Tuesday, February 28, 2006

The secret is out!

Saturday, February 25:

I meet my two friends for lunch. We haven’t all been together in some time. We’re going to one of our favorite places. Tucked inside my wallet is the latest sonogram, folded in half.

My friends order sensible salads. I spy their healthy lettuce and beautiful fresh fruit. I wanted three different items on the menu but chose a turkey melt because I felt I needed the protein. The sandwich turns out to be open-face -- impossible to eat! -- and comes with fries.

My lunch doesn’t look so healthy compared to theirs.

Fortunately, I had ordered a side salad.

We catch up while we eat. We all bring something for show and tell. One friend shares her beautifully scrapbooked photo album. (She’s the one who said she might be pregnant. Turns out she’s not. So we can exhale now.) My other friend -- who is my age but has a 16-year-old daughter -- brings back a resort brochure I gave her, and I tell her it’s hers to keep. I bring two tiny bags of truffles, each with their respective names on the bags.

Somehow, menstrual cycles come up. This is my chance.

But I miss it. The conversation has already turned. Our lunch is over, and it’s time to pay the server.

That means my wallet is out.

“I can’t let you go,” I say, “without telling you something big.”

Now, I don’t remember what I said or exactly what happened after that. But I finally feel the relief of telling my friends about the baby.

Oh, happy day!

And they are just as excited as I am relieved not to be keeping this secret from them.

I open my wallet, and the excitement builds. Funny how a sonogram will do that. That image could be anything or anybody. But it has my name on it. It’s proof of something, right?

This news extends the lunch longer than expected.

We have to use the restroom.

My friends insist I use the unoccupied stall first.

“I don’t want any special treatment,” I protest, but they won’t budge even though they are holding their legs together.

Turns out the other stalls are free, so no one has to wait.

And then it’s extended even more as we stand outside the restaurant. My friend with the teen daughter says she wants to have a baby shower. She starts the planning right on the spot, right in front of the door where people are going in and out.

We must talk about the baby for at least another 15 minutes.

My other friend and I go down the street for a coffee. She treats me to a Cinnamon Dolce Latte from Starbucks. It's our new favorite.

Ahhh.

I’m so glad my friends are happy and excited. And they aren’t upset I didn’t tell them sooner. The only thing my friend with the teenager said was, “I don’t know how you could wait through lunch to tell us!”

And I didn’t even think about squirming this time.

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