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Is it a Girl or a Boy?

April 13, 2012

Okay, I need to take a moment to vent.  It’s not my favorite thing to do, but the occasion calls for it.  I will begin by asking a simple question:  What on earth possesses people to ask a complete random stranger either when they are due or if they are having a boy or a girl?

My body type has always lent itself to this sort of nonsense.  I am cursed with thin arms and legs, a tall frame, and a curvy middle.  The wrong shirt, a tired posture, or pure bad luck has caused this question to be asked of me hundreds of times since I became an adult.  No amount of working out or eating healthy changes the simple fact that at the wrong angle, evidently I am susceptible to this.  In graduate school I maintained my best weight ever, running 5Ks regularly and working out five days a week about an hour and a half a day.  It was my stress relief–hitting the gym helped me make it through every challenging and stressful moment graduate school could bring.  But even then, heaven help me if I wore a thick sweater.

Things have only gotten worse since I actually had children.  Now, in addition to my still thin arms and legs, I have a nice round pudgy belly that my three year old loves to poke and call “squishy.”  (God evidently invented children to ensure our humility).  So, in light of this, I get it.  I really do. I look pregnant.  Sad but true.  And it has only gotten worse since I got back into running last July.  Now, my arms and legs are not only thin but fairly muscular–runners calves have developed to some small extent.  And often when I am holding the hands of my two little toddlers, it puts a slight hunch in my posture to ease reaching down.

But I won’t pretend that I don’t feel a stab of hurt every time someone asks.  Every time it happens I start to think, momentarily, if this is happening more now that I’m working out regularly, why do I bother?  Except that my health and energy levels and desire to live a reasonably long life drive my decision to run more than the opinions of random strangers.  But for heaven’s sake, why are people still asking this?  Haven’t we evolved past the point where people feel compelled to poke into the private business of random strangers?  Oh, what am I saying… we Americans have made a national past-time out of this with our reality television, tabloids, etc.  But I haven’t signed up for that, and so I still feel like at some basic level people should leave my waistline alone.

Tomorrow morning I will get up at the awful hour of five thirty a.m. purely for the sake of getting in a run before work.  And I will do this even knowing that I am increasing my chances of people yet again asking that impertinent question that I dread.  What else can I do?

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3 Comments
  1. That sucks honey. It used to happen to me – not long after I had my daughter. Whenever people would ask I would return that favor and ask them, “why in the world do you ask, do I know you?” of course I was always known for my mouth! 🙂

    • Yeah, my replies are getting punchier as I get older. On bad days I just say “I’m fat.” On good days I can come up with something witty. The worst part, though, is when I am pregnant every stranger and their brother seems to think I’m having twins.

      • Boy~!! Finally arrived this morning at 7:20AM. Wow! What a 36 hours. He’s great. My daughter is having a couple of problems but they are getting taken care of. Thanks for asking!!

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