Recently, a 21-year-old Nebraskan woman bit a part of a man’s ear off after he called her fat at a party. She actually tackled him to the ground and chewed it off like a pitbull in heat. I’m thinking she was either off her meds, or having a really bad period that month. In her defense, does not every man on the planet know by now that those are words you simply strike from your vocab?? I mean DUH, it’s up there with, ‘Are you really going to wear that,’ and ‘You’re getting your period aren’t you?’ I mean we as women readily accept that there are things we cannot say when it comes to your gender, such as: ‘Wow, it’s so small!’ or, ‘What a cute little bald spot’….It’s about making the effort.
Speaking of sensitivity issues, I am now getting to the stage of my pregnancy where people offer me seats on the tube. I don’t know if this is a good thing or a bad thing. For a while I’d come home pissed off that no one offered me one – women are fickle. My partner would kindly explain that perhaps people thought I was just fat. [He’s got a real way with words sometimes]. Then suddenly as if over night, people would see me coming, glance at my belly and start moving out of my way as if I was going to drop the kid at their feet.
Then of course there are the variety of looks one gets: the sympathy glance (usually from other women); the nostalgia gaze – ‘ahh the beauty of creating life how I miss it,’ and of course the looks of outright fear and discomfort from men, ‘I know I’m supposed to do something but I’m not sure what it is?!’ Or my favorite; the look that says, ‘my wife just went through this, please don’t make me go back there!’ And finally you have the outright gawkers who just stare at your belly like it’s a boil about to burst like in a scene from Alien (this is usually the younger generation). I usually look at them, clutch my stomach and make a small violent gasp like it’s about to come out. Okay, I’m not always mature.
I was on a crowded bus just yesterday and a woman screamed at a guy sitting down, ‘there is a pregnant lady here, get up!’ She scared me half to death, although I must say I appreciated her balls. Sometimes I get defiant and politely refuse the seat (what do you think I am, infirm?! Gosh). It’s usually on those days where I haven’t moved a muscle and I feel like standing up is my penance. I also hate how useless one can feel when they are pregnant, as if suddenly you are this fragile beast that is about to be put out to pasture. And of course as I am indeed a woman – and fickle – other days I think, get your ass up you lazy man, can’t you see I’ve swallowed a basketball!
I must say, where I am very lucky is that my partner is adorable and believes in chivalry to the point of obsession. I’m not allowed to carry anything, lift anything, bend over (he is convinced this will crush our son’s head) or walk on the outside of him when we’re on the sidewalk. I’m not sure if he’s seen a lot of cars jump sidewalks and mow down innocent bystanders, but I have acquiesced and simply let him move me to the inside of the pavement. I figure, while the chivalrous treatment lasts I should take advantage of it. Cause something tells me that when I nudge him at 3am to change a screaming baby he’ll give me a look that politely says, sweetheart, chivalry is dead!