Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Dear World: Don't ask a woman if she's pregnant unless the baby is crowning

Today was a really special day. First of all, I woke up knowing I'd have to face my biggest fear this evening. No, not petting a dog. Worse. 

Getting blood drawn (for a routine physical next week). 

Everyone normal has phobias, but it seems to me that when people say "I'm afraid of heights" or "I'm claustrophobic", these things get respected as real fears. When I say I'm terrified of needles, it's more like "Man up and stop being such a p-word, you loser". Maybe everyone else gets that too, I don't know, but that's how I see it.

So, the day wasn't off to a great start, but I was doing my best to be in denial about what was going to happen. I was innocently minding my own business, when out of nowhere came this lovely question (spoiler alert - the answer is no).

"Are you expecting?"

What now? Despite being completely caught off guard and mortified, I gathered my quick wit and came back with this stinging retort.


IT COULD HAVE ENDED THERE. We could have walked away awkwardly, sufficiently humiliated on both ends. I could have consoled myself with something like "she must have had me confused with someone else!". But it wasn't over.

"Oh....because you have a bulge". 


Why did we need to go on? It all could have been over. It's bad enough to imply that, but to come right out and say it? There's no bouncing back from that.

So I did what anyone would do. Scuttled away without replying, went to a dark, dark place in my mind, called Eric, texted all my friends, and posted about the exchange on Facebook and Twitter. I mean, I don't think I have a terrible body image, but when someone basically calls you a fat cow straight to your face, it's a bit of a blow.

Luckily all my friends, both actual and the social media kind, rallied me with stories of even ruder things people said to them, and assurances that I didn't look pregnant (because let's not pretend that I posted that comment for any other reason than to hear "no way you look totes skinny!", but don't worry, I got my fill, not necessary in the comments.) 

Suffice to say, I'm pretty sure I won't be posting any bikini selfies after our vacation next week, unless I learn Photoshop between now and then.

The obvious temptation at this point was to go directly home and drown myself in ice cream, because clearly I was already fat and disgusting so I might as well continue to ride that train. BUT, life is unfair, I couldn't, because I had to go get blood drawn.

Eric was supposed to go down with me around 6pm, but I couldn't handle the anxiety of waiting (again) so I told him I was going as soon as I got home from work. I also told him he couldn't go, for reasons that weren't entirely clear, even to me. I think because I subconsciously felt like that if I could drive myself like a Big Girl, it wasn't a big deal. 

When I was in high school my doctor suspected that I had mono and I refused to take the blood test to confirm so my mom bribed me with a new sweater, which my BFF Casi and I called "the blood test sweater" for years. It's not socially acceptable for a 30 year old woman to require a bribe from her mommy to undergo routine medical procedures, so I had to bribe myself. With Panera. Not life changing, but it was right across the street from the doctor's office and seriously, if you don't like Panera and not having to cook dinner, you're not right.

After getting past the mental battle just to show up, things began poorly. Right away, the technician asked me if I had fasted. Um, NO, because nobody told me I was supposed to. I was not about to summon the strength to come back and even if I could have, the receptionist had said this was the latest I could give blood before my appointment on Monday. 

Luckily it had been almost 6 hours since I'd eaten lunch and I told the lady what I ate (fish and cabbage) and she said it was fine but then I was silently freaking out because I ate this random thing that I got in a race packet in the car on the way over and I couldn't figure out what it was called or how to describe it.

So I was blabbering about how I ate "this fruit thing but it was really small I swear" and she said it was fine and started to get the needle ready. That's when I started to really panic and remembered something else and blurted "I HAD TWO PEACHES AFTER LUNCH" in a volume that was much too loud to be appropriate for that information. Luckily it seemed to clue her in to the fact that I was crazy so she mothered me like I was her own baby and talked me through the whole thing so as a result I survived and I LOVE THIS WOMAN.

And that's the story of my traumatic day. Three positives: 

1. I had a great 3.75 mile run.
2. The run was made possible by going to Bikram yesterday! My mom got me two of their ridiculously overpriced classes as part of my 30 for 30 birthday gift and all that stretching really was just glorious.
3. It's pretty much over, and hopefully tomorrow nobody will ask me if I'm pregnant.

Let's keep this going, please share ridiculously rude/inappropriate things people have said to you!

Edited to add: my suffering is even greater because I just arrived at the chapters on Theon in Game of Thrones book 5 so now I have to endure that horror all over again in written form and it might even be worse but I can't say for sure because I mainly covered my eyes and ears during his scenes on the show.


  1. I just had a breakdown at CVS tonight because they gave me the wrong birth control pill. I had the kids with me and I was like "THIS is why I NEED MY PILLS". The lady looked at me like I was insane, which I feel is a high bar at a CVS.

    No point to that other than to make you feel better about your peaches confessional.

    A boyfriend in college once told me that it was really strange that I had such skinny arms and legs and a fat stomach so...yeah. He was a keeper.

    One time a girl poked my armpit fat and said "Oh, you have that? I hate that". THANK YOU BITCH.

