Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Tales of a Birthday II

The few days leading up to my birthday, I was feeling frumpy and rotund. Decidedly unattractive and easy prey to street vendors. So it wasn't surprising to wake up on my birthday feeling less than my normal self.

This pot belly can no longer be mistaken for a few too many desserts. I'm at the point where I wear the same pair of pants 3 days in a row because suddenly it's the only pair that fits. When turning over becomes akin to a beached whale trying to flail back into the water and unsolicited advice and gifts are becoming the norm. Everyone's eyes flicker from my face to my stomach and every compliment includes the words "pregnant" as in "what a cute pregnant woman you are" or "You're such a thrifty pregnant woman" and I wonder why I am no longer simply "cute" or "thrifty". Does a round figure push me past the perimeters of "attractive" and into the small category that needs extra definition to be true? Like "You're smart for a college drop-out".

I've been more then happy this pregnancy and so this shift in emotions was startling. As the day of my birthday dawned, I heaved into said only pair of pants and the longest tee-shirt I could find, resolute in spending the day proactively reviving some of my former self-esteem. Hesitant about going to a restaurant by myself, I braved the unfounded ridicule and enjoyed a burger at Mimi's Cafe. The hostess and server both slipped into a gentle tone when asking if I'd just follow him to my seat and is my meal satisfactory
? As they were both men, I felt that instead of treating me as an oddity at the end of a stick, they were honoring the stage of life I was in by adjusting their manners as they did. I've never met more soft spoken men then I have these last few weeks. Even my nail technician bent over to remove my foam slippers and put my normal sandals on for me so I wouldn't have to do it myself. Sometime soon I'll tell you about the treatment I received flying back from MI. Thankfully, it's all been kindness.

My next step was "needs physical improvement". Normally I would have found a new outfit to celebrate the day but buying a tent-like top from Motherhood Maternity seemed contradictory to my goal of reviving attractiveness. Nails it was. Not someone who keeps a running appointment at the nail salon, I was surprised at how a manicure/pedicure helped me feel so much more put together and polished. Even Aaron commented on how ladylike I looked. (Goal achieved! Wasn't it to get a few more non pregnant compliments?!)

Gifts, emails and cards from friends warmed my spirits with reminders of how important I was. And Aaron knows how much I love flowers AND Joanns! A good dinner at Benihannas was only slightly off-roaded when a woman refused to take our group pictures because she was "too old". Wha? To her credit, she brought back her husband to have him take it but by that time our group had just taken pictures of each other.

Pregnancy reared her protruding belly again when I heard Jason (Jason and AnnMarie, our couple friend and whose birthday it also was) say that his gift from us was "the most awful present I've ever received." We said our goodbyes but as Aaron was out buying me a birthday cake box and frosting Jason's uncharacteristic comment simmered inside me. I asked Aaron if he thought Jason really meant it. "No," Aaron said. "He said it was 'the most thoughtful' present he'd ever received." Suddenly the ensuing conversation we'd had with them was much more clear and my faith in Jason's good naturedness was restored. Unfortunately, as the simmering sadness was vaporizing through relief, a tragic, truly awful sight met my eyes and combusted into uncontrollable tears.

Aaron's ice cream was melting into his cake.

I have only broken down twice this pregnancy, once because my burger wasn't cooked all the way through and it was too late to re-heat it (ha!) and now.

So while I felt successful in my solo journey of reviving some of the old me, I'm aware that pregnancy still has a firm hold on my emotions. Luckily, Aaron understood and wrapped his arms around me while we ate the "ruined" birthday cake and I cried through an entire episode of Gilmore Girls, feeling much better afterwards :)


  1. true, so true. Ha! Pregnancy and all the changes and feelings---makes for a very good story, doesn't it? It is so never forgets what it is like to carry a baby and all the changes and feelings that surprise us. You had quite a BIG day!! And glad that all's well that ends well. Thank goodness for a good Gilmore Girls and a good husband. xoxo

  2. :) oh jenna, this was such a great post. you have such great story telling skills, i can just picture everything, and the emotions that accompany it, perfectly. so sorry about the "ruined" cake, but you turned it into a hilarious story :)

  3. That most definitely is the most interesting story I have heard in a while. I don't know how I missed this post but now that I've read it, I feel happy to of. The best thing I got out of it was Gilmore Girls. Who could go wrong with that? Especially while with an awesome husband or boyfriend. Hehe. :)


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