Friday, January 25, 2008

Whatever you do...don't ask!!

Almost every male over the age of 15 knows better than to ask a woman if she’s pregnant. So why haven’t women learned not to ask?

Every non-pregnant woman that has ever been asked this question is emotionally scarred for…well, life really. Every woman knows what a horrible question this is; you would think they would never, ever ask it of another woman.

Women should only ask their friends after they drop hints like, “So after the baby comes” or only when they are obviously pregnant. The 8 month mark is a safe time to ask, and even then it is still only marginally safe.

A few years ago I was running some errands downtown after work and I happened to see Alice, one of my over 60 year old friends. I popped over to say hello to her and a woman whom I had never met. As Alice and I were chatting away, I felt an odd sensation on my stomach. I glanced down to find a hand that was not my own rubbing my stomach in wonder. I immediately stopped talking. The strange woman noticed the pause and burst into our conversation exclaiming, “You’re pregnant!”

I froze and stared at her with my mouth open.

Alice froze and stared at her with her mouth open…and then she hit her.

Once I got my mouth snapped back into place, I calmly removed her hand and told her that I wasn’t in fact pregnant but a bit chubby around the middle. I tried to put this obviously misinformed woman at ease despite her epic faux paus. After all, if I were to make such a glaring mistake, I would hope for some grace.

Do you know what she said next?

“Well, you sure look pregnant.”

There needed to be some back pedaling or severe remorse at this point! Even blank, uncomfortable silence would have been better than her snappy comment. Appropriate responses include:
"Of course you aren’t. I am severely delusional and off my meds.”
“Oh. My. Gosh. I am SO sorry.”
“No…no you are not…have I mentioned how much I like your outfit?”

In the code of womanhood, there should be a clause about never informing a non-pregnant woman that she looks pregnant.

I went home that night and had celery for supper.

Once a strange woman rubs your chubby tummy, you’ll even give up chocolate for a day or so in an effort to make yourself look less pregnant-esque.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Ridiculous Rules

This Christmas my family decided to partake in a past time that we all grew up with and remember fondly – bowling.

In my opinion, bowling is a ridiculous sport. Fun, but ridiculous – and for several reasons.

Reason #1 You have to rent shoes! There is no other sport so stringent on attire while sporting. I could wear a down filled parka in +48 Celsius while golfing, there are no swimsuit specifications at the local swimming pool (unfortunately people can wear Speedos and bikinis despite what the mirror tells them), and I could run a marathon in flip flops if I so desired. When you go bowling you HAVE to wear shoes that 8,000 other people have worn and are still warm and a bit gooey from the disinfectant that was just sprayed in the shoe. Why? It’s not like I arrived in 4 inch stiletto heels! What are my non-marking tennis shoes going to do out there in bowling land??! Not only do you have to wear the horrible shoes, but you have to PAY the bowling alley to wear them! Somehow, it just doesn’t add up.

Reason #2 There are so many rules regarding the wooden floor area that makes up the bowling lanes. Above every lane a sign is posted that reads, “Do Not Cross White Line.” Why? If you step across the line, what’s going to happen? Is there a secret infrared light that detects even a toe that has broken the rule? Does a silent alarm go off and the bowling police come escort you out of the bowling alley? It seems a bit over the top. Nor can you have food in the bowling area. If you want a snack, you have to sit about 20 feet back from your friends. Eating people are segregated from the non-eaters. It’s not really fair. If you want to share a plate of nachos with someone you have to notify them when you’re leaving the snacking area to go bowling and that they better come supervise the snack. Usually this involves loud yelling that people 3 lanes over can hear. “Hey Frank, I am up next – do you want any of these nachos?” It’s important to notify your friends that you are leaving the snack post, lest the server come and take your nachos away!!

Reason #3 The whole point of the game is to huck a heavy rock straight down a very long strip of hard wood to knock down the 10 pins (or 5 pins, depending what country you’re in) all at once. I have a feeling that this sport was created about 300 years ago in a small village somewhere. Back then, I am sure it was quite the sport!

So, there we all were…the whole family with ridiculous clown shoes on and bowling balls in hand. We began hucking our bowling balls down the long lane with much hilarity.

When I was about 13 years old, I got over the fear of sticking my fingers in the dark, unknown bowling ball holes and began to throw the ball like most normal people. No longer was I relegated to walking up to the white line, bending over at the waist and rolling the ball down the lane with a good heave-ho! This particular day, I was bowling with confidence. I grabbed my 10 pound purple and green psychedelic colored ball, took a few confident strides and hucked the ball with flair down the lane.

My husband, sportsperson extraordinaire, is always telling me how important follow through is when playing sports. I could hear his patient voice in my head and continued my forward stride when I released the ball, after all, I wanted to get a strike! Then, unbeknownst to me, my right foot crossed that sacred white line of the bowling lane only to be followed by my left foot. Suddenly it was as though I was on ice skates! The bowling people had that lane waxed to a high sheen and my rented clown shoes were no match for it. My follow through was now pushing me forward down the bowling lane towards the pins. I was unable to get any footing and was tripping forward due to the immense amount of momentum my follow through created. I made a split second decision to lean backwards to counteract the forward motion in order to stop the crazed, head first careening down the bowling lane.

Sometimes these quick decisions you make in life, aren’t always the best ones. I was quite panicked, so I over compensated on the mid flight correction. I ended up going straight backwards onto my butt with my head cracking the bowling lane a split second later. It happened so fast that I didn’t even put out my arms! I don’t think many people noticed the deafening noise my head made on the lane, because it was so similar to the sound of the many bowling balls hitting the ground.

Once I stopped seeing stars, I opened my eyes to see my whole family peering down at me in complete horror and shock. I laid there for a moment, unable to move from pain and embarrassment. I am sure I was quite the sight all sprawled out on the bowling lane 8 feet from the white line. The craziness of the situation hit me and I laid there giggling, but unable to get up due to pain radiating from my head and the large amount of wax on the lane.

I was a quite shaky from the trauma of the whole situation, so the family decided to push me down the lane on my butt – they were able to do it with ease since the lane was so slick! As I was being delivered to my seat, I noticed that 10 lanes of people had stopped bowling to watch my latest fiasco. The lady at the front desk ran over in a tizzy to make sure I was ok while I was being slid down the lane. In between my giggles and embarrassment I assured her that I was ok. She seemed quite relieved, mostly because she realized that I wasn’t going to sue her. What would I sue for? Allowing ridiculous and clumsy people such as myself into the bowling alley?

The next day when I could barely move my neck due to the whiplash I gave myself while bowling, all could see in my mind’s eye was that sign mocking me:

Do Not Cross White Line

No kidding! Who knew that not following such a silly rule would cause a person to get whiplash while bowling?!

I think my new motto in life needs to be “Do what the sign says, no matter how ridiculous it seems!