Saturday, August 26, 2006

Noli me tangere

OK, so I lied. I'm posting one more time before we leave, because I just have to vent about last night and whine about my fears for the upcoming week.

A. (who is a musician/performer as many of you know) had a big solo show at a certain club last night, and many people we know -- some well, some through family or only in the context of his career -- were in attendance. I always find it a little stressful to go to gigs like this one, having to play the social butterfly, "first lady" role, making pleasant chit chat with people I don't know well while trying to make time to talk to actual friends, all in the context of being The Wife. It's not the most fun in the world for someone who can play the extrovert in short, determined bursts, but who is really by nature more of an introvert. But I get through it.

Last night, though, was so exhausting I was on the verge of tears by the time I went home. Completely emotionally fried. Pregnancy hormones and the slight slowing/dulling effect they have on my brain are, no doubt, in part to blame. I had been feeling a little "fragile" all day. But I think anyone would have found it trying. (God bless the one friend who smiled sympathetically and said, "getting sick of all the attention yet?") At the end of the night, I literally had my arms wrapped around my belly and all I wanted in the world was to get home and be alone with my girls. And the cat, who I forced to cuddle with me.

Anyone who has traveled in a remote part of a developing country or other place where they they stand out like a sore thumb and, as such, are the subject of constant gawking and scrutiny and objectification (an experience I highly recommend everyone have once in their lifetime, incidentally) will have a good idea of how I felt. Suddenly all anyone could see or talk about was the fact that I was pregnant. The shape of my body, my state of mind, my eating and sleeping and peeing habits were all fair game for public consumption. My belly was touched, without my permission, six or seven times. (Most of those times by men, I might add.) I was asked approximately ten thousand times when I'm due, do twins run in my family, how do I feel, etc.

All perfectly innocent, well-meaning, lovely questions, asked by genuinely kind people who were obviously just happy and excited for me. I don't blame anyone at all. But the sheer volume of it, the sameness and intensity of it, the invasiveness of it, the social energy and forced grins it required of me over and over again, and the fact that everybody and their fucking brother wanted to talk to me at once, made me want to curl up in a fetal position under a table somewhere.

Allow me to interject here -- because some of my dear readers were in attendance last night -- that it wasn't YOU who were getting on my nerves. It was the onslaught of so many people at once, particularly ones I don't know well or see often, and some total strangers, that made me feel like a small, sad, plump fish in a fishbowl.

And yes, I am whining. And no, this is not a big deal. And yes, in some ways the attention is fun. But oy -- I am about to go spend a week in NH with a whole slew of kind, well-meaning people that I only see once a year, who are going to barrage me with the same damned questions over and over and over again, and at the moment it feels like the very antithesis of a relaxing vacation.

I should just make myself a t-shirt:

I'm due 1/4/07 at the latest.
It's twin girls, fraternal.
They don't run in my family.
I feel great.
Now leave me alone.

Bon voyage, mes amis. And if you see a pregnant woman you know, do her a favor and ask her what she thinks about the situation in the Middle East. Or what book she's reading. Or better yet, just blab about yourself. She'll love you for it.


Anonymous heather said...

Ooh, I live in NH. I shall stalk you and ask you all sorts of questions.

Obviously just kidding. I had an 11 lb. son so I carried much like twins. He was born 2 1/2 weeks late so I got so many of the "are you going to pop that baby out right here" questions.

Have a great trip and I found you through Midwestern Deadbeat and I love your writing. Still impressed with your Airplane reference.

7:31 PM  
Blogger bihari said...

Oh Lordy, you so have my sympathy. And understanding. Particularly with my second pregnancy, I used to get really quite angry about the way people felt free to comment/ask questions/touch/opine. I felt like saying, "There's no observation you can make that I haven't already figured out, dumbass: yes, I am pregnant, yes, my belly is growing, yes, I am overdue, yes, I will then have two boys. Now go away and leave me alone." Uncharitable, but heartfelt!

Wishing you luck in NH.

11:11 AM  
Blogger scruffylooking said...

Both times I was pregnant I worked at a coffee/ice cream/veggie soup and sandwich place which was where 126 is now in IC. That was my life every day, and everyone just called me the pregnant lady instead of using my name. I know exactly how you feel.

Hopefully, you'll have a place you can go to be by yourself on vacation.

11:30 AM  
Blogger SER said...

Ugh, that does sound stressful! And, of course, I'm sure it'll get worse, with the kinds of "Are you sure you're not overdue?"/"You're huge!" kinds of comments that everyone seems to get, no matter how huge or not huge they actually are.

Again, I ask: why are people so retarded? We may never know.

Have a great week in NH!!

3:36 PM  
Blogger congorilla said...

First off: Wow! Two girls... that's pretty f'ing awesome. I can't wait to meet them.

Second: I'll tell you something, you were so smooth at Passim. I had no idea about the "wanting to crawl into a fetal position..." Your sarcasm about the touchy feelies in the room was dead on.

Third: Hope you had fun in New Hampshire!

11:49 PM  

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