For the first time in forever, I’m tempted to write an open letter, but then I remembered I despise the Internet’s obsession with open letters as much as you do. So, instead, I’ll do what I do best — rant.
Today is a busy, busy day. I sent my husband and daughter off to Disney because I have a (gulp) FLBlogCon presentation due tomorrow for this month’s conference. Don’t worry, I’m presenting on something related to my day job (newsletter marketing) not blogging. That would be hilarious.
Before finishing it up, I decided I did have time to squeeze in a quick workout at Jazzercise, then I rushed from class to Fresh Market because at 1, we’re having our first NFL kickoff pool party! Then, later in the afternoon, E and I are heading to Frozen on Ice. Like I said, busy day.
As I was buying chicken sausages from the meat counter, the meat guy says to me, “So, do you know if you’re having a boy or a girl?” It took me a moment to realize he wasn’t referring to the sausages. Do people normally like to know the gender of their meat?
When I realized, in horror, that I was, yet again, being body shamed for carrying too much weight around my middle, I mumbled, “No, I’m not pregnant.”
To make matters worse, he rises up above the counter, looks down at my stomach and at first gives me the “Are you sure?” look, then launches into some awkward story about how he thought I was another customer he’d just been talking to and that we’re wearing “the exact same outfit” and “I know she’s around here somewhere!”
I just took my sausages and ran to the freezer section, where the tears started flowing. I know, how can this still upset me? I get asked, on average, at LEAST once a month. Usually, I laugh it off or can come up with some semi-witty response, but not today.
I’m just fucking done. I’m so sick of apologizing to clueless men — who 9 times out of 10 are fat themselves — that no, I’m not pregnant. I’m overweight.
Believe me, I don’t need you pointing out my puffy stomach for me to know it’s there. I see it. I feel it. My waistbands feel it.
This has, quite honestly, been some of the most difficult few months of my life. A very close family member is battling stage IV melanoma and the situation is not good. A dear friend is in the fight of her life. The home renovations project, that did lead to an amazing pool, put a tremendous strain on our finances and relationship this summer.
To sum it up — I’ve been struggling. Big time. I cry all the time. I know I’m probably a little depressed. I’ve been putting off workouts because I know they’d make me feel better, and frankly, most days I don’t want to feel better. I’ve canceled plans with friends because I’m just not up for having a good time.
I’m in a funk and I can’t get out of it. There are days when I feel I’m finally crawling my way back to a good place mentally, and then some fucker goes and points out my gut and sends me spiraling again.
So, here’s the open letter part of this rant: Guys, please, for the love of all things, STOP ASKING A WOMAN IF SHE’S PREGNANT! I don’t care if it’s clear she’s carrying triplets and is 7 months pregnant. Just don’t do it. You have no idea what she’s going through. Maybe she’s just had her baby (you know, that stomach doesn’t just disappear overnight). Maybe she’s just lost a baby. Maybe she had her baby 6 1/2 years ago and she knows very well, thankyouverymuch, that it’s time to finally get the baby weight off. She doesn’t need you to remind her.
I just can’t believe how often this happens to me. You all may remember I’ve even blogged about it before, which prompted a follow-up post: Questions to NEVER Ask Someone (and yes, I know there are a bunch of broken links in there, but the questions remain!). Maybe I’m too sensitive about it, but it just feels so sexist to me. Sometimes I try to convince myself, “Well maybe the rest of me isn’t that fat and since it’s just my stomach that’s why they’re asking.” Then I realize how messed up that line of thinking is, too.
I shouldn’t have to feel this shitty just for buying some chicken sausages for a party. And I sure as hell shouldn’t leave a store in tears when I’ve just spent an obnoxious amount of money there on grassfed beef hot dogs and essence of monk tears water (OK, fine, maybe it was just Hint).
For the record, here’s me today. I awkwardly asked a woman to take my picture and when I told her why, she, bless her heart, hugged me and said someone recently asked her if she was carrying twins. She’s not pregnant.
