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March 20, 2005

Knocked up

Suppose you were pregnant and your boyfriend had agreed to marry you, but you lived at opposite ends of the country, and suddenly a really cute single guy came into your life. What would you do? You would see where it led and then write a memoir called "Knocked Up: Confessions of a Hip-Mother-to-Be." And, of course, you would write about it in the Sunday Styles section of the New York Times (section motto: "where all the latest decadent societal trends that originate in New York and the rest of blue America are heralded").

If you don't have the flavor of this piece yet, try this:

When we went to the movies, people gazed at us with the warm approval generally bestowed upon pregnant couples. I suppose we looked wholesome and happy. And I couldn't help but think that he and I would have a very good-looking baby.

At first, I thought C.S.M. [Cute Single Man] pitied me. Actually, I thought he was attracted to my big pregnant breasts. I was right in both instances.

After all, there I was, two cups larger than my pre-pregnant self and not yet with a belly, alone in a big city, pregnant, while the father was a four-hour plane ride away. But C.S.M. shouldn't have pitied me. It was my choice.
Or this:
To the extent that we could, we kept "us" a secret. C.S.M. did not tell his friends about me, and I told mine - those who knew - simply that I liked him and that he made me laugh.

But I knew we were crossing some line. If my fiancé were hanging out in his city with a cute single woman, I would have killed him. C.S.M. never spoke of the fiancé, and I never spoke of C.S.M. to the fiancé. If the fiancé suspected, he turned a blind eye. The denial! We were all swept up in it.

When I was very pregnant and it was time to leave C.S.M. to be with the fiancé, my heart cracked. I cried on the plane. I no longer had any idea what I wanted. But I was having a baby in a few weeks. My life was about to change completely, and I was mostly wrapped up with the facts: I had gained 47 pounds, I could barely walk, and I was going to have an actual human thing to look after.
Got that? An "actual human thing"? But that's not really her point, of course; her point is me, me, me.

Now, the surprise ending is not that she moved west and had trouble with her fiancé, and didn't actually marry him. That's not a surprise at all. What is a surprise is a surprise only on the internet version, where the author description is at the very end. It turns out that the author is not from "blue" America at all. She is Canadian. Ah, yes, Canadian, which brings her mistake into greater focus. If only she had become engaged to marry another woman, none of this would have happened.