Thursday, June 14, 2007

Sometimes I lie.

"Congratulations! I thought you might be pregnant - you have that glow!"

That, my friends, is an example of me lying. In fact, that is a lie I've said recently and frequently since about one hundred of my friends are at various stages of pregnancy and more are announcing it everyday.

And, of course, you have to say something nice (because shrieking for fear of what's going to happen to their hoo-hoos is frowned upon) and that is the only thing I can think of.

I'll just come right out and say it, I have never seen "the glow" on anyone. Don't get me wrong, I'm impressed when I know someone is pregnant and has been throwing up all morning and doesn't look how I'd expect a perpetual barfer to look, but there's no "glow" about it. Just a general lack of jaundiced skin, bags under eyes and barf crust in the corners of their mouths. But no "glow".

So, what is the story with this "glow" thing anyway? I was enduring a baby shower last weekend surrounded by women who were all five to six weeks on either side of baby-having. Some were full of baby, some were holding baby - all that mattered was that some of them *should* have been glowing and I wasn't seeing it.

But everyone else was.

Is this a common lie I should understand? Is this like telling someone they look really great when you know they've been working out/dieting/lying about working out or dieting because you want to them to feel good and not dive headfirst into the M&Ms?

Or is this something that everyone else EXCEPT ME can see? Like those friggen magic eye posters at the mall that everyone is ogling and awgoling over while saying irritating things like, "Oh my word, hunnie buns, look at the dragon poking it's nostril out of the porthole of that ship in a bottle!"

And then I try to squint and focus on it while I walk by *pretending* that I'm not looking because I don't want to be *that guy* at the mall paying attention to something that is clearly so retarded, but I want to see the damn dragon so badly if only to prove that I, myself, am not the retarded one who can't see the dragon so I end up ramming some pregnant woman pushing a stroller because I'm staring so intently at the friggen poster that I have stopped paying attention to the flow of traffic and I become a different *that guy* who I'm just as ashamed of.

Needless to say that if the pregnant woman had "that glow" I probably would be snapped out of my magic eye tunnel vision by her big fancy glow long before slamming into her and inevitably drawing the attention of every person within a five store radius to my obvious retardation.


Unfortunately my strict policy against mall-going has only helped me avoid the awkward magic eye poster moments but has done nothing for my ability to see "the glow".

Now I'm faced daily with newly sprouting pregnancies and no way to properly validate them without lying outright. I suppose I could just say, 'Congratulations', and leave it at that, but mention of "the glow" always springs from someones inspired lips and I feel obligated to chime in with my agreement.

"Oh yes, pregnancy really agrees with you!"

This is my other favorite comment. It's not an out and out lie, but it's definitely a comment derived from circumstantial evidence. I mean, considering that if I were in that situation I imagine I would be having one significant breakdown after another and be totally incapable of composing myself for the workplace, the fact that these incredible creatures are looking normal, dressing cute (I have complimented many of my friends on their cute new clothes only to find out they're maternity wear) and showing up for full days of work is nothing short of a miracle.

To make myself feel better, I will likely go on categorizing these comments as, "Things I say when I'm trying to be nice." instead of "Lies I tell when I have no idea what someone is going through."

Meanwhile, if anyone can point out this "glow" and provide some identifying traits - I'd be oh so grateful. Extricating one lie from my repertoire would be a start.

Then we can get to big fat lies like, "Wow! You're turning 40? I'd have guessed you were 30!" and "Your dog is so cute - you don't even notice the bald spot on his hiney!"

I'm realizing now that I should have prefaced this post with, "I'm also not nice."


  1. Yeah, I've never seen it either. Looked for it while I was pregnant, even -- nope. I did, however, get called out in front of the church pageant performers during their rehearsal *before* I'd announced the good news by a woman who could "just tell". So it might be this "glow" is actually code for "super-tired and openly hostile", and it's not such a nice thing at all. Less is more, Finny - just congratulate them wildly and go out on a high note. Showmanship!

  2. Oh, and p.s.: Not nice? You are too! This kind of lie is akin to a victimless crime. Victimless, I say!

  3. I've been told I've had "the glow" before but I didn't notice it on myself. Sometimes pregnant women's complexions clear up, maybe that's the glow -- no zits and blemishes??

  4. Or maybe it's the joy within a pregnant woman that some see (?). I loved being pregnant and was always happy when I was. Maybe that shows?

  5. I've seen the 'glow' so to speak. some people just seem to raidate health when they are pregnant. Others like you said, manage to look a couple shades short of death. The glos is not a skin tone ofr something, but a total joie de vivre. I know I felt it sometimes when I was pregnant and other times just existed. LIke you said -what do you say, do you have to say anything and is ti wrong if you lie? whjo's it oging to hurt?

  6. Groan. I've been to those baby showers. It is so insanely uncomfortable. I always wanted to have kids, but circumstance was against it's all sort-of sad. And then things change with friends too, who are all of a sudden too busy to make time for you anymore. Difficult. Did you see the Cathy cartoon I posted recently. There you go.
    Did you see the garden post I did too? I thought you'd like that. She would love your sweet peas :)

  7. Nope I don't see the glow. I've had friends who can't stop smiling and keep rubbing their bellies, so I can guess they're pregnant. But no glow. Though I have seen one friend look deathly ill. 4 months of all day sickness = blood shot eyes, pale skin, exhausted looking, she definately did not glow. I felt so bad for her.

  8. Ok, I'm going to be a dork here, but I always thought this glow thing was a bunch of steaming BS so I Googled it (I told you I'm a dork). That's when I discovered there's actually a SCIENTIFIC reason for it. Apparently blood flow increases like 50% in pregnant women, or something like that, which supposedly accounts for "the glow." I've never seen it myself on any of my pregnant friends, nor have I ever SAID it to any of them, because I have no real idea what it's supposed to mean.

    But please, write more posts like this one. I was laughing almost incontrollably. You're like the female version of Bill Bryson.

  9. Well, I just went through the pregnancy game, and I personally think the 'glow' is oil. Yes, upon becoming pregnant I promptly developed the skin of a 13 year old again. I glowed all right, straight into my face-blotting papers. So powder those noses gals, and while your at it, fix your lipstick that was goofed whilst puking in the company bathroom.

  10. As always, Finny, your writing cracks me up. Hell, even the comments over here are hysterical. : )

    P.S. I LOVE your dog.

  11. Don't worry. Finny is making me enchiladas tonight. I'll glow.


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