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Old friend had a baby... maybe.
December 19, 2013 8:34 PM   Subscribe

I recently did a Google search for an old college friend of mine that I haven't seen since his wedding a couple of years ago. I found a link to a baby registry with his and his wife's name on it, and the due date was listed as a week ago. I really want to call him up and congratulate him, but there's something a little weird about it: The registry has a ton of stuff on it, but almost nothing has been purchased: Just a few stuffed animals. This makes me worry that maybe they lost the baby and they just never took down the registry.

In addition to the unused registry, I know that his wife's mother had a history of miscarriages. I don't know if it was something genetic.

I really want to get in touch and talk, whether it is with congratulations or condolences. I just feel like if I called he would know right away why I was calling out of the blue, and if something bad did happen it wouldn't be appropriate to say I found out about it on Google.

Am I over-thinking this? I feel like I'm over-thinking this.

What's the best way to make contact again without seeming too nosey about something he may not want to talk about?
posted by AlexanderPetros to Human Relations (15 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
Do not do not do not call and ask about a pregnancy you have no direct knowledge of. Friend the guy on Facebook or something if you just want to catch up, but there's no way to say "hey, I googled your baby registry. How's the new baby?" without stepping way out of bounds.
posted by chiababe at 8:38 PM on December 19, 2013 [37 favorites]


Is he on Facebook? This is the ideal use case for Facebook.
posted by Rock Steady at 8:39 PM on December 19, 2013 [4 favorites]


Just send a general greeting. He'll have no idea what you found (if indeed you found anything) on line.
posted by JimN2TAW at 8:40 PM on December 19, 2013 [6 favorites]


Seconding the general greeting. NO mention of pregancy...pretend it's the "olden days" and you didn't have access to third-hand internet mentions that you weren't directly privvy to in the first place. Just say hello and how are you...and see if you pick back up on your friendship/acquaintance-ship or not.
posted by bquarters at 8:58 PM on December 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


What made you think to search for him in the first place? Did something remind you of him? Get in touch and just communicate that: "Hey, I know it's been awhile but the other day I saw someone who looked like old Professor Smith and it made me think of you." or whatever. Don't mention the pregnancy or your searching.
posted by aka burlap at 8:58 PM on December 19, 2013 [15 favorites]


Yeah, definitely don't mention the pregnancy.
posted by georg_cantor at 9:00 PM on December 19, 2013


What made you think to search for him in the first place?
This sounds like the perfect (and most honest) way to open the conversation. Leave your googling out of it.
posted by variella at 9:17 PM on December 19, 2013


From what I know the due date is very approximate and you can have a perfectly healthy pregnancy up to two weeks (or maybe more?) after the due date, especially if you're having a natural birth and are not induced. But yeah, of course start a conversation along other terms before you mention anything about the baby and see if he brings it up.
posted by Blitz at 9:58 PM on December 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


Sorry, I'm not aware of custom. I guess people probably buy the presents long before the baby is born so my point is probably moot.
posted by Blitz at 10:26 PM on December 19, 2013


Seconding all the "just call or contact him, but don't mention the pregnancy" votes... but another possibility is: most people don't buy presents off registries these days.

So all may be well, you never know.
posted by stormyteal at 1:18 AM on December 20, 2013


In certain cultures, it is considered bad luck to buy presents before the baby is 3 months old. Agree that you shouldn't mention it, though.
posted by snickerdoodle at 5:19 AM on December 20, 2013


It's possible people used the registry as a reference and never went back to it to check off the gift(s) they bought. And he is too busy with a new baby to update the registry himself.

Still, ime, it's best not to mention pregnancy/birth to someone first. Let them bring it up.
posted by SuperSquirrel at 6:35 AM on December 20, 2013


Regardless of whether he is a new dad or not, maybe give it a few weeks before getting in touch. It's a very busy time of year for most people, he's either dealing with a new baby or the first holiday after a bereavement, and you've lost contact for however many years anyway. When you do get in touch in, say, mid-January or later, don't mention the baby.
posted by hazyjane at 10:31 AM on December 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


Have you checked hospital and newspaper websites where they live for the birth announcement?
posted by auntie maim at 10:52 AM on December 20, 2013


I'd call or email and say something like, "Hey man, I was thinking of you the other day - it's been too long! What's new with you?"
posted by tealcake at 2:18 AM on December 21, 2013


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