So there I was, manoeuvring my not-so-little self through the checkout at Tesco (purchases: one block butter, one carton double cream, two cartons cream cheese. Conclusion: baking, or Happy Cow Day) when I had what can only be described as a Mystical Pregnancy Encounter. I wasn’t thinking about anything much beyond how incredibly virtuous I’d been not to grab any of the cut-price Easter eggs, and how someone with a sinus problem probably shouldn’t be buying this much dairy. Then it was my turn, and I was startled out of my abstraction by the checkout lady demanding ‘How many months? Five or six?’ She looked Malaysian or similar, and had a terribly mysterious look on her face.
Oho, I thought. I am finally pregnant enough for strangers to ask without worrying about insulting the fat girl. A milestone. I mentally applauded myself and my fluid retention, and said ‘Um, nearly six’.
‘I thought so’, said mysterious checkout lady, ‘you pop out suddenly, yes?’
‘Yes’, I said wholeheartedly, ‘and none of my clothes–’
She cut me off before I could get going on this most interesting topic. ‘Boy!’ she yelped. I looked over my shoulder for a dog, didn’t see one, and realised she was talking about TJ.
‘Oh, we don’t know yet’, I said. ‘We didn’t find out.’ She looked, if possible, even more mysterious. I wondered whether she was about to start communing with spirits, and if so, whether I’d need to call a first-aider.
‘It’s a boy’, she proclaimed. ‘My people. We know. Not scan. We just know.’
‘But, um–’ I started.
‘We. Just. Know.’ She said firmly. And then: ‘Clubcard, please’.
End of encounter.
We will see – in sixteen weeks, which doesn’t seem like a long time – whether she really was Mystic Meg in a Race for Life t-shirt, or just in need of a lie-down.