Monday, April 8, 2013

Kate Miller 16: Sharing the News

Why would Kate be calling about a Valentine's Day dinner all the way across the country? Was this just her unique way of drawing out Kate's big news? 

16. Sharing the News (Feb 2013)
            “How’s Williamsburg?” Kate’s mother asked as they talked on the phone.
            “Wonderful! Like coming home.” Kate and Mister were spending a long weekend in Williamsburg with a family that Kate had known growing up in Alaska. “We got to tell the Morttes we’re expecting!” Kate told her mother. “Mrs. Mortte did a very enthusiastic ‘baby dance.’”
            “Oh good! Now I can talk about it! Have you told Mrs. T yet?”
            “No, but I will. I’ll call her when I hang up with you, and then the three of you can gab about it as much as you want.”
            “Great! Well go call her then!” And Mrs. Laurie Wills was off the line in an instant.
            Kate laughed. Her mother had been very patient, waiting for Kate to tell all of her friends. Mrs. Mortte and Mrs. T had both been so encouraging while Kate had been wishing to have children that she especially wanted to deliver the good news herself. She picked up the phone to dial Mrs. T. At any rate, I’m sure she’ll know the news right away, since I never call just to chat.
            Kate couldn’t have been more wrong. Mrs. T answered the phone and was enthusiastic and cheerful (as always) when Kate identified herself. But instead of saying, “Do you have some exciting news?” as Kate had expected, Mrs. T went an entirely different direction.
            “I assume you’re calling about the Sweetheart dinner?” she said, bustling efficiently about her kitchen.
            Kate was taken aback. Why would she be calling about their church’s Valentine’s dinner? She hadn’t even remembered that it was an annual event until now. Maybe she was being sarcastic? Kate decided to play along, “Yes, of course!” she said, “Tell me all about it.”
            It was Mrs. T’s turn to be taken aback. “Wait,” she said slowly, “You want me to tell you about it, or do you have something to tell me?”
            Kate stared blankly at the wall in front of her. This is unbelievable, she thought, does she think I’m someone else? She abandoned subtlety and said, “No, I do have something to tell you. I’m pregnant!”
            Mrs. T gasped and exclaimed, “Well! That IS good news…I never would have guessed!...” she gushed on with congratulations and questions of health for a few minutes and then she slowed as a thought dawned on her. “So, you really weren’t calling about the Sweetheart Dinner, were you?”
Kate laughed heartily. “No, of course not. Mister and I are here in Williamsburg with the Morttes, and my poor mother has been asking over and over if I’ve told you, she’s being dying to talk about her new grandbaby. Why on earth would I call about the dinner?”
            “Aha!” Mrs. T’s smile came through in her voice and Kate knew the laugh lines were around her eyes at that moment. “Well, you know that each year at the dinner there is some kind of contest for the couples or the tables to do that the young people judge. And I’ve been asking your mother if she would ask you for ideas…but I can see that she’s had other things on her mind.”
            “How funny!” Kate exclaimed. “I suppose she must be pretty preoccupied. I just spoke with her, and she still hadn’t mentioned it! I suppose I never notice because she’s always very focused when I talk with her!”
            “Yeeees. I’m sure she is.” Mrs. T had a flair for the comic side of life and infused those few words with every ounce of her good, dry humor.
            “Well, you should call her and give her a hard time about forgetting to ask me about it.” Kate grinned.
            “Yes. I’ll certainly do that.”
            After talking over ideas for the dinner, they hung up and Kate laughed aloud. Her mother was always so good at accomplishing requests from other people, she must have been really distracted to have forgotten to mention the dinner all those times that they had talked. Of course she knew that her mother was excited, but it was always fun having extra evidence of just how excited she was.

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