Monday, August 29, 2005

Reactions, Responses, Reservations for 5 at an Insane Asylum

Haven’t you heard of contraceptives? The first words out of R’s father’s mouth when we told him we’re expecting. He’s a Holocaust survivor. Not sure if this excuses the response, but I don't want to call him a fuckwit. R’s mother was slightly more subtle – that’s… Close. She said. Then she sunk back into her chair and started hyperventilating. When she recovered, she put her head in her hands and was catatonic. This was before we told them it’s twins.

Feeling like I now couldn’t actually say the word ‘twins’, I simply showed R’s father the ultrasound. His face crumpled up in confusion. He lifted his hands and made the sign of the devil. Actually he was just raising two fingers but it looked like something from a Black Sabbath concert to me. In the old days. When Ozzy used to invite Frank Zappa on stage to eat his shit. Two, he muttered to R’s mom. There are two of them.

That’s when I offered her a Valium.

She settled for a strong tea. I headed off to make it, peeking back to look at her and her husband. They were shaking their heads at each other. R paced the kitchen while I made the tea. I knew they were going to take it badly but it’s like we just told them Hitler’s alive again. I don’t want to go back into the room, I tell R. They’ll come round, he says. Then I see the look on his face. Let's run away to Vegas is what it says.

After 3 cups of tea and an assurance from us that we wouldn’t have any more kids after this, they calmed down to a mild panic. Afraid I was going to pour scolding water over both of them, while chanting an Icelandic curse, I excused myself and left Rob to comfort them further and see them out. We’re phoning my brother next, I told him. He’s a Rabbi. We’re making more Jews. He has to be happy.

Elated was what he was. He whistled, laughed and ululated. Pity he lives in Jerusalem because I wanted to set him onto Rob’s parents so he could suck the negativity out of them and force them into the Horah.

Fifteen more phonecalls to various family and friends. A lot of laughing. Not laughing with, you understand. A few tears. Much shocked silences followed by the words “I don’t know what to say” (I’ve always hated those words. They’re cowardly and lack imagination.) The words ‘financial plan’ were raised a few times. The odd optimistic cliché from a cheery girlfriend – the universe never gives you anything you can’t handle. How come people commit suicide then, I ask? They don’t realise that, responds the fairy worshipper. She’s quick, I’ll give her that.

By the end of it I feel like I’ve just admitted to my local mosque that I wrote the Satanic Verses. While felating a goat.

The next day, R’s mom has done a complete 360. She’s told some of her friends and they’ve pointed out that this will make her the one with the most grandchildren in their group. She’ll have more grandchildren than her mother had. This pleases her. She’s sweet as a jellybean, telling me she’ll help me organise a roster, so that everyone will help out. She works herself into a frenzy, describing the country girl we’ll get to work for us for cheap, the good deals we can get on twin strollers, the day care centre that O can go to. Then she forgets my name, twice.

His father bustles in and exclaims with delight. This is a big Fuck You to Hitler! It’s at that point that I offer myself a Valium, then settle for a quick dash out of the room, home to my bed, where there are no rosters, no friends and family and no one else's agendas to contend with.


Blogger Lin said...

These little ones are to be celebrated and everyone will join in once they process all the if you're not doing that on a minute-by-minute basis. Just think, though. In four years when you're asking ALL of your children if they'd like chips and peas with their fish fingers, other friends will be pregnant and wondering how you did it. Remember, any help that's offered...take it.

2:05 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A fuck you to Hitler indeed. This reminded me of when we told Matt's parents we were engaged. His Mum couldn't stop swearing and hung up on us and 2 hours later his Dad called us back with a tentative congrats but what the fuck are you doing?

I'm glad they came round and are willing to help out.

5:07 am  
Blogger Lin said...

Okay, I read this post about a dozen hours ago and I just went back to read it again. I swear, it's that funny.

2:30 pm  

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