As my porridge sat bubbling away on the stove this morning, I got to thinking about a quandry that has been whizzing round my head like a single sock on a violent spin cycle. As I sat down to eat the porridge, now so overcooked it came away from the side of the bowl like a jelly might, I knew I needed to marshal this quandry if I was ever going to enjoy a well cooked breakfast again.

Here’s the thing. I had been looking forward to spending next weekend with my two close friends all the way over in Sunny Cardiff. The Welsh one, whose house we are staying in, has a 9 month old, to whom I am godmother. The other, as I mentioned in a previous post, is now 9 weeks pregnant. When we booked it, she wasn’t pregnant, and I was none the wiser about why I wasn’t pregnant. On walking through the front door –

1) Neither will know about what’s going on with me and babies.
2) The 9 week pregnant friend is going to make a delightful announcement to our other best friend that she is, indeed, 9 weeks pregnant.

All this has vexed me some because whatever order the above information comes out (and it will all come out, probably in the first 5 minutes of seeing each other) it’s going to feel like sitting on a mauled sofa with a spring up your backside. For us all.

To my mind, it can go one of two ways;

1) Pregnancy is announced. Joy and jubilation, screams and hugs all round. Tea and cake to celebrate, then more screams and a few tears of joy. They then ask what’s up with me and The Baby Thing. I tell them. They stop eating their cake, feel guilty for being so jubilant and stem the flow of their unbridled happiness. Then they feel a bit rubbish for having to do so, I feel crap for raining on their parade and they feel sorry for me.
2) They ask me what’s up with The Baby Thing. I tell them. They feel sorry for me so bring out the tea and cake to cheer us all up. Then news of the pregnancy is broken, in an altogether more restrained fashion that is a disappointment for them and just weird for me because I know that tears and jubilation should have followed news like that.

Then we’ve got the whole weekend to turn all this over in the giant frying pan of chat. So what proportion of time will be spent talking about each bit of information? It’s going to be like discussing whether you’d rather live in a Parisian Palace with a walled garden and hot butler on hand, or in an unheated hutch on the Russian Steppes with nothing but a piece of flint for company. Of course the hot butler wins hands down, but who wants to hear about silk sheets when you haven’t even got heating?

I just can’t imagine anything they say will be remotely helpful. I will throw my piece of flint at them if they say “I’m sure it will be fine” or “It would help if you relaxed” or “maybe you should book a holiday” or, even worse “how awful for you both.”

The irony is, I don’t even really want to tell them. I don’t even want to talk about it. I’d rather spend the weekend gossiping about girls crushes, what happened to that old cow we went to university with and how delighted we are to see each other. But being the kind of clutz who unfailingly wears her heart on a fluorescent banner on her face, I know I will spill all. I will spill all, because I know I will want their support, and in wanting that I will risk feeling dreadful.

There is, of course, always the possibility that I am completely underestimating the friends I chose for their good humour and empathy in the first place.

I suppose I shall find out next weekend because it would be rubbish to cancel this late in the day.

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