A Perfect Stranger

A few weeks ago, while looking for a notebook for my husband at a downtown bookstore, a very kind woman commented on the necklace I was wearing. Funny, how something so simple has become so abnormal. In any case, she was very nice and asked where I had gotten it. I mentioned it was a Lia Sophia/Stella & Dot something or other I had purchased almost 5 years ago. We laughed and it got to that odd “uncomfortable” moment of do we continue to make chit-chat or not? She then made a bold comment that struck me (as it does every time I hear it)… She said “Congratulations, when are you due?” 

It’s not the first time I’ve been asked, and unlikely to be the last. In other instances, I’ve just nodded, smiled, said thank you and scurried away. Mostly to escape the embarrassment on both our parts. I would then spend the rest of the week hating myself for being “fat” and vow to do something about my “non-baby” bump.

This time was different, while I was completely mortified, I decided to correct her. I stood up straight and told her I was not pregnant. She was completely embarrassed and turned a number of shades of red. I tried to make light of the remark and told her simply “not to worry about it” while it was a bold statement, the way I was standing, the shirt I was wearing, and the fact that I do actually have a “bump” was not her fault. I explained I have 2 kids and fact of the matter is… there will probably always be a bit of a bump. That right there changed the conversation.

We both laughed uncomfortably, and she continued to talk. She mentioned she herself has “baby on the brain”. Most of her friends were pregnant or just gave birth, and she and her husband had just started trying to conceive. I congratulated her and told her to enjoy that time. It’s exciting, sometimes stressful and often fleeting. While I suspect the woman was trying to warm chat me… it actually turned out I warm chatted her. HA! During our short conversation, I explained I was a birth doula (which she also mistook to mean Midwife, also corrected her). We discussed briefly how I got into the doula business and I gave her my card should she ever find herself in need of my services.

She was an absolute lovely woman and I left the conversation feeling confident that I didn’t run away and blame myself for someone else’s assumption. I took it upon myself to change the conversation and not make it about my weight (which it never is). I only hope she inevitably does contact me so we can connect in a more casual setting. Lesson Learned: Don’t make everything about you!

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