Tuesday, January 18, 2011

People say the darnedest things

I've been amazed at some of the things I've heard people say since becoming pregnant and having a baby.  Mind you, the most shocking phrases have not come from uninhibited children or old ladies, but from average middle-aged women.  I began noticing this early in my pregnancy when store clerks who asked about my peculiar purchase of a case of ramen noodles for morning sickness would also ask me about my puking habits. I brushed it off as polite concern, but soon it became a regurgitation of their puking stories.  A few weeks of morning sickness and I was very familiar with all the different foods that the strange women around me had been vomiting.  But aside from the "TMI" factor, what I couldn't understand was why these women were telling an obviously green, nauseous pregnant woman stories about their more disgusting bodily functions.

After fourteen weeks or so the morning sickness subsided and I was able to eat normal foods again.  Naturally, the puke stories subsided too.  By then, my baby was growing and, slowly but surely, a small baby bump began to form in my lower abdomen.  Now, complete strangers felt they had they had exclusive rights to information about my uterus.  Thankfully, after monthly doctors appointments, talking about my uterus seemed so natural.
Next came questions about my weight.  People I hardly knew thought they were privy to such information asking about how much I gained and what my pre-pregnancy weight was.  One would never ask the a woman about her current weight but when she's pregnant she's suddenly suppose to reveal that secret number.  Go figure.

The last couple weeks of my pregnancy as women found out I was almost due a new question cropped up.  Strangers at JoAnn's fabrics and cashiers at Wal-Mart were asking about my cervix, which is yet another organ one wouldn't dream of asking about under any other circumstance.  I had daily inquiries.  Had I not been so proud of my 3 centimeters dilated and soft cervix this, too, could have been awkward.  However, by this point I was practically volunteering this information to anyone who seemed interested.  Apparently, I say the darnedest things too.

After talking so much about my body for eightish months I've lost a lot of my censors.  Saturday night I sat in my parents living room visiting with my dad and I caught myself telling him my rough estimate of how much milk my breasts make. . . information I'm sure he could have lived his whole life without.  I now have a marginal understanding of grocery store women, so these days it's very rare I hear them say something that shocks me.  But last week at Target. . .

I pulled up to the register with my little tag-a-long all bundled in her car seat.

[Exhibit A.]

The woman behind me peaked at my baby and became concerned.  "Does she have a shrunken head?" She asked in a worried tone.  I turned around to get a good look at her serious face.  I was speechless.  (It takes a lot to render me speechless.)  I pulled the blanket off Andrea and said the rest of her was small too.  Looking mortified and embarrassed, the woman apologized.  While my loved ones and friends have given me many phrases I could have used in this awkward moment, I still am in shock that someone actually seriously asked me this question and think if faced with this scenario again I would react the same.  Like a deer in the headlights.  Who honestly says things like that and thinks it's okay?  I like the point my cousin, April, made.  What if her head really was shrunken.  Thank you for pointing out my child's deformity.

Still, I wasn't really offended, just incredibly shocked.  I just. . . I don't. . . wow.

1 comment:

  1. People say insensitive, stupid things...I try to laugh it off, but sometimes it's hard! I think my BIGGEST pet peeve is when people think I'm like 14, but really I'm not and I'm married and have kids! LOL Your daughter's adorable, and I'm sure her pictures don't do her justice!