Geez. It seems nobody is immune from being the target of gossip and rumours these days. I mean, all it takes now is one time throwing up one morning at work, and one measly time projectile vomiting in a coworker’s car while she tries to speed you home from work, and everybody suddenly thinks you’re pregnant. Come on- can’t a girl get a break?!
Right now, there are two pregnant women at my work. One is due at the end of August and the other is due in late December. All of the other (mostly women) staff at work have been delighting in telling me how ‘good things come in threes…’, always leaving the sentence hanging there at the end, like I’m supposed to jump in and blurt out “YOU’RE RIGHT!!! THE THIRD PREGNANT LADY IS ME!!!”. Unfortunately (for them), I’m still comfortably un-pregnant.
It seems I am the only remaining female at work who is plausibly at the reproducing stage in life. Hence, I am automatically the suspected third part of the ‘good things coming’ to which they so often refer. Even when I protest that for me, at this point in my life, a pregnancy would definitely not be considered a ‘good thing’, they simply laugh, make teasing pointing gestures at my belly, and say ‘well, most of the time, you don’t choose to be pregnant– a pregnancy chooses you!’ Aw. How sweet. If by ‘sweet’, we actually mean ‘nauseating’ and ‘anxiety producing’.
So anyway, on Thursday morning, when I found myself inexplicably making a mad dash to the washroom to vomit out nothing in particular, it started: I saw the knowing looks in people’s eyes. “I’m not pregnant”, I said, before having to make yet another mad dash to the washroom. Emerging once again, weary and sick, I saw the same looks. “Come on, guys– I’m not pregnant. I just finished my period and haven’t even ovulated yet this cycle.” (Fertility awareness geek alert.) They looked at each other and nodded, feigning interest and belief in what I was saying. Then silence. “Now come on, people– can somebody please take me home before I throw up again?” It was unnerving.
A coworker graciously offered to drive me home in her (fancy. expensive.) car. She had brought a plastic bag along for the 2 minute ride there, and it was with utter shame and embarrassment that I had to use it. It was my first time throwing up in a car, and I was utterly mortified that it was in front of my coworker. Not my classiest moment, that’s for sure. I apologized profusely, with tears of of the strain of it all running down my cheeks. “Don’t apologize”, she told me, and then I heard it, too: underneath her caring voice was the sound of a woman who had been through the whole ‘pregnancy and childbirth’ thing already. Her voice assured me that it was a normal and natural thing for a woman to be pregnant, and that many pregnant women experience morning sickness for the first little while. ‘Don’t worry’, her tone of voice told me– ‘I’ve been there before’.
I wanted to remind her that, in fact, I was not pregnant. But by then I was too weak to even protest. And besides, I needed to throw up again.
I was sick a full four times more before the hour was up. It was nasty. I was exhausted. Plus I felt sorry for myself. And all I wanted was three seconds of somebody feeling sorry for me, too.
The next morning– Friday– I was still weak and a bit nauseous, but I had things at work that needed doing before the weekend, so I went in for the day. The first coworker I encountered told me matter of factly, “You know, people have been talking.” No ‘how are you feeling today?’, no ‘gosh, I’m sorry to hear how sick you were yesterday.’ Nope– not even three seconds of sympathy! Instead, I was officially informed that the rumour mill was churning away with renewed vigour and zest. Perfect.
For the rest of the day, not one person (aside from myself) even entertained the idea that perhaps my throwing up was a symptom of, say, food poisoning, or a stomach flu, or a nasty incubating bug of sorts that I had picked up in Tofino. Or anything that might actually merit honest-to-god concern. Nah. Everybody’s essentially waiting for my announcement. It won’t come just yet, no, but I won’t be able to hide it for much longer. And then when I confirm that I am, indeed, pregnant, they can all tell me that they told me so. And then relish in the fact that good things do indeed come in threes.
Except I’m not pregnant.