to sleep with us. I walked into the kitchen to take my cold medication and heard, “BANDIT NO!”
I’m beginning to think Santa Claus is a poor infertile who’s lost his marbles.
Santa loves kids, yet he doesn’t have any of his own. Why is that? (No I don’t believe for one minute Jenny McCarthy is Santa’s kid.) I feel guilty even asking Santa this question, knowing how I would rather be kicked in the groin than answer that one again. I’m marking this exhibit A.
A. Childless, but loves kids.
As an infertile, I’m always aware of a child’s behavior. I’ve spent so long watching how other parents would deal with behavioral situations, hoping to learn something, now I can’t help but spot a behavior and label it naughty or nice. Then consider how I would support good behavior and curb bad behavior. Sound familiar?
B. Obsessed with behavior in other people’s children.
There just is no way to live in society as an infertile and not be affected by this fact on a daily basis. Go to work…BAM! Pregnant woman walking down the hall. Go to the store…BAM! Mothers and children everywhere you look. I can’t even go to the dentist without having to face my infertility. How do you escape dealing with this painful reminder every day?
C. Lives in isolation 11 months of the year.
Many infertile’s compensate for not having children by adopting pets to love and spoil. I don’t think Bandit realizes he’s a dog. My wife keeps calling him baby and he is always wanting to eat our food instead of his own.
Santa has a lot of pets. More exotic than a dog for sure. Some infertile’s like dogs, some like cats, Santa loves reindeer. They only work once a year and spend the rest of the time laughing and playing reindeer games.
D. Has fur babies.
When faced with infertility, understandably many fall into a depressive state. When depressed it’s hard to summon the willpower to resist food temptations. I’ve always had trouble resisting homemade cookies. But I remember when I could be satisfied eating a couple of them and walking away. Now I can’t resist a plate of cookies and won’t be satisfied until the plate is empty. Stick on me a white beard and wig, throw me in a red suit and soon I could be St. Nick without the need for any padding. Ugh.
E. Can’t resist finishing off a plate of cookies.
Every infertile has dealt with someone trying to make them feel better by stating they could be a mother or father to their friends kids. While your friends kids are cute, it’s just not the same as having our own children. But we suffer the birthday parties and special events for the the sake of the child and our friendship. For some reason many think we must have a picture taken with their child, like that would help lift our spirits.
F. Millions of pictures with the children of strangers.
I feel I’m forever going to miss out on the magic of Christmas with a child. I can’t buy gifts, wrap them up in fancy paper, and set them out for display on Christmas eve for my child to wake up in the morning and have their eyes light up. Donating a gift to Toys for Tots only gets you so far in fulfilling this desire. You can’t wrap the gift, nor display the gift.
I don’t blame Santa for wanting to break into peoples homes and participate in making children happy. He’s lucky his magic keeps him from getting caught like I know I would.
Santa lives in hiding while the elves make the toys and put together the list. He passes the time working and playing games with his fur babies. Travels the world one night a year bringing joy to millions of kids. Greeted at each house with a plate of cookies and kisses from countless mothers. He comes home to a loving wife and starts the process over again for next year.
I’d certainly be a lot more jolly despite my infertility with a job like that.
I am blessed with strong healthy teeth. They were very crooked before braces, but always healthy. I didn’t even have a cavity until I was over 30 years old. Basically the dental checkup for me is usually just an in and out procedure. There is no fear of going and I enjoy walking out with smooth polished teeth.
My wife however takes better care of her teeth than I do mine and is always having problems. My Mother is fighting to keep the few remaining teeth she has, while my Father only has a couple of cavities and still has all his teeth. I understand the importance of genetics in oral health care.
Today as I sat in the chair for my 6 month cleaning, the hygienist asks me for changes in my health history. I am sure she asked me last visit, but I wasn’t telling anyone about my infertility 6 months ago. Besides our clinic and my Wife, only my Father and Boss knew about my infertility. Now I am pretty open. All my family and close friends know my situation. Yet I still clammed up when faced with the opportunity to tell someone in person my story.
“No” was my answer and she asks if I have any children. “No.”
Now I’m dreading going to the dentist (or any specialist doctor) for reasons that have nothing to do with my teeth. I don’t see why my Dentist needs to know I’m firing blanks? Besides having two testicles and two eyes, what correlation will my Eye Doctor glean by divulging my busted family jewels? Does the sleep specialist really need to hear I’m firing missiles without a payload?
If I was currently taking some medication for the condition, sure I would tell them. They’re the experts and are more aware of what compounds have side effect relating to their specialty. But I’m not. The way I see it, my health hasn’t changed. I’ve always been this way. Sure I’ve just recently discovered it, but does my Dentist need to know?
Relieved that she avoided asking if I planned on having children, I then listen to her talk about an Elf on the Shelf that she must hide in a different place every night for her 6 year old daughter. Fuck!
