I’m still upset from last night. It’s a combination both of the hurt I feel when I see yet another pregnancy announcement, and the anger and frustration caused by the simple fact that it hurts. I want to be over this by now. I want it not to hurt anymore. (I also want people to stop being pregnant, just for a little while, but I know that’s unreasonable.)
And since I’m hurt and angry and frustrated, it only makes sense that I dwell on something else upsetting, and that’s the pregnancy “announcements.”
It seems like we all have one-track minds – jumping to pregnancy as a conclusion every time someone says they have big news or an upset stomach. And I too am guilty of this, and I too have made the jokes: a coworker says she’s been tired lately, and I chirp back, “Maybe you’re pregnant.” Maybe I do it as a defense mechanism. I want to be warned ahead of time if somebody is going to be pregnant, so it doesn’t come as a slap to the face when an announcement is made, because, as evidenced by last night, that shit stings.
But in the same sense, our readiness – as a society? an age group? just my group of friends who have been influenced by my own obsession with the topic? – to jump to the pregnancy conclusion isn’t exactly comforting either. About a week ago, I got a message from one of my best friends, Amanda, that said, “I’m sensing a chick flick in our near future.”
“Yes!” I answered. “Why? What’s coming out that I’m unaware of?”
I meant as in dumb girly movies. Amanda is the friend with whom I went to see A Cinderella Story with Hillary Duff on my 22nd birthday, and He’s Just Not That Into You a few years later. She’s also the friend with whom I went to see concerts put on by Britney Spears and The American Idols. She also convinced me to read Twilight.
But instead of answering my actual question, she thought I was asking what was “coming out” as in “big news,” and so reassured me that she had no pregnancy announcement to make; she just misses me and wants to get together.
Which was exactly what I’d gotten from her original message.
This was okay though – a funny misunderstanding is way better than an actual pregnancy announcement. It’s this next one that makes me want to scream.
The other day, I found out that when I get back from my trip, I’m going to be taking over the bread section in my store. This is exciting – not a promotion with a raise, but definitely some added responsibility, and gluten is my favorite food. It’s also nerve-wracking – bread is one of the least-predictable and therefore hardest orders to write; one of my managers even warned me, “You can be a really good order-writer” (which I am) “and it will humble you.”
So when I got home that night, I posted on my facebook about it, wanting to let my friends and ex-coworkers up in Seattle know so that they could be excited and/or sorry for me. I didn’t feel like I needed to give the whole explanation I’ve just given you, because the people it was meant for would understand, simply, “bread order.”
And they did, and they offered the hoped-for congratulations and condolences. One of the people it was not meant for, however, decided to draw his own interpretations. Moments after I’d posted those two words, I got this frantic message from him:
“Bread order. Does that mean what I think it means???”
“It means I’m taking over the bread section at work,” I replied. “If that’s what you were thinking.”
Let me be clear that, even at this point, even though I already knew where he was going, he could have saved himself and me the embarrassment and said something like, “Oh, ok. Good for you.” And left it. Instead he said,
“Wow, way to be cryptic. Especially with a blog called Bakery Closed Until Further Notice.”
“Which clearly states that I’m physically incapable of getting pregnant.”
“Oh. I hadn’t read that part.”
“Mirena is 99.9% effective in preventing pregnancy for up to five years,” I parroted. “And now I’m going to bed.”
When I told Doug, who was half-asleep already, he groaned. “Remind me why we’re friends with this guy again?”
And it’s not that. There are some good reasons why we’re friends with this guy, even if he does have a knack for saying exactly the wrong thing at exactly the wrong time. (This is the same friend who liked to brag to my ex-husband, who was already super jealous and possessive, about everything he knew about my sexual history, and all the times he’d seen me in my underwear.) It’s just that… come on.
Maybe what I’m asking for here is just a little sensitivity? It goes along with me saying I’d like to be warned if one of my friends is trying to get pregnant. Well, I’d also like pregnancy to be left out of conversations in which it has no place. We dance around other people’s sensitive topics – we try to distract injured or sick or dying people from their pain and their grief by talking about something else, don’t we? So why not the same for me? Let movies just be movies. For fuck’s sake, let bread just be bread. Let it be heard loud and clear that I am not getting pregnant anytime soon. So don’t fucking ask.