Valentine’s Day must have been busy this year, because I’ve seen an unusual amount of very pregnant women around town lately — on the elevator, on the train, in the streets
There is something about a woman great with child that seems to invite comment (At least I hope there is; maybe it’s just me. One of the pitfalls of writing a column is the risk of approaching a topic as if it reflects the general human condition only to find out it is more of a unique personal perversion).
Anyway, as a guy who likes to strike up conversations with strangers as it is — a trait some might refer to as being “chatty,” though I prefer to think of as “piercing my Clint Eastwood-like steely silence” — it sometimes takes all I have to suppress the impulse, because I assume it would be intrusive and annoying to the gravid woman who is minding her own business, gently baking the bun in her oven.
To my credit, usually I succeed in keeping my yap shut, though it’s like holding back a brace of eager bloodhounds. Just the other day, I was on the elevator with this woman tending a cantilevered belly. I began assembling my comment.
“I know you’re not supposed to assume a woman is pregnant unless you actually see the baby coming out,” I considered, as an opening. “But I’m going to go out on a limb here . . .”
I kept quiet, since the remark seemed not witty, but gross. And really, no matter how pregnant a woman seems, there’s always the risk she’s merely obese.
So given the risks, from whence the impulse? Goodwill, friendliness, a desire to cast a ray of illumination on the hidden rocks ahead. What I really want to say is, “You know, you can just prepare formula with warm water as you need it, which saves the time and bother of making it with cold water, storing it in the refrigerator, then heating it up. We didn’t figure that out until the second child. . . .”
Though really, would anybody listen? I can’t imagine some young mother, breezily caring for her newborn, explaining to a pal, “Yeah, it’s an idea I got from some strange guy in an elevator.”
Better to keep quiet. If possible.
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