This Had Better Not Be Their Only Birth Control Method

, , , , , | Romantic | June 17, 2019

(My boyfriend and I have been together for five years, and we both chose independently before we even met that neither of us wants biological children. I recently started a new job, and out of about 90 employees I am one of two that has no children, and three of my coworkers are actively pregnant. After I’ve been there for a month, we hire another person who is pregnant. I tell my boyfriend about the new hire after her first day.)

Me: “We got someone new today, [New Coworker].”

Boyfriend: “Oh, neat. How is she?”

Me: “She’s so nice! And heavily pregnant.”

Boyfriend: *laughs* “Not regularly pregnant? She’s ‘heavily’ pregnant, specifically?”

Me: *laughs* “Very specifically. She’s due on [date about two months ahead]. But she has a small frame, so she looks huge.”

Boyfriend: “Didn’t you say someone else has that due date, too?”

Me: “Yup! [Coworker #1]. And [Coworker #2] just went on maternity; her baby is due this weekend. Plus, [Coworker #3] is gonna pop in the next couple of weeks. I’m surprised she hasn’t left already.”

Boyfriend: “Jesus, that’s so many pregnant people in one spot.”

Me: *in a goofy “spooky” voice* “They’re communicating… and gathering.”

(He gives me a funny look at this point, so I say:)

Me: “What? What’s that face for?”

Boyfriend: “Don’t get any big ideas, now.”

Me: *pointing to my head* “Hey, it’s not this part of me that you need to tell that to! You need to tell this* part of me!” *pointing at my lower tummy*

(He bends over and puts his ear to my stomach, and pokes me.)

Boyfriend: “Don’t go getting any big, hormonal ideas!”

Me: “You know, it does take at least two people to make a pregnancy happen; don’t put all this on me.”

(He thinks for a second, and then pulls back and points accusingly at his own groin.)

Boyfriend: “Don’t you dare to get any big ideas, mister!”

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An Education In Coincidence

, , , , , , | Learning | June 5, 2019

This one’s on me. For the past year or so, I’ve had five wonderful 10- to 12-year-old boys in my Minecraft classes, good friends who became closer through interacting on their computers. A sixth boy recently joined for the spring term, and I noted that he shared [Uncommon Last Name] with one of the previous students — who has a hyphenated name, but half of it is identical — and both of them listed [Mother’s Not-Too-Common First Name] [Uncommon Last Name] as their emergency contact. Naturally, I figured they were brothers…

…and managed to greatly upset the long-time student by telling him that. Probing further before the next class, I found that one student lived on the east end of the county while the other came from a more western city. You can bet I was extremely apologetic to the student in that next class!

Yes, there are two mothers with the same first and last name, with a son between 10 and 12, whose child has high-functioning mental challenges, who signed him up for the same class at the same time in a town neither of them lives in.

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The Next One Won’t Even Make It Out Of The House

, , , , , | Healthy | May 27, 2019

(My friend is in labour and it becomes clear she is going to have her baby in the back of the ambulance. She is freaking out.)

Paramedic: *trying to comfort her* “This is nothing. Last year, a woman had a baby in the hospital car park.”

Friend: *wailing* “That was me!”

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Someone Made Your Dream(boat) Come True

, , , , , , , , | Hopeless | May 25, 2019

In 1973 or ‘74, when I was five or six years old, my family and I lived in Phoenix. We had very little in the way of money or material things, but we were a happy little family for the most part. My brother was just a baby, and my sister and I spent our days playing outside in the Arizona sunshine. That year was a particularly lean one for us. We drove up to Flagstaff to cut our own Christmas tree, free of charge back then, I think, and made our decorations from egg cartons and glitter. It must have been a hard time for my mother and stepfather, but I can’t remember really wanting for much; we were always fed and clothed.

I can still remember sitting down at the kitchen table to write my annual letter to Santa. I told him that we didn’t have much, and that I knew he was very busy, but that I had a few small requests for him. My sister loved to read, and I asked him if he could bring her some books and something for my baby brother. We pretty much lived on tuna and macaroni those days and I asked Santa for a ham or turkey as a special treat for our family’s Christmas dinner. I closed my letter with a special request, stating, “If you have room in your sleigh, I would love a Barbie Dream Boat.” I was obsessed with Barbies, and the Dream Boat was all the Barbie rage that Christmas. I sealed the letter in an envelope, gave it to my mother, and really didn’t think much more about it since Mom had told me that kids didn’t always get what they wanted from Santa, seeing as how he was a very busy man with lots of children on his list.

