“I know.” He kissed the top of my head. “I love you too.”
“I’m tired.” Zane rubbed his eyes as we made it to the Mommy and Me store. “Couldn’t we have made it to a later class?”
“Nope.” I laughed. “It’s not my fault you wanted to karaoke to every song, you’ve ever heard before, last night.”
“I didn’t want anyone to miss out on hearing my talent.” He laughed, and then groaned as he rubbed his head. “I think the gin and tonics helped.”
“You did pack away quite a few.” I grabbed his hand and guided him through the store as I looked for the instruction room.
“Well, when you told me you would drive I figured I might as well. But I guess I’m getting too old to be a party man.”
“Yeah,” I laughed. “You’re my old man. You know what they say, mid-twenties is the new fifties.”
“Very funny.” He groaned again and squeezed my hand hard.
“Hi, are you guys here for Mommy and Me 101?” A cheerful man asked as we stopped at the door to a large room.
“Yes, we are.” I smiled back at him and tried to ignore the weird look on Zane’s face. I know he was wondering why a man was greeting us (in fact, so was I), but I decided to keep it in. I mean, so what if a man was teaching the class, wasn’t it sexist of me to assume that it should be a woman at the front?
“Have a seat. We’ll be starting as soon as everyone gets here.”
“What the fuck?” Zane whispered to me as we found seats towards the back of the class. “Is this a joke?”
“Don’t be a male chauvinist.” I sighed. “I’m sure he knows what he’s doing.”
“Excuse my language, but don’t you find it a bit crazy that a man is teaching the Mommy and Me class? Like, is he going to be talking about vaginas? Won’t that be weird?”
“Zane!” I blushed as I admonished him. “Be quiet.”
“Okay.” He rolled his eyes. “You let me know how it feels for a man to tell you what childbirth is like.”
“He’s just going to give us advice on what products we will need as new parents.”
“Uh huh.” He sat back and rolled his eyes. I pulled my seat away from him slightly and smiled widely at the new couple that walked into the room that looked as clueless as I felt.
“Is this the Mommy and Me class?” the girl asked, slightly timid, and the man gave her a huge grin.
“Yes, ma’am. Have a seat.” The couple exchanged a look and walked back towards us uncertainly.
“Even they think this is shady.” Zane whispered to me and I ignored him.
“Hi,” I smiled at the girl and she smiled back at me wordlessly. “I’m Lucky, and this is my fiancé Zane.”
“I’m Diana and this is my boyfriend Gilbert.” The guy, who looked slightly dopey, stared at us and nodded. “And yes, it is a bit ironic that I am Diana and he is Gilbert.” She giggled. “People think I should change my name to Anne.”
“Oh, okay.” I smiled weakly, not sure what she was talking about.
“Diana even wanted to move to Prince Edward Island.” Gilbert finally spoke up. “But I convinced her that would be too much.”
“Gilbert wants us to call our house ‘The Gables’ but I think that’s too grand a name for a one-bedroom condo in Silver Lake.” Diana continued and I could see Zane holding back a grin from the side of my eyes.
“So, are you guys having a baby?” I decided to change the subject.
“Not yet.” Diana whispered. “But don’t tell anyone. I don’t want to get kicked out of the class.”
“You guys decided to come to the class and you’re not pregnant?” Zane finally spoke up and gave them a look.
“Gilbert and I are extreme couponers, like the TV show.” Diana said excitedly, her reserve fading. “We want to get a head start on the items we’re going to need when we finally do have babies.”
“It’s never too early.” Gilbert nodded.
“Well, I guess that’s true.” Zane gave me a look as if to say, ‘these are your people,’ and I gave him a quick glare.
“Can we sit next to you?” Diana said eagerly as she plopped herself down next to me. “If you want some help couponing I can tell you how to start. We have so much stuff, it’s awesome. We just got a garden shed for $100, and it was originally $500.”
“I thought you said you lived in a one-bedroom condo?” Zane asked puzzled.
“Oh we do.” Gilbert sat next to Zane and continued. “We had to get a storage facility to put it in, but it’s a great investment for the future, when we are able to buy a house.”
“How much is the storage facility?” Zane frowned.
“It’s only $50 a month.” Gilbert nodded eagerly. “We got a deal. It’s meant to be $150 a month, but we signed a contract for 5 years, so now we only get it for $50 a month.”
“I see.” Zane gave me another look and I turned to Diana, hoping that the next words out of her mouth weren’t going to be too crazy.
“So have you and Gilbert been together long, then?” I smiled as her eyes widened with happiness.
“We’ve been together for six weeks.” She nodded happily. “We met online and we knew right away, we were meant to be. We bought our place a month ago and now we’re planning the rest of our lives together.”
“You bought a house together a month ago?” I frowned. “After you were together two weeks?”
“When it’s love, it’s love.” She giggled. “But we knew we had to, Gilbert found a great foreclosure deal so we decided to jump on it.”
“What about you and your fiancé?” She nodded at Zane, and then reached over and pinched me hard. “Good job, by the way. He is a hottie.” She mouthed the words as if she were whispering, but her voice was so loud that everyone heard her.
“Thanks.” I plastered a smile on my face and sat back and faced the front of the room. I could hear Zane laughing before he whispered in my ear.
“Bet you wish you had listened to your hottie fiancé right about now.”
“Whatever.” I turned to look at him, but gave him a brief smile when I saw his twinkling eyes.