Since I found out the true nature of Santa, I’ve always wanted to be a part of the magic. When I was 12 I begged my Mother to let me help set up the Santa display for my little sister. My proposal was rejected and told I could play Santa with my own kids. The irony!
Luckily the process of giving my wife injections allowed me to develop an ability to be indifferent on call. I crank that knob to 11 and ask basic questions to feign conversation. I laugh at the fact her daughter noticed twice already when the Elf didn’t change it’s location forcing them to create a cover story. Of course the doll and clothes are overpriced, but it’s such a fun activity I would love to spend the money on something like Elf on the Shelf. Maybe expand on the concept by placing a candy cane in his hands after a day of good behavior.
The hygienist then mentions her children that are in their 30’s. Okay. Late in life oops? Pile it on bitch, you’re not getting a tear out of me today!
Nope, an unplanned adoption. They found out some little girl would spend the rest of her life in foster care and decided to adopt her.
CRAP! She is fertile and blessed with an unplanned easy adoption. Now I’m wanting to ask questions about how that came about. The idea of adoption has been growing on me, but the horror stories of people spending all that money and still ending up empty handed scares me. The roller coaster ride trying for a biological child was hard enough. Riding it again for an adoption, no thank you.
However, if there was a way to keep my eyes open for an opportunity like the hygienist had, I’m interested.
Once again my fear of looking stupid gets in my way.
I guess I could have asked about the subject without disclosing my infertility. But my fear was asking questions about her adoption would lead to talking about my infertility problem…and I already avoided telling her about this health issue. Was I supposed to conveniently forget about my infertility when she asked earlier?
I walked away feeling this dental visit was a complete disaster with smooth shiny teeth, healthy gums and no cavities.
I hate infertility!
Sorry to get on a political rant, but I have something to say. You may want to stop reading right now, I won’t be offended if you do. The reason I’ve waited until after the United States elections were over to say anything is, I didn’t want anyone to think I was trying to sway someone’s vote. Besides, living in a swing state being bombarded with television campaign ads, and the daily mailbox stuffing of political information, made thinking clearly difficult. I’m fine with people disagreeing with me, but I knew if I made this post earlier it would just be drowned in the emotions of election fury.
I’M SICK AND TIRED OF AMERICAN NATIONAL POLITICS! There, I’ve said it. Not that I don’t think voting is important, or we should just give up trying to make the world a better place. But I’m tired of every election watching politicians pander to special interest groups hoping to squeeze out enough votes to win. Abortion, Gay & Lesbian rights, Corporate tax rates, welfare, Super Pacs, the environment, the “paid by Grass Roots Foundation for America but I’m really backed by large corporate funding” group…I’m sick of it. Are these issues important? Absolutely. Do either parties dogma match my own…HELL NO! I’m tired of being stuck with a choice every election on which issue is most important to me and which ones I’m willing to sacrifice.
All because I want to think for myself and feel both parties have something to offer. Unfortunately when choosing which choice cut of meat I want, I’m stuck with it being buried under a pile of crap! I don’t like crap! Not smooth, not creamy, not al dente. I don’t care what flavoring you add to it…it’s still crap. Bill O’Reilly, Keith Olbermann, Rush Limbaugh, Anderson Cooper, Sean Hannity, Wolf Blitzer…I’m tired of all of you trying to spoon feed me your crap calling it crème brûlée. All it’s done is leave a bad taste in my mouth.
I hate watching fringe groups hold so much power over the electorate because we in the center keep playing this two party game. Where those supporting social issue X must accept it comes with looking the other way when you see families make a living manipulating the welfare system. (I know a family like this. They work just enough to qualify for the benefits, then quit to stay on government assistance.) Or those against social issue X must accept a platform that thinks its normal practice to give golden parachutes for failing top executives. While the common worker only gets two weeks severance when the company’s executives fail to keep them competitive…while the executives get bonuses for cutting labor. (I once actually saw an executive drive up in a brand new car the day our company was announcing layoffs. No kidding!)
And can we please stop with the half-baked solutions! You know the ones I’m talking about. The solutions to try and stop criminals from abusing the system…but all they end up doing is making it harder for those who are legitimate, while the criminals just work around the obstacle. If you happen to require certain medications, you now can’t call first to see if they have the medication in stock before making the trip. (That’s the excuse CVS gave me.) I understand criminals were calling for certain drugs and then robbing the pharmacy if confirmed they had stock. I would happily join some verification service to confirm I’m a regular customer, but does the government even allow for a company to build that option…nope. Sure it’s a silly thing to complain about in a city with a drug store on every corner. But what about rural areas where pharmacy A is 30 minutes east of your home and pharmacy B is 40 minutes west of your home? Do you really want to drive 30 minutes one way, then 70 minutes the other way; just because the pharmacist failed to stock up on your medication and is forbidden by law to tell you that over the phone?
