A few weeks ago I wrote this, which judging by my stats has been my most popular post thus far (so, you know, go re read it, leave some love and send it on to other pregnant parties should you be so inclined). Number 5 was one I hadn’t actually been asked or experienced, but I knew from others it was one that had to be on there.
Well I’ve experienced it now. Last week at work, my belly got touched for the first time by a client, and I wish she had extended me the courtesy of asking. It was probably one of the most awkward experiences I’ve ever had. It almost seemed to happen in slow motion. We were saying goodbye, and she just reached across the small gap between us and patted my baby bump. Mind you, I had just met this woman maybe 10 minutes prior to this happening. By all means, she was more of a complete stranger I was beginning a work relationship with than even an acquaintance.
I’m not sure why pregnancy is so bizarre. What makes people think that such a blatant violation of personal space is okay, much less wanted? In some ways, I almost felt violated. Part of me really wanted to reach out and touch HER stomach, but I’m not really in the mood for a harassment issue at the moment.
But if it’s not socially acceptable to do while someone is not pregnant, why would someone think it’s okay when you are pregnant? Last time I checked, I didn’t sign anything that said people had the right to be really invasive about my personal life and body just because I decided to procreate. And if someone is going to touch my stomach without permission, they could at least buy me dinner first. Or a milkshake.
Or maybe I just need to invest in a shirt that says, “Hands off, someone beat you to it.”