So there I was, chief (only) salesperson in a lovely furniture store. A charming couple came in looking for some stuff for their recently renovated home.

I congratulated her on the (it was so obvious) upcoming birth of their child … and she said “Don, I really do need to go on a diet.”

I thought I would die of embarrassment. All my attempts at apology just made things worse.


But the most humiliating part of the experience — a cautionary tale for anyone who might ever find themselves in a similar situation — was that these were such sweet, non-judgmental people. They bought thousands of dollars of furniture (I worked on commission, so it was a paycheck for me) and apparently didn’t hold it against me.

I held it against me. I still do. That was awful. More than 26 years ago — right before we got married — I still am very wary of making assumptions based on something I think is obvious. Obviously wrong. Never assume you know something unless you really know something.


NOTE: Speaking of embarrassing, the Daily Post is not accepting pingbacks again. Software strikes again!

Categories: Humor

Tags: , , ,

34 replies

  1. Nobody ever looks at my gut and assumes I’m pregnant. Maybe I just need to eat more…


  2. Yeeks! I generally just keep my mouth shut. About everything. Just in case.


  3. I hate how those types of incidents can stay with you forever. When left by myself too long, old cringeworthy memories come to the surface.
    I don’t care how pregnant someone looks…I won’t mention anything until there’s confirmation. On the other hand though if you don’t acknowledge someone’s pregnancy they might think you’re cold. Can’t win!


    • I think, over all, I’d rather be thought cold than have to extract my foot from my mouth. Life is full of cringe-worthy moments which tend to pop up late at night when I’m trying to sleep. Ugh.


      • Yeah, I think I agree it’s better to be possibly cold.
        To prevent future cringe-worthy moments I’ve considered never leaving the home again or speaking another word. The internet though will give me ample opportunity for new-age embarrassment.

        Maybe they’ll make a pill for that one day. “Do you suffer from cringe-worthy moments from the past?”


  4. oh what an awful moment that must have been.


  5. I think we’ve all done that at one time or another, or something very similar. And then there’s the other side – I remember being pregnant with my first child and when I finally started to show, I went out and bought the cutest maternity clothes, which I proudly began wearing to work. A number of my co-workers obviously wanted to ask, but were afraid to jump to conclusions, so I’d get comments like, “Oh that’s a really cute top …” and they’d sort of wave their hands towards their own mid-section in hopes I would jump in with “the news.”


  6. Oh, such very wise words, Marilyn: “Never assume you know something unless you really know something.”


    • My father used to say “It’s not what you don’t know that’s a problem. It’s what you DO know that’s wrong.” He wasn’t a particularly wise man, but that has turned out to be a bit of good folk wisdom.


  7. I wanted to write a post about the embarrassment of encouraging pingbacks on such topic when they don’t work, but I figured it wouldn’t go anywhere 😀


  8. I have learnt to bite my tongue about asking a women how far along she is. I just look and say nothing. I have had the same thing asked of me at my heaviest and it is very embarrassing on both sides. I have since lost the weight.


    • It wasn’t just weight. It was all up front, so it REALLY looked like a pregnancy and a rather advanced one. I mean, it wasn’t spread around her hips or butt or anything. The rest of her didn’t look fat. I felt like crawling into a hole and pulling a rock over me.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. My most recent “Big Oops” was a colleague of mine in the chamber music society attended a function with, who I thought was, his mother.., but noooo, it was his wife.., Oops


    • Yeah, that’s a bad feeling and you just know that anything you try to say to make it better will NOT make it better. Oh, there’s a book in the mail for you. I know, finally. Sometimes, I’m a bit slow.


      • amazingly he remains a friend and his “wife” doesn’t hate me.., it’s just that she looked so kinda matronly and dumpy as compared to him. She seemed more motherly than wife like. But you’re right there was nothing to say after that, but I did apologize to him. His response indicated that he’d been through it before, so no hard feelings.., I’m still embarrassed though.


  10. WordPress is not accepting anything today. I just did the Discover Challenge and my ping back is not pinging. Perhaps they do it on purpose to make sure we are paying attention.
    We have good friends and the lady was expecting. I met her in a store and asked how long. She said it was a boy born a week before. How should I know, she was wearing the same coat that she wore when she was pregnant.


    • Well, that, at least is understandable. It takes a while to shrink after birth. Took me about 3 weeks, but I was only 22. If I’d been older, I’d probably still look pregnant 🙂

      WordPress keeps messing with the software. Usually, WE get bitten. This time, they bit themselves.


  11. I”ve done that too. Don’t you just want to bite your tongue?


  12. how embarrassing, lol. I used to do craft shows and even though I was skinny I liked a loose fitting top, for comfort. One woman did actually ask me when I was expecting. I wasn’t paying close attention, and didnt connect what she said. I looked at her. “Expecting what?” and she went bright red. “Oh”, she said,” I am SO sorry for your loss.” and she fled.

    her face said, oh the poor thing she is in deep denial, I can see that…


    Best not to let it get to you, it happens a lot. The one thing I do hate is seeing total strangers somehow giving themselves permission to pat a pregnant woman’s belly. Who asked them?


    • My only defense is that I really meant well. And she looked really pregnant with the big belly and the rest of her more or less normal. I’ve never seen fat carried quite like that. Now, I wait until I have some kind of information to work with. Once was enough.

      I think I was pregnant before it was “cool” to go patting a strangers belly. I might have done anyone who did that physical damage.


  13. Omgosh, that is my worst nightmare! I saw a woman the other day who I almost said the same thing, but I stopped myself…just in case lol. I can only imagine how you feel.


  14. Some of us bigger women carry all of the weight in the belly…I have had similar remarks and you kinda (sadly) get used to it. I’m sure they thought nothing of it and were just into their shopping!

    Liked by 1 person

    • No, I think she was also embarrassed. Aside from the social thing, I would never have knowingly insulted a potential customer! That would just be really stupid.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hey, I made similar mistakes during my working days. Once, I complimented a middle-aged man about his charming daughter. OOPS — she was his wife.
        Second — Complimented the lady who appeared to be with child. Wrongo!! My deep summer tan turned red.
        BTW: The middle-aged guy filed a complaint with the TV station. The lawyers laughed!!


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Tish Farrell

Writer on the Edge



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