Yesterday I was killing time before I caught up with some friends by window-shopping in a rather posh area (sample conversation: saleswoman says, "If you want really comfortable boots, you should try Diane von Furstenburg, these are just lovely!" I try very hard to look like someone who doesn't buy most of their shoes for under $100) and, txting and listening to music and generally not paying attention, I wandered into a nice shop.
All the clothes seemed a little bit odd. Nice, but weirdly cut. I was holding a top up against myself in the mirror and trying to figure out what was wrong with it when the saleslady came over.
It was at the exact moment I realised why everything looked so weird that she asked perkily, "So how far along are you?"
I had gone into a maternity shop by accident. Oh God.
There were any number of reasonable-ish things I could have said (obviously "I wasn't paying attention and somehow failed to notice this was a maternity store" wasn't an option).
I could've said my sister was pregnant and I was looking for a gift.
I could've said I was doing costume research for a play where the lead character is pregnant. (Pretentious, but acceptable.)
I could even have said I wasn't pregnant, just getting a bit fat and really liked the maternity style. It would have been ridiculous but at least the saleslady would have retreated and I could've slunk out.
But no. I panicked and said, "15 weeks!" And suddenly I was pregnant.
Then, of course, we had to have a conversation about morning sickness - "More like all day sickness, am I right?" - and whether or not we're going to find out the sex of the baby.
I'm sure you'll all be pleased to know that actually, we're going to keep it as a surprise! My partner wanted to find out (where did this random detail come from?) but I put my foot down because, well, it's more exciting to not know, isn't it?
I was babbling. It's amazing that I didn't end up buying anything.
She even asked if it was my first child and oh my goodness, yes it was! Cue proud but nervous expectant mother smile. Of course it's my first child DO I LOOK LIKE I HAVE CHILDREN TO YOU, LADY?
(Apparently the answer to that is 'yes' - I was hanging out with a friend who has a child the other day, and it's amazing how many people assume that you are mother of said child and frown at you/smile indulgently just because the child has taken all the sugar packets off all the other tables in the cafes and brought them to you for inspection. "Oh sorry, we're starting him early on a life of crime.")
And then when I left I turned around and looked at the window and it was full of pregnant mannequins which I had somehow TOTALLY managed to avoid seeing.