Expecting. To smell everything.

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, 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. 

A picture from the day we found out Renee was pregnant.

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.

30 thoughts on “Expecting. To smell everything.

  1. My sister is so going to make fun of me for my comment…and only she will get this….but I DON’T CARE!
    Congrats to your friend! I, too, was insanely sensitive to smells when I was preggo. We lived upstairs from a guy who was a painter and I thought he was cleaning his paint brushes with Vagina Oyster Stew.
    Here’s the part sissy will make fuin of me for and tell me to go have a period already and quit being so emotional.
    I love the picture of you and Renee. I mean, look how genuinely happy you both are. You are so onbiously happy for her. And you took a picture together to mark the occasion. I’ve had good friends in my life, but I don’t think that good. Your friends are blessed to have you, June. *sniff*


  2. Gazoweeie, is all I have to say. I had a friend who had been on a trip to India and felt something wrigglying one day as she sat and shat. Smart girl she was, she took her handy rubber gloves and pulled out a 10 inch tape worm.


  3. There is absolutely NOTHING alluring about being pregnant, I assure you. NOTHING. Except for the precious reward that comes out at the very end — that is ALL. Oh, and it was kind of fun when they kicked. But I don’t miss it one iota.
    Congrats to your friend, though, and I was snorting wine and pistachios out my nose during the part about her in the candle store. (I guess you know what I’m having for dinner.)


  4. So if the good-smelling things smell bad, do the bad smelling things smell…..good?
    I think Bronwen is a good name.
    Being pregnant in Hawaii sounds perfect.
    We used to have to pull tinsel out of our cats butts every Christmas. We looked forward to it. The cat didn’t though.


  5. Preg 1–The smell of white out (the liquid stuff) and meat cooking made me sick and all I wanted to eat were garbanzo beans.
    Preg 2–No smells, but I would cry at the drop of a hat. Watching Schindler’s List during that time was a bad bad idea. Wanted steak and milk at every meal.
    Also, my cat Dolly has been eating the cotton snow from the christmas village all weekend, I finally had to remove it this morning. From the table. Other less appealing snow removal will be happening soon I’m sure.


  6. Being pregnant is insane. I’m glad I had both of mine at the same time. That “pregnancy amnesia” I hear about must come for different people at different times. Otherwise I just don’t understand how people do it more than once.
    I didn’t have a smelling problem. I just wanted to eat chalk and dirt. Yep.


  7. Maybe that’s why that cat is so cranky all the time. I’d be a bit of a pisser to if someone yanked an ENTIRE PLASTIC BAG out of my ass.


  8. I agree, June is a lovely girl’s name. And from someone who has been pregnant three times, what is the allure? There is none. It sucked mightily. All three times. I know! Vagina Oyster Stew and Blueberry Butt-Ass made me spit Diet Coke out my nose. Ouch.


  9. Congratulations to Renee and her family. A new baby is so very exciting!
    I had smell problems throughout all three of my pregnancies. The worst? Urine. Ugh. I could hardly use a public restroom. It was awful.
    June is a lovely name. Marvin is also a lovely name. Or Francis, Winston or Henry.


  10. June, now that you are working from home and can make your own schedule, you should plan a trip to Maui to see Renee. You could be her doula!
    Renee sounds like a fun friend. Love the names of the candles she bellowed out at the store!
    When I was pregnant I could smell meat a mile away. My husband said I was like a bloodhound.


  11. I was wondering if Yankee Candle made any of those scents in Car Jars. I think they’d be great stocking stuffers.
    Congrats to Renee!


  12. I was wondering if Yankee Candle made any of those scents in Car Jars. I think they’d be great stocking stuffers.
    Congrats to Renee!


  13. I was wondering if Yankee Candle made any of those scents in Car Jars. I think they’d be great stocking stuffers.
    Congrats to Renee!


  14. congratulations. I always thought Maui smelled like pineapples and lovely big flowers. Guess not.
    When I was pregnant I could smell a squirrel fart from 3 blocks away. For reals!
    I have a sensitive nose anyways, but during the pregnancy it just got ridiculous. I totally understand about a smell getting stuck in your nose holes, it has happened to me as well.
    Have a happy pregnancy and yes, June is a lovely name.


  15. When I was first pregnant and living in Jacksonville, NC, I could smell the bushes outside our little apartment and they smelled terrible. I thought I was insane. How could I smell green, leafy bushes? They made me so sick.
    The people in Jacksonville were lovely, though.


  16. Congratulations Renee on your fantastic news.
    My pregnancies sucked. All three of my kids were premature. The earliest I delivered was almost 8 weeks. He’s 22 and 6’3″, 215lbs now.
    When I was pregnant with my youngest I used to make my husband run to this specific ice cream parlor for hot fudge sundaes with double pecans. They were open until midnight so he often made those runs. He’s my ex now so I don’t feel guilty at all.


  17. Dear June, my best friend is having a baby. Can you please tell me the gender, so I don’t have to buy that bullshizzle ‘gender neutral’ stuff as a shower present? I don’t want her to have a neutered baby.
    Regards, your Accidental Friend


  18. Gimme a heart attack, why don’t cha… Glad for your sweet friend, and even more glad that Bye Bye Pie will not be Bye Bye Baby anytime soon (unless of course you want it to be…)


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