An original work of fiction
Is this test a bunch of hooey or what?
"Uhhhh...her parents live on the East Coast, so she does not live with them."
I hear a disgusted sound. "You mean you didn't even give her the 'Tamantha Test'?!? OK Shermie, first mistake. Go ahead and tell me the rest."
I finish the rest of my story. I don't hold anything back.
"Two weeks Gil! I've been waiting for the Perfect Babe all my life and I've missed her by two weeks. If I had met Leah just two weeks earlier, I'm sure that she would not have taken that roll with her ex-husband. I can't believe that my life is ruined by just TWO WEEKS. It is not fair. It's just not fair."
Gil takes a few moments to think about the enormity of my situation. "OK Shermie, second mistake! You are thinking that the world is fair. HELLO! WAKE UP! The world is NOT fair. Bad things happen to nice guys! Your pop-psychology books must have at least TOUCHED on that!"
I sniffle a little and mutter, "Boy, that's true."
Gil continues, "Believe it! OK, now, what's the big problem?!?"
"Huh? Haven't you been listening? She's PREGGERS! She's with CHILD! She's having a BABY! She's in a MATERNAL WAY! She's got an INTERNAL GROWTH!"
Gil assents. "Yeah. I get your point. So what? Tell me exactly the problem as you see it."
This forces me to do some thinking. I knew talking to Gil would make me do that. That's why I call him up for advice. Of course, it would be easier if he just TOLD me what I need to know. But I guess that's not what professors do.
"OK Gil, it's like this. First of all, a romantic relationship has to be built from the prior groundwork of friendship. You have to be able to get together and enjoy each other's company. I don't believe that is possible to do with a pregnant woman. Already Leah has blown me off on several dates that we had planned. I guess it's hard to go out with me when she's busy puking. She doesn't want to do anything athletic, like play softball, because it might hurt the baby. How can you get to know someone better when you can only talk to her on the phone, and can't get together because she has to hurl?"
Gil prompts me on, "Uh huh Shermie, that's true. Is that it?"
"Well, no Gil", I say, remembering what he had once told me. "Do you remember what you once told me?"
"That's hard to say, could you be a little more specific?"
"Yes I can", I say, gathering steam. "I am not around pregnant women all that much, believe it or not. Most of my friends who are pregnant, I'll see only a few times when they really show, and then, all of a sudden, they're back to normal. For me, it's no fuss and no muss."
"Yeeeeah", Gil says. "What's the point??"
"The point is", I say, hammering in my point, "that the old joke goes that Playboy is coming out with a magazine for married couples; the magazine centerfold would be of the same woman month after month. You once told me that having a pregnant wife was like that. Except that each month the centerfold would look ten pounds heavier. And each month the accompanying article about her would read crankier and more incoherent. I try to imagine trying to start a relationship, based at least partly on physical attraction, with that centerfold. It's not working out in my mind."
"Geez, Shermie, do you remember everything I've ever told you??", Gil asks in amazement.
"Youbetchaass! I hold you in high esteem! After all you have a PhD, you are a professor, and you have the honorary title of 'GGTJW'. When you are talking, I feel like I am receiving the entire amassed knowledge of Jewish dating, poured directly into my cerebral center. I have to pay attention!"
"Whoa Shermie, it's starting to come out of this end of the phone! And I just had my plumbing fixed! Hold on a sec", Gil commands and I hear the sharp sound of desk meeting phone mouthpiece. Gil's chair creaks as he gets up and I hear the sound of a door closing. The chair creaks again as Gil sits back down.
"OK Shermie, I MAY have said that to you at one time. But can't you imagine the OTHER side of being involved with a pregnant woman?"
"Huh?" I say imaginatively.
"I guess not," Gil sighs. "OK, the deal is that many men find pregnant women very attractive."
I have not yet read this in my pop-psychology books, so it is news to me.
"This may be news to you", Gil explains, "among other reasons, possibly because you haven't been close to many pregnant women. In the usual case, i.e. being married, the relationship is built on love and respect and the male chooses to overlook the female becoming an irrational bloated blob, whose every crazy whim and desire must be catered to. In YOUR case, you can just experience the good stuff."
"And the good stuff being?", I inquire, enjoying being taken on this tour of greater human understanding.
"The good stuff being that pregnant women have a glow and vitality about them when they're not puking. The miracle of life is happening. They may be hurling in the first trimester, they may be tired in the third trimester, BUT they're really horny in the second trimester!"
"Hmmmm," I acknowledge, considering the possibilities.
Gil finishes, "You can be around for all the good stuff, but you don't have to take the bad stuff, like the crabiness and irrationality, because you're not living with her!"
"Hmmmmmm," I repeat with emphasis. "This is a lot to think about."
"Listen Shermie, all I'm saying is that if this REALLY is the 'Perfect Babe', then maybe you shouldn't rule her out JUST because she is pregnant. If you've waited twenty years for this particular woman, then maybe you should hang in there a little while longer and see what develops, so to speak."