The Unthinkable

by Marinka on July 21, 2011

Yesterday the unthinkable happened.

I was standing around minding my own business and a woman that I see every few months came up to me and said, “Oh my God, Marinka, are you–” and then where her voice trailed off, she made the international sign near her abdomen for pregnancy.  Or maybe watermelon.

I’ve heard of things like this, but I always thought it was an urban myth.

That people in 2011 America do not really ask other people if they are pregnant.

Because it is rude. And awkward.  And makes the woman you asked feel homicidal.

But not me.

I decided to take advantage of this situation and go on immediate bed rest. For my phantom baby’s sake.

I came home and told Mama about what happened, expecting a warm embrace and some loving maternal words of reassurance. And perhaps some ice cream, because my fake baby needs calcium.

Apparently, the pseudo-pregnancy hormones clouded my judgment in telling Mama.

“I must say, woman is brave,” she started looking at my watermelon, I mean, baby, bump.

“Brave?” I asked, willing to learn.

“I’m glad someone had a guts to tell you,” she went on. “And you keep wearing the clothes that..that..” she was searching for a word. Of maternal love and adoration, I’m sure.

“You mean I wear clothes that are unflattering?”

“Unflattering goes without the saying,” she waved her hand to dismiss that idea, “you wear clothes that let you eat more.”

“What does that even mean?” I asked. I mean I certainly don’t wear sweatpants with an adjustable waistband.

“You wear dress that is not tight. So when you eat a lot it doesn’t rip.”

“You want me to wear clothes that will tear if I have too much food?  Maybe something that will explode if I have an extra cookie?”

“Did she say how many months you looked?”


“The brave woman, did she ask how the pregnant are you?”


“Because I think a good four months.”

“Four months?”

“Yes.  Not a new pregnancy.”


I may be on bed rest longer than anticipated.



Go read this.  You will thank me.  And my fetus.

One year ago ...

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{ 42 comments… read them below or add one }

Alison@Mama Wants This
July 21, 2011 at 8:34 am

Your Mama is simply awesome.

Bed rest? Is fab. Hope your watermelon…er, baby, and you are well.


July 21, 2011 at 8:42 am

I’m so glad the babydoll dress/tunic look is out. I can’t wear anything with an empire cut that doesn’t make me look at least 6 months along. And most of my sundresses probably make me look pregnant too, but lucky for me, people have met my youngest and know that there’s no level of insanity that would push me to doing THAT again.

Although, when I was pregnant with my first, my aunt totally called it – she took one look at my eyes and said “you’re pregnant!”, and I was only TWO WEEKS along then. So maybe your friend was just saying your hair was shiny, your skin was glowing and your eyes were twinkly? That, or you barfed on her shoes.


Shaunna July 21, 2011 at 9:53 am

Oh yes, I’ve been asked that before….twice.


awesome dude July 21, 2011 at 10:01 am

Both of them may have a point.

Actually two or three points if two individual ones are combined.


July 21, 2011 at 10:10 am

Congratulations! I can’t wait for the pseudo-cyber-baby shower.


Tanit-Isis July 21, 2011 at 10:14 am


My inlaws do this to me on a semi-regular basis. I will keep the bed-rest thing in mind for next time.


July 21, 2011 at 10:23 am

Now I feel terrible. I didn’t realize how wrong it was to ask people this. And when I was 5 and was told that babies grew in people’s bellies, I ask my Dad if he were pregnant.


Brittany (BrittanyandTahn) July 21, 2011 at 10:25 am

That is terrible. But remember, most people say things and don’t know what the hell they are talking about. They just talk.


Megan July 21, 2011 at 10:32 am

Clearly your friend has gone insane since the last time you saw her. But I think bed rest is an excellent idea just in case.


Jessica K July 21, 2011 at 10:32 am

Then I must be about 5-6, because I am now living in yoga pants, cotton Target dresses, and old navy skirts that have elastic waste bands. I’m blaming it on having a few more beers, because it’s summer.


the mama bird diarie
July 21, 2011 at 10:54 am

Oh my god. That has happened to me many times. It’s AWFUL.


the mama bird diarie
July 21, 2011 at 10:54 am

By the way, “the mama bird diarie” is my new nickname b/c “the mama bird diaries” was way too long.


joeinvegas July 21, 2011 at 11:00 am

Thanks Mama


July 21, 2011 at 11:07 am

I always wear a toddler sized dress to buffets so I know when to stop eating.


