Conception Is Contagious: Riding The Pregnancy Wave At Work (Monday)

It’s especially tough dealing with infertility when you work at a place chockfull of child-bearing age females. (Having coworkers who are going through menopause is okay as long as you don’t let them sit near the thermostat. A girlfriend of mine was asked to heavily incorporate “menopause” into her stand-up act at a women’s health conference.  Instead of writing all new material, she did her usual act, adding after every joke: “Is it hot in here or is it just me?”)   At work, it seems that some fertile chippy always starts that pregnancy wave going. You could work there for two years and no babies. Then all of a sudden, every Monday someone else comes in and says: “Guess what?” or even worse: “Did you hear who’s pregnant? Oh that’s last week’s news. I’m talking about who else is pregnant.”

You long for the good old days when someone would come in on a Monday bursting with: “Guess which manager I saw drunk doing karaoke by himself in a parking lot two blocks away from the bar?!”

 But once that pregnancy wave starts at work, the Monday morning scenarios continue to spiral downward. If you happen to work with a woman from one of the lower echelons, she may follow her new pregnancy announcement with the ceremonially lifting up of her shirt so you can take a peek at her expanding belly button ring. Then far worse things take place.

Suddenly there are no bosses or employees; no supervisors or underlings. Only old mommies and new mommies. Those who hated each other’s guts up until and including last Friday at 5 PM start bonding. (They all have morning sickness, and I’m the only one retching at my desk.)

Instead of reading Cosmo (which probably contributed to their predicament), mommy magazines and “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” are being shared.  So beautiful. Like one big sixties commune with sisterly love in the air instead of the smell of weed. (Which for some reason always smells like burning pork to me.)

I’m never sure if people are thoughtless or just oblivious to the fact that everyone might not be overjoyed to hear their pregnancy news and baby talk. I really think it’s the latter.

Truth be told, if I’m excited about something that’s happening to me, I’ll run to tell you, totally unimpeded by the fact that I know you won’t care at all.  I’d like for you to be excited for me, but if you’re not, I’ll just move on and keep telling people until I find someone who is.

My list usually proceeds in the following descending order: Husband, sister, sister-in-law, close friends, semi-friends, people I see every day whose names I don’t know, people who wouldn’t recognize me without pigtails and missing front teeth, and celebrities on twitter.

If I still find no takers, that’s okay. The news will come full circle back to me and I’ll be excited for myself all over again.

Worse than the weekly new pregnancy announcements were the knowing looks in my direction that followed each one:  “So what about you? Huh, huh?” Nudge nudge, wink wink, elbow elbow.

Or questions like: “How long have you been married now?” “Three years and a week.” “How long have you been married now?” “Three years and a week and a half.” Believing that conception is contagious, I found myself hanging around the impregnatas all day. Why not? When they had the flu I always caught it.

My plan was fool-proof. Sure I was stalking these women. Let me be clear: Stalking’s not okay. But snacking and stalking are socially acceptable.

A preggo would have a sandwich in the kitchen. I’d have a sandwich and fries in the kitchen. They’d have a mid-morning yogurt at their cubicle, I’d have a mid-morning box of Dunkin’ munchkins at their cubicle. They’d run down to the ice cream truck, I’d ask them to get me something. (Was it wrong for me not to offer to go… or give any money?)

They were eating for two and so was I.   I had myself and my bitter hatred to feed.

Listen, I gotta go. I bought myself a Scooby Doo bouncy tent for the backyard and the guy’s here to inflate it. I’ll talk to you tomorrow.