Our worst family Easter disaster has yet to occur, because I've never been knocked up, but one can dream.
"taptaptaptaptap" the plastic spoon against the side of the Dixie cup is supposed to herald an announcement.
"What the hell are you doin'?" Cousin Jimmy, jerker of our beef, eyes me suspiciously from the kitchen in his best Nascar apron.
"I have an announcement!" I say.
"Well, announce, sister!" Mama spits her chaw into a new jelly glass. It is a special occasion.
"I'm preggernut!" I say, sweeping my arm gracefully across the table like the-Price-is-Right girls showing off "A NEW car!"
Cousin Jimmy breaks wind.
"Haaaaa-aaaw!" Mama slaps both hands to her face at once and starts to bawl. "I knowed it was bad!"
Granny, whose seen her share of trouble, like World War double i and when they cancelled Mama's Family, is quieter. She narrows her eyes to size me up.
"I hope it don't belong to no Muzlum. Or a Seventh Day Adventist!" she hisses.
Cousin Jimmy breaks wind again.
"Ain't you got no more to say than that?" says Uncle Artie.
"Bad news gives me gas," says Cousin Jimmy. "You should've seen me the week they cancelled Mama's Family!"
"Ain't NO ONE goan gratulate me?" I said. "Single mothers are everywhere. These is not the olden days. Back in Victryan times."
"I don't know nor care who Victry is and what she done." Mama spews brown spit acrosst the table. "You're my young'un! What are the folks at church gonna say?"
"As long as it's not a 7 Day Adventist. Or the pope." (Granny doesn't trust any man who wears red shoes. It has to do with a incident that happened in World War double i.)
"It don't belong to no pope!" I say, nervous. "They all moved outta here last year!"
"That ain't the pope I mean!" Granny yells.
"Just who is this Victry and what's she been a'tellin you?" Mama's eyes is wide.
I think about what I rehearsed. "I'm keeping my baby. Ooohh. I'm gonna keep my baby. Oo-oh. Ye-eah," I sing.
I long for Cousin Jimmy to break wind.
We eat wordless, even when they bring out the O-possum. The only sound are Granny's new teeth which slip from time to time.
Finally, Uncle Artie speaks.
"Well," he says, heaving up to slop another helping of potato salad on his plate. "The best thang you kin do is make 'em welcome."
"That's just what I said about you," Granny tells him.
His head jerks up.
"Mama?" I say, tenttive like.
She studies her O-possum leg. "I spose we kin add on another room. Vera Mae's got the twins. We kin ask for what they outgrowed."
"Oh, thank you, Mama." I look around at everyone. I love em all. Even Cousin Jimmy. "We're gonna be so happy!" I say.
Later on, once the dishes is done, throwed away and the bag dragged down the hill, I sneak out my new phone to make a call.
"Benny?" I say.
"Ya?" he says.
"I told em. They's OK with it. But I didn't tell em about you."
"Goot. Goot. Goot. I am dee-lighted."
"Me too." I say, thinkin of the thimbleful of wine I had. "And I'm happy."
"We find the right time to break the news," he says.
"yes." I say.
"And we live together here," he said.
I think about him. thanking God and for the innernet too. I'd looked up where he lived. Rome. In a big house called a Vatty-can. That's near Italy.
"And I meet your family." he goes on. "Even Granny like me."
"That'll be great!" I tell him. "Just don't mention World War double i. And don't wear your red shoes."