So the Monsieur and I went poking around at baby stores the past weekend. It was quite a weekend of celebration: Rev. Mommy is a deck of cards (Happy Birthday, Mommy!!!!), Mademoiselle Gracie is a Responsible Feline (she’s now 21 in cat years, you know), and the Monsieur and I celebrated our second first anniversary! (We got married twice in one year, after all). In that celebratory spirit, we should have just relaxed; but I guess instinct is stronger than that, and so we visited baby stores and played with strollers, lugged carseats around, compared travel systems, poked at cribs and bassinets and discovered one very interesting thing:
There must be plenty of non-pregnant people who compare-shop for hours in baby stores, because no one batted an eyelash at our presence unless we flagged them down with flares.
As a not-showing-yet pregnant woman, I feel totally discriminated against. At one point, an incredulous saleswoman peered closely at me and asked, “Are you pregnant or something?”
Or something? ARGH! This leads me to my conclusion of throngs of unpregnant couples, spending hours comparision-shopping for stroller performance and ease of collapsibility. But it just fuels my rage. I mean… if I weren’t pregnant, I would be running away as fast as I humanly could AWAY from maternity and baby stores! Maternity clothes are hideous for the main part, and even the extra-small
looks like it could fit a dainty hippo. Maternity bras are large and sturdy –two words that shall never relay “sexy”, no matter how hard they try. Strollers are creepy little contraptions –heavy as hell– which will only look clean inside the store: I’ve heard they (and car seats) attract lint, drool and all sorts of nasty body fluids from miles away. And baby clothes still make me a little uneasy, because I don’t know for certain what the baby will need –though millions of guides purport to tell me just what I’ll need. I still avoid the diaper alley of the supermarket like a plague. I don’t want to think about changing FOURTEEN DIAPERS A DAY for the first month of life! That sounds insane! Illogical! Creepy! Yucky!
So see? I personally never went to a baby store while unpregnant. It never crossed my mind as the thing to do on a Sunday afternoon with my husband. Or as something to spend two hours on, frantically collapsing strollers and pushing them to see if they’d tip over. I mean… seriously. Spending two hours at a seaside bar with my erstwhile friends, the Lava Flows, does not even compare to spending two hours reviewing the construction of a certain crib or baby carrier, you know?
So here’s a little heads-up to the people who work at baby and maternity stores:
Non-pregnant people don’t shop there “for fun.” I’m sure some do, but most don’t. Especially not men. Men never come willingly to your store to just “hang out”. So next time you see two people, male and female, walking around the store holding hands and closely examining every piece of infant-dedicated merchandise, it is probably safe to assume that one of them –possibly the female, even if she doesn’t show– is pregnant. Do not alienate them. Just be friendly and help, and do not ignore them over the eight-month-along woman who should have done her shopping five months ago– like we’re trying to do.