Walking with the dog back from the dumpster I passed a neighbor, a man in his 50s or 60s with a small poodle I see sometimes out and about.
“Congratulations!!” he called out to me, grinning, as dog and I walked towards him.
“Thanks!” I replied, pleased that he had heard about any number of amazing things that I, an amazing person, had done recently. Then I realized the absurdity of that statement and that he certainly hadn’t heard of the quarterly service excellence nomination I had received at work or my upcoming position as secretary on the board of my quilt guild chapter, and even if he somehow knew about those they’re not congratulations-worthy things.
Oh my god he was congratulating me on my non-existent pregnancy. It has happened a number of times over the past decade. I’m in the age range of people who experience pregnancies. “But you’re not fat!” people say when they hear of the latest pregnancy remark. Ah, but that makes me appear even more pregnant: being slender accentuates the protruding belly thing I’ve always had, especially when I’m completely relaxed and thinking I’m alone on the way back from the dumpster and not sucking it in and quite frankly bloated and a little gassy. When I’m relatively small everywhere else, people assume that the stomach thing is a fetus growing in there for them to comment on.
Dog and I hadn’t slowed down for more than the greeting in passing and I didn’t turn around to shout “I’m not pregnant! For godsake man how have you failed to learn to say nothing about a person’s pregnancy even if you think she’s so far along that it’s obvious to anybody with eyes and congratulations are in order because she wants to hear your thoughts on her body and her personal life??”
I’m sucking it in so hard in these pictures.