Oh for the love o’ pete.
Unless you see a tiny little head peeking out of my hoo-ha, please do not give me advice about my non-existent pregnancy.
Large and I went to the grocery store tonight to pick up a few things. We got in line and placed our products up on the conveyor belt. I noticed the woman behind me had fancy-schmancy seltzer water. I, myself, was purchasing the store brand.
“Excuse me . . . “ she said, and naturally I assumed she was going to ask me a question about one of the items we were purchasing. You have excellent taste in bananas, for instance. Or where’d ya find those aged-to-perfection cheese sticks?
“I noticed you’re buying that seltzer water. You should really try this kind throughout your pregnancy,” she advertised, as she held up one of her fancy bottles of seltzer and glanced at my problem area. “One of my girlfriends is pregnant and she just loves this kind.”
Here’s the thing: I have one of those George Costanza jerk store moments EVERY time this happens to me. Remember that Seinfeld episode where George comes up with a clever comeback, but not until WAY after the offending remark was made? "The jerk store called. They’re running out of you!"
Whenever I relay one of these humiliating anecdotes, inevitably someone suggests that I should have retorted with something that would make the offender feel embarrassed for mistakenly assuming I am pregnant. I never say anything though. (Except once, and you can read about it here.) Even though I am mortified that my mere appearance has led someone to think I am harboring another human being in my intestinal region, I never want to offend the offender.
In my mind, I responded, “nope. Not pregnant. Just fat,” while my face flushed with humility, which apparently she mistook for “that maternal glow.”
“Okay, thanks,” I responded quietly.
I didn’t want her to feel bad for making an inappropriate comment. How pathetically ironic is that?
I am embarrassed, humiliated, and ashamed because of my physical being, and yet I don't want HER to feel embarrassed, humiliated, or ashamed, so I just smile and swallow my pride, (much like I swallowed those donuts/chips/french fries.)
I recognize my own weakness and I take full responsibility for it. I do not have a thyroid problem. I am not taking medication that causes me to bloat. Obesity does not run in my family. It ain’t rocket science: I make bad food choices and I hate exercising. Well, it’s not so much the exercising as the sweating . . . And the tight clothes. And the fact that I feel like everyone must be looking at me and trying to rationalize the physics behind the movement of my wobbly bits.
And it’s not men who comment on my “pregnancy;” It’s women. EVERY time. C’mon girls! You know how difficult it is to be a woman and to feel good about yourself in the midst of unrealistic media images. I try to be a good person, to behave with integrity, and to set a good example of personal character for my children. WHY do I let a complete stranger’s insensitive comment hurt my feelings so?
Eventually I’m going to have enough fodder to write a book of anecdotes about all the hilarious times this has happened to me. Ha-friggin’-ha. In the meantime, if you need me, I’ll be burning the sweater I was wearing today.