One of the most awkward interactions that a person can experience is when an unsuspecting woman is asked if she is pregnant or when she is due. I thought by now that everybody just knew that pregnancy is not a subject to mention unless the expectant mother says something first. I was very wrong.
As many can probably relate, as a woman approaches 50, LOTS of things begin to change. For me, it’s the dreaded stress belly complicated with the reemergence of an umbilical hernia. Add in my discovery of the Russell Stover outlet in Athens and well, I’ve put on a few pounds. Unfortunately for me, like a kangaroo, everything likes to hang out in my belly region.
The first time I was approached with the baby question and I clarified that I was not pregnant, the person clapped back with “Are you sure?” Umm, yeah, I’m pretty darn sure. I’ve never, in a million years, expected somebody to actually double down, yet there we were in an awkward debate.
For me, being socially awkward only makes these encounters worse. I was recently faced with another inquiry about “my baby” at one of my favorite businesses and in a panic, not to hurt the OTHER person’s feelings, I idiotically just rolled with it. I stopped visiting the business all together for several months due to the humiliation. The first time I gained the courage to go back, they immediately asked me how the baby was doing. Silver lining- they thought I had had the baby at that point.
These are just two examples of the many times I have been asked about my belly recently and I must say, I am stunned at how many women still bring up this taboo topic. I used to laugh about it, but it has become so frequent that I have developed a complex. It has caused me to give up sodas and eating potatoes, which I needed to do, but it has made me constantly aware of how I look, what I am wearing and where I dare go. It has consumed my thoughts.
I am engaged to be married and my poor fiancé has to deal with bizarre congratulations and the fallout as we walk away from these situations. Bless his heart, he tries to make me feel better by pointing out that at least they think I am still young enough to have a baby. I suppose that could be the optimist’s view, but I’m no optimist.
The most intriguing part of the “when are you due?” phenomenon is not one time has it been a man who has asked. Come on gals! Even the guys know better than to go there, so why are you? We should all recognize this huge social blunder. Pregnancy is personal and we shouldn’t bring it up at all unless the person who is actually pregnant chooses to do so.
Next time you find yourself curious about another person’s belly, distract yourself or say, “You know what? We don’t talk about these things.”
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