LAST LOOK

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Rear View - JANE FRASER

AY­OUNG friend’s wife is preg­nant. I asked him how she was go­ing: had she put on a lot of weight, was she in any way emo­tional and in­clined to out­bursts? He looked at me through his eye­lashes and, with ‘‘ liar’’ writ­ten on his fore­head, said she was as slim as the prover­bial pin, and in very good spir­its. It’s a good thing, he said, gri­mac­ing, that he was ac­cus­tomed to deal­ing with de­mented orang- utans.

The re­cently an­nounced baby boom is good news in­deed and there are yummy mum­miesin- the- mak­ing all over the place, so take care not to do or say any­thing that might trig­ger an out­burst or you’ll pay dearly for it; don’t tan­gle with a hor­mon­ally charged wo­man.

( I know this will have the sis­ter­hood up in arms, but I would find it too risky to fly on a plane with a wo­man pilot; cer­tainly one of my daugh­ters, at cer­tain times of the month, would be more than ca­pa­ble of plough­ing an air­bus into a moun­tain.)

In the old days, with a bump the size of an adult whale, I was watch­ing my brother play in a ten­nis tour­na­ment, which he was los­ing; as he served his fi­nal dou­ble- fault I flung my­self to the ground sob­bing. And it wasn’t as if it was Wim­ble­don; it was at the Zoo Lake Ten­nis Club, mem­ber­ship 40, spectators four.

At about the same time, a preg­nant friend sug­gested to her hus­band as he hur­ried off to work that they lunch to­gether; he said he couldn’t pos­si­bly, he was up to his eye­balls with things to do. She de­cided to sur­prise him with a pic­nic lunch in his of­fice.

When her hus­band ar­rived at the of­fice his boss rushed through and hissed, ‘‘ it’s Sec­re­tary’s Day, and I was tak­ing mine to lunch but I’m needed up­stairs; you have to do it’’. He had no op­tion.

His wife ar­rived; when told her hus­band had taken the boss’s PA to lunch, she shot swiftly up her um­brage tree and took her­self to the posh ho­tel packed with per­sonal as­sis­tants and their su­pe­ri­ors where she did what any ex­pec­tant mother would do. Went to the smor­gas­bord, picked up two hand­fuls of tri­fle, wad­dled to the ta­ble where her hus­band and that wo­man were clearly hav­ing the time of their lives, and threw the dessert on the hap­less wo­man’s head.

Ob­vi­ously noth­ing has changed; women, es­pe­cially when preg­nant, have mood changes that can strike fear into even the most mild­man­nered men. Take heart, it will even­tu­ally be a dim me­mory; the fu­ture holds its own lit­tle chal­lenges, the first one be­ing the lack of a good night’s sleep, seem­ingly for­ever.

fraserj@ theaus­tralian. com. au

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