Thursday, March 29, 2007

Whose business is it?

Whose business is it?

I was musing this morning about things that have changed and things that haven't. A year ago I got engaged to my best friend of nine years. Within months I had relocated to Alabama, changed my last name, given up my job/career, and shortly after all of that became pregnant. That is a lot to change in a few months! However, many things haven't changed. Not really.

While I was a single thirty-something I often mused with my friend and roommate - Charlotte (who, incidentally inspired me to start blogging) - about the amazing fact that so many people apparently believed they should have a say in my life. People, nearly strangers, would ask me why I wasn't married, why Phil and I were "just friends," and what I thought it would take to change all these facts. Then there were those who didn't have questions, they had answers! "You know, if you weren't so into your career, you'd find a man." "Men don't like smart women, you shouldn't have pursued that masters!" (yeah, that one was actually said to me by a former university president!) "If you played hard to get, things would change." ... and so on. Charlotte had the same kinds of experiences. We both dreamed of the day that we would be free of such unsolicited interest and advice.

Not to be. The nosey are still nosey. Two months after Phil and I married, we conceived. During those two months people wanted to know how long we'd be waiting to have children (afterall, I was "nearly forty!"). Then when we announced our exciting news, people questioned our decision to do it so quickly. In fact, I overheard one older man (whom I don't even know) exclaim, "they were married in June and are expecting in May, that just isn't proper!" And so it goes.

Now, I have to admit that pregnancy has done a number on my emotions. I am at least as emotional as a preteen, probably more so. It has been hard on me (a bit of a control freak) to watch my body be taken over by another. That said, you can imagine my joy as mere acquaintances approach me, hands out, wild smiles on their faces, suddenly (without permission spoken or implied) begin rubbing my belly and talking about "our" baby. Then there are the comments about how I'm carrying the baby: in front, high, low, large, small. Everyone seems to have an opinion about how I look and how I should look. Everyone seems to have the need to share that opinion. One woman told me that I looked "great!" This was a welcomed opinion until she asked when I was due and upon finding that I still had three months she completely reversed her opinion and exclaimed, "oh no, you don't look great at all! You are huge! Are there twins?" So much for my moment of feeling good about myself! Keep in mind that all of this is magnified by the fact that I just moved here, I don't know these people!

Sometimes I long for the days that people's opinions about me were limited to my marital status...


1 response(s):

Charlotte said...

So, what you're saying is that (cue the music): "We've only just begun . . ." to deal with nosey strangers, huh?


I'm thrilled that you're blogging.

(and-as of six days ago--you look great.)