Sunday, January 24, 2010

Oh, the humanity!

Hubby and I are what I would consider well-educated, well-read, articulate people. For a long time, our social crowd consisted of like minded folks. You know, the sort who proclaim that they rarely watch television (they prefer films), and instead would rather strum a guitar and discuss politics. And while we enjoy their company and conversation, I never quite felt like I fit in - I mean, I don't come from a background of college educated folks. There is no guitar strumming at my family dinner table, although there is cussing and yelling and laughing and hugging. Plus, these folks are really Hubby's friends, as he's known them since childhood, and they just kind of let me tag along.

Our social circle started to change a couple of years ago. Hubby and I are avid mixed martial arts fans. Mixed martial arts is a sport that combines boxing, kickboxing, wrestling, jiu-jitsu, etc. It is the ultimate combat sport, and requires a toughness of mind and body that no other sport can touch. A while back, Hubby started to train at a local MMA gym here in our city. He never really harbored dreams of becoming a pro (although there's always a chance that might happen), but really just wanted the comraderie, the physical/mental challenge, and the outlet for his IF related anger.

At the gym, he met a guy we'll call Terrible. On the surface, you might think that Hubby and Terrible are too different to get along: white collar vs. blue collar, west side vs. east side, college educated vs. not. But in the last couple of years they have built a friendship on the foundation of beating the crap out of each other and a mutual admiration of tattoos. Bromance, indeed. And I have to say, I truly do get along with Terrible more than I do any of Hubby's other friends. We often have really interesting conversations about a wide range of shit.

And slowly but surely, we have shifted our social alliances. These days, most of our social outings are to Terrible's house. We hang out, maybe work out, have a couple of drinks, shoot the shit. We go to their kids' birthday parties and see them on holidays. Terrible and his wife were one of the first couples I tested our "coming out of the infertility closet" on. We met them after all of this shit started going down in our life, and so they can't compare us to the people we were before.

Friday night, this new friendship had a test. We were at their house having a couple of cocktails with some of their other friends, and as sometimes happens, the guys split off into one group and the chicks into another. And, as often happens when fertile ladies get together, the conversation turned to children/pregnancy, and eventually to my infertility. I don't know if it was the Southern Comfort, or my frustration at hearing yet somebody else who hasn't experienced IF tell me what I should be doing (as we all know, relaxing DOESN'T make babies!), but I lost my shit and had to run crying from the room.

There I stood, on Terrible's deck in the cold, crying my eyes out. And to my surprise, Terrible himself came outside to cheer me up and offer a hug before anyone else. It really surprised me, since I know how a lot of men don't like to confront their own emotional issues head on, much less those of their buddies' wives, but there he was, my tattooed, tough-guy friend, offering me a shoulder to cry on and a kind word. And now, I won't hesitate to call him my friend as well as Hubby's.

Human beings never cease to amaze me.

16 comments:

  1. I sure thought this was going to take a different turn, giving that you nicknamed him "Terrible". :)

    It's interesting how people evolve. I would say that for most of my life I had the type of friends that you described in the beginning of your post. That's now changed quite a bit and although I'm not into MMA (not that there's anything wrong with that!), I feel like I'm able to let my hair down more in our social circle.

    I'm sorry that you were uncomfortable and so upset. It sure does sound like you have a true friend in Terrible though.

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  2. Kelly - he would make you think that he is terrible, until you get to know him and figure out that underneath he's really just a sweet guy. And I think he would freak the fuck out if he knew that I outed his kindness on my blog (if he even knew I had a blog!) :)

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  3. I'm so glad you found a new true friend. That is awesome that you find a group of people that you fit in with and feel comfortable with.

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  4. People are full of surprises. I am so glad you have a great friend and a good social circle.

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  5. Good for you. There have been a bunch of times when I've wanted to tell people off a little bit and haven't. The thing is, this will make an impression on those ladies and maybe they'll actually THINK TWICE in the future before they talk about a subject of which they have no first-hand knowledge.

    I'm glad as well that Terrible exceeded your expectations. If one of the women had been the first person out, you could write it off as her feeling like she had to do it, but in this case, you know he did it out of genuine concern and friendship. Rock on with your bad self, Terrible.

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  6. Wow...you just never know do you! People continue to amaze me in good and BAD ways. Promise I have not forgot about you. Still in a weird place.

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  7. Isn't it funny how the twists and turns of life bring you unexpected friendship? I'm glad he showed his big softy side to you last night when you needed it. :)

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  8. I think one of the unexpected blessings of my experience with pregnancy loss is the way people surprise me. Those who I think will be there for me aren't, and those who I would never in a million years think would care end up showing the most compassion. I'm glad this man showed you who he really is and cared enough to show a little tenderness.

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  10. (that deleted post was me...sorry, I was logged into the wrong account).

    That's really awesome that your husband, and YOU, have found such a wonderful and supporting friend in T: You're very lucky.

    ICLW

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  11. Isn't it amazing how sometimes you make some of the strongest friendships in the most unlikely situations?
    I am so glad that you can truly call him your friend too.

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  12. I love this! It is rare to find a girlfriend who "gets" infertility, let alone a male friend.

    I hate that those women made you feel that way, but I am glad that your friend's true colors came out. What a guy! Very heartwarming.

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  13. I love people, I love how they surprise you, how the ones that you thought you could count on often will dissapoint and the ones you expect nothing from will often be the ones that come through in the end.

    How great for you and hubby to have found such a friend :)

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  14. I love that. It's always so nice to find people that are just 'real.' No pretenses, no pretending to be somthing you're not... no guitar strumming, lol. I'm glad you found a true friend.

    ICLW

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  15. Serendipity - so true that the people you think you can count on often surprise you. I guess that's one of the "good" things about this journey - it forces people to show their true colors.

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  16. I gotta say that's why I havent told a soul (other than my partner and Docs) about our 4 losses, people are too often obnoxious...but then, I miss out on the moments like you had with your Terrible. In my experience its the Terribles in life who have more damn heart than any of the so-called intellectuals anyway! xx

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