What we’ve got here is a failure to communicate

Item: I love all you guys advising me to grasp the nettle and just email my friend already. I think I omitted to mention the vital point that I don’t have a freaking clue what to say to her in any medium. ‘Er, hey, look, can we talk about me for a while?’ No, wait, how about ‘Please tell me about your uterus and your plans for it, I’m dying to know…’ Hmm. How about, ‘Let’s all talk gonads!’ Umm. Or ‘Actually, about the Book Thing? I’m on your husband’s side and you totally need to stop nagging him.’ Also ‘DIY bores me shit-witted. I’m sorry, but it does. As anyone who saw the collapsing slum I live in would have guessed that in three goes.’ And then back to, ‘so, you will let me know if you’re planning to have kids, won’t you, and not just two-by-four me upside the head with it as a ‘cute surprise’? Because I’m precious and special and deserve twice as much consideration as anyone else in your life. By the way, send me more pictures of your kittens. I like those.’ …… Is why I haven’t already emailed her.

Item: H is quite annoyed with my mother. This has quite a lot to do with the fact that he had to live with the royal funk her last visit threw me into. But it also has a lot to do with her cavalier assumption we’re just raring to spend Christmas en famille, trapped in a chalet, and unable to talk to anyone outside the bunker as neither H nor I speak French or German above the level required to prove we are incontrovertably English. Especially as H’s dad is waiting for open-heart surgery (oh joy) in December. A point that was made to my mother, by me, but as we know, things that I say Don’t Count. So H has EMAILED her, very politely and civily, to say he’d rather we were in reach of his own family, considering, and also that after the June Fiasco, we’d both be nervous wrecks whether we were pregnant or not and therefore not good company to be trapped in chalet/bunkers with. Nothing pointed in that email at all. But my mother thinks H is God, so if there is any negative come-back from this it’ll be mine, all mine. And then we can have an unholy row and spend Christmas on different land-masses by mutual consent.

Item: I had planned to print out and send my mother the ‘for friends and family’ pages from Resolve and the Miscarriage Association. In fact, I had vaguely planned to do this months ago. Again, nettle to grasp, yes?

Item: As I was typing the above, my mother’s reply to H’s email came back. Very accepting and understanding. Last sentence: ‘As for getting pregnant, I can’t think of anything more exciting!’. Am connecting up the printer right now and playing Johnny Cash singing ‘Hurt’ on loop as I do so.


10 responses to “What we’ve got here is a failure to communicate

  • H

    AND I even used the word ‘horrendous’ to describe events earlier in the year… *bangs head on desk*

  • Mrs.X

    Personally, I think the best opening line is,

    “So, what’s up with your uterus?”

    Total ice breaker and you can get the awkwardness off the table.

    In all seriousness, she’s going to keep calling you. The best way to circumvent that is to email her. As for talking about nothing, depending upon the person I’m emailing, I’m usually pretty vague – work is busy, Mr. X is fine, the dog farts alot, the cats are still little shits. You know, simple stuff. Small steps, May!

  • Korechronicles

    Screaming and banging head on the desk here in total sympathy. The ‘For friends and family’ thing might work but I suspect, as with my mother, a lobotomy would be quicker and more effective.

    No clue about opening gambits with your friend either which is why I didn’t comment on your last post.

  • Jane G

    I broached this type of topic when I emailed a family member during the summer. After a bit of how are you, how’s the kids, work, house, holiday plans, blah de blah, I then went on to “We’ve been having a bit of a rough time of it here”, and expanded on the whole injections/clomid/monthly transformation into banshee/hormones still not behaving themselves. Kind of made it slightly jokey but let them know that it was pretty shit all the same. I think it sort of got the point across, but they still don’t initiate much contact with us. I felt like I had said my piece though.

  • Xbox4NappyRash

    Viva La Mother in law revolution!

    Go for it with your friend, I have a gut feeling.

    and it’s not the sausage roll I’ve just scoffed.

  • Katie

    My mother also thinks Mr Spouse is wonderful and I have only to say “Mr Spouse doesn’t really want to do that” for it to be instantly off the agenda. Perhaps you should leave him to communicate that getting pregnant last time was not so very exciting and led to multiple hospital stays and horrid operations, and has she ever had that in any of her pregnancies, if not, perhaps she’d refrain from commenting.

  • Hairy Farmer Family

    Oh God. Just…. oh God. What can one say? For an intelligent-sounding woman, your Mother is letting herself down, rather. There is a time and a place for determined and maniacal upbeatism, but usually only when the last lifeboat has left and the water is sloshing around the violinists. Perhaps H should be the one to e-mail her the links? She may actually pay a smidgeon of attention if so.

    Christmas in the family bunker sounds… stressful. I think I’d probably plump for the Queen, a Bond movie, and a large bottle of wine. It’s one flipping day, and the nation goes stark bloody mad about it. I actually love the carol-singing and the tree and the twinkly lights and the party games. But I abhor the stress and the expense and the inevitable half-stone gained. I have no idea what sort of point I’m trying to make here. I feel I have drifted. *wrenches wheel* The chalet does actually sound a quite delightful place (wooden? big eaves? snow?) but only if you were partying together alone. And what with poor H’s dad recuperating, this is not the year to be peeping out at Alpine icicles.

    No advice for dealing your friend, by the way. Many Sorrys. I am the world’s worst at keeping in touch.

  • womb for improvement

    At least if you email your friend if she does use the reply to send more complaints about husband’s book project you can skim read it safe in the knowledge she spent precious minutes writing it that you didn’t have to waste sympathising. And, if she is also having fertility issues she might find it easier to ‘talk’ about in writing. hmmm … finds it easier to type about infertility than talk about it, sounds … like … umm … we don’t know each other do we?

  • Aphra Behn


    Tell her about the PC blowing up and snow in the city and the laundry crisis and – you get the idea. Email her and babble. Cut and paste some of the stuff you’ve posted here on neutral subjects and she’ll writhe with pleasure.


  • My future counsellor will be driven into the ground on day one « Nuts in May

    […] I have not, in fact,  spoken to my mother since the ‘As for getting pregnant, I can’t think of anything more exciting!’ email she sent in reply to H’s very carefully worded one about how, and why, Christmas would suck […]

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