but I can still count them on one hand
Number of times people have mistakenly thought I was pregnant:
1. I was 23, probably 185 pounds. A young teenager at the tutoring center where I worked asked me when I was due. I quickly corrected her and said I wasn’t. She later apologized in a hushed whisper, and I quickly, awkwardly, forgave her.
2. Same year, same weight. I was getting a smoothie from a mall stand. The teenager working there delightedly asked if I was having a boy or a girl. I smiled and said it was a boy. I sat in the parking lot and forced myself to finish my smoothie.
3. About 3 years ago, close to 200 pounds. The jovial cross-walk guard at the intersection, who I passed every day, looked at me and exclaimed, “Oh, I didn’t know you were expecting some joy!” I said, “Oh, no…” He shrugged and said, “Sorry, honey.” I tried my best to avoid conversation with him after that, timing when I reached the crosswalk so I didn’t have to wait there long.
4. Two Saturdays ago, at a friend’s barbecue. 31 years old, 165 pounds. I sat down and a 3-year-old girl said, matter-of-factly, “You have a baby in your belly.” I forced a smile and said, “No, I’m just overweight.” I got no comment from her dad, who was in the room at the time.
Amazing how people from different ages have said it, and I’ve tried different responses, and–wait actually it’s not amazing at all. Every time it still makes me feel awful inside.