October

It is quite remarkable the differences among celebrations between my born country, Brazil, and my home country, Canada. Culture and Economics makes it for unique perceptions of dates that may have the same roots, but carry singular importance depending where I am at in the globe.

And October is a month of unique distinctions.

October is a month of Thanksgiving and Halloween in Canada. A month of closure. A month to be grateful for the good we have harvested and to be hopeful that the next crop will be even better. A month to have fun, as all play with costumes and rejoice in candy. A month to ultimately celebrate family, all types of families. On the other hand, in Brazil October is a month of beginnings. Spring is at its peak and people are getting ready for the hot season, looking forward to Christmas and New Year’s celebrations and their summer vacations. Yes, October is a month of unique distinctions between Canada and Brazil.

And these distinctions become evident in the dedication to its many celebrations; in the way people deal with its symbols and on how folks embrace such dates.

I was born and raised in a very catholic environment; therefore Christmas was the big day to bring the family together. It was the day when people would make the extra effort to share a dinner or lunch in the company of parents, siblings, grandparents, uncles, etc. Thanksgiving, not so much. Heck, we didn’t even celebrate Thanksgiving. As any country south of the Equator, Brazil is entering summer and preparing the crops in the later part of the year, not harvesting them… Also, we did celebrate the Day of the Dead on November second, but it was a day of mourn and grieving, not a day for party. And no, we did not dress for the part. It was a spiritual celebration, not a fun one. So wearing costumes mimicking “The Return of the Living Dead” would not be as socially acceptable as it would be during Halloween in Canada…

Growing-up outside North America, I also became aware that the significance of the symbols of such holidays also varied tremendously.  An oversized, bearded, sweaty men stinking of beer on a red jumpsuit that sounded like Uncle John was, in the heat of Brazil’s 38° Celsius summer, Santa and not a bum from the street… A kid with white eyes, pale skin and exposed bloody wounds was a vision to run from in Brazil, not give candies to at the end of October… The turkey was not the traditional dish made with stuffing and gravy. Yes we may have it on Christmas, but it commanded a lighter version, dressed with dry fruits and pineapple. Gravy? Try eating it when is hot and humid and see what it does to your body…  And Fall’s chocolate craze did not really happened as people would not consider it part of an appropriate diet before getting into the upcoming “breach & pool season”. Chocolate only came strong into play on March or April, the beginning of the Fall in the southern hemisphere, paring up with the bunny on that weird reference to Easter.

The only common factor would be the dedication of folks to these traditions, no matter where we were at. Like many of my fellow males, I do not get make-up stores, I do not get Sephora. Honestly, I don’t understand how woman can be so enchanted by what seems like a maze of thousands of colorful gizmos that look too much alike for my taste… But in October, make-up seems to be somewhat unisex in North America, becoming more familiar to men going overboard in trying to look scary, funny, or both. And yes, I have used it to make the occasional pirate more real… Of course I had costume parties in Brazil, but Halloween takes it to a different dimension of dedication.  And not to mention the houses. People do get overly excited here and I wonder if this is truly for the kids or if it is for the parents that refuse to grow-up on the 31st. It is definitely fun, but all the same different. In Brazil, such dedication to home décor I only recall seeing at Christmas time, when people prepared their houses with thousands of lights and “wintery references” that may not made much sense in the tropics, but made it for a nice spectacle nevertheless.

But why am I talking about all of this and what does October has to do with couple’s infertility? Everything.

At the same time October brings these welcoming distractions that makes life easier and more enjoyable, it also offers the opportunity for closure on failed attempts and brings hope for any successful seeding yet to come. And if I am dressed silly and hype on chocolate, that’s even better!

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