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On Being On The Ass End of the Fertility Curve

Written by Alison | May 29th, 2015 at 6:32 pm | Comments

When you first go to a fertility clinic, which we did on the advice of an OBGYN after six months of trying naturally netted us zero babies, they don’t really diagnose you like you expect they will. Instead they do tests and they try to fix the things they can fix and then when that doesn’t work they make comments in passing about what they think could be causing the infertility while also, when pressed, saying, “It’s probably a combination of things.”

The things it’s a combination of?

1) I  have endometriosis.

2) I had surgery for endometriosis 4 years ago which removed some eggs and may have left scar tissue on my ovaries preventing the fallopian tubes from picking up the eggs. (NOTE: I didn’t realize the surgery might complicate matters to this degree. At the time it seemed my hand was forced because there were masses on my ovaries and they had to rule out cancer which no one really thought it was but surgery was the prudent thing or so I’ve been told. Even my dad who’s the most overprotective father/conservative doctor in the world agreed it was the right call and at the time I was just happy I woke up with a womb still inside me NEVERMIND THAT IT WASN’T FUNCTIONAL AND WAS ONLY ONE OF THOSE TRENDY DECORATIVE WOMBS.)

3) I  have a short luteal phase which means from the time I ovulate to the time my next period starts is shorter than it should be meaning it’s possible I’ve been getting pregnant every month and miscarrying every month although I really don’t think this is likely as I feel like I would know if I were pregnant and it’s my belief that I’ve never once been pregnant.

4) I traded my fertility for a beautiful singing voice and human legs ages ago.

5) I’m one hundred and eleven years old.

6) I had polyps but those were removed and while no one knew if removing them would allow me to get pregnant, they did know that leaving them in would prevent me from getting pregnant except I just talked to two women who had babies while they also had fibroids/polyps so go figure.

But back to this age thing.

For the longest time, I saw myself as something between a whippersnapper and a prodigy. I was an extremely verbal child. I was holding conversations, interviews really, with adults at the age of 3. I wrote for the Los Angeles Times while I was still in high school. I was a professionally published writer all throughout college and I was published in People and Rolling Stone immediately after I graduated. I was in advanced classes and my friends were older and I always fell for older guys. I put an immense amount of stock in being and seeming older than I really was, which in retrospect is a sign of immaturity.

The thing with being so precocious in a professional sense is when something pulls ahead like that, something else probably always lags behind. For me what lagged behind was truly, in earnest, going through all the rites of passage and the stages necessary to become a mature, centered, fully integrated adult. My dating life and social life in general was nascent. Hold while I look up nascent.

Hm. Not sure that’s what I mean. Latent? Hold please.

Yes, that’s more what I mean. Dormant.

“Have you had much experience?” the first guy I ever kissed asked me on the phone a few days later. I was sitting in my childhood bedroom, which is where I lived, chatting on my duck phone which quacked instead of rang. Also, its eyes lit up red. Satan-style. The truth is I never liked that phone (sorry mom/dad!). It smelled like shellac and looked like it belonged in a hunter’s man cave. Before receiving the duck phone as a gift, because I liked all duck-related things, I had a pretty white trimline phone with keys that lit up. That was an attractive phone. But then I received the satanic duck with its brown keys and brown cord and I felt like I had to both use and like it because I’d made a big show of liking ducks. When you’re young what you like is who you are and I was the girl who liked ducks, and so I kept it while my pretty white phone sat unused in the garage.

The phone that got away

Back to the making out. For the record, it did not come naturally. It was very awkward and forced and I feel uncomfortable just thinking about it.

“Oh, I mean, sure I’ve slobbered on guys at parties,” I said as if this were neither a ridiculous nor disgusting thing to say. To me this seemed a perfectly reasonable, entirely fabricated answer suggesting my makeouts with men had happened at such a fast clip I barely could remember one sesh from the next. It was just a blur of lips and, apparently, saliva.

I wish I had access to my parents’ collections of family photos right now so you could take a gander at what I likely looked like as I was having this conversation. A few keywords? Big, frizzy hair, clear braces (clear on top, metal on bottom, natch), black leggings, an oversized shirt or sweatshirt, possibly a felt fedora and in general, fat.

“Huh,” he said. He would later break up with me because I was too “sarcastic” but what I think he meant by that was that I was too “unwilling to have sex.”

It’s not that I was a prude, it’s that I knew my limitations and I was barely able to kiss a guy without seeming like a spastic uncontrollable and unrelatable dork. The idea of ratcheting up the level of intensity up and down the amount of clothing terrified me.

What was I saying?

