I ran across this synopsis of fun facts about reproductive stuff via the headline "6,000 Women A Day Hit Menopause" -- and believe me, that's definitely not the most entertaining tidbit in the piece by Leslie Mann on the Baltimore Sun. In fact, I'm not sure why they chose to pull that one data point from the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists' "2011Women's Health Stats and Facts" to highlight, except that the editors might think it's alarming.
Why do we think menopause is alarming?? Tons of reasons. Don't get me started. But for the record, I don't think the absolutely natural and normal cessation of menstruation and fertility warrants headlines. If it were up to me, I'd have pulled this fact to head up the article:
"Assisted-reproductive therapy, or ART, an infertility treatment, is on the increase, catering to women with an average age of 36, and resulting in more than 600,000 babies a year."
600,000 babies a year. From ART.
Y'all know me. An earlier sentence in the piece ("Only 12 percent of women suffer from infertility.") had me grumbling and mumbling about how 12% isn't nearly as high as the industry likes you to think and how it all depends on your definition of the terms. I'm up to here with other headlines that shriek about infertility being "on the rise", while The Roommate (a much real-er scientist than I) says 12% is indeed pretty impressive.
When I got to the paragraph about offspring and read that aloud to The Roommate, he exclaimed, "600,000?!"
Me: "Yep. Crazy, huh?"
Roomie: "Yeah! That's like, like, like a..."
Me: "A tsunami?"
Roomie: "Yeah! A tsunami of wanted children!"
And I smiled.
And that, my friends, is how perspective adds up to everything. And, fortunately, how quickly mine can change on a good day.