I Hold My Tongue Too Much.

Or something like that. Life is a mixed bag.

We were at a fantastic wedding on the weekend. Longtime friends, potluck food, live music from various people. Family flew in from elsewhere. I danced and drank and helped out in the kitchen. It was lovely. Only one thing marred it. A woman I hardly know put her hand on my belly and said, “Congratulations!”

Now, we all know what this means. It means she thinks I am pregnant. Thanks for the downer, lady. I carry some extra weight on my belly. It’s wine and cheese. It’s not a fetus. But instead of going off about asinine assumptions and the invasion of my personal space, I looked down and asked, “Why?”

She recovered pretty quickly. “Oh! Oh, just your..finding such a lovely partner.” She gazed at E and I walked away. Maybe I should have lectured her. I don’t know. But what pisses me off is that I thought I looked lovely (and not at all pregnant!) in the dress I was wearing. Did she not notice I was drinking and eating runny cheese? Maybe not. Other than that, it was a hell of a good time.

E is up and out early as he is working on Olympics stuff. He and his crew are the only people I know who are benefiting from the enormous clusterfuck the Olympics is turning into. (Can they arrest me for saying the Olympics is a mad clusterfuck? I’m not holding my tongue about that.) He’s up early, home late, and bursting to tell me what he’s doing, but he can’t because of some Olympic gag order. No, really. He’s under orders not to tell ANYONE what is happening, like the ceremonies are some CIA-engineered operation.

I’m really glad he’s busy and needed, as he just got a particularly clueless letter from his well-intentioned father, telling him to ‘give up his dreams’ and go back to school ‘for computers’. I absolutely itch to send that man a bullet-pointed missive stating just how wrong his assumptions are, and how small his worldview is.

One day, I am going to stop holding my tongue, and the world will know me as the angry, righteous bitch I really am. I look forward to it more and more.

11 Comments to “I Hold My Tongue Too Much.”

  1. By Gecko Bloggle, January 13, 2010 @ 11:13 am

    See, I would have been tempted to look down at my tum and say “Wow, how embarrassing for you. Seriously, you must really feel like an idiot right about now” Or maybe just a pat on the shoulder and in your best “Talking to the mentally challenged” voice “Not all ladies are mommies, you know. Are you here with someone? Do they know you’ve wandered away?”

    As someone “in computers” I can tell you that clueless letter would be similar to sending someone a letter suggesting they get a job “outdoors” or one that “involves people” or maybe “food, somehow.”

    I can tell you right now that E probably knows more about digital audio production than I ever would want to, and already has years of experience in the field. Going back to school to “learn about computers” would put him in direct competition with the kids who just graduated and don’t KNOW that $30k is not a good salary for hightech, nor would they understand that working 70+ hrs a week isn’t “normal.” E would also, I suspect, now know a whole bunch about large-scale project management and (I would suspect) managing people.

    So, before E’s dad starts handing out career advice, maybe he should take a spin through http://www.slashdot.com and see how deep over his head he actually is when telling people to get “into computers.”

    Truly,
    “Spates First”

  2. By Liz, January 13, 2010 @ 11:22 am

    Exactly.To all of it. But E can’t get his dad to understand that he has (and continues to acquire) several valuable skill sets. All his dad sees is that E is a longhair who doesn’t have a desk job.

    I thought my “Why?” would give the woman enough pause for thought. Maybe she learned something from that. I hope so.

  3. By rachel, January 13, 2010 @ 11:47 am

    I think “Why?” was a great response, in fact. It reminds me of what my sister does when she hears a racist or sexist joke. She says “I don’t get it.” Then the person either says, “It’s funny because [this class of humans] are stupid!” or they get the first inkling of a clue.

    And it beats MY knee-jerk response, which would have been, “Yeah, but the ultrasound revealed it’s going to be the next Hitler, so we’re thinking of terminating it.”

  4. By Gecko Bloggle, January 13, 2010 @ 12:11 pm

    “Why?” really is a good response. Leaves it all with them.

    Someone I used to work with had this oft-repeated and beautifully-timed “I’m sorry, could you repeat that?” in a way that was somehow similar to Inigo Montoya’s “You keep using that word, but I don’t think it means what you think it means.”

  5. By Gecko Bloggle, January 13, 2010 @ 12:15 pm

    Oh, and being bonded with an NDA and then actually being able to keep your mouth SHUT is an extremely valuable skill. One E’s dad might wanna go back to school and learn.

    Lots of folks (myself included, sadly) LOVE to start stories with “I’m not supposed to tell anyone this, but…”

  6. By iamthediva, January 13, 2010 @ 12:29 pm

    “Why”, such a better response than: “Nope! Not pregnant, just fat! and thanks for pointing it out, jerk”

  7. By Robin, January 13, 2010 @ 1:02 pm

    “Why” was absolutely perfect. You sent the message that she was clearly mistaken and she recovered with out anyone getting too damaged. Now, I had an absolutely glorious faux pas at my husband’s christmas party last month in which I asked some one when they were having their next child. Only to find out that he was recently separated. Oops! We all make mistakes.

  8. By Liz, January 13, 2010 @ 1:52 pm

    Thanks for the support, all. Mr Bloggle,

    E’s dad thinks he is being helpful. Like with the diet comments.

    Rachel, I would love to have your presence of mind, but I didn;t want to hurt her feelings.

    IamtheDiva, I’ve done the “Just fat” once before, too. Leaves ‘em spluttering!

    Robin, that would happen to me, especially if they’re people I don’t have straight in my head!

  9. By clara, January 14, 2010 @ 2:50 pm

    Oh brutal. Your response was respectful; hopefully she will be telling the story as “you’ll never believe what I did this one time!” for a long time. And if she ever does meet a real pregnant woman perhaps she will keep her fucking hands to herself.

    (Sorry. Still bitter over all the unwanted belly patting and “HI BABY CAN YOU HEAR ME IN THERE!” from strangers.)

    Did he really say “give up your dreams”? Ouch. Dear Dad: You gave up yours. Not my problem. Love, E.

    If only, huh?

  10. By Stephanie, January 14, 2010 @ 3:04 pm

    Oh. My. God. It’s one thing to say that to someone (which you never should, of course, unless you KNOW they are pregnant), but it’s another to actually reach out and make contact. Ugh. Awful! I like the way you handled that though. I always imagine if someone were to say that to me I’d get all crazy and be like “No, I’m just FAT” but probably I’d just not know what to say.

  11. By Liz, January 14, 2010 @ 3:57 pm

    Clara, I think she will tell the story on herself. She has a great sense of humour. But I share your rage about the unwanted belly patting. How does gestation make a woman’s body community property. And yes: Give up your dreams. Word for word. Parenting FAIL.

    Stephanie, I think it would warrant your getting crazy. You don’t have my wine and cheese padding.

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