So there I am in the middle of enjoying a lovely afternoon with my boys, rounding it off with a quick stop at the grocery store to grab a few items for dinner when my fantastic mood is brought to a screeching halt. This is what happened…
We get in the checkout line and my four-year-old son begins to help me unload the cart onto the conveyor belt, while my one-year-old son babbles on excitedly. As we approach the clerk, she starts to make polite small talk and asks my older son about his day, etc, etc…
Before we can complete the transaction and get on our way, she throws out the most dreaded question she possibly could, “So… how far along are you?”
Mind you, I am not currently expecting, so she basically just called me “fat” to my face.
At this point I’m torn between my two possible (and justified) reactions; blow it off and pretend like it’s no big deal (even though it is, because, what the heck, she just called me fat!) or be mildly confrontational and make a point to demonstrate how insulting the person just was and let them know that, “No, it’s not a baby, it’s just a big, fat belly. Thanks.”
Why do people put themselves into that much of a conversation with random strangers anyway? For the record, the photo below shows what my belly looks like when I am actually pregnant (around 27 weeks) and it looks NOWHERE close to my stomach currently. Yeah, I still have some of my baby weight from my most recent pregnancy, but I would say that my size would definitely put me more into a “questionable category” rather than an “oh-yeah-she’s-obviously-packin’-baby-in-there category.”
Which leads me to my point; if you can’t tell that someone is pregnant and they do not offer up said information, then there is NO need to ask. Period. Any woman who has ever been pregnant will either choose to keep that blessed information to themselves, because honestly, it’s intimate knowledge and isn’t any of the clerk’s business! Or she will be shouting it from the rooftops, anxious to inform all she meets about her wonderful news. Basically, unless a woman is actually HOLDING a baby and standing on a corner SHOUTING about her pregnancy and labor details, do not pry into her life and potentially ruin everyone’s day.
My youngest son is now 16 months old and I have probably been asked that question by roughly 12 people (read: strangers) since he was born. Sometimes this even happens when I’m having, what I believe to be, a “skinny” day and feeling really good about my body, only to have that come crashing down by six tiny words. You might think that after so many instances I would be able to laugh it off, and trust me, I have a pretty keen sense of humor, but no, damn it, it isn’t funny the second, third, or ninth time!
(Okay, so it IS a bit funny when you sarcastically thank them for calling you fat, and make them feel horribly uncomfortable, but it only lasts for a moment…)
So, please, heed my advice and spread it to all that you know: If you feel compelled to ask, YOU SHOULDN’T! Seriously. Just don’t. This is good advice for many facets in life. I promise that if a woman is indeed expecting and deems it necessary for you to know about it, then you will whether you want to or not!