Monday, January 25, 2010

And that's all I'll say about that

Disclaimer: Please read this before continuing on with today's post: All of you who read my blog? I know you. (And if I don't well... You know me. And if you don't then you've gotten to know me through my posts, right?) So the following post is not in any way geared toward any of you. Just want to make sure we're clear on that- I appreciate all of your comments and questions and support so much! This rant is strictly directed at the judgemental, nosy strangers who come right out and say stupid things like, "I just want to touch your belly!" Oh! Well, why didn't you just say something? I've been wanting to touch yours too! Seriously. What was your name again?

Probably the most enjoyable part of being pregnant while going to school is meeting all kinds of inquisitive strangers who feel the compelling urge to make some sort of comment about my expanding belly and the baby that resides within. (Please feel the sarcasm here people. I don't know- it's Monday morning and I feel like if you operate like I do you might need it pointed out.)

Anyways. Take the experience I had a couple of weeks ago for an example. I was at clinical and a woman who shall remain anonymous because I have no idea who she is despite the fact that she broke into personal conversation with me within two and a half minutes of meeting her. Of course she commented that I must be due for a baby soon to which I agreed. Then she said all enthusiastically (and I get this all. the. time.), "So is this your first?" Um... No. Fourth.

Her demeanor suddenly changed from over-excited experienced mom who wanted to pass me all kinds of wisdom to judgemental crazy-woman who thought she had some sort of right to basically imply I'd had too many kids already by her standards. Her tone of voice did this cool 180 thing and suddenly she was all serious and belittling. "Oh. Do you have girls or boys?" Two girls and a boy. "Oh. We stopped at two. Our first was a girl and our second was a boy. Maybe if the second would have been a girl too we would have tried for a third." Ooooh... Thanks for the advice- sorry I didn't follow your rules.

And then there was the woman on the elevator who meant well, but... well. In hindsight there would have been a much easier way to deal with her. She took a look at me and said, "Normally I don't say anything but I'm pretty sure I can ask... So, how's the baby?" Oh, fine. (And to think at this point I could have fore-gone the entire conversation by stating,'What baby?!') "Are you excited?" Okay, first off I don't get this question. Well, gee, let's see- Would you like the real answer?! I'm at clinical two hours away from home three weeks before my due date. My back aches, my pants won't stay up, and I got approximately 3 hours of sleep meshed between tossing, turning, contractions, and bathroom breaks last night. So am I excited? Jumping up and down in the elevator, lady, Yeah! Are you? Are you excited today?

She also went on to ask how many kids I had and this time when I answered she shut up completely and we spent the next 8 seconds in silence until the elevator reached her floor. Oh well. I think we could have been real good friends too.

The final thing I will not miss about being pregnant and going to school- the people who mean well but who can't drop the fact that I will be having this baby in the middle of a semester. One girl when she found out said (with much doubt in her voice), "Oh. Well, good luck with that." Thank-you. Thanks, it's all better now because you gave me your well wishes. And another who just couldn't seem to let it go and kept asking questions like, "But how are you going to do it? Do you have other kids? Who will watch the baby?" All this after I had known her for a mere five minutes.

I understand concern. I'm not faulting people who have natural wonder and who offer good wishes- I appreciate that. It's when it comes down to nosy strangers who are only filling their own curiosity by peppering me with a thousand pointless questions that will in no way make their day more complete to which I have a problem.

And, I don't mind questions so much from strangers-- if they could leave their judgements aside. As soon as they find out this is my fourth kid, or if they somehow manage to discover my husband is in nursing school as well, they take that as their cue to start implying that I'm completely nuts. Guess what- here's a newsflash you probably didn't see coming- I think I'm nuts too. But that's for me to decide. Not the stranger in the hospital cafeteria who suddenly feels it's their duty to remind me that I've lost my mind just like one might drop a piece of silverware. Um, m'am? I think you lost your sanity over there by the salad bar. Hah. No, actually I misplaced that about two babies ago and I've been wandering aimlessly ever since, but thanks- maybe that's yours?

So there you have it. My rant on crazy-nosy, judgemental strangers. Apparently people have this fascination with pregnant woman that leads them to ramble off nonsense comments they wouldn't find themselves saying to ordinary passer-by.

