I was cruising facebook for a few moments during lunch today and came across a funny posting from an acquaintance who teaches art at a college in the Midwest. She asked what the appropriate response was when a student asks to share her ultrasound image.
Alison has a wide educator network and teachers from all levels were responding with their witty and real life answers that ranged from "think about something interesting while you look at the picture and then move on" to "ask is it mine?"
Then came the post that made me think:
When people do this, they are not being sensitive to others who might have had a recent miscarriage or are having trouble getting pregnant. I think we forget how intimately personal a picture like this is.
I agree it is a VERY intimate image, and think it is a bit awkward to show it to people you aren't extremely close with, but I don't think we have to stop being excited about the big life changes in the event the person we're sharing with might be caused pain by our news.
Granted, if you know the person well enough you'll know if they are experiencing infertility or have recently (or ever) miscarried. But, if that is the case I think you're still allowed to speak openly about your situation. I hope I would have enough grace to mention my pregnancy in a gentle way to my imaginary friend who is going through infertility issues. But, if she's a good friend she will celebrate my news just as I would for her.
I try to keep my "me news" to a dull roar in the real world because I'm more interested in what is going on with my friends, but that hasn't stopped me from all out bragging about being over the top (drug induced?) happy these days.
Holding back your joy because someone might be reminded that they are not in the same boat is a crazy concept. While I was single I celebrated with my girl friends as they ALL found the person they are supposed to be with. I will be honest and admit that there were times that their happiness did shine a light on my own singleness and I did wallow in jealousy from time to time. I kept that petty envy to myself because I feel that celebrating others life events is probably the best part of being in a community.
I have some wonderful friends who have yet to find their person and while I root for them (and make failed attempts to be a matchmaker) I don't pretend I'm not happy. I can't hide the fact that I'm well matched and I appreciate that they have welcomed my dude into their world. They don't expect me to hide it either. That's probably why we're friends.
Granted, I'm not giving them blow by blow updates on our intimate moments. I won't ever be blogging about super exciting sex (again). I have learned some things over the years. This blog would probably be a lot more exciting if I did share the more private things on a more frequent basis, but then my mom reads this so I think we'll skip it.
My over all point is that I agree it is wrong to share your intimate news with strangers, teachers, accountants, coworkers, but we can't walk around and not talk because what we say may offend someone. I'm not suggesting we forget the good manners that our Nana's hope they taught us, but if we hold back everything because someone may be offended we'll never talk again.
Fair warning, if you brag about winning the lottery while you visit me in my cardboard house in the freeway median then I might punch you in the nose.