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Oh Belly; Oh Bother

May 2, 2009

I said it before, but now–with flavor! I am so tired of belly ads. You know the ones I’m talking about; every pregnancy site is littered with pictures of bellies on women. It frustrates me because it’s bad enough that those of us that are endowed with extra cleavage in general have to cope with people talking to our breasts, and now, it’s our bellies that everyone obsesses over. That, and the general stupidity of people who no longer greet me with “hello,” but instead always say, “How are you feeling?” I’m now getting asked this at least a dozen times a day. I don’t want to be rude, but even visits to the bathroom have turned into vicarious pregnancy social hour. I feel like I should take the white board off my cubicle–the dry erase board that lets people know whether I’m in the office or telecommuting–and carry it around over my belly, with status updates a la Facebook.

So, back to the belly ads. And belly covers. And naked bellies all over. I’m thinking they are every bit as airbrushed as any model in an ad. I mean, I still have the stretch marks, much faded, from my first pregnancy.

Sometimes the bellies are attached to faces; sometimes they’re just bellies. (I’m looking at the message board banner right now that has two bellies facing one another, one being touched by the owner of the other.)

And that leads me to another thing. It’s been a generation since I was last pregnant, but I do not recall this “touching belly” phenomenon. It tickles me that there are numerous cafe press sites on which you can purchase buttons that answer those inevitable questions of “when are you due” and “is it a boy or a girl or do you want to know?” But even funnier? The one that has the entire checklist: “It’s a ____, due in __________, and no, you can’t touch my belly.” I’m so buying that one the moment I know Bunky’s gender.

My sister-in-law, the day she found out I was pregnant, wanted to touch my belly. I was about 10 weeks along. “Um, to actually feel my uterus, you’d have to violate me,” I told her; there was nothing to feel yet. But because I sport a healthy belly that’s just plain “fat,” I guess she figured she had the right to touch it, because upon giving me a hug, her hand wandered down along my side and tried to squeeze in for a belly rub.

I have never been close with my sister-in-law, but I didn’t have outright antipathy toward her until that moment. And we’re having a big in-law gathering tomorrow; I do hope to hell she doesn’t try this again.

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