Thursday Morning Wood

Posted by Wood | Thursday, March 08, 2007 |

Right before we moved into our new home last September, another young couple moved from Brooklyn into a house just around the corner from us. They are in their late twenties or early thirties, both are architects, and they have a dog, but no kid.

We had them over for drinks last fall. They hosted us a few weeks later when the Tigers were in the World Series. And then winter set in, and we closed our doors, cranked our heat up, and stopped running into each other in the park. The girl works a few blocks away from me, and for the last 3 months, we've tried to schedule a lunch date. At first I lost her card and was too lazy to knock on her door and get another one. When we finally communicated and set a date, we both cancelled on each other several times. Last week, on the morning of our long-awaited lunch, I ran into her while she was walking her dog and I was walking Wendell. She looked pale and ill, and tried talking to me about our new dog for a minute or two before she had to excuse herself. She felt dizzy, she said, and sick to her stomach. Later that morning she called and told me she hadn't been able to go into work because she was too sick, so we had to reschedule again.

La La! I sang in my head: She's pregnant! I was thrilled, both at the prospect of another baby in our neighborhood (there aren't many), and also at my sleuthing. I'm so clever, I told myself. Dizzy, lightheaded, with a side of nausea? During the morning dog walk? What else could it be?

A few days later, we resumed our scheduling emails. She apologized for canceling, and explained that she'd had a virus but now was better. I was crushed. She wasn't pregnant, and I wasn't as smart as I thought I was. Before I knew it, I confessed all of this to her in a response email. It went something like this:

"A virus! Too bad. I thought you were pregnant, and I was so excited! Ha! I can't believe I told you that! How's next Friday work for you?"

And then several days passed, and I didn't hear a word from her.

So I told Dutch the whole story. And when I got to the part about the email, he interrupted me. "You didn't TELL her you hoped she was pregnant, did you?" He had a look on his face like he thought I was about to tell him that I'd left the plastic baggie containing Wendell's morning dump in her mailbox in retribution for cancelling so many lunch dates.

He then laid out the two main reasons why I should not have said anything about any pregnancy that I imagined, hoped for, or suspected.

1) This couple is from Brooklyn, and they're architects. They are too cool for babies, and are probably members of the "childfree" cult who cannot tolerate children or people talking about their children, let alone even consider creating one.
2) You should never be the first to utter the word "pregnant" about a woman you're not close friends with and who has not mentioned the word first. (I'm the girl! How could I forget this rule?)

Dutch assured me that I'd never hear from her again, and that our friendship with the other young couple was over before it'd begun.

But! Then this week she emailed me back, said my email made her laugh out loud, and that I must have a "sixth sense" (her words), and that the "now or later?" baby conversation was happening in her living room nightly.

I was relieved, but I had to wonder what had come over me. Very few of my girlfriends have had kids, and all of Dutch's local guy friends are still far from getting married. Virtually no one from our old life has joined us in this new one. If parenthood is a cult, apparently I'm on the recruitment committee.

Next up: suggesting to her that we coordinate her first pregnancy with my (yet to be scheduled) second one. If that doesn't creep her out, we're sure to be friends for life.