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Not Ready for my Apparently

We need to do something about those people who seem to stick their foot in their mouths on a regular basis. And by a regular basis, I mean every time they part their lips.

First off, to those people who go around congratulating women, saying things like, "Oh, honey, you are just glowing!!! When are you due?" and feel the need to pat the stomach of a total stranger – back off! Unless you have direct evidence that the woman is pregnant; i.e., you've overheard her talking about the baby's kicking or happen to see a foot hanging out, keep your trap shut! Having been on the receiving end of this unsolicited "admiration" when there is no bun in the oven, and the "bun" that was in there at one time has been out for a couple of years; I am here to tell you, there is no greater blow to a woman's psyche.

At least that's what I thought until a couple of weeks ago.

The day started off on the wrong foot. Looking back, I should have just thrown some cereal boxes, bowls, spoons, and milk cartons on the counter for the kids' breakfast. Oh wait, that's what I usually do! OK, I should have just crawled back under the covers, thrown out a muffled, "Have a great day at school, kids," and called it a day. But the eldest child, the designated "school bus" driver that morning for the others, was sick, so it was up to me to get the younglings delivered.

Rising to the task, I brushed my teeth, pulled on my old college sweatshirt (NAU – Go Lumberjacks!), some sweatpants and sneakers. A ponytail pulled through the back of a Hard Rock Café baseball cap completed my morning toilette, and I was ready to hit the road.

After dropping off the kids, I decided to pop into Target and pick up a few things. Little did I know I would be returning to my car looking for a way to fold myself into the fetal position as I drove home.

It came from an unexpected source, this blow to my self-esteem, my sense of self. It came from a young man standing just outside the exit, collecting money for a worthy cause.

"Good morning, ma'am. Would you be able to donate something to the homeless shelter…" then came a pause as he looked directly at me and hit me with the zinger, "or perhaps you have need of our services?"

It took a minute for the words to register. In fact, I was in the middle of the crosswalk when I stopped, turned, and said, "What did he just say???"

Now I know I wasn't in my Sunday best, but I must have seen a half a dozen other moms wearing the same type of outfit – sweats, baseball cap, sneakers. What exactly was it about my ensemble that said destitute?

So the next time you're out and see a woman you think may be pregnant, or perhaps she looks like she needs a hand out, unless you see her water break or she comes up and says, "hey buddy, can you spare a dime," you may want to think before you speak. The self-worth you save could be my own.

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