Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Tuesday Morning Tube Rant: Preggers Or Not? That Is The Question.

A colleague of mine walked into work today (I won't mention any names) bemoaning the fact that someone on the tube mistook her food baby for an actual baby last night and gave her her seat.  Ouch.  We've all been there.  Feed me a double stuffed burrito around the right time of the month (or actually, come to think of it, at any time) and I'm guaranteed to look at least five months pregnant.  No joke.  So we all expressed our shock at my poor friend's humiliating experience and uttered the necessary tut-tuts of sympathy.
... which then naturally led us to the "how can you tell if someone's pregnant or just carrying a bit of extra weight around the tummy" conversation.  Now, for anyone who self-righteously announces, "I can always tell.  It's obviously very different," puh-lease.  Because it is NOT always glaringly obvious when a woman is five months pregnant or simply had a bad day of bloat.  We've all heard horror stories of people (mostly from men) who have been berated by pregnant women (and fellow passengers) who failed to give up their seats for a woman with child and similarly, stories (again, mostly from men) of people who have been publicly humiliated by women they have given up their seats for - women who, like you or I, just happened to be suffering from a bit of bloat (or were simply overweight, or had just very recently given birth).  
So how can you tell?  Advice columns in newspapers chide those of us who have mistaken a bit of stomach fat for a baby as the "firmness" of the bump is what's in question.  Um, excuse me, but I have seen-many-a "firm" bumps of fat during my time on public transport.  So that won't really help.
One friend claimed she absolutely will not give her up her seat unless she is 100% certain the woman is pregnant.  Some women help matters by wearing the "Baby On Board" button (or badge, as you Brits call them), which is apparently available from TFL's Customer Service Centre.  Others take the same newspaper's advice that questioned the "firmness" of the bump to drop hints by "leaning against the hand rails and stroking your pregnant belly" (sorry, the phrase "stroking your pregnant belly" just made me throw up in my mouth a little). 

So anyways, I like, still don't have an answer to my question.  Obviously, I don't want to be the grinch who doesn't give up her seat (it's a pet peeve of mine - people who don't, when necessary) to a pregnant lady - I mean, heck, if I was holding more than just my regular food baby, you'd be sure as heck I'd be hinting in all ways possible for a seat (including stroking my pregnant belly), but at the same time, I don't want to make the same mistake as my friend's seat-giver-upper did, since my friend has now sworn off eating cakes for a while.  Ouch.


  1. I was stroking my full-of-two-cheeseburgers-and-a-hot-dog belly after a giant Mount Holyoke outdoor BBQ reunion feast (just because the stroking soothes the bloated feeling a bit, and I was basking in my post-gorge glow) when the girl at the counter in the school store asked when I was due. I just laughed and said any minute now...

  2. Anna, I spent a good 10 minutes LOL-ing at my desk at work (I couldn't respond because Blogger's blocked). That's amazing.


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