Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Brenda Strong rocks. (Family Matters conference report, Part I.)

If I were a real reporter, I would have been fired by now, because I'm just now getting to talking about the American Fertility Association's Family Matters conference, which happened a week ago in San Francisco. Even by blogosphere standards, my sense of "news" seems to, well, suck. Just keep in mind that I'm the person who bought a book on procrastination, but finally had to sell it on Amazon because I never got around to reading it.

So anyway.

Let me just start by saying that Brenda Strong (a.k.a. Mary-Alice Young, the narrator of "Desperate Housewives") is my new hero. At Family Matters, she led a session on "Yoga for Fertility." (That's also the name of her DVD, which I did regularly before getting pregnant with my son. I'm not saying there's a connection...I'm just saying.) Anyway, she actually got a room full of men and women dressed in street clothes doing yoga. I did feel much better afterwards (no word yet on whether I got pregnant). I guess that's why the AFA made her their national spokesperson.

Why is she my new hero? Basically, she's the grown-up version of the girl I would have been afraid to talk to in high school. She's very tall, slender(without being anorexic), beautiful, poised, smart, and really, really nice. She was down to earth and funny about her secondary infertility problems. When I stopped her after her session to tell her I had her DVD, I thought she was going to hug me. She has incredible blue eyes and looks directly at you, talking to you as though she's known you forever. And her story--what little of it she was able to share with me--was remarkably similar to mine. Infertility, it seems, is an equal opportunity condition.

Later, in the conference exhibit hall, I saw her sitting at a table, talking to anyone who approached. This being San Francisco, people were too cool to swarm her. I was going to ask to take a picture with her for this blog, but I chickened out. No idea why. I've asked to have my picture taken with other celebrities (Harry Belafonte, Peta Wilson, Alec Baldwin), but with Brenda, I lost my nerve. Given the setting, it just didn't seem right, I guess.

So Brenda, if you're out there, thanks for coming to San Francisco, and thanks for talking to us (and to me). And thanks for being the spokesperson for the AFA. We need someone like you.

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