09 November, 2010

Disorderly Conduct Unbecoming of a Human Being

I was at the mall yesterday using the restroom before work when, from inside my stall, I hear a woman say "Oh my dear, you're about to explode!" The woman to whom she was talking politely titters a laugh and murmurs an agreement. I was floored. Do people actually say that? There is this odd time in a woman's life when people are allowed to say and do things they wouldn't normally simply because the woman is expecting. It's considered funny or normal to tell a woman that she looks so big she could burst. Which is interesting because there seem to be a lot of women I know who have had kids or are expecting who are concerned about their weight. "Is this a normal amount to gain?" "Will I be able to lose it?" There are hundreds if not thousands of blogs, websites, and books dedicated to helping women shed those pregnancy pounds. Obviously this is a sensitive subject for many mothers and yet people think that making a statement as to the growing size of a woman is culturally acceptable. And then there is the inevitable "touching of the stomach." The uncontrollable desire for other women (hopefully very few men attempt this) to touch, grab, and feel the "baby bump." I told Dan about the statement in the bathroom and we began talking about the odd behavior surrounding pregnant women. Dan's response was, "I don't understand the need to touch their stomach. I'd like to see anyone try to touch your stomach if you're ever pregnant." Which is surprisingly comforting. I don't think I'd mind if someone asked to touch my stomach (and I KNEW them) but  I've seen women just reach out to touch a protruding stomach while in mid-conversation; I feel like it's a cultural ritual I just don't identify with. If someone reached out and touched my stomach today, I would feel so uncomfortable and awkward. Why? BECAUSE IT'S NOT NORMAL. Am I the only one who thinks this is weird? Should I just resign myself to the peculiar conduct around the heavy with child? All I'm saying is that it doesn't encourage me to jump into that endeavor, and I wasn't gung-ho on the idea in the first place. 


  1. No, I totally understand the feeling. It's kind of like, "Uh, hi. She's preggo, not Buddha. Hands off!" And yeah, the whole gaining a bajillion pounds just to pop out another human and having people feel the need to make me feel even more self-conscious is not too appealing to me right now. But maybe it's just something you warm up to.

  2. I feel the same way, Julia. I'm not sure if I want to warm up to it ;)

  3. I feel the same way, Julia. I'm not sure if I want to warm up to it ;)