I’m left scratching my head how one party is for small government to stay out of our lives, but feel they have the right to tell a woman what choice must be made. I’m disgusted how the other party is all for social programs, but allows a woman to have multiple abortions (using it as a form of birth control) instead of thinking up some program to make adoption a more attractive solution.
I’m sick of the hypocrisy! I’m sorry the Republicans slow played Obama’s nominations, I didn’t hear you complaining when the Democrats did it to George W. Bush. Yes, it’s true gas prices were cheaper when Obama was elected in 2008. Here is a chart to prove it…
Oh you forgot how gas prices were even higher just a few months before the election…how convenient!
I no longer feel like I’m voting for the best candidate possible. I’ve voting for the candidate with the best campaign…the best fundraising…the best strategy, with the fewest black marks in their past that the opponent can use against them. Running a successful campaign does not equal running a successful country. The fact the individual could raise millions of dollars leaves me wondering if the politician is beholden to me for voting, or beholden to the contributor who paid for the advertising.
The problem, as I see it, is MONEY! Not in that who spends the most wins, as Linda McMahon has learned. But we elect these individuals to work for us, yet they spend a large portion of it working to raise money and keep those people happy to contribute next time. How can we expect our elected leaders to put our freedoms and liberties first when doing so may cost them campaign contributors? How can we expect members of congress to vote their conscience when party leaders threaten to withhold campaign funds forcing them to vote the party line?
For once I would like a candidate that has demonstrated they understand “Bi-partisanship” means more than the other side listening to them. Savannah Guthrie during NBC’s election coverage stated the American voter is to blame for gridlock continuing. While she has a point…I disagree. We don’t want one party pushing its agenda forward without concern for the other side. We want both parties to listen to each other and actually take value in what the other party has to say. Instead…they speak to empty rooms.
If there ever was an all inclusive special interest group, it would be those suffering with infertility. It doesn’t matter what race, religion, gender or sexual orientation you are…you could still suffer from infertility if you had plans for a child. Even the elderly are affected in their hopes for grandchildren. What is the government doing to help my special interest group? I sure haven’t seen anything in the form of assistance. Just a few politicians who want to eliminate my one chance of having a child over religious reasons. Yet I’m still expected to pay taxes to the schools that my children will never use. I’m still expected to care about future generations that will never be my own.
Why should I care about recycling? Why should I care about global warming? Why should I care about the national debt? Why should I care about schools and teachers and how ridiculous standardized testing is?
A small part of me still does care, but there are days it takes a lot of self-convincing to keep doing so.
Which is how I feel about American politics. To take the time to be informed what your congressman or senator stands for, knowing when voting on the big issues come up their arms will be twisted by the party leaders to vote the party line if need be, just seems like a waste of my time. I’m sorry I feel that way but I do. I’ll still do the research and vote for state and local elections, but when it comes to national politics…I’m just not interested in the two party game anymore.
On a beautiful Saturday afternoon, I was feeling pretty good. I’d just finished taking Bandit for a walk and the three of us were sitting on the couch enjoying a movie when my phone buzzed. The wife is the only person I text with on a regular basis, and since she was sitting next to me…I was curious who it was from. I picked up the phone and saw, “Text from +1 (555) 555-8203.” Okay the 5’s were really other numbers, but you get the point it was a completely strange number to me.
Me: “Babe, Do you recognize this number?”
Wife: “Uh, no”
Naturally I unlocked my phone and saw…
At which point my Jealous Infertile Demon burst out of its cage and immediately started typing…
Thanks you jerk for reminding me I can’t have children and completely ruining my day by sending your baby picture to the wrong number!
Before he was able to hit “send” I managed to wrestle the phone away and quickly deleted the message. He was raging with fury and I knew I had to get this demon back in restraints before he hurt someone!
“Now look here JID, you’re not going to tell off some stranger for sending you a baby picture! They have no idea you’re infertile. They aren’t doing this to you on purpose. Get a grip!”
The Demon just stared me down. Seeing the wisdom, but he would not be appeased. In a flash the phone was snatched from my hands and he grunted, “Then they must be educated.”
Cute baby, but you should be more careful who you send these pictures too. I recently found out I won’t be able to have kids of my own and your mistake is causing me a lot of pain…
“NO!” I shouted in my head as we fought for control of the phone. “You’re not doing that either! It’s probably some grandparent happily sending photos to friends and sent it to you by mistake! These are your issues! There is no reason to make these folks feel bad over a simple mistake! Let them be happy…”
To my surprise the Demon was now cowering back in his cage. Swiftly I closed the door and set the latch. Then proceeded to erase what was written.
Exhausted by the struggle, the tears began to flow. I mustered my remaining courage and wrote…
Cute kid, wrong number
And pressed SEND.