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Memoirs of a Non-pregnant Chick

06 May

I had just finished leading worship for the Sunday service and I thought this very kind lady was approaching me to tell me what a great job I had done with the music (It’s true. I’m human and it encourages me to hear I’m doing something well).

But Oh how much pride comes before the fall.

Luckily this woman pulled me aside, apart from the rest of the passerbys, before she proceeded with, “I just have to ask you…when are you due?” She looked at me as though she had uncovered a special secret that no one else in the world had noticed. She waited in anticipation for me to divulge my happy news.

“uh….(sigh)….I’m not”. I tilted my head a little bit and smiled the kindest smile I could muster, hoping it would somehow ease the awkwardness I knew was coming. But this lady did not skip a beat.

“Oh! Are you sure?”

Though it’s hard to imagine, this question was almost more painful than the first. She may as well have said, “Oh honey, I think you’re mistaken. I know what a pregnant woman looks like, and you are one of them”.

“Yeah, I’m sure”.

At this point I was getting more and more embarrassed, frantically looking around for Nolan to barge into the conversation and rescue me. Unfortunately I could see him off in the distance laughing away, undoubtedly at some bathroom joke or youtube video that normally I would have no interest in. I tried to will him to look at me and recognize my agony, but it didn’t work. No, for now I was stuck. Commanding myself not to cry in front of this woman and find a cleaver way out on my own. Meanwhile…

 

“Oh, so you must just be sitting at the office eating junk food with the guys all day then huh?”

Seriously!? She can’t possibly know what she’s saying.*

“Yup. That must be it”.

Now, think of your most embarrassing moment**. Go ahead. Let all the feelings come flooding back. And remember all that it took to get over it (no matter how silly of a thing it actually was, or how many people said it “wasn’t a big deal”).

Got it?

Ok, now imagine that scenario happens over and over again for 15 years straight.

 

Welcome to my life!

I think I would be a tad bit more understanding had this trend of asking me if I am pregnant began once Nolan and I got married, but it didn’t. It started when I was a Sophmore in high school. Since then I have been asked by kids, peers, old people, drunk people, church people, straight-up-mean people, complete strangers. At weddings, at my workplace, at school, at the movie theater, in the lobby of the doctor’s office, in the mall, at public Q&A forums. During my travels I was asked this awkward question at least once a week…for an entire year!

That kind of thing takes a toll on a person. That kind of thing also can’t be a coincidence. I haven’t figured out exactly why I continue having to endure this kind of blow to my self-image*** but I am hopeful the Lord is working in me a quiet humility, and maybe an awareness that couldn’t come any other way.

I don’t know why I have decided to blog about this part of my life now. Perhaps it’s because I already spilled all my other secrets and I figure, what’s one more? And now that you all know, you can help spread the word:

No, I am not pregnant. I am just very unfortunately built. Thank you Cystic Fibrosis.

*Please do not comment on my FB or WordPress about how “horrible” the lady in the story was. She’s not horrible, and I don’t want her to feel worse than she (maybe/probably) already does.

**Let’s commiserate. Email me your most embarrassing moment at gretch.nordlund@gmail.com

***Hear me say this, Pregnant woman are beautiful! I’m simply plagued by a culture that says anything but perfection is unacceptable…shameful even.

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3 Comments

Posted by on May 6, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , ,

3 responses to “Memoirs of a Non-pregnant Chick

  1. Ben Kosharek

    May 6, 2014 at 8:18 pm

    ;-/

     
  2. Jessica McCranie

    May 7, 2014 at 11:47 pm

    I can commiserate with you Gretch…
    While I no longer get asked if I am pregnant (I am far to fat for that now), I do get asked if I have kids- and when I say yes I have “3 wonderful step-children”, I ALWAYS get asked, “oh but you don’t have any of your OWN then? Why, don’t you like kids?” or “Don’t you wan’t kids?”
    Hmmm? Say what?!?

    When I explain as nicely as possible that “yes I love children, but no I cannot have them” I then have to sit an listen to comments such as, and not limited to:
    you just need to relax
    perhaps if you lost weight
    You just aren’t “doing it right” (yes someone said this to me- I wasn’t aware there was a “right” way to “do it”!!
    Perhaps God is punishing you for some sin
    maybe God doesn’t think you would be a good parent (no I am not making those last two up!)
    Are you sure you cannot have children? Maybe it is Jeff? (like we didn’t check things out or don’t know what the issue is) and more!!!

    Then when I try to get them to stop by saying how blessed I am to have my three wonderful step-children and how they are just like my very own I get these:
    Why won’t you adopt? Can’t you accept a child if it isn’t your own?
    Why don’t you foster?
    Maybe if you lost weight you still could? (yep back to my weight again- not realizing my weight is a symptom of my health issues)It is like you cannot get them to stop!

    While God does ask us to turn the other cheek, he doesn’t ask us to be doormats either. We can be respectful to people and still be straight with them about how their questions are inappropriate and disrespectful.

    For example, her asking if you were pregnant was not crossing a line- it was just unfortunate and ignorant- but once you told her no you were not, her comment about junking out on crap WAS rude and it wouldn’t have been disrespectful to kindly say to her, ” No, I don’t eat junk food all day, and it hurts my feelings that you are implying that because my body shape doesn’t match your standards for a non-pregnant woman, that I must be failing in some way.” I understand this is easier said than done. Especially when you are feeling embarrassed or flustered… I cannot tell you how many times I walk away thinking of all the “I should have said ______ to him/her!” running through my mind.

    This is something I am trying to learn to do. I am NOT good with healthy confrontation at ALL. But I am learning that when we don’t give people the opportunity to change (by being honest with them) either at the time, or even going back later, then they never will- and then often we end up harboring resentment or anger which is a bigger issue we end up having to take to the Lord. I would much rather tell an ugly truth (as nicely as possible) than a beautiful lie.

    You have SUCH a kind heart and a GENTLE spirit Gretchen! When I am around you I feel so warm, and comforted and at peace! Perhaps that is what God is trying to teach you now too? I don’t know but maybe? That sometimes it IS okay to stand up and speak up when lines are crossed? Even lines that may not seem like much, can sometimes cause a lot of damage down the road. I am no expert, and I know and trust you will put this against Gods word- but just my thoughts… ❤ you!

     
  3. ohgretch

    May 9, 2014 at 5:55 pm

    Thanks for sharing Jessica. I know what you mean about finding the line between being a doormat and being merciful.

     

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