Planning

“Honey, I’m pregnant.”

“Uh oh. How did that happen?”

“I guess we’ve been a little careless.”

“I’m sorry. This is not what we wanted. Not now.”

“This was supposed to be a couple of years away, at least.”

“Brother… I… We… I mean, now what?”

“I’ve never thought about what I’d do in a situation like this. I don’t know how I feel about it right now, except that I’m shocked.”

“I’m not even sure how to talk about it.”

“I mean, my first reaction is to just go to the doctor and, you know, get this taken care of. It was a mistake. You know?”

“Right. Me too. But we should talk about it, shouldn’t we? We should agree before you… before we do anything. Before we decide anything. Shouldn’t we? You don’t know what your reaction might be afterward.”

“Do we really need to discuss this? What if I just make a quick decision?”

“I guess I’d be OK with that. Only…”

“Only what?”

“We haven’t talked about children, having children, not really. Or not much. Are we sure we’re not just drifting through life a little bit? The same as with buying a house – or not buying a house, in our case. Maybe we don’t want to be tied down or maybe we aren’t quite ready to make a commitment to each other, or maybe we just haven’t quite grown up yet.”

“What? You’re saying that we’re not committed to each other?”

“No, we’re committed, I guess. We’re committed. But don’t you ever feel like maybe we aren’t, I don’t know, serious enough?”

“We’ve been concentrating on our work. And our friends, and being creative, and traveling. We’ve been living our lives. It’s not the time for us yet, to worry about houses and furniture and all that.”

“Houses and furniture and children?”

“Look, are you saying that you want us to have a child now? And a house?”

“I’m just saying that the last couple of parties we’ve gone to, I’ve felt… bored? Like I was outgrowing them. I mean, we aren’t going to go on like this forever, are we?”

“Wow. This is news to me. A house in the suburbs? Staying home at night with the children? Plumbing problems and PTA and no more boring parties or trips to interesting countries? Great.”

“Don’t get carried away. We can talk about the future without turning it into a horror show. Let’s take this one step at a time. What about the parties? Is that just me?”

“No, I’ll give you the parties. And the rock concerts.”

“Right. I forgot about the concerts.”

“And the recreational drugs. We’re outgrowing all that. I agree. However, there is a big difference between finding something more interesting to do than go to a party, and moving to the suburbs.”

“Forget the suburbs. We never have to go to the suburbs. Just take a minute with me here, before you rush off to the doctor, to fill in the gap for me, between now and the time when we have a family.”

“You know I want a family. Why do you put it that way, rush off to the doctor? That isn’t fair at all. I’m sitting here pregnant. Me, not you. You could decide to leave tomorrow, go out and find some young chick who just agrees with everything you say. And isn’t pregnant.”

“Sit down. Take a breath. Nobody is going anywhere.”

“My work. You know how excited I am about my work. That’s the thing that’s important to me right now. Not traveling and parties and not houses and babies. My work.”

“I know that. Me too. But we only work forty hours a week, more or less. We don’t go on business trips. We’re both feeling like we need a change in our life outside of work. I just want to talk about that. We both have great futures in our professions. That isn’t going to change. It’s the rest of our lives I’ve been thinking about.”

“That’s why I started volunteering on Thursday nights and Saturday mornings.”

“That’s what I mean. Have we just been careless here or is there something more to it than that?”

“Oh no you don’t. Don’t go Freudian on me. I’m not having a baby. That is not what my life is about right now.”

“Fine. I’m not arguing otherwise. I wasn’t even thinking about babies in my remotest thoughts until ten minutes ago. I’m not advocating that we start a family. It’s just that we’re at a moment here when we ought to look at our future.”

“All right. You’ve got a point. Give me a second. Let me sit down and catch my breath… Wow. All of a sudden I’m so sad… My goodness…”

“Shh… Here… Me, too…”

“I’m totally confused. Have we been stalling? Are we afraid we’re going to lose something? I’m excited every morning when I get up, excited about the day.”

“I don’t know why, but I’m excited right now.”

“We’d have to move. You know, whenever we decided to start a family.”

“Cori and Frieda found a larger apartment over in Lakeview.”

“That’s not a bad neighborhood.”

“You want to go out to dinner?”

“Just by total coincidence, there’s a place in Lakeview I’ve been wanting us to try.”