I have never and will never need to pick up a copy of What to Expect When You’re Expecting. I have, however, felt that I needed to pick up a copy of The Ultimate Soup Cookbook, because soup is pretty much the only thing that won’t anger an already phlegm-coated sore throat, even though I usually just throw my hands in the air in frustration and buy canned soup from Safeway. The soup aisle is right next to the tissue aisle, and I need way more of the latter anyway.
Bearing in mind that I will never know the joys of swollen ankles, tender breasts, cervical mucus plugs, and sneeze-peeing, I am nonetheless definitively able to declare that my swollen nasal passages, tender tonsils, nasal mucus plugs, and sneeze-sneezing totally blow harder, just like my stuffed nose, and allow me to prove it:
1. I Can’t Blame My Partner for My Condition. My mother assured me several zillion times that she would never have had children if my father hadn’t thought it would be sorta fun, and she was usually quick to follow that up with the reminder that after being a week overdue, she was in labor for eighteen hours while my dad was blissfully finishing his hospital rounds, making my existence was totally his fault.
I don’t even have a partner, so I can’t say if I picked up my current affliction from my best friend, my workshop classmates, or the same vengeful gusts of wind that nearly blew me off a mountain trail at 12,700 feet earlier this week. No matter what, this is probably my fault.
2. Even If I Did Have a Partner, I Couldn’t Expect Much Help. Let’s review that whole concept of “it takes two to make a baby.” This means that even if it wasn’t totally your partner’s idea, he was at least 50% responsible for you being less than 100% right now, so he damn well better pitch in accordingly. But since a cold could’ve come from anywhere, even if your partner has spent the better part of the week horking and phlegming all over you in bed, his only sense of obligation to you may be to snottily (heh) wake you up after you finally, finally settled your nasal passages enough to drift off and inform you that you were snoring loudly enough to inhale passing cars.
3. I Don’t Have a Good Excuse for the Bags under My Eyes. The circles under my eyes are spacious enough to fit the contents of a diaper bag, my hair is sticking up in all directions, and my acne runneth rampant. If I go outside like this, people will cross the street to avoid me because they’re afraid I’ll assault them for drug money. If I had this exact same appearance topping a visible bump, people would probably cross the street to pet me and offer advice about getting rest before the baby comes, which I’ll admit is nowhere near as awesome a tribute as drug money.
4. People Look at You Cross-Eyed If You Blame Your Brain Farts on a Cold. Pregnancy hormones are an acceptable excuse for EVERYTHING. Forgot your keys? Oh, you’re pregnant! Locked the car with the keys in the ignition? Dang hormones! Left the stove on during drought season, thus causing the whole state to go up in flames? You know that pregnancy brain! Come up with brilliant statements like, “I forgot my glasses, so I can’t hear you,” then immediately ask for a tissue to do something about the giant dangler trailing from your nose? WTF is wrong with you, sicko?!?
5. I Don’t Automatically Get a Seat on the Bus. If the cold’s gone on long enough and the sleep has been elusive and those car keys still remain locked in the ignition (because we hosts to new life of a viral kind are lower priority for AAA than hosts to new life of a homo sapiens kind), it’s sometimes in our best interests to take the bus. People will get up for a pregnant woman if there are no seats available, but not so much if she’s carrying multiples of another species. And if I try to force my way into a seat by sneezing on another passenger who probably has better coordination than my mucus-addled self, somehow I’m the one who gets kicked off the bus.
6. If I Throw up in a City Trash Can, People Think I’m a Degenerate. Sure, morning sickness sucks, especially if it turns into 24/7/40-weeks sickness, but at least people are sympathetic to that. If I’ve swallowed too much mucus* that refuses to go past my stomach but needs to go somewhere, I get a stern talking-to by Officer Nasty about public intoxication even if I was polite enough not to simply toss my cookies right in the middle of the sidewalk.
*Yes, this is possible. Okay, so I had the flu when I made this remarkable discovery, but I am vastly outnumbered by the armies of Snotopia with this particular cold, so I can totally see it happening again.
7. I Have No Clear End Date in Sight. On average, pregnancy lasts 40 weeks. While that’s approximately three-quarters of a year too long for my liking, it is at least an expected goal for which one can prepare. This cold could go away by the weekend, or my body could decide to make like Ned Stark, declare Winter Is Coming, and go into permanent cold-weather and cold-virus status until April, which it has sometimes been wont to do.
8. My Therapies Aren’t Covered by Insurance. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, insurance companies can no longer kick you off their policies for the shamefully slutty act of getting pregnant because everybody has to have insurance now. Which means that if your insurance policy doesn’t totally suck, you can get all kinds of awesome shit for only a copay at most! Nasal sprays and sleep aids are almost entirely OTC, however, and I have to get the stare-down as I hand over my driver’s license if I want to buy Sudafed because I totally look like Walter White or something. Thanks, Obama!
9. It Isn’t Cute or Funny When I Fart. Okay, farts are hilarious. When it’s a pregnant woman, especially the one who is usually the epitome of ladylike behavior, they are gut-bustingly hilarious in a literal enough way that you can have a fart party, where everyone has a blast! In my current condition, however, all that mucus I’ve been chugging makes for some true foulness erupting from my backside with all of Old Faithful’s inevitability and none of its beauty.
10. I May Be Able to Sip Coffee, Chug Beer, and Eat Sushi… but I Can’t Taste Any of It. And that is TOTALLY NOT FAIR.
Enjoy your taste buds, seats, and societally-approved drunken-without-the-drinking behavior, pregnant ladies. I’ll just be off by my lonesome, fervently hoping my nose stays plugged enough to block the smell of my own gas.
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