There’s this weird thing about being home and in bed every day, which is that I feel like I need to post something here every day. I’ve never been a daily blogger before, so I don’t know why I feel the sudden pressure. I think it’s partially because I’m bored, and also because I want to make sure my brain doesn’t atrophy while I’m lying around feeling sorry for myself.
So, ok. We have this grocery store, and I shop there at least once a week. There are two different women who work there who both have young children (like toddler-aged), so they always ask me how I’m doing and commiserate about pregnancy woes and all of that. They’re both polite, they keep the conversation light, they never tell me any horror stories, and as a result, I like both of them.
Then there’s this other woman who works there. Now, I’m guessing that if you’re in your 50’s and you work as the checkout clerk at a grocery store, maybe your life hasn’t gone exactly according to plan? I would think that it probably isn’t a lifelong goal for very many people. I’m not passing judgment on her for what she does, I’m just trying to find an explanation as to why she is such a completely horrible, nasty, bitter person. So far, that’s my best theory.
Way back before I got pregnant, she would lecture me about the items I was buying, which always struck me as wildly inappropriate. I went through a phase last spring where I was obsessed with strawberries and cool whip (because seriously, have you ever tried them together? Heaven.), and she would stand there and tell me about how many chemicals were in cool whip and how horrible it is, and how it screws with your glycemic index, blah blah blah… And, ok. I’m sure she’s right. But is it really necessary to tell your paying customers that they’re making unwise selections? And if she feels that passionately about it, shouldn’t she go work at Whole Foods or someplace like that?
(It’s also worth noting that this woman is, herself, no vision of perfect health. I know she’s a smoker because the lines on her face are that obvious, plus my hyper-sonic pregnant sense of smell has caught more than a slight whiff of tobacco coming off of her. And she’s at least 50 pounds overweight. Again, no judgment, I’m just sayin’.)
I’ve gotten to the point where I will happily stand in a different checkout line for an extra ten minutes if it means I can avoid this woman. But earlier this week, I got stuck. It was one of those deals where the manager came over and said “oh, there’s no waiting on lane 5,” and he literally moved my cart for me over to her line, so I didn’t see how I could object without looking like a freak. Fine. I figured I would just try to keep the conversation as minimal as possible.
Around this time, Baby Girl shifted herself so that she was pressing on a nerve ending, and I had a shooting cramp go down my left inner thigh. This has been happening a lot lately, and the quickest way I know to relieve it (other than immediately sitting down, which isn’t an option at the supermarket) is to shift my weight back and forth. So I was kind of rocking back and forth, from my left foot to my right – almost like a boxer, I guess – and I suppose I must’ve looked sort of strange. Like hey, mind if I boogie down right here to the easy listening Muzak on the intercom? But it’s something I do without thinking too much about, since the alternative is to be in excruciating pain. No thanks.
Anyway, Horrible Woman asked me how I’m holding up, and I was like, “fine, thanks, just trying to get her to change positions in there.” She asked me how much longer I had until my due date, and this was right after my OB appointment on Monday, so I was all happy about the fact that there’s finally an end in sight to this damn pregnancy. So I think my response was along the lines of, “oh, any day now, but if she hasn’t shown up by January 29th, they’re going to induce.” Don’t ask me why I shared that bit of information, it was really stupid on my part.
I don’t remember too much of what came after that, because I think I lost consciousness for a moment when I was sucked into her Swirling Vortex of Negativity. It was basically a tirade against the entire medical community combined with every worst-case childbirth horror story you can possibly imagine. All I really remember hearing is “oh, don’t you dare let them induce you, that’s the worst thing you can do!” And there was also something about, “Don’t get an epidural, my back has never been the same since!” I believe there was also a reference to fecal incontinence, but it’s all a bit hazy. Maybe it was the pain from the cramp in my thigh, but I do believe I might have blacked out for just a second there.
It took every fiber of my being not to scream, “shut up, shut up, SHUT UP!!!” What kind of person tells these stories to a woman who’s 9 months pregnant? It’s just mean. Not to mention that this woman’s most recent experience with childbirth was twenty years ago (she told me that her youngest child is 19), so really, I don’t think any of her input is all that valid.
The problem is, I don’t know how to tell her to keep her stories to herself without coming off as totally rude. And I’m just not one of those people who can be nasty to someone who I think has a crappy job. (Case in point: a waitress can give me the worst service in the world, and I’ll probably still be nice and leave a decent tip, just because I feel bad for anyone who has to handle other people’s food for a living.) And clearly, avoiding her doesn’t work, since I’ve tried that tactic and it failed. I seriously fear what kind of crazy-assed ravings she’s going to have when I go into the store with a baby.
I’ve thought about anonymously calling the store and telling the management folks that they need to do something about Horrible Woman, or at least tell her to keep her damn opinions to herself while she’s at work. But I don’t know, isn’t getting her in trouble with her boss worse than me saying something to her face? I’ve also thought about just going to our one other grocery store more often, but they don’t have the salad bar with the taboule that I love so much and eat almost every day. What to do? I’m at a loss.