A Little Slack, Please
Women in China have been so desperate for seats on crowded subways that they have resorted to using fake baby bumps. People probably shouldn’t become pregnant for perks. That’s what credit cards and frequent-flyer memberships are for. But still, if ever there was a time to give someone some slack, pregnancy should be it.
Sadly, mall parking lots are not filled with nice people. Or rather, they’re overshadowed by the not-so-nice people: the ones cutting people off, parking in restricted spots, and yelling obscenities loud enough to alert mall security.
Charles and I were at a shopping mall when I was six months pregnant. We’d circled the lot for 15 minutes trying to find a spot that wasn’t too far away from the entrance. Finally, we found one. And so did someone else. There was a bit of a game of chicken, along with some hand gestures. But we ended up getting the space. But not before the driver of the other car shot some crude words at my husband. It was a true Jerry Springer moment as I kept thinking, This is not happening.
As I moved from behind the car, it was obvious I was upset. And pregnant. At that point, the other driver stepped back and shrugged it all off.
So you’ve heard that memory is an issue during pregnancy. Believe it. And remember how your home alarm system works. One trip of the alarm, and we had a visit from half a dozen firefighters on a shiny fire engine. As they walked up the steps, I was trying to think of something—anything— to say as to why I summoned them. As I met them on the front porch, a wave of smiles moved across their faces as I apologized, “I’m sorry. I’m so sorry.”
They had a good chuckle, and one of them explained, “Well, you’re pregnant, and you have enough going on. We understand.” And that was it. No chastising or criticism. Not even a bill!
You might feel strong while you’re pregnant, but why risk it? We were trying to move a couch into a new place and as soon as the neighbors saw that, they practically pushed me out of the way. There’s really never a need to argue with anyone who’s willing to do manual labor for you.
Thank goodness for the kindness of others. From opening doors to going to the head of the line in a public restroom, having a visible baby bump has some benefits. As for using a fake one? After nine months, you’ll have some explaining to do.