Tuesday, March 6, 2012

So, What's Changed?


Anymore, folks just aren't interested in Mrs. Blackwell and I, our exciting lives and all the neat things we do together. (Who says 9:30 bed times and mall walking can't be exciting??)

Nope, people want to know about the baby. Fair enough. With his due date just a couple months away he is, admittedly, more interesting than either of us. But once you've talked about how he kicks a lot, how the doctors and techs say he has big feet and how all of his vital signs are right where they should be, the conversation occasionally swings back to us. 

"So, have have things changed?" I've been asked. 
I'm still not sure why we store bricks in the luggage.

Yes. Yes they have. We've talked in this space frequently about what a trooper Mrs. Blackwell is and the changes she's endured are obvious and pretty much impossible to overstate. 

So, for today as a benefit to other guys, I'll be focusing on a couple of changes I've noticed in my near seven months of living with a pregnant lady.

Firstly, I'm carrying more things. Chivalry might be dead but guilt is alive and kicking.  

Guys frequently lend a hand to their ladies even when they're not pregnant but, when they are? Forget about it. 

This alone has shown to me that guilt is more powerful than laziness. Sure, the article you're reading might be interesting, the movie might be exciting and the game might be in overtime but, the second the missus goes traipsing by with a garbage bag, the guilt alarm goes off and you're carrying the cargo. 

Another obvious casualty is nightlife. About the only way you can pull this off is if transportation isn't an issue and your wife has plans. The watering hole nearest my home is about two miles away - curse my quaint, small-town existence!!

Neverminding the obvious safety issues, I'm told that the joys of driving under the influence of alcohol have been overstated and that reasoning with police that you've "only had a couple" doesn't work like it used to.

You'd think that, because your pregnant lady can't drink, you've got a permanent designated driver. And you might be right. But, you also might be amazed how self conscious you can get when, for the third time in the space of two weeks, she's picking you up. 

And she might be happy to do it, but suddenly you've got to do a little self-evaluation. 

Sure, he's cool for the first couple hours but, when you try to
go to sleep, the guy won't leave.
Part of that includes acknowledging the possibility that you're not such a cool, smooth talker when your better half is sober and actually listening to you and asking questions about the drivel spilling from your mouth. The grand theories on life, people and spirituality that you reach while drinking might not resonate quite the same way anymore.

Underlying much of these changes too, is money - the most important, least talked about thing in our lives. 

Well, Mrs. Blackwell and I talk about it. And, I'll tell you that, when you're budgeting entertainment dollars against a child's college fund, the dynamic of what's important has officially shifted.

So, I've accepted that beer's place in my life is receding. Like so many old friends, the good folks at the Boston Beer Company whom I've come to know and love are slowly fading  into the rear view. Sure, we'll still get together occasionally but, our relationship ain't what it used to be.

That said, our relationship was a tad painful and those friends have left me feeling pretty rough at 4:30 in the morning, when all you want to do is sleep but headache and a general sense of physical angst are prevailing.

It's times like those when a 9:30 bed time and stroll around the mall sound pretty appealing. 

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