Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Don't. Touch. Me.

I am a nice person, I really am. Despite my ability to sound off against things that piss me off on my blog, I am ridiculously mild-mannered about some things in person. I hate confrontation (though not enough to avoid it in cases where something really is bothering me), and so I generally get caught in awkward situations out of the desire to not hurt someone's feelings.

Case in point: Our dry cleaner. I see this person on a weekly basis, and have for going on a year now. She's a very, very nice woman, and I like her. I truly do. She always makes conversation with me, asks me about my day, and naturally I reciprocate. Furthermore, it's the best dry cleaner in town and has the best rates, so when you start to wonder why I don't just find a new dry cleaner, that's why. Anyhow, as my pregnancy has progressed, she's found such joy in touching my stomach. I HATE this. And no, not because I'm unfriendly or a total, uptight bitch the way some would have me believe when I mention to friends/family my desire to not be touched, but because it's never okay for someone to invade your personal space and touch you! I'm just not that person. I don't like strangers to touch me. Acquaintances either. Even one of my best friends ALWAYS asks before he touches my belly, and every time I say yes, but thank him profusely for asking. What on Earth makes people think it's okay to reach out and put their hands on the belly of a pregnant woman? Would these same people touch a non-pregnant woman's belly?! No. Of course not. That's just....weird. And intrusive. And completely against all societal norms. So what the hell makes people think that now, when I'm actually more sensitive and carrying around the most precious thing in my world in there, that different standards would apply?

Anyhow, it's gotten to the point where I absolutely dread going to the dry cleaners. I desperately want to say, tactfully, "Please don't touch my stomach - I don't like that," but of course am too big of a pushover to actually do it. At least I was until today. Today, after ten minutes of beating around the bush and putting off the dry cleaners run, I decided I would mention as nicely as possible that I would prefer a hands-off policy. I then spent another ten minutes giving myself a pep talk that this is in fact an okay thing to ask of someone else and that it doesn't make me an unkind human being. Finally, I was ready. I went in, and as she made her move, I made mine, noting politely that I would prefer not to be touched. What did she do? She laughed it off, like clearly I had to be kidding, and TOUCHED. ME. ANYWAYS. I was so caught off guard that I just stood there. I mean, I definitely wasn't expecting that reaction...the thought never once crossed my mind that she might completely ignore my expressed request.

Anyone else have experience with this? Do I have no choice but to either a.) just let her touch me, despite how much I HATE it and want to punch her in the face everytime she gets near me, or b.) switch dry cleaners? I'm hoping there's another solution I'm not seeing. Should I just start touching her stomach every time she makes a move for mine, so she can see how awkwardly this type of unwelcome advance equates to a non-pregnant person? Should I just suck it up, so that when I have my abs back I can ask her to feel then? I just don't understand the way people react to pregnant women.

1 comment:

  1. Some people are just always going to be rude. Since y'all have been friendly for a year, she probably doesn't think of you as a stranger and, therefore, thinks touching your belly is OK.

    Personally, I really wouldn't make a big deal of it. She's being rude and doesn't realize it, and it doesn't look like she's going to realize it. It's not like she's your mother-in-law or co-worker, or someone you have to be around all the time. I would just let it go. There are too many other *good* things to focus your energies on right now! :)


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