I saw my friend, Gary, last week. He’s an engineer at Pratt and Whitney, and he served as a judge in my annual science fair.
I have known Gary for at least a decade. I’ve played football, basketball, poker and hours of videogames with him. He was a groomsman in my wedding. If I had to list my friends in order of importance, he would most certainly crack the top 1o.
Gary is also a close friend to some of my closest friends, including my best friend of 25 years and my partner in Patriots season tickets.
Despite all of this, Gary was surprised last week at the science fair to see that my wife is almost eight months pregnant. He had no idea.
Not only had I failed to mention this to him, but Shep and Bengi, who see him almost every week, failed to mention it to him as well.
Is this a problem? A sign of trouble in our friendship?
I don’t think so. I think it’s remarkable that he didn’t know that Elysha was pregnant considering the number of means by which he could have received the news, but then again, every person who might have told him that my wife was pregnant was male.
Guys just don’t talk about these things out of context.
If Elysha’s pregnancy impinged on an upcoming golf outing or a poker game or a Guy Weekend, Gary would’ve heard about it.
If we had found ourselves discussing our children, I might have thought to mention it.
If Gary was on Facebook or Twitter, he would know.
But none of these things happened.
My wife’s pregnancy did not interfere with any plans. We never found ourselves in a conversation that might prompt the sharing of the news. And though Gary has a Facebook account, he almost never visits the site.
What was I supposed to do? Call all of my friends to tell them our news? Can you even imagine that conversation?
Me: Hi Gary. It’s Matt. I just wanted to let you know that Elysha is pregnant.
Gary: Oh, great. Congratulations.
Me: Thanks. (long pause) Okay, so I guess I’ll talk to you later.
Gary: Sounds good. Bye.
Seriously. I think this is exactly how that conversation would have sounded.
Therefore, I think Gary finding out now makes perfect sense.
I also find myself wondering who else might not know that Elysha is pregnant, because there might be a few friends who don’t, and if so, it might be fun to keep the news from them long enough for the baby to be born.
In Gary’s case, the key to him not knowing was threefold:
- My wife and his wife, while friendly, are not really friends.
- The friends that Gary and I share feel the same way about this kind of news that I do: If it comes up in context, fine, otherwise, we don’t even think to mention it.
- He does not use Facebook or read my blog regularly.
Keeping this criteria in mind, I actually think that I have two friends who might not know that Elysha is pregnant. One is Scott and the other is Coog. Both are connected to me through the same guys who connect me and Gary, so unless they thought to mention to the news to Scott but not Gary, my secret is safe. Also, Elysha is not friends with Scott’s wife or Coog’s girlfriend.
Most important, neither of them uses Facebook on a regular basis, if at all.
I’ve known Coog since high school.
I’ve known Scott for well over a decade. I married him and his wife, served as the DJ at their wedding as well, and I have conducted two of his children’s baby naming ceremonies. He refers to me as his family’s minister.
If we can have a baby without either one of them ever knowing about the pregnancy, that would be AWESOME.