    A girl once looked at my face and then asked "Have you ever considered your eyebrows?" THANK YOU BITCH

    Just today someone saw my tattoo and said "Oh, I thought a kid had just draw on you with marker" THANK YOU BITCH

    But seriously, that woman is awful and she must be jealous how much more you can run than her.

    1. I just died laughing at this comment. Eric thought something was wrong. People are special.

    2. This comment killed me...people are so stupid!

      I wore an empire waisted dress to a family dinner once and my grandma said "in my day, those were clothes you wore when you were pregnant!" My grandma also called a couple weeks ago to tell me that she found a box of my college stuff in their garage (they lived 2 hours from my school so I stored stuff there). She said "there are some clothes in here...damn girl, you were huge!"

      My mom also told me that an appropriate diet was 900 calories a day. Sometimes I'm amazed that I'm normal. :)

  2. My only pregnancy story is when I was being trained for my job, a random person came up to me and the lady training me and said to the lady training me "Oh are you training her for when you are on maternity leave?" All the lady training me said was "Um...Nope!" all politely. Then she walked away and proclaimed to everyone she needed to go on a diet. I was speechless!

    Getting blood taken is not fun but I have sort of gotten used to it because I have to have it done constantly. I always look away though because who the fuck wants to see the needle going into their arm (other than a heroin addict) and they always say to me "Oh do you get faint?" NO I just simply don't like seeing needles going into my skin.

    1. That is so weird because I HAVE to look because I freak out if I don't know the exact moment it is entering my arm even though I hate it so much and everyone who has ever taken my blood until today has told me to look away and thinks its so weird that I look!

  3. such a ridiculously stupid thing to say to someone. sorry. obviously, the problem is the rest of your body is too skinny, so that when you have a meal, your belly bloats a bit. so u need more 5 Guys to even out the sexiness. duh.

    the thing i find most annoying is when people ask me "where are you from" and when I say ohio, they follow it with "where are you really from." racist idiots. that's when i love saying "i was born in brazil." that's true, but it really confuses people.

    1. LOL now my life goal is to be present when you get asked that question and witness your response.

  4. A female manager at work looked at my stomach (baby doll style sweater dess over leggings) & said "oh! Are you on to #2?" . . . . . My response "nope! I guess it's just a big shirt!" . . . . Wtf am I supposed to say!!!! Then she brought it pm again to apologize on an awkward walk to the parking lot. . . . . .just shut up already!!!!

    I was walking with some co-workers/friends one day & a guy made mention of our slower pace & then made a motion around his belly & awkwardly indicated he thought my friend was pregnant . . . . Which she didn't look like it at all . . . . . And to top it off, he's so socially awkward he just kept digging the hole . . . . . .somebody else had to tell him to just zip it!!!

    Apparently people feel bad for saying stupid shit & then they have zero ability to be appropriate after that!

  5. What!? Who said this to you? Coworker? Medical professional? Stranger? I would have been so appalled I wouldn't have thought of anything witty to say, but in my head 5 min later, I would have thought of some flaw on them(real or imagined) to have pointed out.
    I had one of those fruit bars from a race bag before, I think it was mango. I don't know how to describe it either.
    A week or so after I got married, the 5 yr old I was babysitting told me I had a baby in my belly when we were at the pool. At the time, I didn't think I was that tubby, but to be fair, it was before I enjoyed running and I weighed 10-15lbs more then.

  6. I'm having a crappy day, so reading about yours has finally prompted me to comment. Hello!

    Weirdest personal remark I've ever received: 'You have really fleshy earlobes.' Um, thanks. What am I meant to do, try and spot tone my EARS? Way to make me feel self-conscious about something entirely out of my control.

    I've also had the 'are you pregnant' awkwardness, from a coworker. I was wearing an empire-waisted dress and slouching, but that's no excuse! I was polite (in a shocked way) at the time but afterwards wished I had asked if her face was pregnant, because she happens to have a lot of moles. I am mature.

  7. I am having a crappy day, so reading (and laughing) about yours has prompted me to finally comment. Hello!

    Weirdest personal remark I've ever received: 'You have really fleshy earlobes.' Um, thanks. What do you want me to do about it, spot tone my EARS?

    I've also had the 'are you pregnant' thing, from a coworker. I was wearing an empire-waist dress and slouching, but that's no excuse! She was entirely unembarrassed when I said no. I still kind of wish I had asked her if her face was pregnant (she happens to have several very prominent moles), because I am mature like that.

  8. The peaches comment slays me. I'm sitting here cracking up like a crazy person. Good thing the only one who sees me is the dog.

    In Middle School, someone thought I was a boy and it gave me a complex for YEARS.

    1. the peaches thing made me laugh too, I could just picture it, I am going to try that next time someone is coming at me with a needle. Hate those things when they are pointed at me

  9. Ughh I'm sorry this happened to you. Forget math! Social Ettiquette 101 needs to be a required course starting in middle school. Some people just shouldn't speak, ever!

