Today will be a day of awkward meals. With the exception of breakfast, lunch and dinner will surely be accompanied by awkward conversations. Let’s break it down:
My wife and I are having lunch with a lesbian couple we were courting for friendship last year. We had enough in common (besides the gay) to make it a worthwhile pursuit, and during the courtship, we found our collective selves bonding over the fact that neither couple wanted to have kids. We mourned the loss of our no-longer-childless couple friends while knocking back beer after beer. Here’s to being barren spinsters! Yeah! Practically moments after that particular barbecue, my wife and I had a sudden change of heart and started the conception process, though intentionally neglected to tell anyone, much less this particular set of friends. When it came time for the big PR roll-out, they didn’t fall into any particular category that got notified (not included in the Christmas letter, not on facebook, etc.), so they actually found out courtesy of my tipsy lesbian boss who was at a concert with them soon after we told everyone. Ever since, when we run into either part of the couple, it is painfully awkward to force small-talk. So why not invite them to lunch, and get all that awkward over with?
Tonight I am having dinner with one of my band members who is driving two hours, probably in the snow, to see me and talk. Prior to making the dinner date, the last time I spoke to him was via email the day after our big show in October. Yes, October. Some big band drama went down weeks before the show and exploded into a gazillion raggedy lethal pieces the day after the show. Think shrapnel. I’d love to blame our showless-ness on my pregnant self, but the fact of the matter is some of us just aren’t talking to others of us, which makes it kind of hard to book a show. It’s been eating at me since October that he and I have talked, but it didn’t feel like my place to break the silence. Maybe enough time has passed or he’s had a change of heart, but he’s offered to make the two hours drive down to have dinner with me. I’m not sure what to make of the meet-up – if we’ll re-hash some drama, or if it will be as if something happened that we’re not going to talk about, and we’ll catch up on everything else and try to move forward.
So I’m nervous about both awkward meals, for various reasons. I fear being caught in a place where my wife and I are justifying our pregnancy to two militant anti-children lesbians, of which we were once. I fear uncomfortable silence over pizza slices with a guy I’ve known for eight years, because I just don’t know what will make things better. At least I’m getting these both done in the same day, although I can’t promise having an actual appetite for either meal.