Thursday, May 8, 2008

Nothing Bad Ever Happens

" And the terrible things happen down the road / To somebody else that I don't even know /. . . / Nothing bad ever happens to me / Why should I care?"

I was late getting out of my water aerobics class today because all the grannies really needed to tell me what they know about labor and childbirth. Never mind that they all gave birth at least 40 years ago. This must be what it feels like to be ambushed by chickens at feeding time. Oh, the clucking. One granny, who always manages to cluck louder and more repetitively than the rest, tells me the same thing every time she sees me: "You're not going to find out the baby's sex, are you? I always found it exciting to find out when the doctor handed the baby to me after the ETHER wore off and I had COME TO." Yikes.

But that's way better than another granny, who has two daughters, both of whom always seemed to deliver gigantor babies weeks before their due dates, in situations that couldn't possibly be true: "My first daughter's water broke when she was floating down the Yangtze River on a bamboo raft lashed together with jungle vines and prayers." She always adds, "Oh, but you'll be fine." i.e. "My daughter had to squat-and-squirt right there on the raft and they swaddled the 14-pound baby born six weeks early in the clothes they were bringing to the lepers. Oh, but you'll be fine."

Last week she said to me, "You are SO BIG. I don't think you'll make it to your last day at work." Today she says, "You have five weeks left? I don't know. You look like you could pop right now, in the pool. You did say you planned on a water birth, right?" And then she smirked a little in a way that she must have thought proves she was teasing.

Bless me, Mother Goddesses, for I have sinned. Today I thought about strangling a 72-year-old woman with her own swimsuit straps.

"Nothing Bad Ever Happens" by Oingo Boingo
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