“I don’t want to belong to any club that would have me as a member.” – Groucho Marx
The letter finally came the other day. These letters are rather like Hogwarts letters in that they continue to come until you answer and no amount of going on vacation, nailing shut the letter box, or, as Uncle Vernon learned to his chagrin, hiding, will stop them. This being the case, I accepted the delivery and opened the letter with the first one.
It read something like this:
Dear Ms. A,
We would like to inform you that your membership status to the Infertility Club became official this morning with the news of your latest cycle failure. While you have adopted the label of infertility due to your diagnosed polycystic ovarian syndrome, your inability to ovulate as confirmed by several physicians, and your use of fertility medications, we were unable to grant you final membership status due to the fact that you and your husband had tried to conceive for less than one year.
However, as of this month, you have now met the full criteria for membership since you and your husband began trying last April to conceive a child. The commencement of menses this month marks one year.
Enclosed you will find your official membership materials, a list of recommended supplementary goods, and a postage-paid envelope for return of your completed forms. We are a diverse organization, extending memberships to men and women, people of every race, every religion, every age, every sexual orientation, every nationality, and include those who have successfully managed to create families but still very much belong to the greater Infertile group.
We also invite you to our exciting annual conference, where members may vote on the currently open spots for the board. Candidates for these open spots include Hope, Despair, and Depression. We are particularly pleased to offer several new seminars this year, including “What it means when your Reproductive Endocrinologist’s office becomes #1 on your speed dial”, “The merits of chocolate versus potato chips in treating sadness after cycle failure: new research”, “Tongue-biting techniques – real life tips for getting you through that next pregnancy announcement”, and “Guilt – it doesn’t have to wreck your life!”
In deference to the fact that many of our members’ budgets are strained by $2000+ cycle costs, we will provide a free breakfast of scrambled eggs. An open bar and a coffee shop serving fully caffeinated beverages will be available for our members who have recently learned of their non-pregnant status. Copious amounts of Kleenex will also be available in every session and conference area.
We look forward to receiving your materials and have also sent a letter formally inviting your husband Arthur, who while not physically infertile himself, is married to you and thus rendered for all intents and purposes infertile as well.
Undersecretary of Official Membership in Infertility