“No,” I answered, dismissively. This woman hasn’t exactly impressed me with her manners, so I was prepared to let it go.
“Are you sure?” she asked, eyeing my belly expertly. “You’re carrying a little extra weight there.”
“Yes, I’m sure,” I replied, frostily.
“You might be,” she said. “You should get it checked. You never know.”
“I would know,” I replied, turning away.
Ignoring her, I marched my five-year-old up the driveway. “You could be! You never know!” she loudly called after me. I am grateful there were children watching, because I was sorely tempted to (ahem!) behave unbecomingly. I wanted to march back down the hill, stare pointedly at her midsection, ask if she was experiencing a surprise pregnancy late in life, or if menopause was slowing her metabolism. Or just punch her in the throat.
Seriously. Okay, so every woman gets wrongly asked if she’s preggers now and then. My skinny mini size 2 friend who can’t gain weight even when she tries has been asked her due date. Clueless people abound. Sometimes, honest mistakes are made and “Congratulations!” quickly turns into embarrassment for both parties. Typically the the guilty party apologizes and says something like: “Oh, it’s just the way the wind came up and made your shirt poof out! You totally do not look pregnant! I’m so sorry,” while hastily backing away. A sensible person does not make things worse by pointing out that you gained weight!
I know this woman is not the brightest bulb, but honestly, her remarks felt mean. There was definitely a hint of malice in her eyes as she loudly asked her “innocent” questions.
True, I did put on some pounds over the past few weeks. My metabolism goes haywire when I’m under stress, and I’m under quite a bit these days. We are in the process of selling our house and buying a new one in a nearby town that hopefully uses more discretion in hiring bus drivers. However, I have just lost a few of those pounds and even dropped a size in jeans, so I was feeling pretty proud of my efforts.
My mother’s advice to me (her blurt-questions-now-think-later child) has always been: “Unless you can see the baby’s head crowning, never ask a woman if she is pregnant.” And she is absolutely right. Even if a woman looks pregnant to you, she could have gained a few pounds, had a big lunch, eaten something that gave her tremendous gas and inflated her stomach, have uterine fibroids, etc. and so forth. Or, she could be pregnant, showing early, and not want to tell anyone yet. Or she might, sadly, be in the process of miscarrying, and really not want to discuss that with Mister or Miss Nosy.
So, if you think a woman might be pregnant, unless you are her doctor, keep your mouth shut, instead of loudly asking and pressing the issue in front of a bus full of curious children.