Have you ever noticed how when you’re highly attuned to a subject that you can’t seem to get away from it – much as you might want to? For me that ranges from my intense allergy to cats (want very much to have one but they’re lethal to my lungs; they always seek me out for attention or lap time) to pregnant women who seem to cluster around me like metal filaments to a magnet.
This latest encounter led me to take a moment out of my laidback, indulgent weekend for a blog post. My Thelma and Louise-like adventure has been a blast so far starting with the convertible experience of wind in the hair and singing loudly, if a little off key, to tunes blaring on the radio. (No sign of Brad Pitt yet!)
We found time to rent the T&L movie if only to refresh ourselves on the story line. Let me be clear — there will be no cliff diving going on! In fact, we’re the “G” rated version of these ladies. No crimes have been or will be committed. We spent Friday in a two-person float making our way down a mountain snow-fed river for three hours followed by rum punches and lunch at a noisy, sunshine-drenched outdoor restaurant by the river. We made it back in time to nap, shower and head over with a picnic basket full of wine, fruit, cheese and salami to catch an outdoor performance of The Taming of the Shrew on the Sand Harbor beach front of Lake Tahoe. Therein lies the reason for this post.
Louise had gone on ahead to find a place on the sand for our blanket. When I found her she was happily engaged in a conversation with another Shakespeare fan. Now let me say that Louise and I have different opinions on the whole baby thing. Where I’ve struggled with anger, resentment and other not so nice feelings toward those who conceive and their newborns she is not bothered in the least by their success. A role model to be sure. So who has captured Louise’s attention?
“Thelma,” she said, “this woman is nine and half months pregnant! Can you believe it?”
“Well,” I replied somewhat grumpily, not at all happy with the idea of sharing my child-free weekend with anyone remotely childful, “I hope you don’t have any plans for changing that tonight, ’cause I don’t think we’ll be in a position to help.”
I also noticed that out of the seven women seated directly in front of us, at least one of them was pregnant, too.
Louise continued to merrily chat up the couple while we waited for the performance to begin. I, meanwhile, poured myself a very large glass of wine.
“What are you planning to name the child?” Louise quizzed the jolly father-to-be while his wife took one of many trips to the ladies room.
He enthusiastically responded, “Well, if it’s a girl, it could be Emma Elise and if it’s a boy it could be Sean Arthur. We’ve practiced yelling both out loud in the car to see if they work.”
We both laugh at his cheerful good humor. I begin to soften a bit. He’s clearly going to be a great father. His wife waddled back and tries to get comfortable. I start to look at her in a whole new light as well. She’s rubbing her belly and quietly sits back to enjoy what will surely be one of the last quiet nights in her life for a while.
As the sun made its way down behind the tree line it occurred to me that Louise actually has the right idea. I would never in a million years have engaged this couple sitting next to us in conversation by myself. In fact, I would have avoided them like the plague and likely found somewhere else to throw a blanket. Instead, I was able to appreciate that avoiding people based on pregnancy alone, while a good defense mechanism at times, doesn’t have to be a lifelong impulse.
Curious to know how you would have handled the encounter…