One of the reasons why I dislike dealing with people is (besides people) people’s inappropriate questions, comments and complaints. As I’m a woman of a certain age, the observation that I must be pregnant and if not, should be pregnant, is a recurring motif.
It started with greater intensity than ever some time last spring. My landlord, who had only seen me so far in a bulky coat which makes everyone look pregnant, checked on me (that is, his flat), gave my belly a meaningful stare and congratulated me on my pregnancy. I haven’t forgiven him for his immensely stupid remark yet (and never will), and I’m currently designing shirts with the warning printed on the stomach Not pregnant, just fat, deal with it.
Since then, I’ve had numerous encounters with people who refused to believe that I wasn’t pregnant. My allergist routinely cross-examines me to ascertain when I plan to get pregnant so that she doesn’t prescribe me contraindicated medication. So far it’s only her questioning that has been contraindicated.
Today I managed to add within twenty-four hours two embarrassing confrontations of this kind to my collection. The pharmacist from whom I tried to buy cough drops insisted on giving me a lie detector test to make sure that I was neither pregnant, nor nursing. Clearly, in her mind, there are no other acceptable conditions for a woman at reproductive age. Though with some hesitation, she did sell me the drops eventually.
Given my experience, I’ve grown slightly sensitive to people’s questionable questions. The second story of the day occurred in a cafe, where a polite waiter doing his job was trying to convince me to have a dessert with my coffee. I suspect he thought I was pregnant and craving sweets, or he correctly assumed that I wasn’t pregnant and incorrectly concluded that I needed the dessert consolation. I explained that I didn’t do desserts (or babies). I wonder if I’ll do a triple combo of the how-are-you-not-pregnant standoffs tomorrow.