“Gloria, can I tell you something really personal?”
“Of course you can. You know that.”
I leaned in closer to her, risking leaving the restaurant wearing a blouse covered in low-fat ranch dressing. “I think I might be pregnant.”
Gloria’s response was instantaneous. “You’re not pregnant, sweetie.”
“How can you be so sure?”
“Didn’t you have that surgically taken care of a few years ago?”
“Well, yes, but you hear horror stories about women in their 50’s who have ‘miracle babies’ because it wasn’t done right. That’s gonna be me!” I wailed.
Gloria chuckled. “No it’s not,” she reassured me. She handed me my mojito and motioned to the waiter. “She’s going to need another one of these. Add extra rum to it, please.”
I obediently sucked down the last of my drink and handed the empty to the waiter.
“You need to hurry,” Gloria whispered to the waiter, waving him away with both hands.
I narrowed my eyes at her. I rarely drink, and don’t recall ever having two alcoholic beverages at one sitting. “What’s going on?”
“Remember when we went to see that really funny play right before Christmas?”
“Sure. I had a great time. The Japanese restaurant afterwards was fabulous.”
Gloria sighed. “You are really in denial, girl. We went to see Menopause.”
I froze. The forkful of lettuce in my hand luckily clattered back on to the plate. “You’re not trying to imply that I’m…that I’m….”
“I’m not implying anything,” Gloria said gently. “I’m telling you that you’ve started going through menopause.”
“No way! I’m not old enough!”
Gloria’s raised eyebrows said it all.
“OMG! It’s true, isn’t it? How can it possibly be true?” I sobbed for a moment into the new drink the waiter handed me. “My life is practically over!”
“You’re such a drama queen,” Gloria laughed. “It’s not the end of your life. It’s the beginning of a new chapter.”
“You’re a good friend, Gloria. I don’t know what I’d do without you.” I took a sip of the mostly rum mojito and smiled sweetly at her. “But that’s the biggest load of crap I’ve ever heard.”
Gloria snorted. “Isn't that what friends are for?”