It is confirmed. The taciturn couple upstairs are with child.
I have been careful not to pry or comment, lest the young lady’s discernible weight gain turned out to be her winter blubbering.
I’ve seen this mistake made enough times to know that a woman’s precipitous corpulence is a conversational No-No Zone. To query is to invite carnage. That’s why, hard to believe, I have never speculated about a woman’s maternity just because she look like she’s having trouble digesting a basketball. I may be an asshole, but I’m no moron.
I’ve always played this one carefully. Once, I went to a party where a friend I hadn’t seen for awhile did, in fact, appear to be swollen in the the fullness of her womb. Curious, but mindful of making a faux pas, I took the precaution of asking all the women if they were pregnant. When it came time to ask my friend, she said yes, she was expecting, and she joked that it anyone who asks a woman that has to be a complete asshole. To which I replied something along the lines of, “Nonsense. I always ask women if they’re pregnant. By the way, that skirt makes you look like Octomom.”
It has been a similar challenge to confirm my neighbor’s maternity. She and her husband (boyfriend, first cousin, whatever) are not the most forthcoming tenants of the Alcazar Flats. I’m not saying they are bad people. They’re cordial, but apparently not sociable. While I’m on the subjects, I’d like to state for the record that the couple upstairs were always quiet, kept to themselves, and never bothered anybody. Whatever their names are. I’ve lived here 12 months and I still don’t know. Even vigilant sorting through their mail has proven fruitless, as former tenants continue to receive correspondence at this address.
This maternity thing proved to be a waiting game. At some point, it just became obvious that there was a legitimate pregnancy going on here. But, just to be on the safe side, I decided to fly the question by the guy.
“I guess congratulations are in order,” I said to him as we passed outside the apartments. In retrospect, this seems like a dumb thing to say. What was I really saying? “Congratulations for having an adequate sperm count?” Say it was a pregnancy, but it was an accident? How did I know if the guy was miserable, having been forced into a marriage by the couple’s shotgun wielding grandfather? And if the young lady weren’t really pregnant, in what context would her mate take my statement?
Everything worked out in the end, though. Turned out I guessed right. He didn’t say it in words, so much. It was more the way his head bobbed up and down as he walked away from me without even acknowledging I was there.