My friend Renee is pregnant again.
Renee is my LA friend, but right when Marvin and I moved to North Carolina, she and her husband moved to Maui.
Yes, I hate her too. And now she's knocked up on Maui.
I met Renee in 2000, when she and I were both training for a marathon. We were in the slow group, which is also how I met my high school best friend; we were in the slow group in gym. My lack of athletic ability has garnered me many similarly uncoordinated friends.
At any rate, those of us training for this marathon met in the park every Saturday morning. Each week we'd run one mile farther than the week before. Because we were the slowest runners on planet Earth, we were sometimes there, you know, four or five hours at a time. You can imagine how you kind of get to know a person this way.
In fact it was funny, because our running group, our slowest-runners-on-planet-Earth running group, noticed a trend in our running conversation, so to speak. For the first eight miles of the run? We'd find ourselves talking about food. "Man, doesn't a Big Mac sound delicious," one of us would say, or, "I had the best lasagna last night." "Oooo! Tell us about it."
Food food food. Those were the first eight miles.
Mile nine? Sex. I am not even kidding you. I do not know what physiological changes occurred in our bodies, but someone would say something crude and I'd go, "Wait, was that mile 9 back there? Yep. Here we go."
Anyway, by the time we ran the marathon, Renee and I had sweated, chafed, bled, cried, gotten nauseated, cramped, and giggled together every weekend for six months. I remember running one morning, the sun barely up, and I announced, "I had to pull a dry cleaner bag out of Francis' butt this morning."
It was true. I did. I was getting dressed in the dark, putting Glide on my important parts so I'd chafe less, when I heard, "swish swish swish." Poor Francis, who loves him some plastic, had eaten and passed a dry cleaner bag, and it was sticking out the other end. I didn't know you are ABSOLUTELY NOT supposed to just pull it out, because you could pull out random intestine parts, but pull it out I did.
I told this story and Renee had to stop running, she was so bent over in hysterics about poor Francis and his dry cleaner butt. Right then I knew we'd be friends forever.
The part where she's pregnant again is exciting and also melancholy, because I am responsible for her first pregnancy. You know, sort of. In that I bought her a pregnancy test. Otherwise she'd have been one of those women who go to the bathroom one day and come out with a baby.
In 2005 Renee and I were going to go to the movies, so I drove to her house to pick her up. She was in the backyard, putting dog toys outside. "The dog's toys smelled so bad!" she said, gingerly tossing a bone.
When we were in line for the movie, I said, "You wanna split one of those big bags of M&Ms?" She said no and I told her not to be so LA. "No," Renee explained. "I want to eat one of those big things of M&Ms all by myself."
And you know she did? Before Alfie was even done with his first girlfriend. Yes, we went to see Alfie, the Jude Law remake. That's how good of a friend she is, letting me drag her to that thing.
Now, if you are delicate? This next part is a trifle crude, and I am sorry, but this is what happened, so you can skip this paragraph and stampede to the buying of the test if you want. But after the movie? We went to a popular candle store, let's just say, and all the candles had a certain…odor…to Renee. "What is this one, Vagina Oyster Stew?" she bellowed across the store, holding it out at me. And why do people want you to come over and smell something bad WITH them? "Is this Vanilla Vulva? Blueberry Butt-ass?" I mean, she was obsessed.
"Come on, Renee," I told her. "Let's get to the drug store." And even though she was married and in her 30s, she made ME buy the test. Like they were gonna talk about her after she left or something. Like the people at Yankee Candle Store weren't already abuzz about her.
At any rate, her daughter Charlotte is four now, and about to have a new baby sister. Yes, I know that Renee is having a girl, even though she's like a month and a half pregnant. I told you I am good at this stuff.
Renee said she was SO MAD that she had to go into the drug store herself over there in Maui, and she purchased a pregnancy test and some stickers–STICKERS!–to throw the cashier off, there.
What did it was she recently entered a house and it smelled like cat pee, butt, mold, and cheese. And she said the SMELL has STAYED in her NOSE HOLES until this very second. And it's making her sick and all she wants is Perrier and Bubble Yum, which is all she wanted last time.
I really do not see what is so alluring about being pregnant. Blech.
Anyway, please join me in congratulating my slow-running, candle-scent-announcing, living-on-Maui friend Renee. I think June is a lovely girl's name.