Life Design Action: Make Yourself An F Off T Shirt
Requires: A white T Shirt (long if you are pregnant) and some Sharpies (colours optional) and people you want to say F Off to
Does not require: Rational thought or self consciousness
This is one of those posts that I may look back upon and regret. It is the kind of post that I’m vaguely aware I’m writing in a reactionary sort of way. However, I feel it is necessary. See, I have begun receiving an unwelcome torrent of unsolicited bump remarks.
This is very frustrating.
What other time in your life do people – often people you don’t know very well – open a conversation with declarations about the size of your tummy? Or, worse still, feeling they have the right to come over and TOUCH your stomach and then look shocked when you say “yes, I’m now six months”?
It is as though we have somehow developed this weird cultural thing that involves women who are carrying babies having to suffer the hands of strangers stroking their abdomens and verbal summaries as to how they are looking 10 times a day. And the woman with bump has to smile politely through gritted teeth and nod and like a passive aggressive cow. OR they react and be accused of being hormonal.
So – this was a typical day for me last week:
Lady in the Post Office: “Gosh, you’re only six months pregnant? That bump is VERY small.”
Me (politely): “That’s strange. Everyone else is say it is big. My midwife says it is fine.”
Leave Post Office. Pop in and see mother. Ask for off-the-record mum advise, “Do you think this bump is small?”
Hear Mum’s partner choking in living room. He then calls out, “I thought QUITE the opposite. I was saying to your mum that its going to be a very big baby.”
Teeth grit slightly.
Go to Ads’ deli. Friend’s husband walks in. Slopes over, staring at bump (which he also saw yesterday and day before and day before that). “Jesus Bethan! When’s it DUE???”
“March,” I say, suddenly very self conscious. Pull cardigan over bump and fold arms. Feeling a cocktail of worries that involve, a) am I going to have to push small but considerable sized hippo out of vagina? b) have I got gestational diabetes and I am the size of a house but don’t know it ? c) Am I going to have a slip of control and punch this man in the nose, hence ruining my relationship with his fine better half?
Go and sit down in corner of deli to do some work, intermittently disturbed by people (mostly men) who once said “hi Bethan? How are you?” now peppering me with declarations like, “Bloody hell – you’re blooming!” “Six months? Is that all?” “You’re glowing (laughs). Actually it might be the red of the walls reflecting off your face that’s making you glow.”
Later I go to school and am greeting with, “Gosh – you’re showing now aren’t you?”
I would quite happily like to lean into their faces and say, “YES I AM. There is a baby in my stomach that now measures 35cm from the top of their head to the bottom of their spine. It Sticks Out.”
But I don’t. Because I’ve been good.
Last night I lay in bed and considered my options.
Option 1 is basically not go out and see anyone until my baby is born and then do the whole “Kate Middleton”, shed the baby weight programme until my body becomes socially acceptable for people not to rudely comment on it.
Option 2 is to tell people to “be quiet” when they feel compelled to summarise my body for me.
Option 3 is to make myself a F Off T Shirt. Obviously it won’t say the actual words Fuck Off as that is offensive and might make lesser foul-mouthed people cross the road when they see me. Instead I am going to design a range of T shirts with slogans such as;
“Let’s not talk about the size of my bump. Let’s discuss the diameter of your nipple disks (compared to the national average).”
“This bump is six months old and the perfect size. Now lets discuss your age and the length of your penis!”
I am going to go and purchase my first set of T Shirts today! I have a lovely bag of Sharpies already – including a gorgeous gold and bronze set that my lovely Ames brought back from her recent trip to San Fran. If you have any inspired thoughts about other slogans I can add to this cutting-edge T Shirt collection please feel free to let loose in the comments.
The blunter the better.
Have a very gorgeous day!!