I have something to share. A secret. Something that has to do with wine. And puffy coats. And high-waisted skirts. And burritos.
I am 31.
(not the secret)
I am a lady, with all the bits and bobs: ovaries, etc.
(not the secret)
I am not pregnant.
Not. Not not not.
Recently I was getting ready for a biz trip, heading out of town to work with a client. I was rifling through my wardrobe (read: tearing madly through it) to figure out what to wear. Everything I pulled out, everything I tried out, every time I stared at my stomach. Do I look pregnant? Will we have an issue if I have a burrito for lunch and all of a sudden, clients are thinking about potential maternity leaves?
Once upon a time, a particular winter where I had particular cute coats in rotation, people offered me their seats on the subway and the bus. At first I took it, loving the seat in crowded rush hour. But as my puffy coat settled in, unfortunate looking with the way the zipper stood up, I realize that the offer was intended as an obligatory social gesture for ladies with buns in the oven. No buns in no ovens here.
I don’t drink a lot. A few years ago, there was enough drinking for a lifetime, and now, I’m up to a lot of cool shit, and hangovers don’t really jive with it. But if I refuse that glass of wine or cocktail or spritzer, it isn’t because I’m planning a gender reveal, I’m planning an awesome morning to which hangovers aren’t invited.
I just wanted to clear the air.
Lest you think its all in my head: as I roll into my fourth wedding anniversary with my partner in crime, the questions come, the family planning is alluded to, and conversations about “trying” are apparently fair game. It isn’t just me either. My friends, married or not, women or men, all get it.
But here is the thing. When you ask if I’m pregnant, if we are trying, I get that it is with love, excitement, compassion and interest. It is trying to stuff someone into the right box in the right stage of the “right” trajectory we are all on.
But, when you ask those questions, you are also asking about someone’s sex life. You are making assumptions based on their behaviour. You are asking something of people that is deeply personal, that may have delicate emotional nuances and charged responses.
So, it is my body. All my body- no cohabitants. So let me drink soda water, be the designated driver, choose ill-fitting clothing and eat my goddamn burritos with reckless abandon. Unless there is a child in my arms, it isn’t fair game.
(And even then, we will probably be talking about how cute my friend’s kid is, and how I’m just babysitting.)
So let’s not. Let’s not ask about people and their reproduction. Whisper that such and such has gained weight, looks puffy and seems to know a lot about the latest in stroller technology. I am not about to cater my life to inappropriate questions, assumptions and rumour mills. Let’s just allow people in our life to tell us what they want to tell us.
That’s my secret. Damn, it feels good to get off my (non-lactating) chest. Now let’s get some Mexican in some tight-ass pencil skirts.