“You’re pregnant!” The bookstore owner exclaimed as I stood scanning titles on the shelf.
“No. I’m not.” I stated and looked down at my belly. My normally thin frame was accentuated by a roundness under my form-fitting tee and mini skirt.
“You are,” she insisted, wide-eyed.
“No. No, I’m not,” I smiled incredulously and removed my hands from my lower back, realizing that stance was not helping my case, and straightened up.
“You are,” she repeated, I’m sure feeling so far invested in her convictions that she couldn’t back down.
“No. I. Am. Not. I just ate a big breakfast at the Morning Star,” I said somewhat sheepishly as I rubbed my belly and shrugged with a half-laugh.
“Oh. God. Okay,” she scurried into the back room.
Fast forward five years to the other day.
“Are you pregnant?” the customer asked as I was ringing up her clothes.
I looked up from the computer and politely said, “No.”
“Oh,” was all she said.
A torrent of thoughts filled my head, but I refrained from unleashing them.
After the rant ended in my head, I felt sympathetic toward the woman. Don’t we all, at times, forget our filter and say stupid things?
And why wouldn’t she think that with my belly rounded out from the carb-o-licious breakfast I had, the way I was slouched, and the shirt I was wearing.
Instead of feeling embarrassed or mad or vowing to only wear flowy tunic tops til the day I died, I made light of it with my co-worker for the rest of the day. When a box needed to be lifted or clothing rack moved, I rubbed my belly and said, “I don’t think I should.”
When I tried on clothes after work, I scoffed, “Ugh, this looks like a maternity dress on me. Oh, wait, that’s perfect! Especially with twins. I’ll need it.” And then we’d break into laughter again.
Things often happen in threes, so I’m guessing this will be asked of me again. Hopefully, next time I’ll be able to answer, “Yes.”
If not, I pray that I’ll answer with grace and humor as I hope will be shown to me when I say something off-putting.