We all thought she was telling us that she was pregnant again — by a different man!
And as an example of how wrong my Aunt Martha was, concerning her point of view that my mother was “a little simple,” my mother instantly saw what we were thinking, and laughed at us, very quickly, and said, “No, no! I’m not going to have a baby. I’m never going to have another baby — I have my baby. I’m just telling you that I’ve met a man. Someone I like.”
“A different man, Tabitha?” my grandmother asked, still holding the brooch.
“Oh, not that man! Don’t be silly,” my mother said, and she laughed again — her laughter drawing Lydia’s wheelchair, ever so cautiously, back to the table.
“A man you like, you mean, Tabitha?” my grandmother asked.
“I wouldn’t mention him if I didn’t like him,” my mother said. “I want you to meet him,” she said to us all.
“You’ve dated him?” my grandmother asked.
“No! I just met him — just today, on today’s train!” my mother said.
“And you already like him?” Lydia asked, in a tone of voice so perfectly copied from my grandmother that I had to look to see which one of them was speaking.
“Well, yes,” my mother said seriously. “You know such things. You don’t need that much time.”
“How many times have you known such things — before?” my grandmother asked.
“This is the first time, really,” my mother said. “That’s why I know.”
Excerpt from A Prayer for Owen Meany, by John Irving.