Friday, April 25, 2008

The Best Secret Keeper (or at least a much-improved Secret Keeper)

I have been known to have difficulty keeping some secrets. I am sort of surprised that people keep entrusting me with very valuable and classified pieces of information. They say, “Whatever you do, Melissa, don’t tell a soul!”

Well, I can avoid “telling a soul” if no soul ASKS. But as soon as someone looks me in my bare naked eyes and asks me out right if a certain suspicion they have is true…I cannot tell a lie. I falter, I cannot make an untruth sound cool and natural. My face goes red. I spill.

So no one believed that I would be able to keep my pregnancy a secret for the conventional ten weeks without spilling the beans. I did (mostly).

And a few things aided in my success.

1: My husband was adamant we not tell and he became distressed at any discussions revolving around the idea of letting the cat out of the bag even a week early. And I respect him deeply.

2: My friends are, for the most part, too tactful to outright ask a woman if she is pregnant. I have always been somewhat sensitive about my weight. Asking a weight-sensitive person if she is pregnant is like playing Russian Roulette (replacing the bullet with an explosion of self-loathing, a chain of vulgar words and an inconsolable cry-fest).

3: In truth, I wasn’t entirely successful. I broke my silence in just enough ways to ensure my success with the rest of the general public. This wasn’t a conscious decision, but I am certain it helped.

How did I break my silence? Well, I asked Mark if I could have ONE person, with whom I could talk all about my “state” from the very moment we found out. I ensured him this would mean he’d have to hear about it (and all the very gory details) far less. So I confided in my best friend, Hilary, who is also a doctor.And one day, I was writing an e-mail to Hilary regarding exercise and pregnancy. I began the e-mail by indicating how “far along” I was. So it began with… “I am five and half weeks pregnant….and the doctor says…..”

She replied with an article about Exercise and Pregnancy. I thought to myself, “Delia would enjoy this article. I’ll forward it to her.” Oh now, I foresaw that if I was not careful, this could completely blow my cover. So I was so meticulous. I forwarded the attachment, but I erased and changed the main subject of the e-mail and then I erased the body of the e-mail. I sent her the article and then I phoned her to tell her I’d sent her something.

Here is what I did not know. The internet browser that Hilary uses, attached the original e-mail I sent her (the one beginning with I AM FIVE AND A HALF WEEKS PREGNANT...) to the document. So Delia received a forward with two attachments. One was the article I’d intended to send her (but of course she didn’t open that one first). No, while she was on the phone with me, she opened the original e-mail I’d sent Hilary and she got very quiet on the other end of the phone and then she stated, “You’re pregnant!” I calmly replied (because I had practiced), “Delia, now you KNOW I can’t keep a secret. If I was pregnant, I’d tell you.”

I thought I was quite convincing. But she cried, “NO, I’m reading it right here!”

There was the bag….and the cat was gone. And I maintain, it was not my fault!

Regardless, for the rest of the world, they would have to wait until nine and a half weeks, which is the equivalent of ten weeks in my very overly-eager mind.

And that is a success in my books.

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