At my thirty-first birthday party a couple weeks ago, one of my pregnant friends, Megan, did something truly shocking post-dinner: she actually joined us for the after-party at the bar. My surprise wasn’t due to her tossing back white Zins like Franzia was going out of business (she wasn’t, for the record). It was the fact that she made such an effort to maintain some semblance of her previously childless life when so many of my other friends have dropped off the face of the earth after becoming pregnant.
In some ways, I don’t blame them. Once you turn thirty, it becomes embarrassingly exhausting to pretend you want to rage at the bars till they turn the lights on. But trying to do it with morning-turned-all-day-sickness, back pain and swollen ankles…while SOBER?! No thanks. Needless to say, I was impressed as Megan hung in there through a mortgage payment’s worth of Bud Light for the rest of us and a few overly-emotional shufflepuck games.
Little did I know I’d come to regret including a photo of her in my Facebook album the next day. Mere moments after posting it, I was getting pinged left and right with messages that people I’d never met were commenting like mad on my album. I began to wonder if I’d unwittingly captured a wardrobe malfunction and it’d gone viral.
But no. I’d stumbled into one of my biggest pet peeves: the absolute AVALANCHE of compliments bestowed upon pregnant women when their photo appears on Facebook. Every woman Megan had ever met began leaving comments on the one photo she appears in. You know the ones I’m talking about. Your run-of-the-mill “you look beautiful!”, “you’re glowing!” and my favorite, “Look at you, pregnant lady!” Yup, she’s pregnant. You nailed it. And by the way, if you have to continually comment on how lovely she is now, what did she look like before? A cow?
And at the risk of sounding like a petulant child…it was MY birthday! Why was it hijacked by a belly? Why is the fact that someone was pregnant the most fascinating, comment-worthy part of that night? Are the rest of us that uninteresting and unphotogenic?
Well alright, I realize that I DO sound like ridiculous child. Likely because it has activated within me some simmering junior high-esque sentiment that if I don’t have a baby, no one will ever lavish that kind of attention on me. (Boy, I didn’t have to dive deep into the subconscious to retrieve that one.) I know this is just one of a million ways that society exalts pregnancy and the child-bearing process, so I’m not sure why this one’s got me so fired up. Maybe I’m just a grumpy thirty-one year-old now.
Am I the only one who’s being driven insane by this?
Maybe Lady Liz is blogging her way through the decision of whether to create her own Cheerio-encrusted ankle-biters, or remain Childfree. You can follow her through the ups and downs at www.MaybeBabyMaybeNot.com.