Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The neighbors part 2

I was parking my car yesterday, across the street from my apartment. As I did so, I noticed one of my neighbors walking towards her car, which was a ways down the street from our front gate. I didn't feel my usual, dang it, how can I hide baby girl? feelings for three reasons:

1. I actually had several packages with me, and figured they would cover.
2. Because of the angle at which we were walking, she would be at her car down the street, and I would be at the gate, meaning several yards apart.
3. This particular neighbor is the least chatty, barely says hello when you walk right past her, and when she does talk, it is a just above a whisper.

Number 3 is very important because it is the main thought I had when I saw her, and worried about having the dreaded pregnancy conversation. I thought, in my head, "oh, she won't even say hello"

I'm almost at the gate, almost safe inside, my back is to her, when I hear shouting behind me. I turn, almost automatically. It is her, several yards away, shouting, yes shouting! "excuse me! I want to ask you something!"

Oh yes, folks, it is exactly what you are thinking.......


I panic. My eyes roll around, there is no escape! I am a mouse in one of those cartoon traps! I have no good comeback, my polite/nice girl upbringing takes over once again, I feel weak, I answer!

And though I start to walk away, my answer is followed by a few oldies but goodies. "when are you due?" "boy or girl" all done in high decibel down the sidewalk.

I answer as terse as I can make myself, all the while almost running towards the gate.

Looking back, of course, there are four million others ways I could have handled it, but I was not prepared at all for this, especially from her. And, looking back, this really isn't that big a deal, but I thought it was weird! Whatever happened to manners and tact? I don't shout any conversation down a sidewalk, much less one about something more personal like a woman's pregnancy.

My other point about this is, why does she care? She doesn't even say hello when I walk 6 inches by her! But she gives a damn about my pregnancy/baby? Why is a woman and her pregnancy/baby open season for public discourse?

Now I am trying to think of questions I can shout to her. "WHO WAS THAT GUY YOU HAD OVER LAST NIGHT?" or "HOW WAS YOUR LAST PERIOD? CRAMPY?"

Of course, Mr. G thought I was a wee bit overreacting. He actually had the balls to tell me he thought it was nice that she cared. Yes, this was one of those moments in our marriage, when I think, Who are you? and why don't you know me at all? Oh, my sweet Mr. G, you are so naive. She doesn't really care! That is the point! If she cared, she wouldn't only talk to me when I was pregnant!

I think it is funny how everyone is so open about a woman and her pregnancy, when it was s.e.x. that put her there. I mean, we don't talk openly about our s.e.x. lives. Or do we? And I just don't know because I am a semi-hermit.


meg said...

Ms G, I read your comment over at my blog and I had to come and read your story! That is truly horrible. You are right, I am going to have to start thinking of an answer pretty darn soon. I think you did amazingly well to even speak to this neighbor. I swear that I would have run away--without saying anything.

I don't think you overreacted at all. Tell Mr G that I would have freaked out so much more over something like this. When this happens to me (which it likely will), I'll make sure I post all about it, so he can hear about a true overreaction!

I had no idea we were so close either. I'm glad you have passed 24 weeks and now 28 will not seem so far away.

And one more thing, I am a semi-hermit too and I don't talk about sex to anyone--so you are not alone!

Beruriah said...

I'd rather talk about sex with a stranger than my pregnancy at the moment.

You're right. She doesn't really care. But maybe she's shy and dense and can't ever think of anything to talk about and was grateful for an obvious hook? Who knows? Who cares?

niobe said...

This woman seems to, how can I put it, lack the usual social graces. I wonder if she has some kind of psychological issues because this behavior is not normal. I'm sorry that you had to deal with this and I'm kind of taken aback (as I'm sure you were) at how strange the whole thing was.

You just don't ask people if they're pregnant. You certainly don't yell it in the street. Luckily, I don't think you'll run into very many more people who act in that kind of over-the-top way.

Monica said...

I too would rather discuss my sex life than my pregnancy. And perhaps you should just answer, "no, I'm fat". Maybe she won't ask again. But probably not. Even my middle school students know it is impolite to ask if someone is pregnant! Geez.

Monica H said...

It's the quiet ones you have to watch out for. You're right she's not interested in your well being, she's just a nosey old bitty.