Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Assumptions

No one thinks I am married. I just can't figure out for the life of me why this keeps happening. I have never been referred to as Mrs. Organ, always Ms. Organ. Even when Rob is next to me and we are both wearing rings. In the spirit of full disclosure, Rob does not usually wear his wedding ring during the week since it is a hazard in his line of work. But even when he is wearing his ring, I get called his girlfriend. Maybe it's the tattoos? My mom says it's because I look young. I'm young, but not that young. Closer to 30 than 20 in fact. Make-up, no make-up, frumpy yoga pants or dressed up, I guess I just don't look like the marrying type.

Of course this has translated to pregnancy. I know that it is more rare these days, but I indeed got married, bought a house, then decided to have a baby. In that order. Not that there is anything wrong with doing things any other way since there are a million paths to a family, but I am surprised that people are so shocked to learn that I planned this pregnancy. A really common question when we first announced it was "Was it planned?" And this was coming from casual acquaintances (my family and friends knew it was on the horizon). We had been married 2.5 years at that point (which doesn't mean anything, I know) and I had been talking about babies non stop pretty much after our first year of marriage. We were a little shocked at just how quickly it happened after "pulling the goalie," but a baby was indeed in the game plan. The question didn't even bother us, just the number of people who asked and who asked... it seemed that the less well we knew someone, the more likely they were to ask!

The worst is at work. 6 months ago a co-worker was at my desk and saw my wedding pictures. She asked who's wedding it was, finishing up with "...because you're not married..." Umm, I'm not in the habit of having other people's wedding pictures at my desk (I'm not talking family/group shots, it was our hands/rings, our cake, and us!), and yeah, for over two years now, thankyouverymuch. I've been married longer than I have been at my current job!

So you can imagine how it has been with the baby news. I am pretty quiet until you get to really know me, and I tend to shy away from the spotlight. I started telling my immediate co-workers back in February, but it still took until last week for the rest of my 30+ person department to find out. There is another pregnant woman who is about to go on maternity leave and her group wanted to throw her a baby shower this coming Friday. The co-organizer mentioned that I was also pregnant and they asked me if I would like to be included (two-for-one shower=less awkward for me). I said yes and the invite went out. People have started coming up to me and saying congratulations "now that it is official," as though I was holding off on announcing the news. In the past few months I can't tell you how many people asked if it was okay to talk to me about it, as though it was taboo and maybe I was unprepared to discuss the realities of becoming a teen mother. I am exaggerating a little, but not much.

Maybe I come across ashamed or awkward about the situation since I am not shoving it down every one's throat 24/7? How do you broach the topic with someone that you maybe say hi to a few times a week? Or rather, why would I unless the conversation naturally went there?
And keep in mind that I work in HR at the National Renewable Energy Lab and I am a Human Resources Information Systems specialist. So it's not like I am making copies or grabbing coffee as an intern. I could do things that would wreck pay checks (cue Evil Laugh). I am a grown-up, dammit!

Of course I just laugh and say that I could talk about it all day and that I just didn't want to assume that everyone else does. That's when everyone finally feels okay to say that I am glowing and how exciting, etc, etc. Of course this hasn't been everyone's reaction, but I am little shocked at how often it has happened. For example, I went to register at Babies R Us on Saturday with my mom. I had some online registries (Target and Amazon) and then my anxiety kicked in and I thought that I wasn't asking for the right things, so I had my mom help me out. The lady who set up the registry made a few comments (not in any way unkind) that made me feel like she thought I was there with my mom for lack of male presence in my pregnancy. I had listed "Rob Organ" as my co-registrant, but she still didn't seem to connect the dots (to her credit she didn't seem all that sharp in the first place). The real reason Rob was not there was because my husband, like me, has never birthed a child, while my mother has three times over.

I guess it boils down to this: I'm bothered since I can't decide whether it is a societal commentary or a personal one. Is it just me? Am I projecting weird energy or do old people just assume that young-uns with tattoos don't know about birth control? Again, not to put down "accidents," just want to know why people assume that about me!

I am, as usual, probably reading far too much into this... Oh well.

On a slightly related tangent, where are all those strangers who are supposed to be opening doors for me, or asking if I am okay carrying heavy bags, or giving me the prime seats on the shuttle? I thought pregnant women got perks! Either I don't look pregnant enough or I live around uncaring cretins! Darn my lengthy torso and it's vertical rather than horizontal girth! Just kidding, mostly. :) And to be fair, the girl at Pinkberry did give me an extra an stamp on my frequent buyer card "for the baby." That counts.

4 comments:

Kim Bombshell said...

I think it says a lot about society, not you.

As for the work place, maybe because you might be a reserved person, people don't know how to approach you for chit chat. I know I am a chatty person so people are not intimidated and will say all sorts of things or ask questions.

Congrats, you are almost done!

Ellen said...

LOL!!! you are so hilarious! i love reading this because i can totally hear you saying it all.. especially, your sarcasm!!! I LOVE IT!! and kim is right!! when i was pregnant with david.. my still riding the bus days to MJC.. i would get so pissed when people would shove through the door of the bus while this huge pregnant belly of mine was waiting patiently for someone to let it on. people are so selfish and rude!! anywho, love you tons!! talk to you soon!

Nicole said...

Thanks ladies! All these hormones are making me extra anxious these days so then I start to get the "it must be something I did/am doing" that gets these strange reactions from people. Because I am really so happy about my little baby, I don't want anyone to think otherwise!

Carly Anne said...

I live in Chicago and am constantly appalled at seeing people-men, in particular-ignore pregnant women STANDING on the El or the buss, as they enjoy a seat. If anyone gets up for a pregnant woman, it's usually another woman...which is a pretty sad commentary. Sigh.

Oh, and thank you for the blog award! You are too sweet!