What is it about a woman's pregnant body that makes some people want to run for the hills when you're around and others spew every nonsensical thing they can possibly utter about bumps and bellies while in your presence?
Actress Olivia Wilde said it best on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno this week. She joked that some people go as far as asking her if she wants to ride on a roller coaster or drink whiskey when the fact that she is pregnant is plain as day. I consider these folks the best of the bunch. They've chosen to lie remain silent about her expanding body rather than draw attention to it and risk humiliating themselves and hurting her feelings if, let's say, she's just bloated at the moment and not really pregnant.
But far too many people still consider it their duty to comment on your tummy when you're expecting. And there's just no need.
It's one thing if I see you all of the time and you are purposely staying mum on my current physical state, even as my protruding belly threatens to knock you out of the way on our apartment building elevator. I mean, come on, I want to at least believe you don't think I got this way from drinking too many beers. Say, "Congratulations, you look great," and leave it at that.
But if we're meeting for the first time, or if we haven't met and just happen to be sharing the same subway car, you needn't say anything about my pregnancy. Really. I won't be offended if you suppress your desire to shout, "Wow, you look healthy!" or "You are about to pop" or -- my fave -- "I wouldn't even know you're pregnant if not for your beer gut, ha, ha" (I've heard all of these comments). And this goes double if you're a man, because the likelihood that you'll say something that isn't going to make me feel creepy and icky isn't very good.
Let me make this easier. Here are some things that I'd actually love to hear while pregnant -- whether I know you or we've just met:
You look amazing.
You're pregnant and have a toddler? Oh, I remember what that was like ... don't worry, the second one is way easier.
You will notice none of these comments specifically point out parts of my body because there's no need -- I'm already fully aware of what my belly looks like. Just lie, wish me well, or empathize. Then let's talk about current events or something other than my bump.
What's the craziest thing someone has said to you while you were pregnant?
Image via Frank de Kleine/Flickr