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To think this is an insensitive birthday present?

(120 Posts)
LobsteralaRiseholme Thu 14-Nov-19 02:33:01

A friend has given me a copy of Jane Shillings' memoir 'The Stranger in the Mirror: A Memoir of Middle Age', along with a copy of another book which seems to be a gossipy account of the author's relationships in her 20s.

I am 38 and have not had a relationship since my early 20s. My deepest fear is reaching middle age without having children. I am in floods of tears. Is this an utterly thoughtless gift or am I just being U?

Pilot12 Thu 14-Nov-19 03:01:16

You are 38, you haven't had a relationship since your 20's and you want kids before it's too late. Your biological clock is ticking, you know that and maybe the book has woken you up to this fact and that's the real problem here.

1forAll74 Thu 14-Nov-19 03:08:41

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

7salmonswimming Thu 14-Nov-19 03:13:20

That’s unnecessary, Pilot12.

I don’t think they’re insensitive gifts per se. They could actually be very enjoyable reads. I think you’re possibly sensitive to your circumstances, might not take much to set you off. Don’t lose a friendship to it. (And if it’s a good friend, just ask why they thought of these books for you).

Happy birthday!

Broken11Girl Thu 14-Nov-19 03:13:26

I don't think it was intentional (I don't know your friend obv) but understand why it upset you.

LobsteralaRiseholme Thu 14-Nov-19 03:22:51

No I don't think it's intentional. I don't want to lose the friendship, it's very important to me. But I am a bit sad that my friends don't think about how my circumstances might make me feel.

I have pretty good awareness of the facts of my situation, thanks Pilot, I didn't need any waking up

Mummyoflittledragon Thu 14-Nov-19 03:26:16

It could just be something she read and enjoyed. Or maybe your friend is trying to send you a message. Perhaps she wants you to confront your biggest fears. Maybe she recognised your are your own worst enemy. Idk. It could be a message of love encouraging you to change what you don’t like about your life.

Even if it isn’t the latter, I would take it as some kind of sign that you’re not happy with your life and you want to make changes.

Palavah Thu 14-Nov-19 03:33:29

I would try reading them first and then decide?

Preggosaurus9 Thu 14-Nov-19 03:41:28

Weird gifts. 38 though? When's middle age then?

I'd think your friend is trying to help you get out of the mental space you are currently inhabiting. Probably you come across as depressed or unhappy and with these books she is hoping you will read them and have a breakthrough which will allow you to move on and be happy with your life. I'm guessing you've not exactly been silent on the topic of being unhappy with your age and she's spent a long time listening and being sympathetic.

She is trying to help you. Brave really, and you should respect her for it. As seen on many threads, a more common response to an unhappy friend would be to cut contact.

LookAtWhatYouCouldHaveWon Thu 14-Nov-19 03:42:06

I'm sure there wasn't any intention to hurt you and i bet your friend would be mortified if she knew that she had.

You do know OP, that you dont necessarily have to have a relationship to have a child. Single women have children all the time. There's no reason not to consider that?

EvenMoreFuriousVexation Thu 14-Nov-19 03:42:27

It seems unlikely to be a bitchy message - sounds more like your friend thought "Lobster likes reading books, books would be a great gift for her birthday" and just randomly chose these.

It does sound like you're very sensitive on this subject. Is there any possibility of you accessing help on this? When I was coming to terms with my infertility I felt similarly raw and painful.

Kiwiinkits Thu 14-Nov-19 03:53:08

YAB over-sensitive.

I hope you find a way through this pain you are feeling.

FudgeBrownie2019 Thu 14-Nov-19 04:18:19

why are you crying, that's a bit silly and not the way a grown woman should act.

Why's that?

People can - and do - cry over all kinds of things. There are no rules about how a grown woman 'should' act, thankfully, because we no longer live in an age where people need to hide their emotions. Except you, obviously.

user1483387154 Thu 14-Nov-19 04:36:51

You are completely over reacting and creating a situation that more than likely is only in your head. It is not an insensitive present at all.

oabiti Thu 14-Nov-19 04:45:18

I hope you're okay, op.

Alicewond Thu 14-Nov-19 04:48:42

Its a present and if you doubt the meaning stop crying and ask. If she’s a friend she’ll probably be very upset that this has caused such a reaction. If not then you aren’t friends which sounds unlikely. You sound over sensitive and maybe need to think more about why you felt like this, rather than blame a friend

BillHadersNewWife Thu 14-Nov-19 04:49:55

flowers My friend sent me a copy of some book about how to avoid becoming a hoarder.

I have a few knick knacks! I was stunned! I genuinely am nothing like a hoarder. She has a weirdly empty home. I have three ornaments on my fireplace and a sewing room which isn't always that tidy.

OP...if you want children this much and aren't in a relationship, would you consider going it alone?

My SIL did and she's so happy. Plenty of excellent parents are lone parents.

Strugglingtodomybest Thu 14-Nov-19 05:39:37

I'm sorry that these books have upset you so much OP. Do you mind me asking why you've gone so long without a relationship? I'm just wondering if your friend was trying to tell you something with the books? The second book, about the relationships, may be an attempt to say, look, just jump in and try a relationship, don't worry about it not being perfect, you can always jump back out of it. I'm only speculating though, obviously, so forgive me if I'm wide of the mark.

Actionhasmagic Thu 14-Nov-19 05:43:20

I think it’s a bit insensitive - it’s fine to buy these books yourself but a gift!?

Murmeli Thu 14-Nov-19 06:43:54

Several years ago I was in a very similar position to you (and a colleague did something very similar). It took me a while but I realised I was single because I wasn't prepared to accept the crap on offer. Realising this was actually an ok place to be gave me confidence and I took the plunge and became a mum as a singleton. I would look into becoming a mum another way xx

demelza82 Thu 14-Nov-19 06:50:52

Well most of these response are definitely insensitive and downright cruel

Hope you're ok OP

Elllicam Thu 14-Nov-19 06:52:28

I would also look into another option, at 38 if your biggest fear is not having kids you don’t have a lot of time.

wheresmyliveship Thu 14-Nov-19 06:57:09

Is the second book Everything I know about love by Dolly Alderton? The message in that isn’t that you need relationships

MamaToTheBabyBears Thu 14-Nov-19 07:12:01

My OH has also recently turned 38 but has considered himself middle-aged for a year or so. It was probably easier for him to accept though as we do have children. I think it was probably intended to be a relatable gift that you might enjoy. Probably thoughtful as many women do struggle with getting older. I bet they'd be mortified if they knew the gift upset you!

I can understand why you're upset, it's harder for some people as they grow older, particularly women and age is something many women are sensitive about. I think the gift was well intentioned and a misjudgment of how you'd receive it.

I know a woman IRL who had her 2nd at 42! I know I've seen posts from older new mothers here too who can possibly provide reassurance. Hope is not lost. But also you might want to look into options like sperm donation sooner rather than later.

Fakeflowersaremynewnormal Thu 14-Nov-19 07:23:59

Very insensitive gift, for your 50th she will give you something about coping with the menopause.

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