Loukia July 21, 2011 at 11:16 am

LOL, Marinka! Your mom is hilarious. My mom would do the EXACT SAME THING. She has before.
I’ve had this happen to me, too, being asked if I was pregnant when I was NOT. It’s the most awful thing in the universe! Okay, maybe not THAT bad, but you know…
A lady I knew quite well asked me three weeks after I had my baby when I was due. I was like, “You’re so stupid, lady. I just HAD MY BABY!” Maybe I wasn’t so mean, but that’s what I felt like saying.


Roxanne July 21, 2011 at 11:20 am

So, are we all invited to the non-baby shower?

My mom chaperoned one of my junior high dances a million years ago & was asked TWICE if she was pregnant. I’m pretty sure she wanted to scream, “No, but I’ve had 4 kids and 6 pregnancies. Fuck off!”

Now I am always sure not to wear any of those empire-whatever things. Because I know that if my stomach sticks out even a little bit, people will think I’m pregnant.


Kimber July 21, 2011 at 11:26 am

It’s startling to know that people are still that stupid. Unless a woman is in labor with her legs in stirrups, I never ask that question.
And the link… thank you and your phantomfetus. My V did a giant cringe.


Jenn July 21, 2011 at 11:40 am

Oh My Goodness!!! This is the funniest thing ever!!!

I was asked this once and was totally offended only to find out a few weeks later that I was in fact 5 months pregnant and didn’t know it…. It’s a long story!


July 21, 2011 at 11:54 am

I am also a fan of “the clothes that let you eat more”. A man once asked me if I was pregnant in front of a meeting full of people. I told him no and everyone gave him this look like— you’re an idiot— and then he defended himself by saying that in his country people do not keep their pregnancies so private. Mmmhmm.


July 21, 2011 at 11:56 am

People shouldn’t ask unless the baby is crowning.


christy July 21, 2011 at 12:14 pm

OMG I’m sorry. I’m sorry I’m laughing so hard at your mama right now. And that woman that you see every months? Well she should be so ashamed of herself. HELLO! Was she raised by wolves? You NEVER ask a woman that – someone asked me when I was due WEEKS after I’d just given birth. I had a newborn with me. SOME people are just hopeless. I feel sorry for them.

I’m sure you actually still look as fabulous as the last time I saw you!


Joie July 21, 2011 at 12:28 pm

Two things – I have contemplated getting “accidentally” knocked up just so I can take maternity leave.

And, one of my co-workers has a personality that tends to make others homicidal. Constantly. She asked one of my friends if she was pregnant. Friend said no. Co-worker didn’t say Oh, I am so sorry, etc…no, no…she said, Oh, so you just haven’t been excercising and let yourself get puffy, huh?

Holy Christ On a Pogo…I would have gone balistic. My friend just turned red and walked away.

Co-worker woman deserves a smack down. As does the woman who said anything about your 4 month old phantom food baby.


Anthony from CharismaticKid
July 21, 2011 at 12:31 pm

It’s funny, people used to ask me the same thing.


July 21, 2011 at 1:15 pm

No one has ever asked me the dreaded question. But they’ve thought it. I know they have. I’ve seen it in their cold-blooded, judgy eyes.


July 21, 2011 at 1:28 pm

Was this woman also Russian? Because I have found that my non-Russian-but-also-ethnic relatives spend a lot of time asking me if I’m pregnant.

That doesn’t sound so good about my watermelon.


July 21, 2011 at 2:33 pm

The JANITOR at the hotel at the corner of my old street asked me when I was due. I thought, “Wow, he thinks I’m young enough to still get pregnant!”

Then I yelled at him. For a very long time. If you listen carefully you can still hear the echo from the word “Asshole.”


Holly July 21, 2011 at 2:44 pm

Can I hang out with your mom?!


