Wanna know how to make a woman (who may be slightly on the heavy side) feel like crap? Ask her when she’s due.
I get it. I carry weight through my middle. I always have. I can remember waiting tables in college and being asked if I were pregnant. It’s not like I was wearing my apron up under my boobs; but neither was I a size 6.
I loved actually being pregnant because I felt like I finally fit into my body. I can totally rock an empire-waisted shirt and elastic pants. Perhaps I should just invest my clothing allowance in Motherhood Maternity or A Pea in the Pod and respond, “yes, yes I am! We’re very excited!” every time someone asks me if I’m pregnant.
I dress pretty conservatively. I try to wear clothes that fit and are flattering to my body type. I’m not fooling anyone if I try to squeeze into clothes that don’t fit just because the number on the tag is a single digit. I haven’t worn single-digit clothing since I was 16. I lost 40 lbs. on Weight Watchers before Large was born, but I STILL wasn’t a single digit.
On Halloween night as we were escorting our offspring around the neighborhood, my girlfriend and I stopped to speak with another mom, with whom I had once taught high school. We were discussing how we knew each other and how long it had been since we’d been colleagues when she pointed to my bowl-full-o’-jelly and said, “of course, you weren’t as big then as you are now,” implying that I was with child.
I chuckled because I was worried she’d feel embarrassed if she knew the truth. I was worried that SHE’D be embarrassed. My girlfriend, a petite, skinny little thing, gasped and smiled, obviously not knowing how to react because this has never happened to her. We turned to walk away and she said, “um, what do you do with that?” She assured me, as girlfriends do, that I looked cute/fabulous/not pregnant.
Later that night when I rehashed the whole episode to Hubby, he gave the requisite what’s-wrong-with-people, I-love-you-just-the-way-you-are speech and I went to bed, depressed and cranky.
Fast forward ONE week. Seven days, people.
I’m at a cocktail party, chatting with someone with whom I have a casual acquaintance. “You look great! When are you due?” she asked.
Enough is enough, and I was not in the mood. I’m tired of worrying about other people being embarrassed about their social faux pas while I graciously laugh it off, like I deserve to feel bad about myself because I’ve had a few too many donuts in my lifetime.
“Oh no. Not pregnant. Just fat,” I responded, and waited for her cheeks to turn red.
She backpedaled. “No! I just meant! But! You look so good!”
“It’s okay,” I responded. “It’s just that this is the 2nd time in a week that someone has assumed I am pregnant.” I walked away. There wasn’t anything else left to say.
I know she was embarrassed, I know she didn’t intend to hurt my feelings, and I know she didn’t say it to be mean.
Poor Hubby had to deal with a meltdown of epic proportions that night. “I’m tired of being fat!” I wailed.
Please, I beg of you, on behalf of all the fat girls, do not say anything that even remotely insinuates pregnancy. Unless you see a baby shooting out from underneath her skirt, keep your pie hole shut. And, God forbid, if you rub my beer belly, be prepared to pull back a stump where your hand used to be.