Here’s a definition of stupidity -- putting your married butt in a restaurant with a girl half your age that you are not married to and have her blurt out, “Omigod, I think I’m pregnant” so that every diner in the place turns around.
I had met Tina (not her real name) for dinner to study for a class we were both taking, and I had noticed that she couldn’t concentrate on anything. When I asked her to focus, she burst into tears.
“I had sex -- and lots of it -- over the holidays,” she said between heaving sobs. “I wasn’t careful. Now I’m late!”
Ah, youth. Here I thought I had a pretty nifty Christmas when Santa brought a big screen TV down the chimney! I thought about exchanging my gift for the kind of Christmas she got, but thought better of it. But I digress.
“There’s a Walgreen’s next door,” says I. “Go in there and buy a pregnancy test. If it’s negative, we can get back to work and you can reflect on how lucky you are to have dodged a bullet. If you’re pregnant, then let’s stop our study party here and you take care of whatever you need to take care of.”
She went inside and I went to my car to wait for her. As I drummed my thumbs on the steering wheel, I looked around the parking lot.
The hair rose on the back of my neck and I was convinced that Chris Hansen from Dateline would pop out from behind a parked car, or Joey Greco from Cheaters would screech his mobile detective unit van next to the driver’s side door.
“Subject was seen at 7:30 p.m. at a Muscle Maker’s Grill with a woman half his age,” the voice-over would say as the camera rolled and the crew rushed my car. “A heated conversation about their relationship ensued and the tear-stained alleged mistress stumbled into a drug store for a pregnancy test.”
Thank God my wife is an understanding woman, and thank God for the girl that my mother didn’t come to our study party.
“Well, ‘tis good you keep the hair so long, luv,” she might have said to her. “That length sure came in handy when the sinner Mary Magdalene wiped Jesus’ feet with it to atone for her sins.”
There’s nothing like an Irish matriarch to extinguish all urges with a little biblical reference. My mother would pace the margins of the dance floor as I “wang-chunged tonight” with my date during the Immaculate Conception school dances in the early eighties.
“There is room for the Holy Spirit between the two of yeh, right?” she would coo in my ear as I got a bit too close for her liking to my date during a slow jam.
I swore I wouldn’t go that route when it was my time to police a teen. I saw my school friend emerge from the bathroom with a relieved look, so I figured I’d try on my modern parent’s speech in preparation for my soon-to-be sexually active teens.
“If you were trying to get pregnant, then what you did was responsible behavior,” I said. “Was it your intention to get pregnant?”
“Of course not,” she replied, rolling her eyes. “I was drunk and it just happened.”
I put up my hand in protest.
“Then what we have here is irresponsible behavior, plain and simple. You’re a great girl with a great future and you are so responsible with studying that this way of being doesn’t match who I know you to be.”
In a move that might prove without a reasonable doubt that we were having an affair to the other diners, she leaned over and gave me a peck on my cheek.
“Thanks for setting me straight without judging me,” she said.
It’s like my homeboy St. Matthew said in 12:36-37: “I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”
With that, I got an amen and the check!