A few days before the “big day,” we went out shopping with the little money we had. We bought gifts for our family and I remember how sad my mom looked while we shopped that day. Looking back, I know that her melancholy was due to not being able to give her children the fantastic holiday that all children desire. I was sad for her.

We returned home from our excursion and piled into the house, removing our coats and falling back into whatever activities were abandoned earlier in the day. Minutes later, I remember hearing bells and a hearty, “Ho, Ho, Ho!” from the front yard of our run-down little house. My sister and I ran out onto the front porch to see our stepfather walking toward the house, arms full of brightly-wrapped presents. Much to our delight, there were more on the tailgate of our old Willys Jeep, including a big ham. He told us that Santa had just been there, saying that he had made a special early trip to our humble home. He explained that the bells we had heard were from Santa’s sleigh and that we had just missed seeing him fly away with his reindeer. We were all very excited, me especially, happy in the knowledge that Mr. Claus had read my letter.

Christmas morning was delightful! Santa had filled my entire list, complete with a set of Winnie-the-Pooh books for my sister and a Mickey Mouse blanket for my baby brother. There were gloves for all of us, and big marker sets for my sister and me. The biggest present of all was for me, and you never saw such a happy little girl when I finally took off the wrapping. It was the Barbie Dream Boat I had asked for! It was a happy Christmas, indeed!

I got many hours of fun playtime out of that cardboard and plastic boat, and we all enjoyed the presents that “Santa” had brought us. We filled our tummies with ham and had a wonderful day. For many years to come, I was a firm believer in Santa Claus, even though he never again gave me exactly the items on my wish list. After all, he was a very busy man with lots of children’s dreams to fulfill.

Many years later, my mother and stepfather sat my sister and me down on the couch and said that they had something to tell us. They reminded us of that Christmas, which we still remembered well. We were 12 and 14 by that time, and our belief in Santa was fading fast, if not completely gone. They told us of a postal worker in Phoenix who picked one child’s letter each year, and that the letter he picked that year was mine. He had told my parents that my letter touched his heart because I had put myself last on the list, thinking of my family before asking for myself. They had prearranged a time for him to drop off the goodies, and staged it so that it would seem as if Santa had really been there. I have to admit I was just a little crushed to find out that it wasn’t really St. Nick who had paid us a visit that year, but I knew in my adolescent mind that it just couldn’t have been.

It warms my heart to this day to share that story, and to think about the way that postal worker made our holiday a happy one. I often wish that I knew his name so that I could thank him personally, but I’m sure he knows how much it meant to all of us.

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Mothers Are Mothers, Too

, , , , , , , | Hopeless | May 12, 2019

I’ve never enjoyed going to church. I could barely keep myself awake during the services because I found the whole thing boring. I still see myself as Christian; I just don’t like going to mass. Every Sunday, my little brother and I would try our best to sleep in — or pretend to sleep in — until our parents just gave up and left without us. I celebrated when I finally got my Confirmation and they couldn’t force me to go anymore. I still went for Midnight Mass because it was a Christmas tradition, but never at any other point.

One Saturday, though, my dad pulled me aside and asked if I could go to church with mom the next day. He was doing the reading and he didn’t want to leave her alone. I didn’t really get it, but I figured that since that Sunday was Mother’s Day, I’d throw her a bone. Sure, I’d already gotten her a present, but he seemed pretty insistent.

So I went. Mom was pretty surprised, but she wasn’t complaining. I was doing my best to try and not look like I was on the verge of passing out, as usual, when about halfway through the service, I finally got a good look at my mom.

She looked like she was trying — and failing — not to cry.

That was when it hit me; this was her first Mother’s Day after her mother, my grandmama, had passed away from lung cancer. We weren’t that close, but I couldn’t even imagine what Mom had been going through all day. Immediately feeling horrible for silently treating this like a burden, I snuck in a hug and made sure she knew how much I loved her and appreciated everything she did for me. She hugged me back and finally let herself straight-up cry.

I couldn’t even begin to imagine my life without her, even now as I’m living on my own. She doesn’t have to imagine life without her mother; she’s living it.

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