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again with the awkwardness

English: Photograph of abdomen of a pregnant woman

Let me set this up for you.  Yesterday at work we had a big luncheon get-together. You know, they grilled hamburgers, we all got together. Fellowship. So, I head over there.  I sat with a co-worker from my department.  She is 5 months pregnant with her first. Shortly after we sat down, another co-worker stopped by. This woman is recently back from maternity leave after her second baby.  So, that momma had to come over and rub the pregnant woman’s belly.  Anyway, they started talking about pregnancy. I’m fine with that. I listened, I smiled, I nodded, I raised my eyebrows at appropriate times. And it went on and on. I finished my hamburger. I finished my chips. I finished my bottle of water. Then I proceeded to remove the label from my water bottle.

At one point I glanced up and the momma that had just returned from maternity leave caught my eyes. And in a SPLIT second. I mean, seriously – beyond nanoseconds. She suddenly realized she was talking to me about pregnancy. Me!  Then she stopped mid-sentence. She fumbled for some words, then awkwardly sputtered, “So, how is Atlantis doing?”  The pregnant momma turned her head to me – she was very confused. Why in the world did this other woman suddenly stop talking mid-sentence and turn to me to ask about my daughter?  With a scrunched up face she looked at me, and guess what? She caught on suddenly. So there I am with a water bottle wrapper in my hands and two mommas who are dripping with pity for me.  Lovely.

I smiled and said very quickly, “She’s just great.  How are your little ones?”  Then it was ok. Those two felt better. They sighed and went on talking. Whew – they didn’t stress out the infertile woman.  They were relieved. I, however, slowly gathered my mess and mumbled something about a meeting and smiled really big and left.  There was no meeting. I just really needed to get out of there.

Yes, it can be awkward. But, it’s only awkward when others make it that way.  Then I feel self-conscious.  Then I feel like a dork.  But, what can I do?

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