On September 1, 2013 by Kunle Barker


Two years ago I was on a ski trip with some friends which included a married couple. As we met for drinks in the lobby of our hotel in Chamonix, they announced their pregnancy. Now this announcement came several weeks before the traditional 12-week mark, supposedly so he wouldn’t have to lie to us about his wife not drinking all weekend. I obviously congratulated them, but the very superstitious part of my personality thought that this might be bad luck and that they had been a little silly and should just have come up with an excuse for her not drinking.

Fast-forward two years and we are heading out to Milk and Honey in Soho for cocktails with an old friend from university and his wife. It’s his birthday and we don’t get to see them much as they live outside of London so we book a table in the clubs uber-cool red room. This is also the first time we have been out for drinks since discovering we were pregnant, and as I’m putting on my shirt it suddenly occurs to me that Mummy Bean can’t drink and this will not go unnoticed. Bugger, what are we going to do? At that exact moment, Mummy Bean walks into the bedroom and asks exactly the same question.




After a short conversation, we quickly realise that we only have 2 options, tell them that we are pregnant, or lie. From the contortion on my face at the prospect of telling someone that we are expecting before the magical 12 week mark, it’s obvious to Mummy Bean that although I’m trying to change, the very superstitious part of my personality does still have a firm grip. Its unanimous we are going to lie our arses off. I suggest telling them that we have converted to Islam, which is a great excuse for not drinking, but Mummy Bean points out that my legendary and unquenchable love all things pork makes this story unbelievable.

The problem with lying is you need to come up with a cover story in order to make it believable, so in preparation we go through potential options and come up with a short list of 5:

  1. Ill (boring, and also being ill wouldn’t stop you from having a drink)
  2. Tired (stupid)
  3. Working tomorrow (It’s Sunday tomorrow)
  4. Detoxing (weird)
  5. Pregnant (wait, that’s the truth we are trying to hide)

We opt for ill as there is an element of truth to this but why would it stop you from drinking? Ah, of course, antibiotics to the rescue, seems they are not just useful for killing bacteria, they are also good at propagating lies.





We meet our friends in a swanky Soho members bar, and as the cocktail waiter arrives at the table to take our orders, we ask him if he can make a Virgin Mojito. At this juncture, we explain to our guests that Mummy Bean is on antibiotics. My friend barely registers the information, whilst his wife is sympathetic and asks how Mummy Bean is feeling. Mummy Bean (through what I can only assume is a fake cough) admits to feeling a little run down but in general fine. For the next few hours, we peddle the lie with great success, thanks in part to Mummy Beans surprise acting skills, although perhaps she has always been in possession of these and I have only just noticed, but that’s an entirely different blog.

To be honest the whole evening was distinctly uncomfortable, I immediately realise why my friends had told me of their pregnancy in Chamonix. Its not easy or fun to tell bare faced lies to your friends. It’s actually quite unpleasant, my friends were right to have told us in Chamonix, and I wish we had done the same thing.

I have the distinct feeling that we are now going to spend the next 8 weeks declining invitations to dinners/drinks/BBQs, including two of my best friends 40th birthdays. I really can’t wait to reach 12 weeks and tell everyone the truth. I’m not looking forward to our self-imposed exile from society.



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