If the state of the blogging/social media world on the subject of being offended is Chernobyl then this post here is going to be like a field of daisies in which a pterodactyl took a huge dump. Kind of weird, the daisies might be a little miffed, and not at all related to anything going on in this world today.
A couple weeks ago I made a facebook status about my first encounter with a stranger asking my due date. It was a very happy status and lots of people 'liked' it. I felt pretty good about the experience. I found out later Mark had a completely different experience than I had in that moment.
It's true, the lady asked many more questions than I admitted in the status. As far as I can recall it went a little something like this:
"When are you due?"
"Oh thanks! Um, the end of June [huge grin]."
"[nods]...is this your second?"
"No, just one, thankfully!"
"Well, congratulations and good luck!"
She wasn't necessarily the smiliest or warmest person I'd ever encountered but I felt like the interaction was genuine. I walked away feeling a sense of (albeit unfounded) triumph at being recognizably pregnant. However, in Mark's eyes, she had been extremely rude and impertinent. In his mind, she was flabbergasted at how huge I was and how it could possibly have been my first child or just one. He was upset at the insinuation that I was "too" fat for my stage of pregnancy. His defense of the honor of my bump was simultaneously sweet and bizarre. I, of course, cried as he alerted me to this perspective on our way back to the car, seeing as now my beautiful shining pregnancy moment was tarnished and ruined.
My point is not who translated the moment correctly, or what the right response should be, but rather that there kind of isn't a right or correct way for anything to have happened. Mark is right in the sense that his experiences have led him to react a certain way, and I am right in the fact that I'm loving my pregnancy so taking it as a good thing is well within my rights and capabilities. I am the daisies and whereas Mark sees the pterodactyl excrement as a high offense, I can choose to look at it as a decent helping of fertilizer and be glad of my current state of existence.
I've just thought about that moment a lot since it happened. Perspectives are weird. Two people can experience the same thing and come away with two completely different experiences. It's so bizarre.
But as far as pregnant bodies go, every body is so, so, so, so different it would be impossible to expect each one to grow at the same rate and produce the same effect every time. I'm on the slightly tallish side (and slightly cushy side) but evenly proportioned between my legs and torso but it doesn't matter because there's a human growing in there and he's fitting in whichever way he can. My sister has a friend that's due before me and she's a teeny tiny little petite human and is barely showing but it doesn't matter. There doesn't need to be a reason why I'm popping out like the beer gut of a pouty orangutan and she's slimmer than the last bloaty day of PMS.
It doesn't matter because my human bean is healthy, I am healthy, I'm blessedly cheery and optimistic and it's going well. I'm well aware that this could be second trimester talking and that in a couple weeks I'll break down sobbing because somebody gave me the side-eye at the grocery store and I just know they were ushering their children away because my cankles might eat them but that can wait till later. For now I'll take my sunshine and rainbows and butterflies and, understandably smelly, daisies.