I couldn’t see the speaker, but her words stopped me in my tracks.
“Hey, Jenny – I didn’t know you were pregnant!!! When did that happen?”
The voice came from the far side of the patio. The sun had already set as I was walking down the slope into my friend’s dark backyard to where everyone was gathered around the table, candles burning low and fire pit crackling. I squinted to see who it was as I set down my handbag on the chair brought in for me.
Conversation around the table ground to a halt. I didn’t recognize the voice, or the face, which made the words harder to bear. A total stranger asking you “when are you due?” when you’re not preggo? Well, that is rude, and it stings, but you can walk away saying “asshole” and brush it off.
Someone who you know – or at least, thinks they know you?
Damn, it hurt.
It hurt because of the thread of truth running through it.
Oh HECK NO I am not pregnant, nor will I be again, those days are well behind me thankyouverymuch.
Butt. But. Yes, I have gained weight since I’ve moved back from the UK in late December. I’ve probably eaten too many Oreos late at night *brushes off keyboard*. I haven’t been to the gym ever as often as I should. My favorite clothes from last summer are a bit too snug.
I hold in my stomach a lot.
My weight gain is a very touchy subject for me. I’m more than a little conscious about it.
If she had called me a bitch, I could live with it, because I’ve been so stressed out the last month or so that I’ve got chronic bitch-face on, I fear. I could forgive her for misinterpreting a lack of a smiley face.
But the fat card? Ouch.
There was backpedaling “oh don’t listen to me, I’ve been drinking since 3pm/it’s dark out/I couldn’t see” but funny, it didn’t take away the sting of the basis of the statement.
Neither did the fact that she pursued the “joke” with a “hey, you can’t drink” when I was offered one. My inner snark was speechless, too – Veronica (my snark is named Veronica) – couldn’t even come up with a good comeback on the fly, either.
I took a long pull on my margarita,
sucked in my tummy, turned to the friends to my right and putting it (mostly) behind me, had a fun evening with great conversation. But I will admit, I am thin-skinned and the comment niggled. And while I could dwell on it and beat myself up some more, I’m going to turn it into the motivation that I needed to get back in the gym and put down the Oreos.
Please don’t call me pregnant.
(And don’t call me “Jenny” unless you’re family.)