Teleri (telerib) wrote,

The obligatory Weird Thing during pregnancy

I did not get many unsolicited belly pats. There was my hairdresser, who does the "girly girl" thing (complete with vaguely Valley Girl accent and squeals of delight) and from whom it seemed weirdly appropriate. There were a few folks at the last Storvik business meeting, who all but radiated hesitation and unasked "Can we pat it?" before, upon seeing that I was not bristling, indeed patted. I was okay with that because, if I were not okay, I would have said something. The nonverbal communication was sufficient (for me).

Then there was Target the other day. The entire encounter brought to mind an Internet discussion I read about the proper response to unwanted attention on the bus, and what if the person being obnoxious was "not neurotypical," and exactly how the sensitive-but-put-upon recipient of this obnoxiousness was supposed to be able to tell garden-variety asshole from legitimate Asperger's Syndrome.

"Congratulations! When are you due?" asked the gentleman.

"Thursday," I said.

He consulted his watch. "The nineteenth!" he proclaimed.

This was my first indication that this was not, perhaps, a "neurotypical" individual. Most people, in my experience, respond with something like "That soon?" or "Wow!" or "So you're about to pop!" or just "Good luck!" The calendar date corresponding to Thursday was unexpected.

He followed me as I continued to look for night lights, asking if it was a boy or a girl, if it was my first, and if my first was a boy or a girl. I continued to answer amicably, although I thought this was getting rather intrusive, because I was in a busy store and he hadn't asked for any really personal data like my name or the kids' names.

And then he reached for the belly. I just dropped my elbow to block his hand. To his credit, he stopped and started apologizing profusely.

I told him, repeatedly, that it was "okay," which really it wasn't, but I also wasn't particularly angry. I guess I was trying to say that "I am not angry with you but please don't do that," and it got summarized as "It's okay." My impression that he wasn't trying to be a jerk seemed to have been correct - rather than get angry or shouty at me, he just kept apologizing, offered blessings on my family, wished me Merry Christmas and Happy Thanksgiving and retreated.

I was still a bit sweaty and shaky afterwards, I guess because he could have gotten all angry and shouty. Still, in the middle of a Target with three sales associates nearby?

Anyway. That's got to be the weirdest pregnancy experience to date.
Tags: pregnancy
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