From what I’ve heard (mostly on the Free Beer and Hot Wings morning show), when you are newly married, the most common question is some variation of: “So, when are you going to start pumping out babies?!” I’m sure it wasn’t worded that way, but why get bogged down by something like manners or subtlety? Yes, I’ve seen women ranting and raving about being on the receiving end of this question. Yes, it also annoys me when I’m asked because, as I keep telling people, I already have kids.
For me, there is a different, far more exasperating question…
Are You Pregnant?
I know, I know, it’s in the same family as the newly-wed question. So, what’s the big difference? People have asked me this question since I was in my late teens. And for any reason. Any at all. Here’s an example:
I like to eat _______.
b. Ice cream
f. The heart of my enemies
g. Literally anything that is edible
By the way, you can fill that blank in with any of those answer choices. Except “f.” I’m not sure how that got in there. The point is: After a certain age, pregnancy is obviously the only way to explain desire for a type of food. Likewise, if I ever say that my head hurts, my back hurts, I’m nauseous, I’m having an allergy attack, I broke my ankle, the question here is also whether or not I’m pregnant.
Although I’ve gotten to the autopilot point of saying, “No, I’m not pregnant” and “A brain aneurism is not usually a symptom (gift?) of being pregnant,” I should really just…
Not because of all the fun jokes I could play on people, but because it would give me an excuse to overeat and act hormonal. Or is a female the slave to her hormones. I forget. Anyway, saying “yes” might curb the amount I’m asked that question. I mean, people know that you can’t get a pregnant woman more pregnant, right? Saying “yes” would also excuse me from having to follow up “I want ice cream” with “because it’s sweet and creamy and moist.” Seriously, who needs to give a reason to want to eat ice cream?
I’d like to say that men ask the pregnancy question more often, not because men aren’t hip to female strife, but because their lady-plumbing fell out and turned into a spitting, in-heat-seeking missile with stabilizer balls.
That may or may not have been the best anatomical description of how the human body works. I never claimed to be an anatomist. What I’m trying to say is that I expect opposing genders to be ignorant about one another in some aspects. And yet, more women than men ask. Granted, it is almost an even keel. I just find it a bit inconceivable when I’m hanging out with a friend, talking about [insert food here] and out of nowhere, “Are you pregnant?” Wtf do you mean am I pregnant? You just said you liked that food, too!
What I want to know is…
Why Are You Asking?
Is this a trick question? Are you asking because you hope I am, you sadistic bastard? Or maybe you hope I’m not. Surely pregnancy is not the only answer to all my ailments and appetites. Right? Right? I’m going to go out on a limb and assume that at least half the time this question is asked to me, it’s in jest.
“Are you pregnant” is the 21st century equivalent of the “hysteria” diagnosis. Prevalent and of zero help.