I was 20 minutes early for the business workshop, and so was the woman who shared my access card to get into the auditorium.We had a pleasant enough conversation; both of us worked in the same field for companies in similar industries, we were about the same age and temperament… for an awkward shoot-the-breeze-with-a-stranger-you’ll-never-talk-to-again arrangement, it was as pretty much as good as it gets.
I mentioned ‘the friend who drove me down to the city’ and she asked me where we were staying. “At a bed and breakfast,” I replied. “While I’m here, he’s probably trying to connect with old friends or maybe just sleeping in the massive king size bed.”
An almost imperceptible “huh?” shadowed her face when I said ‘he’. There was no judgment, only confusion: I of the pregnant belly am clearly gallivanting around with a ‘he’ other than the one who helped create my fetus accessory?
Waddling (while trying very hard not to waddle) around with an increasingly large belly, it’s becoming hard to gloss over the admittedly strange details of my life. Once one bit escapes (like the fact that my male friend and I are sharing a romantic bed and breakfast suite), the rest must come tumbling out, if only to put the other person at ease. If there’s one thing that distresses most people, it’s not getting enough of the story to realize that everything’s okay and they don’t have to put me on some sort of cosmic prayer list. So I put her out of her misery.
I smiled at my new temporary friend. I took a deep breath and said something like, “Okay. He’s actually my ex-husband, which is fine because he’s gay and now he’s my best friend. We live together on a farm with the father of my fetus (who I am actually ‘with’) and it all works surprisingly well. Plus, it would probably make for some good sitcom material, which is awesome.”
I don’t really remember her reaction. I know we chatted about it a bit–how it’s unusual, yes; how we’re all pretty happy with the arrangement, yes; how it was really hard at first but now it’s fine. In the end, she had categorized the situation cleanly into her mind and we were able to move on to other topics. I do remember feeling a bit embarrassed at sharing a two-sentence version of my life story to a total stranger, but it really isn’t the sort of story you can half-tell. When you live on a farm with your spouse and your ex-spouse-yet-still-life-partner and both of them are excited about the baby growing inside you and one of them is planning on teaching the little one about stars and planets and the other one is excited about opening the world of math to a little brain and your heart is about to burst because three years ago things were so messy that you never would have thought anything like this was possible, sometimes full disclosure just feels like the right thing to do.