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).