Friday, August 17, 2012

What Happened to Good Ol' Fashioned Intrusiveness?

I am 40 weeks and counting now, so I've almost reached the finish line of my first pregnancy.  Whew.  Soon life will finally go back to normal. 

I love making statements like that.  It gives people the opportunity to say things like, "Life will never be normal again!" and "Just you wait, you don't even know what you're getting into!" and "Hey, that's my chocolate cake, just 'cause you finished yours doesn't mean you can start eating off my plate, fatty!" 

Er, maybe that last one doesn't apply.

But, y'know?  For all the warnings I got about how much unsolicited advice I'd receive, and how many strangers would touch my belly without asking, and what inappropriately terrifying labour stories people would share with me during my pregnancy, I've really had very little of any of that.  And, frankly, I'm a little disappointed.  Here I was, all ready to be righteous and indignant and say things like, "Listen, Starbucks barista, don't you dare suggest that I should be getting a decaf instead!" and "How dare you invade my personal space by lightly patting my belly, little old lady on the streetcar!"

Only one stranger has touched my belly.  And he asked very politely first.  And a handful of people have asked me how far along I am.  More often than not I find that I am looking around, waiting for someone to ask me a question about my pregnancy.  I really want them to because I know all the answers! And it's so interesting to me right now!  And I hate to admit it, but I have been known to engage in reverse-intrusiveness by telling people they can touch my belly - sometimes, perhaps, people who didn't really want to touch my belly in the first place and then felt obliged to do so.  Ew, I'm that girl.

I guess everyone got the memo that it's not appropriate to ask a stranger about her pregnancy.  And, fair enough, a lot of women don't want to be asked.  I suppose that's all right.  But I do take comfort in something a friend told me recently: "The unwanted comments will be much more frequent when you have the baby, and everyone has a piece of parenting advice for you."  

So at least I have that.

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