Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Top 10 Reasons To Get Punched In The Face

I like to think the majority of America is not made up of ignorant jackasses. I like to think that the majority of America is not made up of insensitive morons. It took me 23 weeks of pregnancy out in America to realize that is definitely not the case.

When I was pregnant with my daughter I worked full time at a big fancy shmancy company. As most fancy shmancy companies go it had a high level of politeness. Everybody is going to need everybody for something sooner or later so politeness is the way to go. And while I know people get talked about behind their backs, all that business school education teaches one how to put up a great layer of phony. I worked in Public Relations…so you know that those had to be the phoniest of the bunch.

But still, it was nice. They all told me how great I looked everyday. They gushed about my cute little maternity outfits. People told me that I most certainly was carrying a boy because apparently there is an old wives’ tale that girls take away from your beauty and boys add to it…or something. Nobody once put their hand on my tummy without asking permission first. And when one of Oprah’s personal assistants told me how “fantastic” I looked without even having met me, I knew I was in the right line of work to be pregnant in.

But currently I am in the best line of work to be a mommy in, I am president of Stay At Home With Princess Peanut Incorporated. It’s fantastic and it is what works best for me.
But the best line of work to be a mommy in-not the best line of work to be pregnant in.

I am no longer surrounded by Shmancies, I am surrounded by people who will never have to see me again. The check out lady at the grocery. A mommy at the park. The man who came to give us a price on finishing our basement.

They just speak their mind. Their mind to mouth filters aren’t as fine tuned, perhaps. And I am tiny in general so even an extra 5lbs would stand out…let alone another 15 or so that is localized in the stomach region. And although I'm no longer "tiny" I really don’t think I am gigantic. But apparently I am.

I have heard more hurtful things in the past 3 weeks than I have ever heard in the entire time I was pregnant last time. Heck, I’ve heard more hurtful things in the past 3 weeks than I have in my ENTIRE LIFE.

Now I know not everyone is meaning to be rude. But what do they think? That the baby in my belly just fills me with so much joy that they can say whatever they want and it would bounce off? And since when is it ever proper to comment on a woman’s weight…to her face?

So here you go America. In my unending love and generosity I am going to help you out and help you not be a bunch of cruel, unintentional idiots. And help you stop making me and probably a million other mommies-to-be cry in the produce aisle.

Top 10 Things NEVER To Say To A Pregnant Woman:

10- “I see you have reached the waddling stage.”

9- “When my wife was pregnant she gained half her body weight too.”

8-“Wow, that’s a lot of baby you have in there. You expecting twins?”

7-“Oh God! I can’t believe the doctor is still letting you walk around at this point!”

6-“When are you due? Around next week or so?”

5-“So was this a planned pregnancy?”

4-“ Wow, given the size of your breasts I hope you’re planning on breast-feeding.”

3- “72 inches?” At the “Guess The Waist Circumference” game at a baby shower.

2- “You’re having ANOTHER baby!?! ALREADY!?!”

1- “I bet you’re having a girl because of all that extra weight you’re carrying in your hips.”

So America- are we clear on this? DO NOT think that you are a pregnancy expert because you have ever been pregnant, knew someone who was pregnant, or watch a lot of ER. DO NOT think that pregnant women LIKE having their bellies fondled at gas stations. DO NOT think that just because a woman is pregnant she is not as beautiful and wonderful and sensitive as a woman who is not. And DO NOT say any of these things to me because I swear-I’m pregnant, I’m hormonal, I’m tough and I will kick your nonpregnant ass.


Anonymous said...

BRILLIANT! This is a keeper. I am going to forward to all my family and friends so they know what NOT to do. I am 14 wks pregnant with my first and if anyone ever says anything like this to me, I'm scared I'm going to punch them too!

No doubt you are skinny and beautiful and look fantastic! People can just be so ignorant about the realities of being pregnant!

Gluckel of Manhattan said...

Oh Mahatoma, what an awesome post. I've certainly been there. There was the woman, one of my faves, who came up to me and told me that she hoped to hell I wasn't having a girl, because girls are no fun at all. (Phew. I had a boy).

Anonymous said...

I will never understand why people don't apply everyday personal space boundaries to pregnant women.
And my guess is that should you punch someone in the face, the courts would side with you!

The Rebbetzin's Husband said...

This was great. I'm not pregnant, and likely never will be, since I'm XY... but it was still exactly what I wanted to read right now.

Jack said...

My non pregnant ass is too busy laughing to protect itself.

Juggling Frogs said...

I have 5 kids. (All of them dearly loved, wanted, prayed-for, even!)

During the last 3 pregnancies, I was subject to FREQUENT, unsolicited, unwelcome, and extended lectures from strangers about birth control!

Every so often, when out with my kids (and not pregnant), I still get strangers discussing "zero population growth" with me, or asking me first if they're all mine, then if I know "how to prevent that."

AArgh. If they were misbehaving, I could take it as misfiring attempt at humor. But this is just when we are sitting by ourselves at a picnic table, or at the grocery store when we're busy and quiet and minding our own business.

Not only is it insulting and annoying and obnoxious to me and to my kids (who are capable of hearing, despite the offender's use of the third person in reference to them...) but it sometimes introduces topics and questions I didn't plan to have in a public place with my small children!!

I feel your pain, Ima Shalom. Keep those fists face-free, and hang in there! In a few years, Please G-d, when we're buying birthday gifts for the grandchildren, we'll overhear the obnoxious strangers aggravating the next generation of expectant mothers, and we can be the ones who tell the offenders where to get off!

Juggling Frogs said...

P.S. B'shaa tova!

Anonymous said...

Well said - Thank you! I couldn't have put it better myself - I know this, since no matter how many ways I try to put it - my family doesn't get it. So I sent them a link to your blog. Here's hoping they read it! Maybe the last few weeks will be smoother now...

therapydoc said...

GREAT post. But. My dear hormonal friend. Even though you're right, I mean, yes, they're boobs (bad choice of words

I'm going to tell you something.

Sometimes I'm asked to speak for groups. A couple of months ago, I spoke at an infertility group.

And I started out by saying, Why don't we start by bashing all the dumb things people say that are insensitive to this particular problem. (things they say are stupid, surely they're not).

Things like,

Nu? So when are you going to get pregnant already? Or, How long are you married now?

We never got past this topic.

I'm ready, when you are, to edit a book of stupid things people say in different circumstances. Your chapter's clearly a keeper. LMK.

amy domagtoy said...

I think they should get two punches if they follow the weight comment with a high pitched falsetto, "Whaaaat? You're pregnant-you're supposed to be big!"