I got scolded by an uninvolved third-party today for telling a pregnant woman who’s past her due date that she looks tired. TIRED. Not fat, not unattractive, not “terrible.” I said TIRED. She and I were having a long conversation about her pregnancy and she repeated a couple of times that she was exhausted. Since I’ve known her for years, I agreed that, “Yeah, I can tell. You look tired.” Apparently, in the eyes of the heretofore uninvolved woman, that was an original sin. I actually got the “well YOU try carrying around a baby for nine months and see how you look” talk.
So…as I’ve never been one to put down the shovel when I’ve already started digging a hole…
Pregnant women don’t look the same as they did before they were pregnant. So far, I think we can all agree to that. There are the obvious body-shape differences. There are the (GASP!) weight differences. The “glow” people comment on comes from spending the entire morning throwing up. They wear tacky, awful clothing because clearly Gucci does not have a maternity collection. They don’t “look great” as their liar girlfriends will constantly tell them…they look PREGNANT (and frankly, that’s just fine with me…and if I were a woman, I’d totally use that as an excuse to completely let myself go!). And, yes, toward the end, they start looking (Oh no! He’s going to say it again!) TIRED.
For some reason, my FRIEND (not an uninvolved stranger) who was telling me all of this during the course of our dialogue (which was actually more like a monologue) had no problem with me knowing all of this stuff about her. I know for a fact that she was not offended by my comment that she looked tired and recognised it as a sign of empathy. She knew that in my tone of voice I was conveying that “You DO look tired and you have every right to be. Hang in there.” But, I didn’t feel the need to say ALL of that. There was enough implied.
If she weren’t pregnant and I said she looked tired, would this other woman have jumped down my throat? Probably not…she probably would have kept thumbing through the magazines and slowly dying inside from not getting any phone calls from her now adult children who’ve clearly abandoned her because she’s–well, she’s the type of person who will scold a complete stranger for telling his pregnant friend that she looks tired.
…I’m starting to think the Republicans are right about the feminists…or at least about that one.
- Zappa Plays Zappa – Dweezil Zappa’s cover-band where he tours playing his dad’s music. I’ve been a Frank Zappa fan for years and never got to see him perform when he was alive. Hopefully I’ll get to see ZPZ someday. Dweezil’s doing right by his legacy and it sounds great.