I don’t know how any alcoholic who’s trying to diet survives winter. When I first learned I was pregnant, in New York, when others drank wine, I asked the waitress for their dessert menu. If I couldn’t drink, dammit, there would be cheesecake! This didn’t last. I walked into yellow bistros with red banquette seating, antique mirrors, Marlena Dietrich, and I didn’t know how to order sparkling water. In lieu of alcohol, I suppose there’s caffeine. Or a pot de creme cocoa. Dress in black, rig a twist of scarf around my neck, nestle in with a book and a bottomless cup of something strong. A box of clove cigarettes. A rich pot of butter and a warm basket of French breads, with dusted white tops. My something strong is now willpower.
I suppose you can do pregnant chic by wearing fitted black dresses and quilted ballet flats, but you cannot do it here. In Texas broody doesn’t work. It’s easier to be pregnant here, without girlfriends insisting we get together for cocktails. Here’s what I have noticed though: it’s also a lot easier to sit on your ass at night and watch television. When I lived in New York, I never watched it. I had co-workers who raced home to watch 24. I’d try a new restaurant, go to a reading, a bar, some event. I never sat home. Now, I’m addicted to Bravo’s Project Runway and awaiting the new season of Top Chef. I’ve tivo’d “pilot” so I don’t miss any of the new fall shows (it’s my job now to watch pilot episodes, now that I’m writing one for NBC Universal). I’m becoming a homebody, and I don’t like it. It feels lazy. It will be one thing when there are babies to whom I’ll need to attend, but for now, there’s no excuse for this lazy living. If I’m not throwing up, I should be out. Maybe with my camera, laptop, or a handbag with a small notebook stashed away. Maybe with a scarf dressed in black. I’m making a vow to go out at least four nights a week for live music, a poetry reading, anything really, as long as it’s not me on the sofa watching television. There’s no excuse for this, aside from mandatory bed rest. I’m not there yet. I’m here, and I need to know it.