Oh well. I can take it. My list of comebacks is increasing with every meeting. I like to think I'm growing wiser.

And- as a footnote to all of you still reading- you have earned the right to call me crazy any time you want. Go for it.


Brita said...

Great post. After I had Aliisa, I was out gorcery shopping when she was still pretty little. I was alone. The cashier asked, "So, boy or girl?" in an over-friendly sort of way. I thought to myself, "Wow, this cashier remembers that I was pg, and now she wants to know if it was a boy or girl!" I was impressed that she cared. So I proudly stated, "Girl!" That's when it struck me that she thought I was pg........From there, things got really funny. I made a panicked decision to keep playing along as to not hurt her feelings (later, it struck me how dumb this was---whose feelings??), so when she asked me if we had a name picked out yet, I said, "Yes, Aliisa!" and we went on to talk about names. People!!

And I know what you mean about people icing over. It happens to me ALL of the time, especially now when I say, "No, this isn't my first, actually, it' lol

Megan Lorraine said...

I got REALLY tired of nosy judgemental strangers when I was very pregnant for Logan and cashiering at Target. I felt like I should just hang a sign around my neck saying yes, this is my third baby and my oldest is 3. or pass out flyers with the answers to all the questions you know they are going to ask. Then there are those ones who look at you and feel the need to inform you that your huge and you look like your ready to burst. To which you politley smile and say you still have a month and a half to go, but secretley you want to read them the riot act about telling a pregnant mother she's huge.
But no, I don't think your nuts Saraj. I look at you and Ryan with admiration because you are going to school to better provide for your children. Hats off to the both of you and I'll be cheering when your done. Hang in there! -Megan

Anonymous said...

uh, yeah. it's those people who encourage me to stay home (without transportation) and sit on my computer all day or clean house. i've heard other pregnant moms respond with a smile and "we have our boy and our girl and our white picket fence. this time we're hoping for a dog..." that usually stops the conversation.

good luck through your pregnancy and the rest of school!

Cami said...

I remember hearing comments all the time last year when I was pregnant in school. It was the usual..."so is this your last one?" or the "wow, I don't know how you do it!" (guess I still get that one though).

It really is comical all the comments pregnant women have to field from other people...we should all take notes and write a book of what NOT to tell someone whose pregnant. : )

Anna said...

Ooh, can I relate. This brought me right back to when I was in your shoes, going to nursing school and pregnant. I heard all of those...everyone wanted to know everything. A personal favorite: "Oh, congratulations. Were you trying to get pregnant?" Um, yes, my dear, and do you and your husband have sex every night? Just thought I'd ask.

Then, when Elsa was two weeks over due, every.single.class. I walked into I got "you're STILL here?" Let me check, yes, apparently I am STILL here, and absolutely thrilled about it, glad you asked. You'll survive Sara, and when people continue to tell you they don't know how you do it, just take it as a signal that you're super woman...I did;)

Juli said...

Boo to people who have their mind made up about you, your life, and what kind of person you are, upon 2 minutes of meeting. chances are they wouldn't make a great friend.
and Yay to you for hanging in there. Good Luck w/ that little one!

Sarah said...

Thanks, ladies! I enjoyed your comments- your own experiences/stories made me laugh! : )

Jill T. said...

I enjoy reading your blog as it always makes me smile. I can't relate to having my children close together but recall being in Walmart one day with my 2 1/2 year old, my babysitting kiddos 1 1/2 and an the infant car seat and the lady telling me WOW you have your hands full! As I sweetly smiled at here I said "I wonder what you would have said if they were all actually misbehaving." After she spit and sputtered I again smiled and said Have a great day, I know we will!
Hang it there and I am with Megan "Hats off to you and Ryan"!

Jan said...

People have never touched my belly when I am pregnant- I must look way too crabby!!

I always appreciate the older people who look at my kids with fond smiles and tell me to enjoy them.

Brita said...

I agree, Jan. The old people are so dear. They have experienced life and know what's important. I've gotten such nice comments over the years from the elderly.

Mari said...

We weren't crazy when we started out, but we sure are now. So what?