There we were, on one big happy family adventure, piled in the Corrolla, cruising around our new neighborhood. “Exploring” we like to call it; sounds much more invigorating than killing-an-hour-before-dinner/bath/bedtime routine. And my wife comes out with this:
“Mmm, Chinese food sounds good.”
It wasn’t completely out of the blue—we had passed a Chinese joint. And in and of itself, an innocuous statement to make. Yet for some reason I started sweating profusely. My breath came a little shorter. And it’s not because I couldn’t figure out how the kids would negotiate the moo goo gai pan. It’s because of this:
My wife hates Chinese food. The ONLY time she ever voluntarily accompanied me to a Chinese dinner (including two weeks or so we spent in China) was when she was pregnant. She went through a few weeks during one of those six trimesters where she was actually craving the stuff. I mean, we went out and got MSG and fortune cookies and everything. Then I realized she was right—Chinese food is not really that exciting. But that’s not the point.
The point is that this was highly suspicious. But not as suspect as our conversation later that evening…
“So are you going to the gym tomorrow?” I inquired.
“Maybe, but you can go if you want. Just be back by 8:45.”
“Sweet, I think I have to leave here by seven to get back. Wait, let me count backwards. If I leave the gym at 8:30, that means I have to be out of the shower by—“
“So, I’m having some weird discharge.”
“You know, like, discharge?”
“Well, not this second.”
“Oh, no! And the Chinese food, I knew it. We’re f***ed! What are we supposed to do? We just moved in this place and it’s only two bedrooms. I knew we should have gotten something bigger. We’re absolutely f***ing f***ed! You know I hate odd numbers. And now we need a new car. Holy God, somebody HELP!!!!”
“Well, it’ll sleep in our room for the first few months.”
“Do you think that’s helpful? IT?!”
“Relax, I just had my period.”
“This is like that scene from an after school special where the narrator hits pause and says ‘Well, just because you had your period doesn’t mean you’re 100% in the clear.’ Didn’t you take Health class?”
“Seriously, I’m not worried. I’m not even buying a test. There’s no way. I’m not pregnant, I can’t be.”
“Why? Because…ohhhhhhh, that’s it. We haven’t had sex in like a month! Yesssssssssssss! High five on not having sex with me!”
Yeah, I said that. Mostly meant it, too, that’s the sad part. I feel like we’re too old to be dealing with pregnancy scares. Seems so collegiate. Yet there it was, terrifying as ever. Luckily, this time, I don’t think it’s written in the fortune cookies.