  10. how about a horrid way I stuck my foot in my mouth recently. I was sitting in the lounge at work talking to my friend about how much I HATED the name Crystal and how my husband had wanted to name our daughter Crystal Montana. I went on and on about how it sounded like a stripper name. She kept trying to redirect me to "yeah Montana is a stupid name for a kid" and I kept saying "right, but Crystal is a horrible name, who would name their kid that" all the while a Dr Knight was sitting there at the table with us not really getting in to the conversation, which was neither here nor there since I never work with her any way. Later I go back to work and my friend kicks me and reminds me Dr Knight's first name is CRYSTAL. I felt like a lame ass shit head and had to go grovel to her later about what a dumb ass I was and it really wasn't that bad of a name, I just didn't want it for my kid. She assured me it was fine and she happened to know Crystal Knight (her name) was really a stripper name for someone somewhere. I am pretty sure she hates me now though.

  11. My MIL gave me a cellulite treatment cream and told me to let her know if it works, since she "doesn't have any cellulite."
    (she sells mary kay and needed a testimonial - thought I'd be the right person.)

    When I was 11, I was with my grandmother and a friend of hers asked "is this your grandson" and she said yes.

    One time someone asked me "what happened to your lip?!" with an alarmed look. Nothing. They're just fat.

  12. Ahh I think the book version is so much worse!

    I cannot believe someone said that to you. You would think the "no, I'm not pregnant" might have hinted for the conversation to stop.

    I don't mind needles, but I do share another slightly odd fear that people don't usually get...Ants. Seriously. Ants. Hate them. Can't be near them. I read Posiionwood Bible and there's a scene with these man-eating ants that like eat villages (seriously)..I had nightmares (again, seriously.).

    Glad you made it through and hopefully have another full year before another draw!

  13. You have a bulge? WTF! I wonder what this person thinks of people who actually have a fatty belly. I wish you would have said something really snarky back.
    I'm pretty sure you should just never, ever ask a woman if she is pregnant. If she wants you to know, she will tell you.
    People are always asking me when I'm moving back to Iowa (that's where my boyfriend lives) so I can get married and settle down. And raise children, because obviously that is what women should do. argh. Pisses me off more than it should.

  14. You have a wild and crazy life!! Perhaps her comment was (forgive me) a hint from the universe! :)

  15. Wow - I am surprised that lady didn't get a throat punch! Were you hiding your Blood Test Sweater under your shirt like a security blanket?

    I laughed like crazy at the peaches comment!

    I was sick last Monday and was told "yeah you look sick, you didn't even put make-up on today" I was wearing the same makeup I wear everyday...

  16. Nothing I have to offer will be as hilarious as the other comments.

    People are rude and stupid, I am not sure why they think it's ok to comment on other peoples' bodies. I am constantly asked, "so you lost a lot of weight, huh?" YES, I had a freaking baby! TWO years ago! TWO YEARS people, that's how long ago it was! We don't need to keep talking about how much weight I gained while I was pregnant. Just. STOP.

  17. Ahh people and their inability to mind their own business. I have never asked anyone if they were pregnant and I don't plan to start now.

    My grandmother is notorious for some of the rudest comments I've ever heard and we will just blame part of that on her being old, senile, and uncensored. She loved to make comments about how her side of the family had a tendency to "have a belly" and I seemed to favor her side of the family more and more as I got older. After awhile we all learned to just let it go when she said things like that.

  18. Seriously - who says this?! I would have been totally insulted as well but probably wouldn't have been able to say anything either. This certainly isn't as bad as yours but I have a co-worker who often says things like, "is that a new (insert item of clothing or haircut)?" Me, "yes". Co-worker, "do you like it?" I always say yes and the co-worker never responds. Everyday is a good day for a complex!

  19. I am currently pregnant for second time and I am constantly asked if I am having twins. I was also asked during my first pregnancy. I am fairly short, so the only direction my belly can go is out. I just say no, I am growing healthy babe and rant about it later.

  20. Oh god, people really need to be muzzled.

    I worked retail in high school and once as I stood there, innocently folding sweaters, a little kid pointed at me and yelled to his dad "Look, daddy, a giant lady!" And the dad didn't even pity-buy a sweater or anything.

    First-time commenter, but I love your blog!

  21. I have a crease on the underside of my forearm just below where it bends at the elbow and I a woman once looked at me, pointed at it, and said, "Oh, I call those chubs, like chubs lines. Only fat people have them usually."


  22. I loved this post. My dad passed out when he had to get his blood test when he and my mom got married. My brother did the same thing, but for some crazy reason needles don't bother me. I'm terribly afraid of heights though.

    I once had a nun ask me if I was pregnant. I almost said, "God no, but bit my tongue!" I don't think that would have gone over well. :-)

  23. You make me laugh! I remember chest-bumping my brother outside of a restaurant when a woman said, "Ah, you BOYS!" It's awful when people (or an email) make mistakes that infuriate and insult us.


Thanks for commenting! Comments make me probably more happy than they should.