I feel like this post needs a disclaimer before I begin. So, if I know you, if we are friends, if we are family, I am not referring to you in this post. Don’t go getting all weird on me and taking offense. You are not the reason I write this.
So, now that is out of the way, lets talk about my belly.
Yes, I’m pregnant. Yes, I now LOOK pregnant. Yes, my “is it a food baby?” bump now looks like a dead set “up the duff” bump.
Its lovely, it makes people smile. I get it. The miracle of life and the glow and all of that, But seriously, stop with the uninvited touching!
Numerous times a day I come into contact with new people. Most of them are polite and charming and have all sorts of lovely questions about how I feel and when I’m due and all that jazz. Most of them keep their paws to themselves. Most of them are self-respecting normal human beings who know a thing or two about boundaries and personal space.
Then there are the gropers. The people who after a matter of seconds in my presence feel it necessary and reasonable to put their hands straight onto my bump and have a big old feel around. No “can I have a feel?” no “would you mind?” no preemptive questions at all. Without any warning – in they come, all grabby and intimate. Rubbing my belly as if I’m some sort of good luck Buddha.
Now look, I’m not a total cow. I understand that a pregnant belly has a certain force field attached to it. A force that apparently makes people suddenly loose their shit and think that my belly is a new toy. But is it too much to ask for permission before going in for the kill?
Some people even take it that one step further. Not just going in for a simple pat around the belly button area (a pretty safe zone for those playing at home) but taking it to the extreme and mapping out the entire width and girth of my belly with their hands, inspecting me in a way I’m only comfortable experiencing with my obstetrician or my babies daddy.
I wouldn’t dream of walking up to a non-pregnant woman and having a nice little feel around her belly. I wouldn’t really touch anyone I don’t know without asking first (Unless you’re John Stamos. In which case, watch out, I will probably feel you up in a totally uninvited and inappropriate manner).
I guess for me, a simple “would you mind if I touched your belly?” is not too much to ask? I’ll always say “sure, go ahead”. It’s not the touching I take issue with (remember to stick to the belly button zone though thanks). It’s the lack of permission sought by strangers that irks me.
It’s a type of stranger danger I didn’t know existed. People don’t warn you about this when you first get pregnant. There’s no memo sent out saying that “oh, by the way, total strangers are going to feel you up in supermarket cues and at the bus stop”. It just happens. And it’s annoying.
So, to all of you strangers out there. I know my belly makes you feel all warm and fuzzy. Its lovely, I get it. But do me a favour – if you want to have a little rub, just do me the courtesy of asking me first. I promise I’ll say yes.
NB: unless you are weird and a bit dirty. In which case, this is awkward but no. Please go away.
photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/vblibrary/7414544704/”>Enokson</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/”>cc</a>
photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/adforce1/413428647/”>williamcho</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/”>cc</a>