Thursday, July 08, 2004

Does a Body Good

I guarantee you—and I say this as a woman fully comfortable with all my bodily functions as manifested heretofore—that nothing will keep you away from a colleague's office with more finality than a little sign, pasted on the closed office door of a mother with a newborn child, that reads:

"Pumping in Progress!"

The idea that I may one day (if forces conspire against me and Child Protective Services doesn't get wind of it first) be able to milk myself like a cow just goes to show that my longstanding theory is absolutely true: the miracle of life is totally gross.

Which is why I am always eager to talk with people roughly my age or only slightly older who are, as they say, "with child" or "knocked up," as the case may be. There are these very critical questions I have that are out of the range of acceptable conversation with, say, accounts payable reps who are with child. To those people, you just gasp with delight and say things that you've heard your mother say, such as "How far along are you?" "Is it a surprise, or do you know?" Or you squinch up your cheeks and wrinkle your nose and belch out a "You're just glowing!"

The first time someone I knew was carrying, I skipped all the bullshit and got down to brass tacks. I sat down on the bar stool and looked her square in the eye.

"Alright," I said, giving her the look that said 'let's be on the level, here.' "Is it completely freaky knowing you have a LIVE CREATURE squirming around inside your stomach and eating your food?"

And God bless 'er, she didn't wax poetic about motherhood, she didn't even attempt a glow, she just looked back at me as one girl who didn't see this coming, to one who doesn't want to see it coming, and said, "Totally."


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