Monday, July 19, 2010

Stop Me If You've Heard This

On our second night here in Indiana, J and I went a street fair in downtown Lafayette. The following is the un-retouched dialogue between myself and a jewelry vendor.

Vendor, who appears to be about my mother's age: "Why, look at you! Congratulations! When are you due?"
Me: "September 7."
Vendor, with eyebrows now touching her hairline: "Really? Might there be more than one in there?"
Me, wishing I had wandered with J toward the jazz musicians: "No. It's just one."
Vendor: "Are you sure?"
Me, teeth slightly gritted: "Yes. I've seen the sonograms." At this point, I'm trying very hard to look like I'm focusing on the jewelry.
Vendor: "Well, that's going to be one healthy sized baby! Is your husband very involved?"
Me: "Well my pimp knocked me up, but he's been pretty generous with his time considering I'm one of 7 baby mamas." (Okay, that was in my head).
Me (really): "He's been great."
Vendor: "Have you taken the childbirth and lamaze classes?"
Me, sighing: "We just moved here. Yesterday. So we haven't taken anything yet."
Vendor: "Oh, then you'll need a doctor! Doctor B on South Street is great. Of course, he's old enough to be your grandfather. He's about my age."
Me: "Just how old do you think I am?? 20?" (In my head).
Me (really): "Uh-huh. This jewelry is beautiful."

So, between making me feel like a hippo, prying, and then assuming I have to be at least 10 years younger than I am (my youngest grand-parent would be 78 right now, and frankly, I'm not so cool with a 78-year-old OB catching LO when he arrives), this woman did not make a new friend. My thinking is that every pregnancy gets an insensitive comment or two. It's just unfortunate that this was my welcome to Indiana.

And here I thought that my student who asked me back in April if the rumors were true that my eggo was preggo was going to be the height of tactlessness. Never assume!


  1. Ha ha... you're in for a LONG few months of pregnancy and then an even longer lord knows how long of childhood.

    You see, pregnant women and mothers of young children belong to the world. We're public property, and no statement is too personal, no remark too insulting, no question too demanding. Brace yourself, because you're in for another few months of "What, you got twins in there? Har har!"

    The only thing you can do is remember that they mean it as a compliment. Which they do. Seriously. I promise. You may feel as big as a house, but I promise they're not criticizing you or any sort of weight gain. They're basing this on the old canard of A Big Baby is a Healthy Baby.

    Now, wait until the birth horror stories begin. THAT is when the jaw-dropping fun starts. You're standing there, minding your own business, and the little old woman behind you starts up a conversation and suddenly she's telling you about how her daughter almost died in childbirth, her daughter-in-law's child was almost brain-damanged in childbirth, her niece was on bedrest for 6 months because of some rare condition that almost killed her AND the baby, and her own pregnancy ended with a forceps delivery just in the nick of time. And so on and so on. The important thing to remember is that these stories are full of shit. Notice that the word "almost" appears in all of them. But it's easier to start humming a song in your head so that you don't have to listen to the litany of things that might possibly maybe go wrong.

    And then the baby is born, and don't even get me started. Why isn't that baby wearing a hat? It's 87 degrees out! You wouldn't want him to get a chill.

  2. My favorite part of being the world's property is the fact that J likes to ask me to pick him up beer when I'm out running errands. He thinks it's hilarious. No one has said anything to me yet, but I've certainly gotten some looks. J has threatened to ask me to pick up beer, firecrackers, cigarettes and vaseline (I really don't want to know why on the vaseline), just to see the reactions.