This morning was another morning where we had fewer cars than drivers. I provided the necessary transportation for our stranded driver before going to the supermarket. (I did need to go to the market, but my stubbornness in not running just ONE errand at a time “forced” me to run the errand then.)
As I walked in, I was struck by the misplacement of the “sani-wipes” for wiping the cart handle. (Shouldn’t they be between the cart and the groceries rather than between the cart and the outgoing door? I guess this is a rant better reserved for another topic.) Once I shook off this temporary annoyance, I pushed the cart forward while pulling out my phone to see what was on my list. The next thing I remember I was standing idly by my cart looking dubious. An apparently pregnant mother with a child in her cart needed me to move my cart. She seemed apologetic. I moved my cart while commenting, “You are pushing for three. I am sorry I was in your way.”
After I made my comment, I wondered if I somehow had put my foot in my mouth again. Did I choose to make a comment and make the comment in one of the “dimensions” where it was viewed as offensive? (This is assuming there are parallel dimensions. This approach is sometimes necessary to soften the blow when I am convinced I said nothing wrong but one of the hearers seems to disagree. Usually, my intentions are truly pure.) I kept shopping as I continued to use my “Wunderlist” to track down what I needed to purchase.
In the Mexican food section, I stumbled across my pregnant fellow shopper again. She was friendly. Of course, this implies I did not upset her before. She mentioned how people are often so uptight and worried they will offend other people. She let me know she was due in mid-November–if the country survives the election. There will be almost 2.5 years between her kids. And, strangely, her dogs gave her extra love during her first pregnancy. Before she knew officially and about 3 weeks into this pregnancy, the dogs were more loving again.
For some reason, I chose this point to relay to her my two “Why did you bring up pregnancy?” faux pas. First, when I was late single digits, we had a family who had children approximately the age of my siblings and I. One afternoon when our friend’s mother was picking up her children, I made an observation. I shared this observation with my mother later. “I think Mike’s mom is pregnant.” When my mother’s curiosity is up, she needed to find out. When she asked, she found out Mike’s mom was pregnant. Since they were not telling people yet, it seemed to upset Mike’s mom. Although my mom did not blame me directly, she pointed to this issue as the reason the friendship starting to slowly crumble.
The second “pregnant” question was much more unnecessary. After our kids were no longer using some of the baby items, we had a garage sale. The sales were steady, but not as brisk as we would have liked. To try and generate some additional sales, I pulled out my sales wit. As one shopper who was a little heavy in the middle looked at baby items, I innocently asked, “When are you due?” In some dimension, the “due” may not have implied pregnancy, but circumstantially, her assumption was not a huge stretch. Her reply of, “I’m not.” quickly accounted for one less shopper at our garage sale.
My new pregnant friend listened patiently and sympathetically to my tales. She seemed glad to have a little distraction from her day. And, unsurprisingly, so did I. I was grateful to get something more than enchilada sauce today. Hopefully, everything I said was certified safe in my present dimension.