No Ordinary Momma July 21, 2011 at 3:06 pm

I’m pretty sure your imaginary baby also needs a pregnancy massage.


July 21, 2011 at 6:09 pm

Pretty fucking funny. Maybe one of my favorite posts of yours. But definitely makes me conflicted (okay, I’m always conflicted. but still….) — Sometimes I think we should be less uptight about our bodies so that it’s no big deal when people make observations about them, the way they comment on a new shirt or a new haircut… like, “Hey, has your ass always been that big, or did I not notice before?” And then sometimes I think — people are so freakin’ stupid (okay, people really are so freakin’ stupid and I pretty much think this, like, all the time), and whatever gave them the right to think it was okay to comment/ie judge someone else’s body.

Either way, I often find other cultures just come right out and say shit to people they hardly know. On the one hand, I find this refreshing. But on the other hand, my babysitter’s mom (who I’d never met before but who had apparently seen a few photos of me) once said to me, “Oh, you changed your hair color. You should change it back. It made you look younger and prettier.” And I was all — “Seriously, you fat bitch? Have you looked in the mirror lately? You think you’re in a position to tell me how to improve my looks?”

Because I am not nearly so cool as you, nor nearly so funny as Mama. And man did I contemplate changing my hair color back to its prior shade for quite some time. I am not proud of it. But there you have it.


July 21, 2011 at 7:11 pm

I heart your mama. Will you be holding a the cyber-watermelon shower? I hear it’s tacky after the first fake baby is born.


Anna Nonamus
July 21, 2011 at 7:49 pm

You should host a baby shower, and ask for all sorts of fun new toys for yourself. Tell them the baby has everything s/he needs, now you want some goodies for you.


July 21, 2011 at 9:38 pm

One should never ask a woman if she is pregnant unless the woman in question is in labor. Any other time is unacceptable.
As for the clothes, it is a great advice Mama gave you. Which I will never bother following. Because loosely fitted shirts and Ice cream are much better.


July 21, 2011 at 11:14 pm

At your age? KIDDING.


Amber July 22, 2011 at 12:46 am

I was wearing a t-shirt the other day and my son was like, “You kinda look pregnant. You aren’t, are you? Because I’m not sharing my room with a baby.”

I really need to lay off the chocolate but it’s so GOOD.


Gretchen July 22, 2011 at 2:57 am

Oh dear God. Well you know…Mama kind of has a point. When I finally gave in and bought some clothes that were up a size, I suddenly kind of forgot that I was fat. If you’re about to bust out of your pants, you remember that you’re trying not to eat so damn much.


Sophie@Fabrications July 22, 2011 at 3:23 am

1. I got that, too, the other week. People here are pigs like that. I told her I was f*ing postpartum, thankyouverymuch.
2. Is this the reason why skinny Russian women wear tight clothes? I just stopped envying their perfect bodies. Thanks!


July 22, 2011 at 7:24 am

I’m not sure which is worse – that woman asking you the question or your mom not totally disagreeing with her. But bedrest and ice cream seem like the perfect antidote.


July 22, 2011 at 9:07 am

You should have said: Shoot! It’s that obvious already? It’s not my husband’s and I was going to hide it and then travel abroad to have the baby! Now what do I do? And then start crying…

Sorry to tell you this: although I love you, I think I may now love your mom more… 😉


Kelly July 22, 2011 at 10:28 am

The same thing happens to me if I wear a baggy shirt.

One time I had a killer hangover and ended up puking in the ladies’ room at work. ‘Cause I’m classy like that. Some woman looked at me with a wise & knowing smile and said “It will be okay, dear.” She totally thought I was pregnant. Ugh.


dusty earth mother July 22, 2011 at 11:04 am

Oh man, that about killed me. I think you should go out and have a margarita/mercury-laden sushi/soft cheese meal in protest.


annie July 22, 2011 at 12:27 pm

Suddenly I feel the need to put down my Pop-tart


Steph July 23, 2011 at 10:13 am

“willing to learn” Marinka, how do you always, without fail, come up with phrases that just blow me away???


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