Everyone is so nice to you when you're pregnant. Everyone, that is, except other pregnant women.
Teresa Strasser: Listen, expecting girls, all I want to do is talk to you, and find out how many weeks pregnant you are and maybe talk some shop -- you know, where you're delivering, what you take for heartburn, what you think of cord blood banking and the new iPhone app that times contractions. I just want to be friends, pregnant strangers.
I'm always hoping we're going to see each other and do a secret handshake, and have a moment.
However, it seems you gestational types aren't really feeling me.
At first, I wanted to assure you that I wasn't just carrying my weight in a very unfortunate manner, make sure you knew I was really pregnant rather than just someone who binged on raw oats and scones. I would rub my stomach in the gingerly way only pregnant women do, try to catch your eye, but no dice. To be honest, I've been a social disaster most of my life, so I'm not unfamiliar with the sensation of being snubbed -- I just can't figure out why this dismissal is so pronounced.
Honestly, if we ran into each other carrying the same Marc Jacobs bag, we would probably at least chuckle and say, "Nice purse." A richly hued and hilarious interaction it would not be, but a human connection, yes.
If I were walking a beagle and so were you, we would stop and have a chat. Arguably, an entire friendship could spring forth from this one shared characteristic. If we were both wearing Phillies hats, or driving Mini Coopers, or reading "Eat, Pray, Love" at The Coffee Bean, there would be a warm interaction, but both heading into childbirth (big deal) and motherhood (biggest deal ever) and nada. Nada?
Important point: this pregnant girl snubbing only pertains to complete strangers.
I have now made three new friends, simply because we are all pregnant at the same time. Hanging out with them feels both right and comfortable; I need those girls because I'm 35 weeks in, 45 pounds heavier, several cup sizes bigger, and 20 degrees hotter than I've ever been. Sometimes I'm euphoric and sometimes I'm lost. It's become a challenge to wipe myself. I have vivid dreams about epidurals and blinding surgical lights.
Pregnant ladies who walk right by me on the sidewalk and turn away like I'm about to make you sign a petition about saving marine life, I know you can relate.
So I can only imagine there is some sort of animal kingdom thing at play here.
Maybe this is insane, but it's almost like I represent a threat, another mother bear that might somehow compromise your safety or shrink your available resources. Is there something evolutionary going on, as in, that lady better not get more shelter, berries, attention, or protection from strong males in the tribe?
Alternatively, this could be endemic to the Hollywood area, where I live and write in various coffee shops and drop off dry cleaning and wander. I'm told the Midwest, the South, heck, even the Valley -- those are great places for pregnant bonding.
Or, both of these theories could be bogus. In the classic horror movie, "When a Stranger Calls," the most chilling scene is when cops tell the terrorized babysitter, "The call is coming from inside the house." There is a decent chance that this call is coming from inside my own haunted mind. Either I am unknowingly giving off a cold vibe that freaks out the women I'm trying to befriend, or I'm reading into this parade of pregnant girls some animosity that doesn't exist.
Like I said, my social skills have never been great.
Or maybe, with our giant bellies and off-kilter walks and vulnerable demeanors, we are used to being the center of attention, a spotlight we unconsciously despise sharing.
In any case, this could all be solved with an ice-breaking secret handshake. Or if that's too intimate, maybe we just throw up a sign, one finger per trimester, sideways, OG-style, and know for a sly, passing moment that we're in the same crew.
|Teresa Strasser is an Emmy-winning writer and Emmy-nominated television host, who also served as co-host of "The Adam Carolla Show." As a journalist, Strasser is a contributor to the L.A. Times and a columnist for the L.A. Jewish Journal. Other TV credits include "Good Day New York," "Good Day Live" and "On Air With Ryan Seacrest." She currently co-hosts "TV Watercooler" on the TV Guide channel. For more, go to TeresaStrasser.com|