Thursday, June 21, 2007

Awkward

I experienced a very awkward moment yesterday. On my way home from work, I stopped at my local fabric/yarn shop to pick up a few balls of yarn for a friend so that I could knit her new baby a little sweater. To set the stage, yesterday I was wearing a tunic top (which I have loved until recent events described here) similar to the one pictured below. Not this shirt exactly, but close enough - slightly high waisted, flowy material, and oh so comfortable!

I get up to the register, the woman working rings me out and as she hands me my package, points to my stomach area and asks "So when is the happy day?" My first thought was "What the hell is she talking about?" AND then after I realized what she was referring to, I started stuttering and eventually managed to choke out the words "Oh, I'm not pregnant!" as I frantically tried to smooth the front of my shirt so she could see that the air bubble there was indeed NOT my stomach. We both stood there uncomfortably for a few seconds while she then began stuttering in response "Oh, I'm so sorry - it must have been the shirt..." and both of our faces started turning several shades of red.

In all honesty I think she felt worse than I did because it was so obvious how embarassed she was, so I awkwardly snatched up my package and made my way out the door. I immediately called my husband for reassurance that no I do not look pregnant and no I do not have a huge gut. Then we went out to dinner and I got carded when I ordered my raspberry mojito which slightly offset the earlier trauma of the day. And to be fair to the woman at the store I was buying baby yarn and I do know those tunic type tops have the tendency to billow out sometimes giving the aura of pregnancy, but STILL - WHO THE HELL ASKS THAT unless they are absolutely certain??

Another friend had a similar thing happen to her - only the woman that did it to her actually reached out and felt my friend's stomach when she asked. Another very awkward moment as my friend was not pregnant either. And I also have to say I usually have a pretty accurate body perception of myself and although I am not super skinny, I'm not what you would call overweight either - I try to eat right, I jog a few times a week, all in all I'm pretty healthy. However when I woke up at 6:00 am to go jogging this morning, all I heard in my head over and over again was "So, when is the happy day?" WHY DON'T PEOPLE THINK BEFORE THEY SPEAK? Note to self: Never. wearing. that. shirt. again.

On to book talk...I just finished The Abortionist's Daughter by Elisabeth Hyde and thought it was a pretty good read. A quick read told from different points of view of each family member - the abortionist doctor herself, her husband, her daughter, and the detective investigating the case before the killer is finally revealed. Kind of predictable, but still enjoyable.

Now I'm reading A Field of Darkness by Cornelia Read. This is a good summer read. It takes place in Syracuse, NY among the working class while a former debutante of NY's wealthy Long Island set investigates a 20 year old double murder that her favorite cousin may have been involved in. I really like Read's characters - there's some grit to them which keeps it interesting.

And of course after going to the library last night with the intention of only returning books and renewing existing ones I had checked out, I came home with 7 new ones. I just can't seem to help myself :)

Next up - The Teahouse Fire by Ellis Avery, The Dead Father's Club by Matt Haig, and The Nazi Officer's Wife by Edith Hahn Beer and Susan Dworkin.

And this lovely picture that makes me smile. Wild roses growing in our yard. We have rose bushes we planted ourselves, but I think I like these wild ones even better with their deep color and heavenly fragrance!

16 comments:

Stephanie said...

YIKES! I would never say that unless I was absolutely sure that the person was pregnant. I am sure that store clerk with not make that same mistake again!
Stephanie
www.mesocrafty.wordpress.com

Camille said...

Well, I did just have a baby in March, but here it is nearing the end of June and I don't think I still look THAT pregnant. Yet, I had someone ask my almost-three-year-old, "Are you going to have a little brother or a little sister?" He was like, "Lady, what the hell are you talking about?" Then I realized what she meant. OK, then the other day at the grocery store, I was lifting a 12-pack of soda into the cart after checking out and the bagger lady was like, "Oh, you shouldn't be lifting that!" I just let her take it from me and did a little smile. I've been really amazed with the assumptions people voice.

