Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Help This Woman: What Do I Say?

We got this letter from our friend Miss T and we had to share her dilemma with you. The issue is something we've all dealt with.  You get pregnant and you want to wait to tell people.  Kate and I are BIG SUPPORTERS of people taking their time when it comes to spilling the beans.  It's your baby, your body and your business.  But keeping it a secret is hard.  How do you do it without lying? Without hurting people's feelings? How do you do it when the people who know you best are exactly the people you don't want to tell  - until the second trimester...


Dear Kate & Lydia,
Other than dealing with the ‘holy whuck, I’m pregnant’ feelings and the all-murther-furking-day sickness and the sleepiness; learning that you are pregnant brings its a special can worms for me.
 My particular dilemma is that my husband and I have decided to break the news to our families at Christmas. ‘Where’s the dilemma in that?’ I hear you ask, why it lies in the fooling of the people who know you bestest. The rub of the problem is not my husband’s family but my family. My nosey, curious and unfortunately highly intelligent family. My mother in particular. I have seen this woman pull the truth out of thin air based only on a random sniff, the way you smiled and something which we will call ‘gut luck’. My mother is scary like that. (Hmmm, need to ask her how she does it...) plus she knows me really well, the best of my family in fact.
Did I mention that my parents are wine drinkers. No, not drinkers... connoisseurs, specialists, experts and lovers of all things winey. And it’s something that they have passed on to their kids, especially me. I love wine and they know it. And if I refuse even a single glass my mother’s gut luck will immediately kick in and... bye bye Christmas surprise. 
Now in normal circumstances I could just avoid dinners with them from now until Christmas since dinner’s when the main drinking takes place but unfortunately November is a terrible month for sobriety. Multiple family functions including Thanksgiving, a big birthday, and a weekend trip staying in the same house with everyone.
And before I hear the ‘one glass will be ok’, let’s just say that I’ve decided not to have any alcohol (except the sip I get in church on Sundays!) for the first trimester. Plus my husband vigorously endorsed my decision so yeah... I’ll go with it.
So like any good grad student I’ve been researching enthusiastically on Google, excuses for not drinking. And here’s what I’ve come up with so far:
1.       Tell them you’re dieting and it’s a detox for the first few weeks/months
2.       Don’t tell them that you’re not drinking, vodka is ‘invisible’
3.       Since it’s wine I’m avoiding I could drink non-alcoholic wine with nobody the wiser
4.       Tell them you’re on anti-biotics or other meds
5.       Tell them you’re sick
So those are my options. Option 1 is out because if you knew me you would be laughing so hard right now at the thought of me on a diet. The only thing crazier is me going to the gym! So no, it won’t work. Drink ‘not-vodka’ instead. I don’t really drink vodka and if I suddenly show up to this weekend with a bottle it will be noted and it will be questioned. Ditto with gin. Non-alcoholic wine! Genius idea! Sure it is, for any one whose family aren’t nosey, like to try new things and are wine lovers. The moment a different bottle appears in the kitchen it will be looked at, the label read and some tried. The moment it is noted to be zero alcohol, the cat and the bag are no longer acquainted. And no, I can’t keep the wine in my room.
The final two options are the most likely, nobody questions meds, right. Nobody except people in the medical profession. Did I mention my mother and my sister both work in that field? And they just love to talk about everyone's ailments in detail? 
Sigh. So I’m probably going to have to go with option number the 5. Play sick. Well, not necessarily play what with the all-damn-day sickness and the tiredness but remember what I said about my mother and pulling truth out of thin air? Well, she’s likely to take ‘stomach nausea’ and ‘tiredness’ and ‘not drinking’ and come up with ‘OMG! You’re pregnant!’ Now she might only say it jokingly at first. But like I said, she knows me best and knows when I’m lying. I’m hoping to distract her with more wine.
Even if by some weird luck I do get away with it this weekend there’s always next weekend. Next weekend is something else. I can only be ‘sick’ for one weekend. If I stretch it out there will be eyebrows quirked, medical opinions given and yeah... not good.
So if anyone has any genius idea or six (so I can keep the excuse fresh) for not drinking in front of a nosey as heck, medical, wine drinking family then I’m all ears. Actually, I’m on my knees! Please help!
Leave your advise for Wendy below and help this woman out!
(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2011

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