Oh yes, my friends were dating and beginning to have sex and getting to know themselves and other people and growing and maturing and I was wearing a silly hat a la Blossom and coming up with ways to lie to guys I met at coffeehouses while searching for even bigger and boxier blazers to pair with leggings and chatting on a duck phone.

Speaking of phones, which I just want to do for a few moments longer before returning to all the other stuff, at one point we had a beige cordless phone the size of a baguette. Not the size of a french roll which would be an appropriate size for a phone but I’m talking full on baguette that could serve 7-9 people. If you were talking on this phone and wanted to walk through a doorway you had to turn sideways. It’s possible I’m exaggerating a tiny bit although it’s also possible doorways were narrower. I mean, this was the 1840s when people were 17 pounds and you were lucky to see your 30th birthday and phones were the size of giant baguettes and no one had one in their covered wagon.

Being that this was the 80s, and I was in love with squiggles which you’d know based on my earrings and brooch, I grabbed our family collection of paint pens and metallic markers and besquiggled the fuck out of this phone. By the time I was done it looked like the opening credits of Saved By The Bell. And my parents were totally ok with that. I think they take a lot of heat in my stories for things like yelling a lot when I was young and not telling me I was Jewish until I was in my early 20s but when it came to encouraging expression on phones, they were tops.

So anyway, I guess what I was saying is I seemed mature for my age from a certain vantage point but I was also very behind for my age if you looked at it another way. But I think I still identify with the former so it’s weird to find myself on the ass end of this fertility curve.

I also have a zillion million more things to say and explain regarding my decision not to freeze my eggs, the way I never chose to have kids late in life but maybe refused to make having kids a priority in the way I should have, thoughts about 5 year goals and how my answer was always just “to be happy,” reasons why I didn’t prioritize having kids as I feared that would introduce a whole bunch of desperation into my dating life which I think we’ve established wasn’t going gangbusters and other stuff including but not limited to bangers and fizzies. Actually neither bangers nor anything fizzy (other than my personality and my urine if I’ve been holding it for a loooong time and am letting it out with maximum velocity) will be mentioned but I just felt I needed to rope you in.

Ok, this all will be continued. DON’T GO ANYWHERE.*

*unless you need to. I’m not unreasonable.

A list because you love lists

Written by Alison | July 28th, 2010 at 11:18 pm | Comments

So I’m back in New York after six intense weeks of Marvin care and I have so many things to say it’s making it hard for me to say anything. This is a hazard when you’re a blogger who is known for sharing the details of your life. Also when you’re known for being achingly beautiful. I’m telling you, spending nights in the hospital did my complexion no favors. And that delicious hospital cafeteria food went straight to my hips. I think I should make a list of things I need to tell you:

1) I trust you’re all coming to see me Thursday in News Distillery at the 92Y. Here’s a story about Faith Salie that mentions it if you want more info which you probably do because you’re so like that.

2) I’m really proud of the ARIYNBF shows I put on in CA and I’m glad I did that even though at times it was hard.

3) Perhaps you’re reading this and you’re new to me and you’re wondering what I’m talking about.

4) Soon I will be able to speak about it, I think, but for now I have to be all vague and elliptical but here’s what you can know: one of my family members whom I’ve named “Marvin” was just diagnosed with something no one wants and so I’ve been helping out.

5) Not crabs, though no one wants them.

6) Or Jordan almonds.

7) Before the Mad Men premiere I kept wanting to write a list of “Mad Men inspired drinking games by someone who doesn’t watch Mad Men and doesn’t understand drinking games.” That person isn’t me, of course, since I watch Mad Men and love to drink till I puke.

8) It would be a persona. A device. A trope, if you will.

9) You won’t.

10) By the way, I don’t actually love to drink till I puke. In fact I seldom drink these days which is all part of the way I don’t have fun and am letting life pass me by.

11) woe = me

12) I’m actually tired of the Goldenrod Footbridge. Can you believe it?

13) In the past going home to CA was taking a break however a few days before I returned to New York it was suggested to me that I should return if for no other reason than I clearly needed a break and needed to get strong again before coming back to CA. This idea that New York is now the place I go when I need a break is doing all sorts of funky things in my head.

14) Specifically it’s doing the electric slide.

15) “A Marvin being sick marks the true end of childhood,” said a therapist.

16) Or maybe she said, “A Marvin being sick truly marks the end of childhood.”

17) Well, you get the point.

17.5) Not MY therapist! What use would I have for therapy? My brain is perfection and my emotions are a thing of beauty and my thoughts conform to the Platonic ideal of thoughts and my feelings are so appropriate you only WISH you had my feelings.

18) It’s hot in New York. I kind of hate that.

