Yesterday morning on my way back from dropping S at nursery, I was asked – for the second time in a month – whether I’m pregnant.
Aside from the fact I’ve put on a little weight, I have a hernia and separated abs. My belly sticks out a bit.
Aside from both of those facts, what the hell happened to, you know, being polite?
Interestingly, both people asked me not only if I was pregnant, but wanted to know, “are you pregnant again?”
To clarify here – I have one child. To ask if I am pregnant again suggests I already have too many. Is one child too many these days? Furthermore, I am notoriously (and seemingly terminally) single – so what, exactly, where those people implying?
Incidentally, neither person apologised for what I would consider to be a terrible social faux pas. The most I received was a look of mild surprise.
Neither of these was a person I know terribly well; they were not people I see very often. Incidentally, neither could exactly be described as skinny themselves.
I have made this mistake once myself; someone I vaguely knew told me someone we both knew was pregnant. I saw her a couple of months later and said, “oh, I heard you were pregnant; congratulations!” to which she replied, “no, I’m not…” I was absolutely mortified, and spent the next ten minutes apologising profusely. Since then, even if I’ve been told a person is pregnant, I keep my gob shut until they mention it themselves!
Besides the fact my feelings were hurt by these comments – both the assumption that I’m pregnant and the insinuation that a second pregnancy would be excessive – I’m a little shocked at the fact these people would have asked in the first place. Whatever happened to social niceties, to being polite, to not … well, to not being a bitch?
I have a hernia. It bloody hurts a lot of the time. I often have to resort to wearing a rather unsightly tube-grip type thing, in order to stop parts of my intestines from poking through my abdominal wall. The hernia is a left-over from my pregnancy, and since my mother has the same thing, I’m inclined to believe it’s a hereditary weakness.
Yes, I could probably make it a little better with regular exercise and core exercises, but even when I was really skinny in the months after S was born, even when I was exercising every day, the hernia still poked out a lot of the time; it still bothered me; it still hurt.
Ergo, it’s fair to say there’s not a lot can do about it. I just have a hernia. It just sticks out. And apparently this gives people the right to make comments about my personal appearance.
I’m thinking of changing my stock response from “no, I have a hernia and it’s playing up at the moment” to the shorter, pithier, “no – are you?”