Thursday, March 24, 2011

An unconventional...couple

Definition of unconventional - not conventional not bound by or conforming to convention, rule, or precedent; free from conventionality.  Yup, that's us.

As a child I always wanted to fit in.  I craved what others had.  My mother is Hispanic and my father is Anglo-American (is that the PC term nowadays?).  My parents have five children - yes, I did not inherit the 'fertile myrtle' gene that my mother apparently was blessed with.  Two languages were always spoken in our home since I can remember.  I don't remember when I noticed a difference - I didn't know we were speaking two languages until I started school and kids would ask me why my mother spoke funny - I later realized that that 'funny' talk was actually Spanish.  As a child, I wanted to blend in with everyone else, so I started pretending that I didn't know Spanish.  (Very interesting now - I'm another kind of statistic, something like 9% of Americans are bilingual, and 1 in 8 couples are infertile, according to  We fall under both of those statistics). Shortly after that, I realized that I would never be like everyone else. I began to embrace my differences.  It took a while, but I learned to love the unconventionality of my life.

Fast forward several years, and I meet someone that shares a lot of the same upbringing that I do, Mr. A.  He is also half-hispanic, half-american.  Because of very similar childhood/upbringing, and also because he is charming, intelligent and good looking, we hit it off right away.  Our meeting was also an unconventional one - while in college, I was visiting my parents and he was visiting his father (his parents are divorced) in a city that is 1,000 miles from where I lived, and 2,000 miles from where he lived.  It was by chance that we met, and by hard work that we made our relationship work. We understood each other.

Fast forward a few more years, we take the plunge and get hitched.  After marriage we move abroad for Mr. A's work.  We learn new things about a different culture, and we embrace the unique opportunity. Later, we move back to the U.S. and try to assimilate back into the norm, however, DH's work is not the 8-5 office job, he travels quite a bit, so again, not typical.  Or at least not typical for the average husband/wife situation.  I don't like it when he's away, but at the same time, it's great.  We feel like we're dating again. Each time we see each other after a long business trip, we feel giddy and excited to see each other. I love that feeling!

On the outside looking in, some might think that we're like every 'Joe six-pack' - actually, we're doing a little better than Joe. We might even look like the Joneses.  We own a beautiful home, we have two vehicles, we have two dogs, we get to travel, and don't have tons of debt on our hands. However, the most recent addition to our resume is that we have been diagnosed with Infertility.  As hard as that was for me to hear, I'm not surprised.  We don't fit into the little box of a perfect family, and that's fine, but it still hurt that this was one thing we couldn't control.

I've seen that some of our friends (not close friends,  but nonetheless friends) have the 8-5 jobs, the perfect little house, a dog, and 2.5 children. We have only half of those things in common with them, so we automatically don't fit in.  If you don't have children, it's hard to be included in some of the things they do, especially in the South.  We're not complaining.  DH and I have never fit in with the conventional way of living, and I've learned to embrace our unconventionality.  Actually, I've learned to love it!  We are both very unique people and always have different experiences to bring to the table.  We're well traveled and speak more than two languages - which is pretty rare in the U.S.  Many of our 'couple' friends just don't get us and don't bother trying to understand us, even though we continue to try to understand them.  We've learned to not sweat it and appreciate the real friends that we do have.  I didn't reach that understanding until recently, mostly after a very needed reunion with three of my best friends.  I've realized that my friendships with them are also very unconventional.  We are all in different places in our lives, we all live in different cities, but the four of us share this pretty strong bond.  A bond that is hard to describe; a bond that will never be broken by conventionality.

So here we are.  The unconventional couple.  The unconventional infertile couple.  We don't like all of the words in the last sentence, but it has become part of who we are, and we will deal with it as best as we can.  We will embrace what God has given us, and continue to pray that one day we'll be "The Unconventional Family."


  1. Hi there Carmela,

    I understand when you talk about the statistical inclusion. I even get it when you talk of how not having children leads to exclusion of some kind.

    Friends used to invite us over for birthday parties of their kids. We are unable to reciprocate an invitation for a similar occasion. Sometimes it feels odd when a person gets invite for something (like a zoo outing) because their kids and the inviter's kids will have each other's company. I have nothing of that kind to offer.

    Take Care and Be Good. Good Luck!