A friend of mine breezed up to me recently with one of those smug looks that make you want to hit people. ‘We’re pregnant,’ she announced, looking all expectant but not in an expectant way as she hadn’t begun to ‘show’ yet. ‘Well?’ she tinkled (pregnant women always tinkle, have you noticed that? Later on when their bump gets much bigger and leans on the bladder they tinkle in an altogether different way, non-stop). ‘Aren’t you surprised?’
Yes, I was surprised. Not that she was pregnant, but that he was. You see, being a bit old fashioned and sour, I just can’t get my head round this miraculous event at all. I did biology at school. I dissected frogs and bits of cows’ eyes, even chased one unfortunate girl round the playground with a bloodied retina (the cow’s, mine came later when Sr. Boniface found out what I’d done) and although I wasn’t an A student (although I did say A quite a lot, as in Eh? Eh?) my lowly ‘D’ in the subject was enough to tell me that men don’t get pregnant. This, you’ll appreciate, is a fact. It is indisputable. So where did this ‘we’ come from all of a sudden? Has the culture of luvvy-dum gone so far that we now have his and hers pregnancies – blue bumps and pink bumps – to go with the ‘his’ and ‘hers’ towels and ‘his’ and ‘hers’ bath robes and ‘his’ and ‘hers’ 4 wheel drives? Listen, I like a bit of romance as well as the next woman, but when the mere sight of a loved-up couple arriving (arm-in-arm) on the scene results in other people parting company with their large intestine, the ‘tehgeddeness’ factor has gone too far. Remember, ladies, there is a time and a placenta for everything.
And, you know, it’s invariably the same kind of woman who says ‘we’re pregnant’, who will also be guilty of being a ‘pink’ fiend and a fully paid up member of the Cath Kidson cutesy school of floraldom? It’s not enough for her to be female – no, she has to rub our noses in how ‘feminine’ she is, as if the rest of us in our M&S plain white cotton knickers (off-white in my case as I generally manage to put a black sock in the white wash) are great galumphing heifers in comparison. She knows every shade of pink in the spectrum, ice-cream, Fuchsia, hot-pink, rose, vomit, and – drum roll – has the rose-bud wellies to prove it. Her bedroom is, yep, pink. Pink walls, ceiling, carpet, bed clothes, fairy lights, cuddly pink toys and when you step inside (shoes removed), it is like being swallowed up by a voracious marshmallow. The pinkness extends into every single area of her I’m-just-a-silly-ickle-bickle-woman world. She’ll have a miniature gardening set – pink gloves, watering can, trowel and spade. Her car will be pink, often a VW Beetle or Mini Minor, the interior kitted out in pink with a pink fur steering wheel cover, pink fur seat covers and pink things dangling from the rear view mirror. At work, she’ll have pink memo pads, pink sparkly pencils with tassels, pink mouse pads and even a pink mouse. She’ll drink pink cocktails and champagne because hers is a pink-themed Barbie world. Honestly, all this pinkness makes me see red. Pink, pink, makes the boys wink, goes the old saying but, in my experience, it is more likely to make them bilious. Little girls – the clue is in the adjective – can just about get away with pink everything – they’re ignorant and know no better
My friend with the pregnant husband (ex friend after this article is published) is the original pink fiend. Her wedding was ‘Flamingo’ and her dress clashed horribly with the broken veins on her mother-in-law’s nose. The bridesmaids wore ashes of roses (a yucky greyish-pink), the groom’s tie was salmon pink, the cake was coral pink and everybody’s face was pink when the best man was found in flagrante delicto with the bride’s older brother, whose discarded button hole was carnation pink.
As of today, I have adopted a new mantra. Pink? Just say no! As for pregnant men – is that a pink elephant I see before me?