My husband and I were out for a date.
We had eaten a glorious brunch and were doing a little bit of shopping when an older lady who worked there came over and started talking to me. She was pleasant even though I’m not huge on small talk & then I continued about my business.
A little while later, our paths crossed again….and one of the most awkward and embarrassing things that has EVER happened to me occurred.
She was still eagerly trying to engage me in small talk when my vibe was definitely more, “Please leave me in peace.” And, y’all, I’ve worked in sales, so I get trying to up sell and yadda yadda, but read the room.
Then out of nowhere I hear her say, “What have we here?” And thinking that I’m pregnant, she reaches out and puts her hand on my NOT pregnant stomach.
She immediately realizes her mistake and tries to pretend it didn’t happen. I’m ready to go crawl into a hole in shame (my anger came later), and my first instinct is to play it off out of concern for her feelings. Like, she has just humiliated me in public, shot my self-esteem to hell, and I’m worried that she’s going to be upset? Why!?
Anyways, I find my husband in the store, in hushed whispers explain to him what just happened, and then I got the heck outta dodge.
By the time we were back at the car, I was seething. I couldn’t believe someone had just done that to me. It hurt more because up until that point, I was feeling pretty good about myself.
And to be honest, I would’ve been upset even if I had been pregnant because I don’t want someone I don’t know touching me. It’s not appropriate. The only difference is if I had been pregnant she wouldn’t have been able to make me feel like a whale along with getting on my nerves.
So, here’s my call to everyone who has ever had the urge to touch a strange woman’s belly — just don’t. Seriously. Don’t do it. I’m a good sport and can easily laugh off stuff like this, but what if I wasn’t? What if that slight hurt my feelings and ate me up inside? You don’t know what’s going on with someone and you shouldn’t add fuel to their own internal fire. I mean, let’s not pretend that women aren’t their own harshest critics.
So lady, I know that I still look a few months pregnant. I carried both my children straight out in front and you’d be amazed what that can do to a small frame, but I don’t owe you ANY explanation and when you put your hand on my belly I immediately was made to feel like I, not only owed you an explanation about why I’m overweight, but I also needed to try to console you for your actions.
It’s not okay.
Let’s all just agree that we should keep our hands to ourselves. You know, like we’re always teaching our children to do.