Trying to pretend that something’s not true is a huge waste of time. I have had fifty year-old women in my office inquiring about donor egg and then wanting to keep it a secret from their obstetrician. These weren’t especially youthful or well-preserved or fit fifty-year old women either. Just the run-of-the-mill, been-through-the-mill, middle aged women that life has happened to. Like me. Like nearly all of us. And they were willing to compromise their medical care during pregnancy, one of the most medically precarious times in a woman’s life, because they thought their highly trained, well-read, intelligent OB wouldn’t have already figured out that they did donor egg. How do you politely explain to them that they’re not fooling anyone? Well of course you don’t. So everyone else has to waste time pretending that they believe the lie and now everyone is wasting time, dancing around the obvious.
On the other hand, a truthful conversation would go like this:
Patient: “Doctor, I did donor egg.”
Doctor: “You won’t need an amnio then.”
End of story. No big deal. And if the doctor was socially inept enough to express a judgement of the patient, well, then, she no longer has to waste time with a doctor who’d rather be lied to.
Here are some more examples of people who aren’t fooling anyone.
Women who are practically embalmed claiming they’ve never had plastic surgery. This is especially true of actresses who claim they “eat right and exercise and use XYZ serum available at ABC cosmetics faithfully.” Right.
The mom in” Here Comes Honey Boo Boo” leaning on the sink during a weigh-in so that her weight will actually register on the scale. Honey, if you’re fool enough to allow a TV crew to film you being weighed, I guess you’re fool enough to think you will actually look skinnier than you really are on a wide-screen TV.
The stoner couple who look at each other before answering the question, “do you take drugs?” to figure out how they’re going to answer.
The fact is, the thing you would most like to hide is the first thing people are going to figure out about you. It seems to be a paradox of humans that the more energy we put into concealing something, the more apparent it is. While things you are not paying attention to tend to be less obvious. It’s almost like you’re saying “Don’t look where I’m pointing!”
So, while I am not an advocate of TMI (too much information), you might as well relax. You’re not fooling anyone. And once you stop spending so much time trying to cover up your so-called shortcomings, you can focus on how to improve the things that you really want to change in your life. People will forgive you for screwing up. They know that it is practically impossible to reach the age of 45 without messing up somehow, so most people will understand how it can happen. They are less lenient with being taken for fools. Use this aspect to help you. Get advice. You never know where the best ideas will come from. Get support. You never know who else has been where you are right now. I once had the wives of two brothers come to my practice at the same time. Both men had complete absence of sperm. Both wives needed donor sperm to conceive. Neither brother confided in the other, and we were bound by patient confidentiality. But what a tragedy! What a missed opportunity for true closeness and love in a family that was afraid to share the truth. Not to mention all that time-wasting and stress in the staff of my clinic to keep the appointments separate.
When have you tried to keep a secret and found it was a waste of your time?