Thank you for indulging me. I’ve been wanting to write about my struggles because I’m sure there are others who go through these phases. If you’re just to look at my Instagram account and see my obnoxious number of pool pictures, I’m sure you’ve thought everything was fairy-tale like in my life. Well, it’s not. Not by a long shot. Unless of course, this is the hard period before the happily ever after.
But now that I’ve gotten this out of my system and had today’s good, hard cry, I’m already starting to feel a little better. And besides, football starts today! It’s hard to be sad when everyone’s teams are still undefeated, at least for the next couple hours. Hope my Eagles can start off strong.
Thanks for listening. And if you have any good comebacks to the pregnancy question, I’d love to hear them. I need new material other than, “No, and fuck you.” (Sorry Gram for the language).
Krissy @ Shiawase Life says
Wow. I can’t believe strangers would ever ask something like that! I heard a comedian once say, “the only time it’s okay to ask a woman if she’s pregnant is if she’s physically in labor and you see the baby being delivered…and even then, she doesn’t have to answer you because it’s none of your business!” Hah!
Really though, WTH. Big hugs, girl.
Love that! My husband always jokes that even if someone asked him to deliver a baby along the side of the road, he STILL wouldn’t ask because he’s heard me get asked way too many times. Ugh, people. Thanks Krissy!
Caroline Calcote says
Awww, fuck the world Jackie. People suck but we are awesome. xoxo
Yes they do and yes we are. Thank you, friend.
People (and let’s be honest – mostly men) are idiots.
Let’s for real plan something soon!
Screw that guy. I hate him for making you cry.
Girls night is clearly in order
Emil y Johnston says
Print this out. Next person that asked gets told, deadpan, “I’m not pregnant,” and handed a copy. I’m all about shaming idiots.
I noticed the other day that I’m self-conscious when I’m out without Harvey. With him, I have somewhat of an excuse, but by myself I just look fat. Which is so fucking stupid (that I care), but what are you gonna do? You feel how you feel.
FWIW, I’ve never seen a photo of you where you remotely look pregnant. Including the one posted above.
I want to print that onto business cards and carry them around with me! LOVE!!!
It is so stupid how much we care what total strangers think about our bodies. Stupid hormones. And media. But you’re right, logic can’t dictate our feelings. Sadly. Life would be so much easier if it could.
FWIW, I’ve never seen a photo of you that makes you look fat either. Gah, we shouldn’t even be having to have this conversation. I wish I could have just brushed it off but it’s annoying how it’s stuck with me. Sigh.
I have an empire waist top that I love wearing for work and one of our patients asked me how far along I was. She also mentioned that I was hiding it well. I am not pregnant. So uncomfortable and this was coming from a woman.
I’m sorry you are going through a lot right now. Hope things get better for you!
EVERY time I used to wear an empire waist, I got asked. So I got rid of all of them. I couldn’t stand it anymore.
At least she told you you were hiding it well! So you’ve got that going for you. 🙂
Katie M. says
“I’ve been putting off workouts because I know they’d make me feel better, and frankly, most days I don’t want to feel better.” Yes and amen. I suffer from depression (am on medication) and sometimes I wonder why I am on medication since most days I WANT to wallow in self pity. I don’t feel comfortable being happy…which sounds impossible, but it’s true. Just keeping plugging along.
YES! You know, I haven’t really had feelings like this since my (thankfully) short-lived post-partum blues. I’ve always hesitated to qualify it as PPD because I know some women suffer much worse than I did, but like this period, that time included some very difficult family circumstances and I just found myself unable to cope in healthy ways. Let’s be honest — wallowing feels better than feeling better at times. Thank you for sharing your story and I’m so glad you’re getting help. I’ve promised myself if I don’t snap out of things soon, I will too. My friend is really suggesting I do acupuncture because she said it really helped her during a difficult time and I’m considering trying that next. You just keep plugging along, too!
