Thursday, 26 January 2012

3 Things You Should Never Say To A Pregnant Woman

I had a rough pregnancy. Some of you know that, and some of you don’t, but unless you’ve ever witnessed a truly horrific pregnancy (or been unfortunate enough to experience it) you don’t really know it. 

I’m not talking about those pregnancies where the unfortunate mother is hospitalised. That is certainly one kind of horrific and I’m not suggesting it isn’t. It’s just not the kind I’m talking about.  

The kind I’m talking about is the lesser known kind. The kind where every minute of every hour of every day of the better part of nine months is sheer misery. Where getting out of bed becomes almost (or not so almost) an impossibility and shuffling down the hall to the toilet an act of torture and you can’t get in and out of the shower without assistance. Where you can’t pick up a glass or read a book or cut your meat because of the damned pregnancy related carpal tunnel in your hands and it doesn’t matter if you sit, stand, walk or lie down, something (or everything) hurts and getting to the end of the day is no relief at all because you can’t bloody sleep, owing to the fact you can’t lie on your back or your stomach and half an hour on one hip is enough for the damn thing to seize up and inflict sweet excruciating agony.

I had a few things said to me by unwise – or, to be blunt, just plain stupid – people. So here is the Idiot’s Guide on what not to say to a pregnant woman. Ever. That’s E-V-E-R. Did you get that?

  • You chose to be pregnant – No, actually, she probably didn’t (even assuming the pregnancy was planned). What she chose was to have children. Unfortunately, getting those children means the woman has to get pregnant. No choice involved. Funnily enough the man’s choice to have children does not involve getting pregnant. Lucky him. If we could choose, we’d definitely choose the man to get pregnant. Hands down, every time. So don’t tell me I had a freaking choice.
  • Think about the miracle of the life you are creating – This really doesn’t make you feel any better. It doesn’t make it any easier to get through the next minute, hour, day and whatever you’ve got left of those nine months. It doesn’t put your hips back together afterwards. You hear women say they’d like to get their figure back after pregnancy. I’d settle for having my back the way it was and not freaking out every time I get a strange twinge in a finger.  Funnily enough, I noticed this comment was only ever made by men. I can’t imagine why!
  • You’ve been pregnant forever – She knows this. Her forever feels a damn sight longer than your forever. She doesn’t need you to tell her.
Any one of the above is liable to get you attacked by the pregnant woman in question. If you’re lucky, you’ll merely be savaged verbally by the hormonal, mood-swinging feral beast she has become. If you’re unlucky, she’ll take your head off with a half-brick in a sock. Whether you’re lucky or unlucky may depend on whether you’re the first or the hundred and first to make that comment to her. Today. 

So tread wisely…

Thursday, 12 January 2012

3 Ill-Advised Ways To Make Your Wedding Memorable

We all want our wedding to be memorable. There are many ways to achieve such an outcome. Some are good. Some… not so much. Like the difference between famous and infamous. Here are three ways I recently witnessed in a wedding my family will never forget… 
  1. Reading from Hell - Have your new mother-in-law do a reading at the service about how a wife should be obedient to her husband and the husband should respect his wife even though she is a the weaker partner. If you are the bride, I don’t expect your husband will be getting lucky any time soon. In the instance I witnessed, it was the groom’s mother-in-law. Her reading, while delivered in a completely reasonable tone, was accompanied by a stern look threatening to rain hellfire and brimstone on any woman who was not an obedient wife.

    This is a sure way to have at least one side of the church punctuated by exclamations of ‘What the - !’ and ‘Did she really say that?’ as you take your vows. Ah, sweet memories.

  2. Live Music - You would think it would be difficult to take the cake from the fire and brimstone reading, but no… Have your mother-in-law sing at your wedding service! Of course, if your mother-in-law is someone as talented as, say, BeyoncĂ©, this may make a fantastic impression. Alas, in this case the mother-in-law was untalented and painfully unschooled. I am sure there wasn’t even a whisker of karaoke experience there. Coupled with what appeared to be a complete lack of preparation or rehearsal. Shania Twain, forgive us, it was a truly awful rendition of ‘From This Moment’.y family being what it is, though, my aunt has now fervently promised her son she will be performing at his wedding. I suggested a little rehearsal might be in order, to which the response was an airy dismissal and the assertion ‘Who needs practice? I’m tone-deaf, too, but that doesn’t matter!’ Another unforgettable moment.
  3. Speeches - Don’t forget to add the icing to the cake by having your mother-in-law do a speech at your wedding reception. This speech should be filled with stern marital advice and concluded by your father-in-law hoping for more grandchildren, at which point your mother-in-law must seize the microphone and shout ‘NOT YET!’. Your father-in-law will add the finishing touches to your mortification by advising the guests it is now permitted for you and your new spouse to have sex.
This was undeniably an unforgettable wedding. I confess I wanted an unforgettable wedding. However, I think few of us want their wedding to be the butt of family jokes from their wedding day into eternity. 

If you want an unforgettable wedding, have the bride wear red. It’s far less embarrassing. And if anything like the above happens, it’s possible the guests won’t notice the red in your face for the red in her dress. 

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