>Yesterday Husband and I rented a car (a shitty Hyundi Sonata – I do not recommend it) and drove up to see our friends in MA. My friend is VERY, VERY pregnant and is having the kid in 3 weeks. I went up to have a little shower for her, and Husband joined me for the ride. He hung out with Friend’s Husband and 2 ¾ year old son while we went out for tea.

We were joined by three other women at the tea house. When they saw how large her belly was, they all asked how she was feeling. “It’s like having a bowling ball sit on my pelvis,” Friend replied. “I am so ready for this baby to come out.” He is probably going to be over 9 lbs when he is born. (Reasons number 61 and 447.2 why I am not having children.)

The tea was lovely. I could have used more clotted cream, but the scone was soft and warm. I used three sugar cubes over the course of tea in my cup, but I refrained from eating any. The egg salad, cucumber and cream cheese, and the crab salad tea sandwiches were scrumptious. The ginger chicken salad and salmon salad were like mush with dill on marble bread. Most disappointing. Desserts were interesting and included a frozen strawberry filled with custard and capped with white chocolate. Overall, it was an especially worthwhile tea at only $15.95.

More important, the company was great. It was Friend, her friend who already has two kids under the age of four, two women in the process of having a kid together, and me. Out of the five of us, three had had breast reduction surgeries and one other person was planning to have one in the near future. We all agreed that it is ridiculous to shave off your pubes, especially before going to the OB-GYN. Especially if you are so pregnant that you cannot see your snatch anyway.

One of the women revealed that the hormones released post-pregnancy change the color of your pubes. I thought that sounded a bit like the leaves in autumn. Think about how lovely fall can be. People drive around the countryside looking at the leaves. While I doubt you want people observing your crotch in the same way, if you shave them off, you would miss out on an exciting event. How sad would that be?

As all good things must come to an end, Husband and I drove home after the tea. Husband was exhausted from playing with Friend’s son. “How the hell do people do that every day?” he wanted to know. I felt bad for Husband, so I offered to drive all the way back. This meant (drumroll) driving into Manhattan. Generally, the thought of driving in Manhattan terrifies me. I don’t particularly love driving too much, and I hate traffic and situations where it is likely I will run a pedestrian down while I am looking at a store window. For these reasons (plus cabs – enough said there), I have avoided driving in NYC the entire 12 years I have lived here. (OK, not the entire 12 years. Once I moved a car we had parked on W. 72nd St from a broken meter to a space three spots up the street. It was a Sunday morning at 8 am, though, so there were other cars parked there nor was there any traffic at all.)

I almost backed out of it while we stopped for gas in Westchester County. Husband reassured me that traffic was likely to be somewhat light at 12:30 am, so I took a deep breath and decided that it was now or never. Mostly the ride was fine although there was this white van full of (I swear) Mormons that was driving like 20 miles an hour on the West Side Highway/Henry Hudson Parkway and breaking at every bump as well as swerving a bit. This led me to change lanes. Go me!

I got to W. 79th, successfully navigated the traffic circle (not a soul was in sight), and then headed down Riverside Drive. I made a left on 76th, stopped at the light on West End Ave. An old man with a cane crossed the street, then the light turned green. I waved at Brother-in-Law’s soon to be ex-apartment (“Look at me! I’m driving in Manhattan!”) as I drove by carefully. Somehow, the light at Broadway was still green when I got there, so I whizzed by. Some skanky girls looked like they might try and cross against the light at Amsterdam, but fortunately decided to wait until the walk sign appeared. We found a parking spot not far from our apartment that could fit an elephant and his older brother. Like an idiot, I first attempted to pull into it, but had to get out and back in. At that point, I did not notice the cab behind me, but he gently reminded me of his presence before I backed into the spot. I waited for him to go by, backed in, pulled up a bit, backed up a bit, pulled up a bit, backed up a bit, pulled up a bit, and bam! We were in.

Yes, Saturday was very nice. Plus, while I was visiting Friend, another Friend From Home (Chicago) called and asked if Husband and I would be interested in joining her and some other folks on a 10 day tour of India in the spring. Oh, yes I would! Gonna find out more about that today. Very exciting stuff indeed.

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