“Okay, everyone. I guess we’re going to get started.” The man slammed the door closed and stood at the front of the class. “I guess everyone else got stuck in traffic. Their loss.” His voice was aggressive and he looked pissed, as he messed around with some papers on his desk and mumbled something under his breath. “Anyways,” he looked back up and made eye contact with all four of us. “My name is Mr. Joseph Markener. My rep number is 1w45y78a.” He rushed the last part and I looked at him in confusion. “I have to give that last part for legal reasons,” he flashed a fake smile. “But anyways, we can start.” There was a knock at the door and his eyes lit up as he ran to open it up. “Hello,” he uttered eagerly, but his face fell as he saw a little boy.
“Is this the men’s room?” the little boy asked curiously, and Joseph slammed the door in his face instead of replying.
“Stupid kid.” He muttered under his breath and then turned back to us. “Okay, I want to ask a question of everyone first. How much money do you expect to spend on purchases before your baby is born? Let’s go in a line, so everyone can answer.” He nodded at Gilbert, “You can start.”
“I expect to spend around $100 after all the coupons.” Gilbert looked pleased with himself and Joseph glared at him.
“You,” he nodded at Zane.
“I have no idea.” Zane shrugged. “As much as it costs, I suppose.”
“Oh, really?” Joseph’s face lit up and he smiled widely at Zane. “Do you happen to have a Mommy and Me credit card?”
“No.” Zane looked at him in confusion. “Why?”
“Oh, nothing.” Joseph’s eyes looked delighted. “But let’s make sure to get you signed up before you leave. You’ll get a 10% discount on your first order and I will make $100.”
“Uh, I don’t—” Zane started but Gilbert jumped in eagerly.
“Sign me up too. I love saving money.”
“Of course, sir.” Joseph’s frown was definitely gone now and he was smiling widely. “Okay, you.” He pointed at me.
“I don’t know exactly,” I started. “But I’m thinking about $1,000.”
“$1,000.” Joseph laughed. “That’s the cost of a good stroller.”
“I don’t think that—”
“Don’t worry, young lady, I’ll get you and your man sorted out.” He grinned at me. “I know all the good products.”
“I thought this class was going to be telling us what we should be thinking about buying and getting us ready for when we have our baby.” I frowned. “I thought we were going to learn about bottling and bathing and how to choose a car seat.”
“Don’t worry, I’ll be able to sell you all of that.” He nodded eagerly. “And what about you ma’am, how much are you spending today?” He looked at Diana, and I felt very annoyed and slightly uncertain about the direction the class was going in.
“Well, it will depend on my boyfriend Gilbert.” Diana started. “We currently have $5,000 in our joint checking account, but we can’t spend anything until we come to an agreement.”
“$5,000 is a good start.” Joseph was practically rubbing his hands in glee. “Okay, well let’s start with a quick video.”
“Okay,” I nodded, relieved. Now for the practical part of the class. I sat back expecting to see a new parents video starting when all of a sudden I saw Joseph’s face on the screen.
“Hi, I’m Jospeh Markener. The new California rep for Bugabooboo products in California. We sell the best products for rich kids, and you can show them off to all your friends. Thanks for coming to my class. Today, via this video, I will show you the products you need to buy, and then after the video is done you can place an order.” Joseph paused the DVD and looked at us. “Any questions?” There was silence in the room and then he pressed play again. I turned to Zane, annoyed that he hadn’t said anything, and he just shrugged and looked back at the screen, his eyes laughing at me.
“Hey guys, it’s me Joseph again. Now I’m going to tell you which Bugabooboo products you need to buy before you leave today. No need to take out a pen, I have it all noted down for you. Don’t forget to open a store card as well.” The screen then went fuzzy and I waited for Joseph to turn it off or say something, but instead he was staring at it intently. Within twenty seconds, his image appeared again and he was surrounded by a bunch of florescent yellow products.
“Hey guys, can you see me?” He laughed on the screen. “I wanted to tell…”
“Excuse me.” Gilbert raised his hand and cleared his throat. “I have a question.”
“You want to purchase everything already?” Joseph’s eyes lit up. “It will take me a minute or two to go around the store and get you everything.”
“No,” Gilbert looked panicked and jumped up. “I just wanted to know when the sales start.”
“What sales?” Joseph looked confused.
“The reject or discount sales.” Gilbert grinned. “And if you could get us an employee discount that would be great.”
“Employee discount?” Joseph’s mouth fell open. “I can’t do that.”
“Well, when are the sales? We never buy unless an item is discounted by at least 50%,” Gilbert continued, looking very serious.
“Yeah. We don’t either.” Zane spoke up. “In fact, I don’t buy unless it’s 60% off. Me and my lady don’t have money to waste.”
“Zane,” I looked at him with a frown as I tried to stop myself from laughing.
“What, Lucky? We don’t want to go wasting Joseph’s time, do we? Not when he has so many Bugapoop products to sell.”
“Bugabooboo.” Diana corrected and we both looked at her. “It’s Bugabooboo, right Joseph?”
He looked at us with a gobsmacked expression, and I used that as an excuse to jump up and grab Zane’s hand. “Come on, honey, I think I need to go to the toilet. Sorry to leave you guys, but we have to go.”
“Wait,” Diana called after me. “Let me get your number so we can go on play dates.”
“Play dates?” I turned round to look at her. This time it was my expression that looked stunned.
“You know, you, me and your kids.” She smiled. “It would be fun.”
“Oh my God, I think I’m going to bust.” Zane shouted suddenly. “Lucky, take me home right now, or I may just bust.”
“Just do it.” He hissed and I grabbed his hand and we hurried to the front of the room.
“Are you sure you don’t want to sign up for a store card?” Joseph gave us one last hopeful glance, and we shook our heads as we hurried out of the room and into the main store.
“You owe me, you know that, right?” Zane shook his head and me and we laughed as we ran through the aisles.
“What was that?” I looked at him with a dazed expression as we exited the store.