“If it's a lie, then we fight on that lie.” —Slim Charles
One of the best things about The Wire is that, even almost a decade after the last episode aired, you can still incorporate lines from the show to describe everyday situations. Order cream of chicken with wild rice at Panera Bread, and it comes out lukewarm? Say, “Y’all n—gas is giving me way too many 40-degree days!” At a National Society of Black Engineers conference where you’re asked to wear a name tag? Reply, “My name is my name!” Playing flag football with a group of friends, and someone tries to grab you? Tease with, “You come at the king, you best not miss.”
And as my membership in the “Having an Increasingly Pregnant-Ass Wife” club rounds month eight, no line would better encapsulate this experience so far than that line from Slim Charles.
Now, is everything they tell you about having a pregnant wife a lie? No. Much of it is true.
Awkward cravings? Check! Last week my wife had a Caesar salad, popcorn, couscous and ice cream for dinner. Twice.
Sleep deprivation? Check! She gets up to pee 17 times a night, which means I’m woken up 17 times a night.
Daddy gaining pregnancy weight? Check! I play basketball three to five times a week, so I’ve been able to somewhat manage my own weight gain. But if this “me eating as much as she does” continued for longer than nine months, I’d have to play 33 to 45 times a week to continue to manage.
People will offer you unsolicited—and graphic—advice? Check! If I had a dollar for every Target cashier who saw my wife’s belly and took that as an invitation to tell us about her multiple C-sections, I’d have enough money to buy the stuff we came to get at Target.
No one will give a damn about you anymore? Check! Sample conversation:
“Hey, Damon. How’s your wife doing?”
“OK, great. I’ll talk to you later.”
“Wait, I thought you were calling to say ‘Happy birthday.’ You do know today’s my birthday, right?”
“I know. You’re 35, though. I already said happy birthday to you 34 other years. No need to keep doing it.”
Your wife will have some mood swings? Check! Have you ever been called an “inconsiderate a—hole” and “sweetheart” within a three-minute span? No? Well, I suggest you go get a pregnant wife so you can experience that, too!
Again, all of these things that they said would happen have happened. They were right about those things. But none of that matters because it’s all based on a lie.
Pregnancy does not last for nine months. Pregnancy lasts for 38 to 42 weeks. Which, according to my math, is 10 months. Not nine. Ten. Ten months!
You first find this out when first visiting the doctor. The doctor says something like, “After month nine, be prepared to have the baby at any time.” And then you say, “After month nine? Don’t you mean after month eight? Isn’t the pregnancy over after nine months?” And then the doctor says, “Nope. It’s actually 10 months.”
And then you say, “Wait. If all doctors know that it’s 10 months, and everyone who’s been pregnant before knows it’s 10 months, why does everyone continue to say nine months?” And then the doctor says, “Um, I have other appointments today.” And you’re like, “I don’t give a damn. I’m not leaving until you tell me why everyone lies about this.”
And then the doctor calls security, and then you and your wife jump out the second-floor window before security gets there. And then you and your wife agree that you should probably find a new doctor now.
And then you spend the rest of the pregnancy wondering why Every. Single. Person. repeats the nine-month lie even though Every. Single. Person. Who. Has. Ever. Been. Pregnant. Or. Has. Had. A. Pregnant. Significant. Other. knows that it’s a lie. And then, when you ask people why they continue to say nine months even though every one knows it’s 10, they say, “I don’t know. That’s just the way it’s done.” Basically, we’ve collectively agreed to repeat, refresh and repeat a lie. Pregnancy turns us into the Bush administration.
But I refuse to play along. I’m not going to be a part of this conspiracy. You will not hear the nine-month lie from me anymore. I no longer give a damn about the pregnancy Illuminati. Perhaps I did, eight months ago, but after finishing the eighth month and realizing that there are still two more to go, I’m officially out of f—ks to give. So come and get me. Because I’m ready to fight about this lie.
Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VerySmartBrothas.com. He is also a contributing editor at Ebony.com. He lives in Pittsburgh and he really likes pancakes. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.