August 26, 2007

I'm a Moron

I've become "that person" I've always warned other of. I asked a woman who wasn't pregnant when she was due.

Could there really be anything worse? I'd met her two seconds before - she had come to the beach with a group of my friends, and she looked suspiciously round in her two piece bathing suit. "So when does #4 show up?" I asked with a smile.

She looked at her other three children playing in the sand and said with a scowl, "not for a while I hope."

And that was the end of her interest in me. I was wondering why she didn't give me an exact date - then it hit me, she probably wasn't pregnant at all. A while later I asked my friend if this lady was pregnant and she confirmed that there was absolutely no nurturing activities going on in that particular uterus.

What do you do to amend such an egregious faux paus? I decided to do nothing. To apologize would necessitate having to talk about it more and I'm sure this woman just wanted to throw me out into the ocean with concrete slippers, not have a friendly chat. I still don't understand what possessed me to ask. In my pathetic defense, she was Mormon which gives her a 95% chance of being pregnant regardless of the shape of her tummy. Regardless, I've always vowed not to ask a woman if she was expecting until I could hear the baby crying on the birthing table. And even then, probably not. So many of my friends have been burned by this question. But I asked it.

I must be punished. Any ideas?


16 comments:

pflower10 said...

I guess you could have a little fun with it and send her THE FIRM as an apology, after all could you really do worse by her now?

pflower10 said...

THIS THE FIRM not this The Firm just to be clear!

chanel said...

oh man- had the same expereince- what the heck is wrong with us?!?! We KNOW better! Doing nothing was my course of action as well, besides lying and saying I must have thought she was someone else in the ward- like that even makes sense!?!?!
Im not really into punishment- just learning the hard way... apparently!

Xena said...

Dave Barry once said that you should never ask a woman if she is pregnant unless you actually see a baby coming out of her. As one who has put her foot in her mouth all the way up to her knee many, many, times, you'd think I'd have some advice. "Oh, I thought you were pregnant -- you're just glowing!" WRONG In that instance, I'd gather up my kids and my beach towel and make a hasty retreat...

Heather O. said...

My neighbor in our old neighborhood started gushing about the shower her friends at work threw for her. She is sort of heavy anyway, but seriously, when somebody you think is married is taking about her co-workers throwing a shower, don't you think it's safe to say, "Hey, I didn't know you were pregnant!"

Her response?

"I'm not pregnant, Heather. I'm just fat."

I stuttered and stammered and said, "But, I heard you talk about the shower. What was the shower for?"

"Bobby and I are getting married next week."

Oh. So the man she had been living with for 2 years, her children's "new dad" was not her husband, but her boyfriend. So then I had no choice but to blubber, "Oh, um, congratulations! I thought you were already married" which probably made things worse. AFter all, who I am to foist upon her my own conservative assumptions about dads and marriage?

Yeah, she and I didn't talk much after that.

s'mee said...

If you see this woman on a regular basis at all, yes, you need to do something...just so she understands you aren't hurtful on purpose or whatever.

If someone said this to me I would feed on that one statement for years. She may be doing that right now.

You are one of the funniest, clever, witty women I know. Find someway to make her laugh and explain that you were a clod and that if the situation were reversed you would want to someone to hit you over and over with a shopping cart or whatever.

Michelle AM said...

I know from personal experience that it's worse being on the receiving end of this question than the giving end! A couple of years ago, the rumor was going around my ward that I was expecting. I didn't hear about it until a good friend said she'd been hearing rumors and wanted to be able to set others straight. I appreciated her tact in addressing it that way. It also gave me time to prepare a response for when the inevitable question was actually asked of me, not just whispered behind my back. I decided I could either laugh or cry about it, so I made it a joke about earning my battle scars, including my poochy tummy, from having my 6 kids. Oh, so fun!!

I agree with s'mee. If you see this woman often, say something. And then just be aware of it and try not to insert that foot too often into one's mouth. :] If someone is expecting, they will tell people when they want others to know.

Sarah said...

Actually, I'm never going to see this woman again with is good and bad - she'll just have to stew over my rudeness forever and I get off the hook of making appropriate amends.

Michelle, I'm sorry you had to be one of the many victims of tactless wonders such as myself.

Janell said...

Don't worry, I'm certain she's venting on a blog somewhere ;)

Your penance will be gently smiling and smashing all irate feelings the next time asks if you're pregnant and you're not ;)

Adrienne said...

OOh, Sarah. That's a Girl Sin, and one of the mortal ones at that. I do agree with your defense, though, being as she's Mormon there's a higher than average probability that she was, indeed, preggers. At least you didn't blather on blindly about due dates and sonograms...

Jordan said...

Sarah-

I once asked someone in our Ann Arbor ward this (and believe me, it is even worse coming from a guy) and she wasn't. *GASP* (I NEVER ask that question any more and should have known better than to ask it then.)

Luckily, I quickly covered my tracks with the little white lie that I had "heard" otherwise, though I couldn't believe it looking at her (OK, two white lies, since I hadn't heard that and she did actually look pregnant)...

Sarah said...

Nice save, Jordan! I wish I had thought of that. I say two white lies make a honest man out of you. At least I think that's how the math adds up...

Anonymous said...

yes, it is WAY worse being on the receiving end. i have that body type where i am basically thin, but when i gain 5 or 10 pounds it goes right to my stomach (ever since i had kids). i have had at least 5 people over the last 10 years ask if i was preggers when i wasn't. i know i need to go on a diet right now because people keep eyeing my gut.

Anonymous said...

I have the body shape that any weight I gain makes me look further and further into be prego, but I am not and all 9 times people have asked me it has brought me to or close to tears. See I have even kept track. I also never believe it when the person who asked me says that they "heard it from someone else who said I was" sorry Jordan

emma jo said...

The comedian Brian Reagan says that the only appropriate time to ask when a woman is expecting is if you can actually see the baby coming out...other than that, the rule is "don't ask ever, ever, ever". I've done that. I'm afraid there is no recovery.

emma jo said...

OK, I just read the other comments and feel dumb...Dave Barry, are you sure? I've had too many kids and lost too many brain cells, I suppose.