19) True Blood is now my favorite distraction and I’m sad I’m all caught up.

20) Also? I’ve been cheating on Splenda with Truvia. Just a little though.

21) I miss Tobey.

22) Congrats to Natali Del Conte on the birth of her baby boy!

23) Thank you all for the encouraging words you’ve sent my way.

Photos I found on my mom’s computer

Written by Alison | December 26th, 2008 at 1:52 pm | Comments

More photos of me? If you insist. I was on my mom’s computer looking for porn (note: not looking for porn) when I found these photos that I must have put on there when they were emailed to me and I was using her computer and etcetera. Plus, since Anna David posted on the Activity Pit that she wasn’t afraid to trot out some Alison Rosen material and then Joe asked for some baby pictures I thought I might beat them to the punch. Not that they actually have access to my baby photos, but you know. So, shall we?


Here I am taking a nap before the dawn of color photography. This actually is a daguerreotype.


And here I am wearing a bandanna on my head after a hard day of child labor. Also, my older brothers enjoyed dressing me up in ridiculous get ups and I’m thinking this was one of them.


Here I am hanging out with my older brother Josh. He’s so totally imitating me here but that’s Josh, always trying to do what I do.


Here I am many years later playing in The Angoras. Yes, I know my legs look fat here.


Here I am being tuff with the band, hanging out on a car. That’s the kind of outlaw shit we did in OC. We didn’t even play instruments, just hung out on fully-hotrodded titz rides. In fact, I’m surprised there aren’t any flames on the side of this vehicle. There’s very unusual.


Here we are on tour after I’d clearly made some kind of hugely embarrassing admission.

See how tuff we were? By the way, if you own this cassette it’s totally worth the cost of a used cassette right now.


Here I am holding a baby. Come and get it quick men, I think I just ovulated. Oh and if you happen to click on this photo let me say right now that I don’t know what’s up with my eyebrow. I must have shaved it like that in prison. [update: maybe this isn't the photo but there's a photo of me like this where it looks like there's a Vanilla Ice-style notch missing from my eyebrow, hence the explanation. The unnecessary explanation.]


And here’s my sister and me just hanging out. This was probably the last time I had a tan and wore a tank top. Actually, I’ll have you know that’s not just any tank top, it’s Wonder Woman Underoos.

Gross! (and yet cute) AND YET GROSS!

Written by Alison | October 26th, 2008 at 9:15 pm | Comments

I was watching the puppies here and all of them were nursing except there was one in the corner and I thought “Oh cute, he’s doing his own thing in the corner,” and then I realized doing his own thing meant going to the bathroom which was less cute and yet still kind of cute in a puppies will be puppies and go to the bathroom near where their mom and siblings are eating and then the mom quickly ate the poo! It wasn’t cute!

But now they’re all making puppy noises, which is cute.

| Posted in babies, dogs, gay milk

An Open Letter to My Sister Who Is At A Hockey Game Which Is Weird Since I Don’t Think She Likes Hockey That Much But Hey, I Could Be Wrong

Written by Alison | February 23rd, 2008 at 9:53 am | Comments

So last night I logged on to my computer and went to Facebook and was surprised to see I had a bunch of messages and requests since I hardly ever use Facebook but anyway I approved a few requests, surprised that a couple of them were from people who know YOU, but then sometimes your friends track me down and also, we sometimes share friends just like we “share” a computer and by that I mean you check your email on my computer often, which I am totally okay with, in fact often I will tell you to look at my computer because there is a particularly cute Tobey video on there, etc. ANYWAY, after approving a few friends and adding an application because what the hell, right, I realized that this was YOUR profile I was logged in as—you must have been on there earlier and not signed out. Surprise, you have some new friends and an application! Also, you might be a member of a club. Let me know how that goes!

planning for my golden years

Written by Alison | January 8th, 2008 at 10:27 am | Comments

[UPDATE: The following was a real chat with an old Orange County friend, not someone I'm dating. I thought it was amusing. I should have clarified because I can see how if you read it thinking it's someone I'm currently in a relationship with it would appear to be a raw deal as opposed to what it was: just a friendly future marriage proposal.]

him: if you’re 40 and still not married AND you just happen to move back to the OC, call me
me: are you offering to be my backup?
him: yes, in fact, i am
me: or are you suggesting that I would be
your backup
him: no no no. i have no desire to get married (right now). but when you get old n stuff…eh, maybe..
me: yeah, old n stuff
him: the real question here is: do you want children? and by children, i mean – a small yardwork workforce
me: yes I do. I’m glad we’re getting all this out of the way before I turn 40
him: you are running out of time
me: thank you

| Posted in ageism, babies, romance