From Our Readers No, I'm NOT Pregnant! From Our Readers

I work in a retail store where sometimes I am placed in the Jewelry department. One of the many services we offer is changing watch batteries. It’s terribly exciting stuff. Well, I had an older man come in to get a battery for his pocket watch. While I was still ringing up another customer before him, he had already began beguiling me and anyone in ear shot with random stories of no particular relation to the events at hand. By the time I was helping him, I knew that he was born in the 1930s, put to work when he was 4, had his oldest son in 1955 and more.

When I got to him, I was polite and made general comments to his endless stories. I listened, smiled and did not even question when he presented such questionable concepts like a 4 year old working. I want to establish this, because I need you to know that I was really nice to him. I even tried extra hard to fix his pocket watch – which was not ticking no matter what I did to it.

Ten minutes into this procress, a woman walked up to ask me about ordering a ring. She was really, really pregnant. Like, probably about to have a baby next month pregnant. She was also that really flattering kind which lets you be only big in your baby bump and still perfectly thin everywhere else. The old man looks at her, and says something along the lines of, “I’m sorry if this might seem rude, but I’m old and I don’t mean anything by it, but are you pregnant?” She replies cheerily, “Yes!” And then he looks at me and says, “And are YOU pregnant?”

Now, truthfully, I get this a lot. I’m not sure what it is about me that looks so pregnant. I’m not a thin girl for sure (size 10 in most places), but I don’t think I look particularly like I am shopping in the maternity section. So, given my past experience, I replied, “No, I’m not” in a still very polite voice. His next comment floored me. “Oh okay, you’re just overweight then.” Shockingly, I still kept my composure and merely stated, “Yep. Sure am.” Still nice, but paired with my best “You’re dead to me” eyes.

He then laughed and tried to excuse himself by again explaining that he was old. First off, here’s the thing, old man, even in 1930 you couldn’t blatantly call a woman fat to her face and not be considered rude. Seriously, no excuse. Secondly, I don’t understand why the second comment was necessary. I’m definitely overweight. I already felt overweight enough when you assumed I was pregnant — OBVIOUSLY that’s what that comment implies every time it is misplaced on someone.

So the moral of this little rant is – don’t assume someone is pregnant just because they’re heavy. I mean, if they’re really obviously pregnant and maybe wearing a “FUTURE MOM” or “FETUS IN PROGRESS” shirt, have at it. Otherwise, maybe just let your curiosity go. Whether I was pregnant or not was not going to effect that man’s day, but it certainly effected mine. Anyone who you really need to know the status of her uterus will actually invite you into that knowledge of her life without you questioning.

Especially don’t say it to someone who is working on your pocket watch. I didn’t properly latch it on the inside. I hope!

By Jessica Day

Feature image via.

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  1. I was asked this just today in a restaurant no less by the waiter. I could not believe how rude it was especially because a) I had just ordered a burger and b) I feel pregnancy is such a private thing that it shouldn’t be asked by a stranger in the first place. I should have forked him somewhere but instead I simply responded by telling him I was sterile and smiled as he walked away with his tail between his legs. And no there wasn’t a tip.

  2. Aside from “no I’m not pregnant, just fat” another great response is “no I’m not pregnant, are you?” It’s especially entertaining to say this to men who ask this insanely inappropriate question.

  3. My go-to reply is: “I’m not pregnant, I’m just fat!”. It always shut people up and makes them feel bad for making assumptions, which is exactly how I want them to feel.

  4. People are such jerks. I gotta say, I totally identify. My weight has fluctuated for my entire life, ans I’m definitely at my heaviest now, but I’ve gotten this question many times during my not-pregnant life… the worst time was a few months ago while I was getting arrested for the first time in my life… the officer asked me, “How far along are you”….. Thanks, officer, for making this awful experience that much more unpleasant.

  5. I am a size 12, and at 5’7″, my curves seem to fall into all the right places. I, however, get asked this on occasion, in the form of “When’s your baby due?”
    “…Uh. Maybe in about 10 years?”

  6. When I was 19, I worked retail and our uniforms were not the most flattering. I had an older man come through my cash one day and start to tell me how inappropriate it was that a girl my age who was working a minimum wage job was pregnant. He ranted about irresponsibility in teenage girls for a good 5 minutes until I interrupted him and told him I was not pregnant, and was working to put myself through university. He said “Oh”, and then walked away. No apology or anything. People are unreal sometimes!!

  7. Yeah. I’m a size 4. This has happened to me several times. I’ve just got a fat stomach.. most of the women in my family do. And maybe I don’t know how to dress for it – but still, that’s not something other people should be worried about. It’s insane to me that anyone would ask a stranger that. I’ve always been taught that you should never ask anyone that, unless you are 110% sure.. and even then, you may not know the circumstances. Maybe they aren’t planning on keeping it, and it’s a sore subject. Maybe they recently got bad news about the pregnancy… you just never know. I’ve heard some people say it’s even bad luck to pick out a name before the second trimester.

