I Didn’t Understand the News

The wife invited me to a local restaurant for a dinner celebration. Just the two of us. She refused to tell me the reason. We were a young married couple with no kids and had recently bought our first house.

Money was tight with all the repairs and renovations we were doing and going out to dinner was a special event. We were working our way through the house room-by-room, fixing trim, cleaning, painting and generally making it ours after having bought it from a 94 year-old man who smoked cigars all day.

She chose an inexpensive buffet place to save money. The all-you-can-eat kind of place where the nutritional value is on the lower spectrum and the emphasis is on comfort. Lots of salt, fat, and cheesy carbohydrates to make one sleepy. Finish it off with a high sugar dessert bar and you are set for a food coma that should last you several hours. It was my favorite place.

She let me work through a couple plate’s worth before fumbling in her purse for something as we talked. She laid a white plastic square on the table. It had two cutouts on it. One was a corner tab, the other was a small circle near another corner. The cutouts provided access to some type of white fabric that was clearly sandwiched inside the item. The circle revealed a bluish blur. It was alien to me.

She said nothing but sat expectantly for my response. I stared at the item in an attempt to determine its purpose or significance. After a moment, I gave up.

“What is it?” I asked.

“I’m pregnant.” she replied angrily.

I was stunned. Not by the pregnancy, by her sudden anger.

“Why are you mad at me?” I asked her gently.

“You think you’re so smart and you can’t even understand a simple pregnancy test.” she fumed.

“I thought they were shaped like sticks or thermometers. I didn’t know they came in squares. I’ve never seen one. How was I supposed to know?” I responded.

“It has a plus sign right there.” she pointed.

“That bluish blur? Is that what that is supposed to be? I couldn’t make it out.” I lamely defended.

“Just forget it. Let’s go home. You obviously don’t care. I’m going to have to do this all myself.” she continued.

“Can we at least have dessert first?” I asked. “I was really hoping to build my own ice cream sundae.”

“Fine.” she pouted, “Do what you want.”

You receive some wonderful, improbable, hoped-for good news. How do you celebrate?


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