Kailana said...

I think it is the style... Not so much your stomach size, just that the shirt looks like a maternity shirt.

StuckInABook said...

I had to pop along to this blog, seeing as we have such similar blog names, and thanks for making me chuckle! Sympathetically, of course. Have you noticed, nobody in films (at least comedies) EVER asks that question without the lady in question being non-pregnant? Hmm. But yes, I'm sure she felt horrified! Perhaps she's recorded it on a blog somewhere...

Orange Blossom Goddess (aka Heather) said...

Talk about trauma. I've been avoiding buying one of those tops for that very reason.

Chris * Natalie * Maya * Mason said...

i'm so paranoid about this because the style of shirts now seems sort of maternity-ish in the first place, and then after having 2 kids, my tummy isn't toned (to say the least). plus, my friends know i plan to have another kid, and my "baby" is...well...not so much a baby any more, so they're looking for any indication that #3 is on the way. awkward is right. that's why i never comment on a pregnancy that hasn't been confirmed, even if they look to be on the way to the delivery room this very minute. too risky. also - love your blog! i'm always happy to stumble upon a book blog, being a bookworm and all! :)

d. chedwick bryant said...

it is rude to assume pregnancy and mention it-- a friend of mine (who is normal weight) adopted a baby--an acquaintance saw her with new baby and exclaimed "OH! I saw you a few months ago and WONDERED why you were so HEAVY looking!You were pregnant!!!!" My friend is 6 feet tall and a size 8, how was she ever heavy???

people say horrifying things!

d. chedwick bryant said...

and ps --I was at the mall and saw many women wearing those style tops and I did think...geeze they look like maternity tops! so I wouldn't buy one--they could make 6 pack abs look like baby on board.

nutmeg said...

Yes. People really should be sure before they speak (but if it's any consolation those sorts of tops make most all people look a little that way - it's such a pain because like you said they are very comfortable).

I have the Matt Haig on my TBR pile too and I recently read The Nazi Officer's Wife - it's full of interesting facts but Edith gets a "little" annoying by the end (well, I thought so!)

Molly said...

"Open mouth, insert foot!" I guess, if you want to be forgiving, people are just looking for a way to connect and be friendly....but being assumed pregnant when I wasn't would not put me in a friendly mood......Over from Nutmeg.

LK said...

I'm with Kailana--that's the style, not you. (Did you ever see the Seinfeld episode about this subject? It's pretty funny.)

Cheer up: You could be like me, too old for anyone to think you might be having a happy event! :o

Tristi Pinkston said...

Some people just have no tact, whatsoever. And you just don't touch someone's stomach. I'm sorry -- total invasion of personal space!

I think it's a cute shirt and you should wear it just to spite people!

Lesley said...

God, I didn't think anyone actually asked that question anymore. Don't they hear these kind of stories?

I bet she did feel a lot worse that you, though.

Melanie said...

I've had that question a couple of times; always when wearing a specific high waisted dress that I love. I assume it's because of the dress.
People are so strange; I'd never ask anyone such a personal question even if I thought they might be pregnant. I started getting a bit tired of it, so when someone I don't really like too much anyhow asked me I told her "No, just fat" and kept going. She hasn't really bothered me since... :)

BabelBabe said...

my favorite Dave Barry quote EVER:
"You should never say anything to a woman that even remotely suggests that you think she's pregnant unless you can see an actual baby emerging from her at that moment."

also, my standard response (this has happened to me once or twice, post-babies): "No, no baby, I'm just fat." and then I walk away. I figure they made me feel bad, they should feel bad too : ) No, I am not a nice person.

amisare waswerebeen said...

I've been asked that twice, TWICE in the last year. I know it's because I've put on a bit of weight, and I know that they felt worse than I did about it. But I'm with you...you should NEVER assume that a person's pregnant and say it out loud. You would think that they would know by now.