The first time this happened, I really brushed it off and ignored it. The second time it happened I was little ruder in my response, but again, I let it go and chalked it up to people being stupid.
Today was the third time someone has made a comment about me being visibly pregnant with a baby in the cart. It doesn't matter that she's one TODAY (you'll get a post about this on Monday, swearsies, just know I'm too emotional to crank one out for today), that I'm married, that I'm not receiving any kind of public assistance whatsoever, nothing.
None of that matters because people are absolute assholes who either through genetic mutation, being gifted a pair of balls, or lacking any kind of common decency, think it's completely appropriate to make a snide comment about knowing birth control exists.
You see, the first time I got a comment was a few months ago and I had Olivia, Jackson, and Penelope with me. I was in that is-she-fat-or-pregnant stage so people weren't sure. I haven't wore my wedding ring in months because any kind of jewelry makes my skin itchy and break out in hives so I generally try not to wear anything. It's never been an issue before, presumably because I only had two kids and maybe people thought I was a sad, divorced woman holding her own as a single mother. Who knows. Then it's like, throw a baby into the mix and all of a sudden people have an opinion on that. I was at the grocery store, at the checkout, and an older man (I'd say maybe in his 60's, wearing an assortment of veteran apparel and hat so I assume he was a veteran himself) says to me, loud enough for the cashier and the next line to hear, "You know- you could always stop popping out children but I guess the welfare pays well."
I am not even kidding, that actually happened. In front of my kids.
I very calmly and politely said, "Well I'm not sure if the welfare pays well because I don't receive any because my husband works almost 80 hours every week."
He didn't have a response because WHAT COULD HE SAY, but the cashier tried to be kind and remark what an asshole he was.
Because that's exactly what he was. He looked at my children and possible new baby and made a judgment based on whatever experiences he's had. Maybe he's had none and he just assumes all of us mothers are getting cash from the government.
The second time it happened was at another grocery store, but this time I only had Penelope and my fetus with me. Penelope was having a particularly rough shopping trip since I wouldn't let her crawl on the floor or throw everything out of the cart because I am a monster, and this woman only a few years older than me says, "You know- they DO make birth control for a reason."
I almost didn't say anything. I wanted to be the bigger person and walk off but I'm also in the throes of depression and sometimes I'm angry for no reason so LUCKY HER, I responded with, "Oh really? Is that still free at Planned Parenthood or did Governor Walker shut that down?" (And I'll be honest, I only said this because she had a "Walker Loves Wisconsin" button on her purse.)
But today. Oh, today took the fucking cake. I may or may not have lost it and almost rammed my cart into an elderly lady because I am just so tired of it, you know?
Today, Penelope had a pretty decent shopping trip. She still thinks I'm a monster who kills all of her joy, but at least today we did it with very little screeching so I was ready to call it a win. But we get to the checkout and I am very clearly pregnant. There is no mistaking this bump for fat any more, it's far too hard and round to be mistaken.
This woman, I'm going to say in her 70's or so, is talking with her friend behind her and they were both commenting on how adorable Penelope was. Mind you, I'm in the front of the cart unloading my items so she can't really see my stomach. I'm hearing how "Jesus gives us babies as blessings" and lots of other religious talk and though I'm not religious, I let it go because in my heart, I think people mean well. And whatever, Penelope is great and she really is a blessing, so I'll go with it. They ask if she's my only and I say no, she's actually my third and we were over the moon to have her.
But as soon as I come around the cart and these women see that I'm very clearly pregnant and you could tell this woman's entire demeanor changed. It was like a Jekyll and Hyde situation, I'm not even kidding.
She then says, "Oh dear. You know, there are ways to prevent pregnancy. You don't have to spread your legs for every man. You'll never get married if you go straight to bed with every one."
NO- I AM NOT JOKING. THIS WAS ACTUALLY SAID TO MY FACE.
Now, I really pride myself in being respectful and kind, and I've had some pretty whacked out things said to me by seniors and I've never had an issue where I felt like I wanted to physically assault a person, but this morning that all changed. I really, really wanted to knock her down. Because who the fuck says that? WHO SAYS THAT? Even if you think it, who actually verbalizes it out of their mouth?
This lady, that's who.
And it was bad enough that the cashier even stopped ringing up my items, and she kept looking back and forth between me and this woman. The woman's friend apparently could tell from my face that I had literally had it because she kind of tugged on the first woman's sweater but this lady looked like she felt proud for saying what she obviously wanted to say to women before me. Just like how she sent me over the edge, maybe seeing yet "another slutty single mother" sent her over the edge today. I don't know.
So I replied with, (and calmly, I said it calmly), "Yes, there are ways to prevent pregnancy. It would be really great if they were all 100% but unfortunately, they aren't. I was always told that Jesus gives us babies as blessings, so that's what my HUSBAND and I are telling people. I'd hate to go against Jesus. And besides, I was always taught it wasn't on us to judge others."
I swear to you, I wish I could have taken a picture of her face. I really wish I could have because if there was ever a time where a person looked like they were shitting their pants? It was right then. That woman had nothing to say. She looked like she wanted to, started to, but then decided it was either not appropriate or she'd look like an even bigger asshole, I don't know.
What I do know is that my cashier didn't say a word, didn't even tell me my total, and I quietly (and quickly) bagged my items up. I wiped the tears that were starting to fall though I tried really hard not to cry in front of this asshole, and I don't think I have ever walked so fast out to my van as I did this morning. And before we left the parking lot, I full on sobbed. Absolutely sobbed. It's bad enough I'm struggling with this pregnancy as it is, it's bad enough I'm trying to be a good mom and a good wife, and trying to not short change people even though I want to crawl into a hole and die most days, but to deal with this kind of thing on top of it?
It's too much, folks. It's too much. And yes, it's one woman. I shouldn't have hurt feelings and I shouldn't let that person get to me. I know, sticks and stones. But man alive. I don't know if it's a change in society, the example our Presidential candidates are giving us, people giving zero cares in general or what, but this kind of behavior is absolutely not OK. It's just not. And I'm pretty sure she'll do it again to someone else, but I'd like to think by me saying something and putting her in her place she won't. I'm not super optimistic, but I can't totally be pessimistic otherwise I may as well jump off the bridge now. But man. What a terrible way to start the day.