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01/16/2004

Yes! Please send me 12 jam-packed issues!

bitter-thumb.jpgThere are many reasons that sitting in the waiting room at an infertility clinic might be a bit depressing. My clinic shares a waiting room with an OB/GYN practice, so there is a constant parade of pregnant women, each more blooming and happy-looking than the last. There is also consequently a related parade of tiny, tiny babies swaddled in Polarfleece, in the arms of proud-looking new mothers appearing for their six week postpartum checkup.

But that's not all. There's bad art on the walls. Now, I know you think you know what I mean when I say bad art. But you don't. You can't. Imagine, if you will, a palsied, slavering, lobotomized Doberman with a paintbrush stuck up his ass. Got it? Okay. That dog looks like Caravaggio compared to the reprobate responsible for these crimes against art. The subjects run heavily to animals among vegetation. One is some sort of great spotted cat, or maybe a hyena, amid a thicket of what looks like nothing so much as dark green pubic hair. Another captures a deer, or perhaps a flounder, peering over its shoulder apprehensively — almost a reproachful look back at its creator. "Why have you made me? I didn't ask to be born."

And of course there's the miasma of desperation that collects in the corners where the infertile patients huddle (well out of the pathway of the triumphant new mothers). If you were to draw a cartoon, you'd put in some thick, wavy hashmarks — stink lines — to depict the palpable sadness.

Those things are depressing enough, God knows, but today I discovered yet another reason to hate and fear this waiting room: the magazines.

Here is a list of the periodicals that were available for my perusal this morning as I waited:

  • Parents
  • Pregnancy Today
  • ePregnancy
  • Parenting
  • American Baby
  • Child
  • Car & Driver
  • Business Week
Number of times I have ever seen a woman paging through those last two: 0
Number of times I have ever seen a man paging through any of the first six: 0

Now sometimes I take in issues of The Economist or New Scientist and leave them prominently on the table as a low-key form of protest (having first carefully excised the address label). Today I didn't, and found myself without anything to read.

So instead I sat and wondered if there are any magazines out there for the infertile crowd.

You know. "Quick makeup tips to hide those nasty belly bruises." "Creepy global fertility rituals: What the Hell, give 'em a whirl." "10 good reasons to try very hard not to punch your sister-in-law's lights out."

I kind of doubt it.

But there should be. In fact, I'm considering launching one myself. Look for the inaugural issue in your mailbox in a couple of months.

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