Sunday, October 12, 2008

Big News Today

This evening, I called my mother-in-law for a quick, Sunday night chat. I had exciting news to share with her!

First of all, my sister-in-law (my brother's wife, not my mother-in-law's daughter) called me tonight and announced that she is expecting. That's always exciting! What good news! Secondly, I bought a personal thermal laminator today at Wal-Mart for $19.99. SCORE! That is, to me, as exciting as getting an MP3 player to many people. I was completely jazzed.

Anyhow, I was a veritable bubble of excitement as I dialed her number, anticipating her reaction to my news. My bubble momentarily burst as my father-in-law accidentally hung up on me immediately after picking up the phone. Then, we struggled through the usual awkward stage of simultaneously dialing each other, both of us reaching nothing but a busy signal. I finally gave up and waited for her to ring through.

When a connection was finally established, her reactions to my grand announcements fell short of my expectations. In fact, upon hearing that Stephanie is pregnant, her reaction was, "Stephanie........."


"OH! (ha ha) That's right..." (Yep. That bubble burst, babe.)

After dutiful pleasantries about someone else's exciting news, the conversation quickly returned to the laminator.

So...what's up with that? Isn't it amazing how something so important and life-altering can, at times, be dwarfed by something so trivial? Perhaps it is better than the alternative.

Those of you who have been pregnant before can relate, I'm sure, to the virtual broken record of conversations you have with everyone on the planet (even those who HAVEN'T had children -- including, sometimes, MEN) for the entire 40 weeks of gestation. Tales of births, conceptions, trips to the hospital, pregnancy related ailments and illnesses, blah blah blah. Why is that we all (even I) insist upon telling our war stories to every poor little preggo out there?

And babies...meeting the babies...I'll never forget, near the end of my first pregnancy, thinking to myself as someone brought me yet another baby to meet, "I don't care about your baby! I just want MY baby!" Surely that was the hormones talking...and the poor swollen feet...and varicose veins...(Oh, God, stop me!)

Rationally, I know we do it out of love, excitement, and good intent. I know we are, in our own twisted ways, trying to console or prepare or just connect with our friends and family as they experience this unique adventure.

So, am I just being insensitive? (I have to do a self-check sometimes...I scored low in "empathy" on the Caliper years ago.) Does anyone else see it this way? What did you think when you were expecting? Did you enjoy or despise the stories?

Leave a comment telling me what you think. Heck, tell me your story -- I'll tell you mine, too! :)


  1. You can tell me your gross stories. I sometimes toss little drippy gems out there to friends who don't have any kids just to see their noses wrinkle up in horror.
    It's really what sisters are for. You know, the dogs-eating-underpants-stories and all!


    ps- congrats on the personal laminating doo-hickey


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