Monday Reality Check: yes, stranger on the street, please rub my belly!

March 8, 2010

I am not a shy person, nor do I offend easily. At all. I’ve been known to pull over on the side of a highway to pee in broad daylight, just because I can’t find a Kwik Trip (hey I love that place!) But I’m sure there are a lot of women out there who get pregnant and are just not prepared for the inevitable “popping” of their personal space bubble.

Women–get pregnant and consider that bubble popped.  You expect it from your doctors and nurses and you’ll get accustomed pretty quick to the old stirrup position and talking about parts of yourself you never knew existed.

But be prepared for even strangers to see “pregnant girl” and think “ohhh I bet she’s just dying for me to rub her belly!”

I find it funny-curious that something about walking around with a beach ball-sized mountain protruding from my belly inspires perfect strangers to come up to me and without hesitation, rub my belly.

Like “Hi, I don’t know you but I am drawn to large, rotund objects and must touch!!!”

Sometimes, people say things like “ohhh congratulations! how exciting! when are you due?” while rubbing my gut with so much enthusiasm as if they expect a genie to pop out and grant them 3 wishes.

But other times, like yesterday when we were in church, people take the “casual” approach to the awkward stranger belly rub.

We got to the part of the service where you go around and shake hands–although I like getting up and talking to people, I always wonder if the person shaking my hand just picked their nose or has a sick kid or went to the bathroom just before and AHHH didn’t wash their hands. I mean, not everyone embraces common hygiene. But shake their hands in church anyway, you must.

So I’m shaking away, when suddenly a person I didn’t recognize came up to me, and without any pause or hesitation solemnly placed his hands…not one but both of his hands…on my belly, looked at it and said, “good morning.”

I couldn’t tell if he was talking to me, or for some reason, talking to my unborn child. Or maybe he’d never seen a pregnant person before and was completely mesmerized?

All I could think was well, at least I didn’t have to shake a stranger’s hand with who knows what germs inhabiting it. Hmmm, maybe that guy was on to something….

Down with the handshakes, belly rubs for all!!


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