Friday, September 03, 2004

thank god marie warned me - maternity shopping

how'd they do it? how'd they find the skinniest, tiniest little twig of a woman to staff the maternity clothes store? she's obviously never been pregnant and i'm not sure if she's made it to the other side of puberty.

yeah, okay, so, i'm down to my overalls and my goodwill paint-splattered pants that fit. unless i wanted to wear that damn black skirt every day, something had to be done. but you know i didn't go with open arms and free heart.

I deflected two "How y'all doing todays" and one "Are you looking for anything special" in tones that I hope conveyed just the right amount of "I have a compassionate understanding that you are just doing as you are told" with a couple pinches of "back the hell off, NOW, stick figure!"

It's good to know that some things never change--I was immediately drawn to the only rack in the store not on sale. While I marveled at the bosom-y smalls and cringed at the plethora of elastic waistbands, one quick shove to the right sent the display to the left and all its contents crashing to the floor. Crap. Dammit. Now, having made work for her, I'd have to be nice to the saleswoman. Son of a bitch. I tenuously picked out a couple things and asked in my sweetest, most socially acceptable voice if I could try them on. Itsy-Bitsy was more than happy to oblige.

And there it was in the dressing room. Just as Marie had warned me. The tummy pillow. Giving a whole new meaning to the term "strap-on," these are pillows you can velcro around you to see how you will (theoretically) look or fit into the clothes three more months down the line.

I ignored the tummy pillow and put on a red blouse (it goes without saying, with one of those little preggo ties in the back) and black pants (it goes without saying, with elastic waist) and peeked back out at my husband. Not bad, we decided. I questioned aloud the ability of the pants to keep stretching with me. Skinny Bitch had a solution, "Did you try it on with the pillow?" She pronounces it like it's a lymric, her words rise and fall and rise again. I raise only my eyes and glower at her - clothes crashing to the floor or not, all bets were off for this one, I have my limits. "Nooooo." I pronounced slowly. "Oh, okay," she stammers and takes one step back into a display of floral print summer dresses, their back ties dangling down like so many tentacles.

So now I have to tell you that eventually, after several more minutes and a few more outfits and unanswerable speculations, I caved and put on the damn pillow. Dress up has become a dark sport. I'm going with "not fun" as my overall evaluation of the experience.

I bought the original shirt and pants. Embolded by the pending sale and before I can find my credit card, my nemesis rolls off her valley girl tongue this stock phrase: "Do you need any stretch mark cream or belly balm today?" There are some combinations of language you hope never to hear in your lifetime. By way of response, I turned to my husband, a patient soldier, and asked "Do you need any stretch mark cream or belly balm today?" We all knew the answer to this question. Herein lies the real rub. Nature is cruel. And more shopping is, for now, out of the question.

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