Saturday, April 3, 2010

Open mouth, insert foot

I often say really stupid things and immediately wish I could un-say them. If they ever invent a surgery to remove feet from mouths, I'll sign up because I need it that bad. So normally, I have a really high tolerance for people who put their feet in their mouths with me.

But there are some things that should just not ever be said. If you are my facebook friend (which you probably are because I don't think I have any readers whom I do not know), you probably already know what I'm referring to.

It all started when I decided to treat myself to a manicure. I love getting my nails done but I never do it, so I thought Easter would be a perfect occasion to step out of the ordinary. I made an appointment at the place I get my eyebrows done at because they are super cheap but won't talk about me to their fellow manicurists right in front of me in a different language. I've been getting my eyebrows done there for years and I know the two main eyebrow ladies and have seen the owner around a lot too. I really like the two ladies. The owner, not so much.

The owner is generally sweet and friendly, but I don't really like it when she does my eyebrows because she takes Also, she says awkward things. I went to get my brows done about a month after I got married, and she remembered because I'd been there with my girls to get my nails done for the wedding. She asked if I was pregnant yet and I said, "Well, no, I just got married a month ago..."

Then, 2 months after my miscarriage, she happened to be there again. And of course, she asked again if I was pregnant yet. I said no and she hinted that she thought I was waiting too long and that my clock was ticking (at age 23). I got defensive and blurted out that I'd recently miscarried and she said, "Oh well, I guess it's for the best, the baby probably had defects and God knew you couldn't handle a baby with special needs." Yeah. The comment provided therapy fodder for a solid month.

So pretty much every time after that, if I saw that she was in there doing waxing I would keep walking and just browse around the mall and go back later. But eventually that became inconvenient and I just started going in whenever I was there. Because in reality, I know that she wasn't being malicious (even though it sounds like it in an isolated context like that). Thanks to an awesome therapist, I was able to come to grips with the fact that most people just don't know what to say when you tell them you had a miscarriage. And in awkward situations like that, people are bound to say stupid things. So I got over it.

And I went there throughout my pregnancy with Lucas and had her once or twice at the end. Then two months after Lucas was born I went in there again. I told her I'd had my baby, showed her some pictures and talked about how big he was already (which is pretty standard stranger conversation. Babies are awesome for that.).

So today when I went in there for my manicure, they were packed and I had to sit by the brow waxing chairs to wait for my manicurist to finish up her other client. I saw the one lady I always liked to go to and we smiled and chatted a bit. Then the owner said to me (in this very small, very packed and suddenly very quiet nail salon), "Ah, you're pregnant again! How many months?"

My gut reaction was to be insecure and answer quietly. But a split-second later, my insecurity was replaced with indignation. First of all, I most certainly do NOT look pregnant, and I know it! Second of all, unless a woman is literally delivering her baby before your very eyes, you never, ever, EVER assume she is pregnant. And even if you think she might be pregnant, you do NOT say a single word until and unless she mentions it first. Seriously, that's just common sense. Because Newton's Law about social situations specifically states that the moment you assume a woman is pregnant and say something to her along those lines, she will not be pregnant and you will stumble all over yourself trying to make yourself look like less of an idiot, making yourself look like a bigger idiot in the process.

So I pulled myself together and said in a strong, clear voice, "I'm not pregnant. I already had my baby."

Silence. Seriously, if you have ever been in a nail salon, you know how loud they usually are. And let me tell you, it was so awkward having a conversation that silenced the whole place. It should have only been awkward for the owner, but it was awkward and embarrassing for me too, because suddenly everyone in the whole place was giving me the side-eye, trying to see if I still looked pregnant.

The woman who was having her eyebrows waxed by the owner tried to break the king of all uncomfortable silences and asked, "How old is your baby?"

"Five months," I answered. And the room got even silent-er. Which I didn't think was possible, but apparently it was.

I was praying that the activity would just pick up and the whole thing would be forgotten, but the owner said, "Oh I'm so silly. Well don't feel bad, it usually takes your stomach a while to get down to normal. You'll get there!"

I wanted to throttle her. Seriously??? Not only have I lost all my pregnancy weight, I am 5 pounds down from where I was when I got pregnant! And yes my stomach is a teeny bit mushier than before, but it certainly does not look like it contains a baby.

So, Ms. Owner Lady, you are lucky I'm a forgiving person. You are lucky that this blog allows me to purge my acidic thoughts so they don't gurgle around inside me and make me want to punch your face every time I see you. I will probably see you the next time I'm in there to get my brows done and I'll be nice to you and even friendly. Because it's not worth it to me to hold some sort of drama-queen grudge against you for the rest of my life. It takes too much energy. But just know that it is NOT OKAY to say things like that. Ever. And even though I won't be mad at you anymore after I type the last punctuation mark in this post, I probably won't hesitate to throw down gently call you out if you ever say anything like that to me again. Sorry, but three strikes and you're out.

1 comment:

magicjess said...

EVERYONE KNOWS you don't ask if someone is pregnant!!! She obviously is tactfully challenged. Don't even listen to her.