Actual Jell-O cookbook, circa 1973. My mother kept this for the last 40-some years because she thought it might have some “good” recipes in it. *sigh*

Last week, I got the bad news that the latest attempt (which involved a cocktail of pills, injections, and a not-pleasant trip to the doc for an insemination) had failed. I held it together for about two minutes, trying to be Tough Girl, and then I started to cry and couldn’t stop for about two hours.

By the next day, I felt like my head was on straight, and I had my wits about me mentally.  But two days after “the news,” I helped my mother move into her new house. Here’s what I learned, which I will put into handy equation form for you.

Stress of Bad Infertility News


Stress of Fighting My Mother’s ‘Country Farmhouse‘ Decorating Style


Stress of Fighting my Mother’s Penchant for Keeping 30-year Old Cookbooks Because She ‘Might Need a Recipe from the 1973 New Joys of Jell-O Cookbook’


Heat and Exhaustion   =


I was argumentative and on the verge of tears almost the entire day. After a lengthy debate over placement of a china cabinet (yeah, I know) I up and walked out the front door and took a half-hour walk to calm down.

In hindsight, I wish someone (including me) would have realized this wasn’t about china cabinets or country farmhouse decorating (though someone should definitely have a discussion about it).  What would have been helpful? Something like this:

“You don’t seem like yourself. I know you’ve had a hard week. Why don’t you take a break or a nap? Or better yet, Dairy Queen probably has a surplus of Double Fudge Cookie Dough Blizzards, why don’t you go look into that?”

Alas, life rarely gives you exactly what you need. But if you have a particularly bitchy and teary-eyed girl who recently got some bad news, cut her some slack. Give her a nice long break from the stress. And for pete’s sake, buy her an ice cream cone.