Jason Morrow says
Hey fellas! You don’t need to comment on the body of every woman you see! A woman’s body is not there for our entertainment, and it is not public property. No, I don’t care if you were “just trying to be friendly.” Find another topic: the weather, sports, traffic, awesome TV shows, ANYTHING. If the first thought that comes to your brain when you encounter a woman is: “what can I say about her body?” YOUR BRAIN IS MALFUNCTIONING. GET IT FIXED.
During my sister’s most recent pregnancy, MULTIPLE people tried to convince her that she MUST be having twins. Nope.
First of all, you are nowhere near overweight. Second of all, that guy (and anyone else who makes comments like that) is a total douche. Focus on how great you are–an awesome mom to E and such a wonderful example to women of how to live life with balance. And if that doesn’t help, a little bit of celexa everyday evens me out and has made a huge difference in the motivation to actually feel better. Might be the boost you need. You don’t have to do everything on your own! Hugs to you, friend!!
A. That guy is an idiot.
B. You don’t look pregnant at all.
C. I hope you feel better soon!
Wow. I’m sorry this happened to you. As someone who is constantly stared at and harassed by men, I can understand the violation. I used to get (and still do occasionally) the similarly obnoxious “Smile!” Sometimes they would add, “Smile. Life isn’t that bad.” Um, how the hell do you know what my day has been like? And, no, life isn’t that bad, but my natural expression, unbeknownst to me until they pointed it out, is to just be serious. 99% of the time I’m smiling on the inside and happy as can be…it just doesn’t always show on the outside. Now that I’m older, I chalk it up to them trying to get my attention. And, that’s not excusing their behavior, I just better understand their desperation at age 35 than I did at age 18. It’s just a very insecure person that feels the need to say anything about someone’s physical attributes – man or woman.
The only acceptable response to that inaccurate question is, “fuck you.” If it’s acceptable for someone to ask that question and make you feel like crap, then my answer is acceptable as well. Honestly this goes along the lines of “when are you getting married?”, “when are you gonna have a baby?”, etc. people are just so rude I can’t stand it! You never know what kind of battle someone is battling so 99% of the time it’s best to say nothing unless you are 100000% sure what you’re saying is accurate.
Also, prayers to your family and friends who are going thru hard times.
Ugh, I hate that you went through this. I carry all my weight in my stomach and after a miscarriage I ate all my feelings for months. So now I look pregnant when I’m not, super fun. I’m pretty sure I would have told that guy where he can’t put those sausages.
I think people in general have no concept as to what is acceptable to say to another human being. And that excuse was ridiculous, he should have sincerely apologized and then some.
If that is you pregnant, I am about to pop (and not pregnant). By the way, I have seen a man today on the street and he was about to pop. I think they call it beer belly when men have it. He was carrying a can of beer in his hand anyway. It is so sexiest but some silly people think that they will strike a nice conversation with you talking about your baby or some other stupid reason.
It’s been quite a while since the BroJovi has made an appearance here. I don’t even know where to start…since this post has been posted, Penn State has gone 3-0 and the Birds are 2-0 somehow.
Anyways….the men of Orlando need to take notice, and for that matter, the men of America need to take notice: Do. Not. Ask. A. Woman. If. She. Is. Pregnant. And don’t try to be cute/smooth and say, “Congrats, when are you due?” Even if someone is pregnant, no woman is going to give a shit that you’re acknowledging that they are….who the fuck are you anyways? (Sorry for the language Grammage, I love you)
My sister, MomJovi, is the hardest working, best producing, loudest cheering (and shit-talking to the select crowd), best sister, best mother (other than my own) that I know. And if someone wants to challenge any one of those statements, feel free to give me a call…you may have heard of me: I’m Andrew Garfield’s mother f-ing (sorry again Gram) Doppelganger. I’m available 24-7: 917-634-7558
Love you Sis
Go Birds, Go State, Go Cuse