Wednesday, June 4, 2008

A Small Suggestion: Things not to say to an 8-month-pregnant woman

Joy is a small person.

Babies, placenta, fluid, etc. all take up a lot of room.

When you mix Joy and babies, you'll always notice; Joy doesn't hide pregnancy well. That said, she is more content than most pregnant, and even at this late stage feels good, has energy, and enjoys being up and about.

But just because she is obviously pregnant and out at Target shopping doesn't give you the right to make strange comments to her. That's right, I'm talking to you crazy creepy old man oggling her belly. I'm serious - you wouldn't believe the strange things Joy has had directed at her the past few weeks while in public, often by older men who should know better. Here's a small sampling:
  1. "You got twins in there?" (Really, as though she doesn't feel big enough already since people for months have thought she was due in a few day's time and have said so.)
  2. "When are you due?" yelled across said Target store, quickly followed by "Oh my gosh!" (Do you really think that's encouraging? At all?)
  3. "What are you looking for?" Joy's response, "Mailing labels." "No, a boy or a girl?" (The man's wife quickly ushered him away murmuring about how good Joy looked. I can't imagine the conversation in the car on the way home for that couple.)
  4. "It looks like you're going to pop at any minute!" (Are you like the man who gave Joy a pedicure and afraid her water's going to break at any minute? If not, be quiet.)
  5. "That's so big, it looks like it hurts!" (Not as much as my foot in your groin will if you don't back off.)
I've long been amazed at what people will say to small children that they won't say to adults' faces and the license they feel to be rude to pregnant women. At least no one has felt her belly in public. I think they're afraid it will burst if they do.


laura gayle said...

All good advice for those of us who haven't experienced pregnancy. I hope she got a great foot/leg massage during that pedicure.

Jaime said...

Ugh, the insensitivity of people who don't have enough experience to keep their mouths shut. Or who forgot (or didn't care) that their wives hated those comments when they were pregnant. As someone who WAS carrying twins and yet was never yelled at from across a store like Joy was, I have great sympathy for her. She has earned the right to say, "back off, jerk!" to anyone she chooses! She needs someone appropriately rude as her PR rep... I'd like to apply. :)

Andrew said...

Jaime, you're totally hired. And Laura, Joy did get the foot/leg massage and declared it the best moment of the pregnancy!

Tad and Monica said...

Possible responses:
"Are you having twins?" "Oh, well, at least I'm pregnant. You're just fat."
Rubbing of the belly. (courtesy of my friend Tam). "Who do you think I am, the Buddha?"