5.07.2011

I'm Not 12.



There's this part in one of my favorite movies, Away We Go, where this woman walks up to Verona and says to her child, "this lady is about to have a baby. Any day now!" Verona responds with an, "or in three months."

I've gathered from even before I was pregnant that this is something people say to pregnant people a lot. I'm pretty sure I read accounts of this by offended moms-to-be everywhere more than twice a day on pregnancy forums that I follow and I myself have already gotten this quite a few times. I guess maybe I'm just weird (okay, we all know that I am), but it doesn't really bother me. The "are you sure there's just one in there?" or the "no way will you make it to July" or "are you due any day now?" comments really don't get to me.

What bothers me is the never-ending assumption that I'm some single 12 year old girl who has found herself pregnant and in dire need of advice and sympathy from strangers.

Because, let me tell you, that gets old. And it gets old fast!

My most recent case of this was while Mother's Day shopping at Yankee Candle. The older female cashier nodded her head to look at me and asked the ol' "oh, are you having a boy or a girl?" It seemed like an honest enough question. I went back to my browsing and told her it was a boy. "Your parents must be so excited." I looked up where I was greeted with this sympathetic little face, pouty lips and a tilted head. Oh, I realized, it's happening again. "So is my husband," I smiled and received the shocked look back I was waiting for. "Your husband? Oh, honey, you're so young!" At this point, she wasn't doing much to hide the fact she was -- for some reason -- absolutely heartbroken. "Not really...I'm 25." I say this and wait for the inevitable look of comfort to take over her expression. It does. She loosens up her posture and stares at me as if I just told her she won the lottery. "Oh, thank goodness. Oh my, thank goodness." She's clasping her hands and praising someone or something that I am, in fact, not 12. Because, apparently, it makes such a difference in her life.

This happens to me all of the time. In the grocery store, I'm told by a fellow shopper how lucky I am that my baby will arrive once school is out. I receive the stares, points and head-shakes from passerby at the mall, the grocery store or even public restrooms. I've gotten the sympathetic "oh, honey, don't you want to finish school first?" from some lady in the Target check-out line who feels she must spread her sympathy like wildfire.

And this, my friends, is my biggest pregnancy pet peeve. More than the leg cramps, the heartburn, the nausea, the inability to sleep, the "oh god, you're fat!" comment from strangers who think their due-date guessing is the greatest thing since self-serve frozen yogurt. I can recognize that tilted head, pouty lip, look of pity anywhere -- and I hate it.

12 comments:

  1. I hear you! I look 12 too and my ring doesn't fit so I look like a poor single unwed teen who got knocked up in the back of a pickup or something.

    But I also get offended by the "are you sure it's not twins" and "wow you're big" comments haha

    ReplyDelete
  2. I dislike when people assume younger Mother's, like myself are single and got pregnant by a random one night stand. They don't look behind that and see that I am a married woman, been with my husband for many years, and we simply planned our children. Or, you know what bothers me more? When people assume that I don't have money for insurance, or this or that. When, I have health insurance and I can afford things for my children. Ugh. Today people think you need to be 30+ to be "mature" and have a child.

    ReplyDelete
  3. i like the above comment. people do tend to think you need to be 30+ these days. i don't get it AT ALL.

    i understand the looks and stares. i got them when i was pregnant and get them now when i go out with both girls alone! haha...i can't tell you the number of times i have walked into somewhere and felt many eyes on me and my girls and i can only imagine what people must be thinking. i've heard the "WOW! two kids?! you're so young!!" or "oh my gosh...this is your second baby?! you look waaay to young to be on your second baby." i have learned to quit being annoyed by it and to take as a compliment since i will be TWENTY-NINE this year!

    anyway...my point is, people are stinking judgmental. even my poor husband because of his tattoos. you should see the looks HE gets sometimes. haha...

    let it roll off your back. you know what your truth is and that's all that matters ;)

    xo

    ReplyDelete
  4. OH MY DO I KNOW WHAT YOU MEAN! The way I played it was to just let them feel that way. I actually started to have lots of fun making people uncomfortable instead of letting me make them uncomfortable. When I'd get the stares (or pity looks) I'd start talking about 8th grade graduation and how excited I was that I'd get to spend all summer with the baby before school started back up. Talk about my report card- just little hints to maybe give these people a heart attack! I mean, HOW RUDE are you assuming I'm 12 and in desperate need of an adoption or abortion or WHATEVER. The only thing that kept me from screaming was the make these people miserable in their own skin just thinking of the atrocity of this poor little 12 year old who will have no clue what to do with a baby.

    ReplyDelete
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