Carpooling 102

So I didn’t mention it, Reader, but for a while there recently I thought I might be pregnant. I know, I just didn’t want to worry you, Reader, because you’re sweet like that. And it’s not a new story… there’s the usual culprits you hear about: a missing punctuation mark, obsessive thinking about the punctuation mark, and mood swings that were more likely to be due to the obsessive thinking than to a mini Hot Lunch in my belly.

I think it means I’ve successfully made the transition from feeling gooey about Hot Lunch to seeing him as my stupid special friend that the thought of him reproducing through me is like something out of V. I still don’t know how Joaquin and Diego happened. When I first met them years ago, I remember feeling surprised that they didn’t look more like their dad. The fact that they looked just like his angelic baby pictures didn’t matter. Hot Lunch is distinctive to the point of seeming immutable: anything that comes from Hot Lunch must be EXACTLY LIKE him, sporting scratchy goatees and scratchy voices and making inappropriate comments and blaming farts on other people.

This was the picture my imagination was torturing me with. THAT VERY PICTURE. Also the fact that it had been a while since – cough cough, you know – didn’t matter. I was haunted by an image of myself appearing on I DIDN’T KNOW I WAS PREGNANT (thanks for the medical terror, TLC) and the sheer awfulness of the idea made it seem more likely. I was increasingly crazy with it: acting grumpy toward Hot Lunch whenever I saw him… making hangup calls to my ob-gyn… pulling into Fred Meyer’s parking lot at night on my way home from work and chickening out and going home empty-handed.

But on Carpooling day, I have backup. Poor Pants is a helpless passenger on the crazy train as it swerves into the Fredbear and I say, “Hold on, I have to stop here and pick up a pregnancy test. And something for dinner.”

“Don’t you want to stop by the deli first?” Pants asks, as I charge right past the counter where we usually pick up quick meals.

“No. I want to get this over with.” We get to the aisle that mockingly stocks tampons, condoms, lube, pregnancy tests and baby food. It is the circle of life aisle.

And tonight it is full of shoppers. Not one, but two men, and a woman shopping for baby food with her baby bawling in the cart right in front of the shelves of First Response. (…think you’re pretty funny don’t you, Life?)

“Oh. It’s crowded. My favorite.”

Give it a minute. Deli comes first after all. On the way back, we pass a display of CAMPFIRE MARSHMALLOWS.

These are the biggest marshmallows I have ever seen. In an unnecessary reminder that maybe an obsession with size is what got me into this problem in the first place, I impulsively grab a bag off the display, rip it open and shove a fist-sized puffed-sugar confection into my face. Pants looks shocked until I hold the bag out to her and she does the same. Commence orgasmic eating noises.

“Unh. It’s so good.”

“And big. It’s so big I can’t fit it in my mouth.”

Ecstasy has slowed our gait and a man passes us by (possibly in a rush to reach the popular prophylactic aisle?) and gives us a good sidelong look, one brow arched. That’s right guys, the ladies know what you like to hear.

We reach the aisle again but it is still a party zone. WHAT THE HELL. “Come on, we’ll just browse the magazines while we wait,” Pants soothes.

While Pants thumbs through Brides, Modern Bride, and You’re-Not-Knocked-Up-and-You-Got-a-Guy-Congrats, I’m glancing through my favorites Fitness and Shape and angrily cramming gargantuan marshmallows in my mouth.

Check the aisle again. Empty except for the mother laboriously inspecting every baby food label with her baby still parked and screaming in front of my Maybe-Baby zone. “If she’s still there in five minutes,” Pants hisses to me, “I’m going to say, ‘Excuse me, we want to make sure we’re not having one of THOSE.” I grunt my appreciation. My mouth is full of marshmallow.

Well, to jump mercifully to the end, it turns out that I’m not positive for anything other than I am positive that peeing on a target is for men. I don’t care for the unexpected splashback. Also I’m positive that taking the test at home was much more soothing than the time I had to take it next to the noisy apocalyptic mystery shitter in the next stall of the public restroom at work (which had seemed more private than the staff restroom where the container might be spied in the garbage… if only I hadn’t recognized a coworker’s shoes later at the exact awkward moment that coworker – thenceforth known as Apocalyptic Shitter – also recognized mine.)

There are no secrets at the Library.

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