Really painful furniture shopping

Here’s this week’s column, it was too good to keep to myself.

“The other day I went with my mother and sister into a furniture warehouse. It was one of those nice big show rooms where you can plop down just about anywhere and take a nap. Just my kind of place.

Upon entering, we were immediately pounced upon by a relatively young salesman.

“Whoa!” he says, looking me up and down. “Your water’s like, not going to break right here or anything, is it?”

Now, there are a few basic rules when it comes to dealing with overly pregnant women. Rule number one, try not to make them feel any more pregnant than they already are.

He was young and obviously uneducated in the pregnant sense, so I smiled and gently assured him that no, Niagra wasn’t sheduled to make an appearance at this particular time.

The girls and I pushed through his encroaching presence and started looking at a cozy sectional.

“Here,” my sister says, “Sit down. Tell me this isn’t comfortable.” I relaxed into the couch and considered staying there until Christmas, when she was up and off to another. “Come try this one!”

I heaved myself to the edge and made a rather unladylike exit of the cushions. Just as I gained my feet, I heard a snort and a laugh behind me.

Excuse me? Laughter? Right, because obviously people who have a hard time getting off couches are so fun to watch.

Rule number two with pregnant women, do not laugh at their clownlike awkwardness. Yes, it’s funny to see someone rock back and forth in order to dig up enough momentum to propel themselves to their feet, but for crying out loud, keep it to yourself.

No matter how hard we tried, we could not shake this kid. He watched me with a look on his face that clearly said, “I’ve never seen one this close up before!” When I cringed at a particularly powerful jab from the baby, he was instantly curious.

“Did it just kick you?” he asked with a sort of delighted horror. I was obviously an anomaly in his world and open to any poking and prodding. I kept my distance, hoping he wouldn’t get brave and ask to pat my head and rub my belly.

As we neared the back of the store, I accidentally dropped my keys. Let’s face it, the floor might as well have been the Grand Canyon, there was no way these fingers could retrieve something that far away without outside assistance. I looked forlornly at my sister.

“Um, I dropped them…” I said, knowing he was watching this interaction with the utmost interest. She quickly came to my rescue. Having survived four pregnancies of her own, she knows all about third trimester handi-caps–shoe laces, toenail polish, hundred dollar bills lying at your feet.

“Man,” the kid pipes up, “That’s got to be tough.” For once, I thought, he shows a little sympathy.

“Yeah,” he continues, “I know how that feels cause I used to be fat too.”

And there you have it. The one thing you are never allowed to say to a prenant woman, stated with nothing short of honest ignorance.

Three and a half weeks and counting. I’m ready for my epidural.”


  1. It was practically like you were one of the Seven Wonders of the World.

  2. Snort!
    What I’d like to hear is the rest of the unpublished portion of the story, where you’d finally had enough and slugged the kid in the mouth. Or asked him where his mother was…so something.

  3. Never pay a penny to that store!

  4. OH Annie! I just want you to know that I actually do read every single one of your posts. I am just horrible at comments. I so adore you AND I 100% feel your pain. We are so in the same boat ready to jump or fall out!! People seriously do not think before they speak. I have had many a doosey comment like that before and am now beyond the point of trying to be nice. NEVER pay a penny to that store EVER! Hang in there!!! We are seriously just about done!

    • annie valentine says:

      Deanne! I don’t know about you, but I’m having them whack my tubes to pieces when they go in to fish this kid out. I am NEVER DOING THIS AGAIN.

  5. Was it R.C. Willey? ‘Cause this time last year (9 months pregnant) I visited RC Willey and the lady made a comment along the lines of “Wow how are you going to walk through the store?”

    Let’s just say she thought that one through and apologized profusely on my way out.

  6. I bet that kid doesn’t move a lot of furniture. I had a similar experience only I was just 6 MONTHS along. I don’t think a pregnant women should ever have to reassure someone that they aren’t going to have that baby in their store. Or defend themselves in ANYWAY! And don’t you hate it when they say you look like you’re going to “pop”?!!? Is there anything complimentary about the word “pop”??
    I feel your pain.

  7. I have had the even more humiliating experience of having someone that fascinated with my pregnant self, even to the degree that they asked when my baby was due – and I’ve had to tell them that I was not, in fact, pregnant. This has happened exactly ten times: Eight in English, and twice in Spanish.

    Of course, I replied in the universal language of violence.

    K, not really. But only because I couldn’t catch them.

  8. I used to look at MEN who had the same “pregnant” size stomach as my own and think . . . . “I’m getting rid of mine in a couple of weeks, he’s gonna have a hard time getting rid of his!” Naughty of me, I know!!!

  9. I love how some people’s mouths and brains run on two totally different circuits. Have I told you lately that you’re gorgeous?

  10. I’m sorry I laughed at this post…only because your writing is so great. Would going back to the store with a hidden water bottle and accidently spilling it on the couch (while same young salesman) be bad?

  11. I meant with not while…..

  12. Wow. I can’t wait until my pregnancy is over so I can tell other pregnant women that I used to be fat, too. And so, as in my recent experiences in Cleveland, I can ask them if their current pregnancy is their last. What a dork.

  13. Oh my heck I hate that guy! He’s obviously not married and probably wont be any time soon. I bet you’re darling! I miss you!

  14. OH MAN!!!!!! This totally tops the “hope you’re not due any time soon because I don’t want you to go into labor walking through the dressing room” comment that I received last night at the Temple. I think your rules of what not to say to a pregnant woman should be posted in all public places.