With all the kids away at college now, DH and I are doing a purge of the house. I came across this memory from long ago when I was pregnant with my oldest and thought I’d share.
I stopped at the top of the aisle, blinded by the sudden change from bright lobby to dark theater. Eager to see the premier of the newest thriller, movie goers streamed in behind me, squeezing past me in their rush to win seats in the already packed house. Those unable to get around my distended belly waited with nervous impatience.
I should have counted the rows when I left our seats, should not have insisted on going to the concession stand myself. But this third trimester had made me fickle about food. Sending my husband would have been pointless since by the time he returned I’d have changed my mind. Worse I would’ve been secretly cross with him for bringing me the snacks I’d asked for rather than the ones I wanted.
An elbow nudged my back. The people behind me were getting vocal with their frustration. I scanned the crowd. There. Even in the darkness I recognized the shape of that head. I waddled down to the row where ten seats separated me from my goal and began to wade through a human obstacle course. Alternately showing the unfortunates seated there my butt and bulging belly, I twisted my way through protruding knees and floor-parked purses.
“Hold these,” I commanded and thrust a large soda and a bucket of popcorn at my husband. When he failed to take them I rattled them at him and then pushed them into his hands. Up on the big screen the coming attractions trailers were beginning. I sat down, opened a package of chocolate almonds and poured them over the popcorn. Then I took back the drink.
A woman seated on the other side of my husband leaned forward. In the darkness I couldn’t quite make out her face, but her body language spoke volumes. Had I been too noisy? I smiled an apology at her and stuck my hand in my husband’s lap for a handful of popcorn.
“Who are you?” the woman demanded.
Had she been saving this seat, I wondered. Surely my husband had explained it was taken.
“I’m his wife,” I said. I rested my soda on my mountainous belly and stuffed popcorn in my mouth.
“No, I’m his wife!”
Several rows down a familiar silhouette stood up. “Reggie? Reggie!”
I shot to my feet as fast as an enormously pregnant woman could, grabbed my popcorn bucket from the still mute man, and did a rapid butt-belly-butt twist back through protruding knees and floor-parked purses.