25: “Chilli isn’t a food that needs to be made fibre-rich”

Melly and David were hosting a party to commemorate the anniversary of Madison’s christening. Iggy wasn’t entirely sure why it was necessary, to be perfectly honest.

“I thought this was a one-time thing,” she complained to Miles as they made their way to Melly and David’s house. “How many times are we expected to celebrate this?”

It seemed elaborate and unnecessary. Frankly, Iggy felt they should be glad she even attended the christening the first time around.

“We weren’t supposed to get a gift, right?” Miles checked. Even if they were, it was far too late now. They were on the subway, already halfway there.

“Unless you want to get her one of those free subway newspapers, I’d say it’s too late now,” Iggy replied dryly, rolling her eyes. Miles glared at her. Sometimes Iggy wondered if their relationship was too juvenile. And then she thought about how they’d gotten together and she realized it definitely was.

When they arrived at Melly and David’s house, both Melly and David answered the door, grinning like idiots. Madison was lolling about in Melly’s arms. Even though she was over a year old, she had barely any desire to walk around on her own. Inherently, she was a very lazy baby and Iggy respected that deeply.

“Come in, come in!” David urged, ushering them inside. “There’s fibre-rich chilli.”

He sounded very excited about this. Iggy had predicted that there would be chilli, but fibre-rich was a bit of a surprise.

“Chilli isn’t a food that needs to be made fibre-rich,” Iggy whispered to Miles as they walked away from the front door. “This party’s going to end in an explosion.”

“Jesus Christ,” Miles gasped just as they walked by Melly’s mother. She frowned at them as they went on their way and Iggy laughed in his face.

They spent the first hour of the party avoiding Danielle and David’s fibre-rich chilli. It was a literal recipe for disaster. Poor Jemima had had two bowls before Iggy bumped into her and informed her of its extra fibre.

“I hope you have a couple hours you can spare later,” Miles told Jemima. “Because you are going to become well acquainted with your toilet.”

Another thirty minutes later, Melly and David gathered everyone in the living room, citing that they had exciting news. Melly was once again holding Madison, who was still lolling about in her mother’s arms with her tongue sticking out. She really did look remarkably like Kim Jung-Il. It was one of those things that couldn’t be unseen once it had been seen. Iggy wondered if she would ever grow out of it or if she was going to look like a North Korean dictator for the rest of her life. And then Iggy began to picture Kim Jung-Il in a bedazzled prom dress and she just about cried with silent laughter. Miles looked at her with his eyes crossed until she explained and then the two of them had to choke back peals of laughter. Iggy couldn’t even look at him without it bubbling up all over again.

“As you all know, this is a very important date for our family,” Melly began at the front of the room, shooting a grin at David, who was of course beaming. “This is the day our little girl was baptized.”

Iggy glanced at Miles out of the corner of her eye and almost lost her cool. Miles snorted and she had to fight even harder to keep from laughing.

“This is a very exciting time for us,” Melly continued. “Not only because we’re celebrating Madison’s baptism, but because sometime in the near future, we’ll have another baptism to celebrate.”

She grinned at all her gathered friends and family, eyes welling up as her mother gasped and one of her aunts literally threw her hands up in praise.

“We’re expecting again!” Melly exclaimed. Everybody cheered and immediately rushed to congratulate her.

“Oh my God, so are we!” Jana cried, jumping up from her seat on the couch to hug Melly. Dan and David shook hands and then hugged. Melly was crying for real now, babbling about how her and Jana’s children could be best friends. Someone started talking about whether or not they’d need to buy a larger house for the new addition to their family and David answered with renovation plans.

And, while all this was happening, Iggy was choking back laughter about how much her friend’s daughter looked like Kim Jung-Il in a sheep-printed onesie.

A week later, Iggy went for lunch with Helen and Priscilla to a tea shop. The menu was comprised of things that people served at bridal showers. The last time Iggy had tried to make herself an egg salad sandwich, one of the eggs had exploded in the water. This was a nice treat for her.

“Do you guys ever feel like you’re a giant fuck-up?” Iggy asked once they’d been served their food. It was an abrupt way to start a conversation. Priscilla and Helen both looked at her in mild shock.

“Wow, what the fuck did I do to you?” Priscilla retorted.

“What kind of lunch is this?” Helen added, looking around the tea shop like she thought someone with a camera would jump out and tell her she’d been punked.

“No, not you specifically,” Iggy backtracked. “I just meant in general. Like, Melly’s already having her second child and I spent the entirety of that baptism anniversary party laughing at how much her baby daughter looks like a middle-aged Korean man.”

“What?” Helen asked flatly.

“Madison looks like Kim Jung-Il,” Iggy explained dismissively.

“Oh, she totally does,” Helen agreed after thinking it over for a moment. “Wow. How have I never noticed that before? Is that why Melly always dresses her so aggressively in pink and sticks a billion clips in her hair?”

“Probably,” Priscilla replied. “Can’t say for certain though because none of us are insane enough to ask her specifically if she dresses her daughter so blatantly femininely because she looks like the ruler of North Korea.”

It was the quickest way to get kicked in the shins, not that Iggy would necessarily blame Melly for that.

“Well, to answer your original inquiry,” Helen redirected the conversation primly. “I currently live with my eighty year old grandfather because my boyfriend cheated on me with his secretary in two separate provinces.”

“Also, it’s not like it takes skill to get pregnant,” Priscilla interjected. “You too could be having a child. Then you, Melly, and Jana could all be pregnant together and wouldn’t that be the most fun?”

She didn’t sound like she thought it would be fun at all.

“You’re doing alright. I wouldn’t worry about it,” Helen assured Iggy, who thought it was a lovely sentiment, but might’ve been even more comforting coming from someone who wasn’t, as she’d said, living with their eighty year old grandfather.

“Don’t compare yourself to Melly,” Priscilla added forcefully. “She threw a party to celebrate the anniversary of her child’s baptism. Who does that? She’s basically already begun making the best friends forever friendship bracelets for her and Jana’s unborn children. It’s got to be exhausting to be that invested.”

“Well, it is her child…,” Iggy pointed out.

“Eh, I guess,” Priscilla shrugged before returning to her cob salad with vigour.


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