    Ugh. That just annoys the hell out of me.

  8. I used to get asked if I was pregnant all the time. I remember being at work once and some man offered me an ice cream bar, when I declined he patted my non pregnant belly and said “What about the baby?” I was 19 at the time and actually started to cry. I’ll be 27 on saturday and I still remember it in detail.

  9. Size 10 hardly qualifies as being overweight. The average woman in American wears a 14. I’m sure you look fabulous.

  10. I can no longer wear an empire waist shirt or dress because it’s inevitable that I will be asked, “Oh my gosh, when are you due?!” I’m thinking their due to get a slap in the face but then when I say, “Oh, I’m not pregnant…” Then I cry and tell them “I’ve been trying to get pregnant again and every time I get my period I cry even more.” Hee hee, that’ll show ‘em.

  11. Size ten is not even big. People are nutballs. This is almost as bad as living in China, where I have literally had old men come up to me ON THE STREET to shout at me, “You’re too fat!” (Yeah, they’re not known for being particularly polite in China, and I’m a size 20, so…do the math.) But it’s exactly as you said: YES, I’m overweight. It’s not like you need to do a public service announcement to inform me of it, world. The mirror does it every day. And YES, I’m trying to lose weight, but that doesn’t happen overnight. Do I need to feel like s**t every day until I reach my goal weight? Jesus.

  12. I’ve had people say that to m “Are you pregnanat”. My reply is usually “no just fat”. Then intead of being embarrassed or apologetic for their rude behavior instead, they get mad at me.

  13. I am Puerto Rican, so I am a crazy mix of thin in some places and curvy in others. Namely, I have big child bearing hips but haven’t had any kids yet. Several months ago I was at a bar with two friends of mine, both skinny and pretty and wearing dresses I haven’t fit into since I was 15. A guy across the bar kept eyeing us, and slowly made his way to where we were. He approached me and started asking stupid guy questions about my friends, like, who are they, names, marital status (yep). After interrogating me about the girls, he says to me” Oh don’t worry, I know you just had a kid but you can still get it.” I looked at him and said “I don’t have any kids, and that’s just rude.” I grabbed my purse and car keys and cried all the way home.

  14. I used to get asked that by old patients & I wasn’t nearly as big as 90% of people I worked with, ugh. I’d always want to scream “I’m in size small scrubs people!” …instead I said no, I’m just fat. Fine once or twice I might’ve said I had a son, leaving out he wasn’t a newborn lol

  15. The worst is those weeks after you DO have a baby. You’re so vulnerable, and exhausted, and hormonal. And you feel like you need to take your infant every single place with you, just so that people know that you actually did just have a baby!

  16. That’s happened to me three times, I’ve gotten rid of a lot of clothes since then And it’s definetly awful. I never feel the need to ask pregnant people if they are indeed pregnant, what purpose is there. “are you pregnant?” “yes” “good for you!!!” . Its stupid

  17. Seriously, WHY do people ask? Wtf?!?

  18. I had x-rays a few years ago and the radiologist asked me if I was pregnant. I don’t blame her, I constantly look 3 months pregnant. I’ve done all I can to budge that bulge and it won’t go so I’ve given up. But having meat on your bones in no way means you are likely to be pregnant or overweight. Just means you’ve got beautiful curves!

    • Doctors and medical technicians have to ask those things, even if they look in your chart. It is called double checking, it should have nothing to do with how you look.
      For me, a 10 minute walk across campus in the spring sunshine while on antibiotics caused a reaction …. I now have to answer that “yes, I am allergic to sulpha medications” ….
      Anyway, Old Guy born in the ’30s, yeah, your Mom turned over in her grave, just so you know. That was a completely rude thing to do, you do not ask a lady anything like that.
      And the whole new concept that anything past a size 6 is considered overweight is absolutely stupid!!

    • It is usual for them to ask. Mindanao like when you go to the Dre and they look in your chart and still ask if you are allergic to things. You never know what might have changed.

    • If it makes you feel better, I’m pretty sure they have to ask everyone that. X-ray aren’t great for babies, so I think it’s mandatory that they ask:)

  19. I’ll tell you what’s happened here: That man is a stupid shit.
    There’s no other explanation, because as you say being old isn’t an excuse, and a US 10 isn’t fat. I’m a UK 12, which I think is size 8 in the US, and I’ve been asked if I’m pregnant. I didn’t worry that I looked fat, I just assumed the only logical conclusion – that the person asking me was a rude bitch! :-p

  20. i was buying a coke from a cornoer shop and the guy was like ‘you’re not supposed to drink that.’ i asked ‘why?’ and he said ‘because your pregnant.’ i said in a death voice ‘i’m not pregnant.’
    i was wearing overalls…haven’t worn them since.
    btw. i was probably a u.k size 10 at the time.

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