Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Sunday Lunch

Grandmama is the best at indirectly causing a family stir. Sunday was no different.

Every so often she invites the whole family over for dinner; Mother & Stepfather, Father & Lady-Friend, Sister, Brother-in-law and Nephew, Solicitor and Me. In most cases some of us can't make it.

Mother and Stepfather tend to cancel more than the others. I don't think Mother's quite gotten over the fact that Grandmama loves my Father like her own son, and that she never took sides during my parents divorce.

Sunday was a rare occasion when we were all present. Solicitor thought it would be an ideal opportunity to tell everybody about the baby. In theory, it's ideal. In practice... well...

"I've got something that I want to say to everyone." I said smiling.

"You're pregnant." Grandmama stated. "I know, darling, it's quite obvious." She smiled across the table and nodded knowingly.

It wasn't so obvious to my mother. The shock, followed by mortification, was so apparent.

"My God!" She glared at me furiously. "How can you embarrass yourself like that?"

"Excuse me?"

"Have you no shame, Elise? Pregnant out of wedlock!"

"Please." My Father cut in rather dryly. "You have no right to talk about shame."

"And what's that supposed to mean?" Mother shot back at him.

"You actually want me to talk about it then?" Father raised his eyebrows.

"Enough!" Grandmama slammed down her wine glass.

A few moments of silence passed.

"Congratulations." Brother-in-law supplied awkwardly.

Sister leaned across the table and gripped my hand.

Another few moments of silence.

"I can't believe you just blurted it out without even speaking to me first!" Mother hissed.

I felt my cheeks flush with rage.

"With you?" I asked incredulously. "You're the last person I would have told if I decided to tell everyone separately."

Mother clanged down her cutlery.

"Elise..." Sister whispered, half warning, half pleading.

"It's not like you've been a model mother." I carried on spitefully. It was childish but she made me so angry.

"I did what I thought was right." Mother said stiffly.

"Having an affair and pissing off?" Father nodded thoughtfully. "Yep, sounds like you thought about it."

The entire table stilled. I suddenly felt cold.

"That's enough!" Grandmama shouted standing up. "It's in the past." She glared at Mother and Father. "In the past!" She repeated with emphasis. She slowly and gracefully sat down.

A few moments of reflective silence passed. Grandmama was right. It was so far back in the past it shouldn't have ever been brought up.

"Are you having a baby, Aunt Elise?" Nephew asked curiously.

"Yes, babe." I answered smiling, thinking of the little person inside.

"Why is everyone angry?"

"Eat your carrots." Sister snapped.

"I don't like carrots!" Nephew moaned. "Dad, do I have to eat the carrots?"

"No, eat what you can." Brother-in-law said kindly.

"Thanks." Sister said sarcastically. "You're supposed to back me up."

"What do you want me to do?" Brother-in-law whispered. Sister threw him a look. "Fine! You're mother told you to eat you're carrots."

Nephew sat back in him chair. "No."

"Wonderful!" Sister glared at Brother-in-law. "You deal with him."

"So how did you know Elise was pregnant?" Stepfather asked Grandmama suddenly. He bit his lip as soon as te words left his mouth. It was obvious he was trying to make conversation but said the wrong thing.

"She's got a glow." Lady-Friend smiled warmly. "I thought there was something new about her."

"And how many pregnant women do you know?" Mother snapped.

"I don't want my carrots!" Nephew yelled.

I buried my face in my hands.

"Do you want ice-cream?" Solicitor asked Nephew. "Eat your carrots first and you can come and help me dish it out."

"The first logical thing I've heard all night." Grandmama beamed at Solicitor. "Top up my glass, dear boy. It looks like it's going to be a long day."


Cocaine Princess said...

Oh my Lord! I can't believe how there are some who still think having a child out of wedlock is a bad thing.

I'm sure that's not how you expected things to go. You and solicitor have each each other and that's enough. Good to know grammy is in your corner. Stay healthy and happy Elise.

Malach the Merciless said...

AWESOME! You really should write a book

Polgara said...

I am so so so pleased for you!
Congratulations :0)
Obviously i'm biased still being on maternity with Imogen but you will love it!
When are you due? Have you thought of any names? Do you want a boy or a girl?
Come on i want to know it all!!!!
So chuffed for you :0)
Pol x

Elise said...

Princess: Hahaha! Yep Grandmama is with me on this one. Mother's just mad that she wasn't told first.

Malach: A book? What should I write about?

Pol: Where the hell have you been?? I've missed you? Hows Imogen?

Glugster said...

Holy crap. I didn't realise I've been away that long!

So I guess a slightly overdue congratulations is in order?


Kitty said...

Families!!! Who'd have 'em? x

presious said...

Well Elise,

Your family sounds like! Does that make us normal?!

Your mom would have made me mad too. Personally, but no offense, she has a lot of gawl to go there with you.

Your father, on the other hand, gotta love him. I like grandma too. Baby will get some good old fashion love from grandma. Solicitor is off to a good start as a father by telling nephew to eat the carrots first before the ice cream. Kids respond to compromise well.

Oh by the way, you write so well. I agree with Malach with your writing a book or short stories. All your entries are like reading a good book :).

Stay focused. Don't let your mom make you miserable. Moms will be moms. They get stuck in their ways. We have to resolve that it is not our problem, it's hers.

Being a mom of four children, and having had a mom who had anger issues and did not get it at all, I also agree with Polgara.

In addition, you will be able to make the life for your child that you wanted for yourself...kind of like a healing process. Your inner child and your baby will grow together.

Embrace and have fun!

Polgara said...

There's a new post with photo's just for you!
Imogen is fantastic and beautiful and gorgeous and cute and yeah mummy's biased lol
I'm still around, we got a lot going on, some of it i cant post about but you got my e-mail hun, no need to miss me!!
Pol x

Slyde said...

wow... now THATS a family dinner. That couldnt have been easy... that rivaled some of my family's more famous outtings..

Linda and her Twaddle said...

Morning sickness. Oh, five months of it I had. And cravings for disgusting foods.

Nice news for you. Babies are nice things - when they are your own especially.

Cocaine Princess said...

Sweet Elise it's Mother's Day where I live. With your precious one inside of you it makes you a mom-to-be.

Happy Mother's Day.