I went out with my cousins the other night. They are eight and ten years younger than me.
I've always loved them in the way you are obliged to love blood relatives (no, I don't mean in a Norfolk / deep South way), but it is only recently that I've considered them friends in their own right; folk that I can swear in front of without worrying I am somehow corrupting them.
At one point I was in full swing with a doubtless hilarious tale about something that had happened during my latest acupuncture appointment. My 24 year boy cousin interrupted me:
"Acupuncture? What are you doing having acupuncture? What's wrong with you?"
"Infertility" I snapped - well, the fucker had stopped me mid-anecdote.
"Oh. This isn't at all awkward" he muttered gruffly. But, to his credit, later in the evening he came up and we had a proper chat about it and he was very lovely - if completely uncomprehending as to why anyone would actually want children.
His sister had missed my revelation and I thought it was only fair that she should know what was going on too. So I shoe-horned into conversation the fact I was likely to have IVF.
Her little face lit up with joy. "Oh how exciting!"
"Well, not really. I mean it is a bit of a pisser that I have to have IVF at all really. And that I have to take lots of drugs and go through all kinds of nasty procedures."
But on reflection she is right. It is quite exciting. It isn't what I would have wanted or hoped for. And it is scary. How will I feel when pumped full of more drugs than your average Tour de France contestant? How will I feel if it doesn't work? Or if it works just briefly, leaving me more devastated than ever?
But I have a problem - infertility - and this is my chance to remedy it. If someone with cataracts was due an operation that would have them seeing for the first time in years I'd think it was exciting. Like my problem, it is phenomenally unfair that they have to have the op but the possible outcome - that's worth focusing on. (Do you get it? Focus. Cateracts ... oh, forget it. I'm wasted here.)
So I'm mustering up a youthful excitement for this next stage, and hopefully I'll get more than butterflies in my stomach.