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Friday, January 4, 2013

People Say the Darndest Things

And by "darndest," I mean rudest, most inconsiderate things--especially when you're pregnant. 

A good rule of thumb is, if you wouldn't say it to a non-gestating woman, don't say it to one who is. 

No one follows this rule, of course. Instead, people seem to think it's open season on pregnant women--you can say whatever damn fool thing enters your brain and it's somehow totally acceptable, because pregnant women are public property.

Or something. 

And what's worse, pregnant women are supposed to accept--nay, welcome!--this fool commentary. God forbid you respond with anything other than a smile and vigorous nod. It's not just that you have 2 brain cells to rub together and realize you're being insulted/reprimanded/patronized. No, you must be Hormonal.

Screw that. 

I invite you, instead, to utilize my patented* Moron Response System--3 levels of responses, depending on whom you're speaking with.

Level 1: Polite Redirection.
This is the level you're going to use when speaking with your grandmother, or that elderly lady you keep running into at the doctor's office who wants you to know how good you have it, not raising 8 kids through the depression. You don't want to start something with grandma, you just want to change the subject--fortunately the elderly love to talk about themselves--and then rant about her later to your husband. It goes something like this:

Rude nitwit: OH MY GOD, you are enormous!
You: It's true, I've gained a bit of weight, but my doctor assures me it's healthy. How's that skin growth doing?

Level 2: Direct Confrontation.
You're not taking these comments lying down. You're not ready to up the rude ante yet, but you're going to let rude nitwit know these comments aren't appropriate.

Rude nitwit: OH MY GOD, you are enormous!
You: Would you say that if I weren't pregnant? Comments about anyone's appearance really aren't appropriate in the workplace.

Level 3: Evil Grin.
More acceptable the further along in pregnancy you get. Also directly correlated with just how obnoxious this particular rude nitwit is.

It. Is. On.

Rude nitwit: OH MY GOD, you are enormous!
You: Yes, I'm growing another human being. What's your excuse?

Let's practice a few more, shall we?

Rude nitwit: You look exhausted; better sleep now before the baby comes!

Level 1 response: Yes, back pain has been keeping me up at night. How's your insomnia?
Level 2: I'm sure I don't look my best, but as exhausted as I am, I still know better than to insult a pregnant woman.
Level 3: You look like shit, too; too bad you don't have a gestating baby to blame it on!

Rude nitwit: You must really be looking forward to your baby vacation--I mean, "maternity leave."

Level 1 response: I'm sure those diapers will keep me plenty busy; let's plan a real vacation for the summer!
Level 2: Taking care of a baby is no vacation--if you're concerned about your workload, I suggest you speak with the boss.
Level 3: I'll probably still get more work done than you do--do you think the boss realized your laptop shorted out because you drool while you nap? 

If all else fails, burst into tears. Nothing is scarier than a crying, pregnant woman.

*Or not.

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