The Art of Scaring People and the Nine-and-a-Half-Months Pregnant Woman
February 8, 2012 § 10 Comments
As my pregnancy goes on and on, I have become quite adept at scaring the crap out of people.
Scenario One: Waddling through the Grocery Store
On February 3, Robert and I found ourselves hungry and in need of food. He hadn’t slept more than three hours the night before, and I was having a sudden burst of energy, so I volunteered to dash down to the store to grab some foodstuffs. Bringing my goodies to the cash register, I caught the attention of four teenaged employees. Three girls and one boy stared at my burgeoning belly as it swelled through my shirt. “Do you know what you’re having?” one girl ventured shyly. I smiled and told her we were having a girl. “When are you due?” another girl asked. “In ten days,” I said cheerfully. The boy turned gray. “What if you go into labor right now??” he demanded. I laughed. The girls laughed. “Then you’ll have to deliver the baby!” snorted the cashier. His eyes bulged out of their sockets. “No, seriously. What happens if your water breaks right here??” I laughed and said, “Then we call my husband, I go sit on that bench over there, and one of you gets a mop.” He didn’t look convinced. He had the terrified look of a teenager who believes the movies: when a woman’s water breaks, the baby pops out. Ah, if only it were that easy! If he ever decides to reproduce, he’ll learn the truth that membranes breaking doesn’t always mean an immediate delivery. I walked out of the store with a big grin on my face, fully confident that my waters wouldn’t break. They didn’t.
Scenario Two: Relaxing with a Mani/Pedi
On February 5, my sister and I went out for a girl’s day, complete with a mani/pedi! It was heavenly, simply divine. I nearly fell asleep in the pedicurist’s chair while he massaged my feet and legs. All women within ten days of their due dates should get a pedicure, plain and simple. Of course, as soon as the employees discovered that my due date was, well, pressing, they started looking at me differently. All of a sudden, chairs were pulled out of the way for me and held in place as I sat down. They asked me over and over if I was okay and if I needed anything. As we were leaving my sister could only point out that, “when you’re eight days away from your due date, people just look at you like you’re a ticking time bomb!” Truer words have never been spoken.
You see, the beauty of being so close to your due date is that the fear and anxiety you instill in those around you comes with absolutely no effort at all. Others seem to be hard-wired, somewhere deep down in that common human DNA we all share, to cast a wary glance at a particularly pregnant woman. They watch her closely, as if ready to pounce into action the first moment she cringes or leans against a wall. On the one hand, I appreciate the humanness of those looks. They themselves may not even be conscious that they’re doing it, but I see them. On the other hand, sometimes the stares can feel, well, a bit invasive. I may be close to my due date, but I’m not past my due date. (Of course, there’s no way for the general observer to know that without asking.) There’s a small amount of forgiveness I must (and do, happily) extend to my attentive onlookers. They mean well. And if I really were to suddenly go into labor while running errands, at least I know that I’m not on my own island.
Even if I do feel like a human island.