Certain people freak out over the idea of pregnant women doing pretty much everything, from running to eating deli meats. Those same people will insist that drinking any alcohol while you have a baby bump is the ultimate no-no. The collective intention, I imagine, is all about the health and safety of the baby. So, I guess I shouldn’t have been shocked when I got the hardest side-eye ever when, at 6-months-pregnant, I waddled through the grocery store holding a case of beer.
It had been a long day at work and the weather reports were calling for a Nor’easter to hit our state sometime overnight. On my 30-minute commute home, I called my husband and asked him what, if anything, we needed from the grocery store in case we got snowed in the following day. He listed off the usual stuff like milk, bread, snacks for the kids — and oh, could I please pick up a six-pack? My husband was out and the roads would be too dangerous to drive on soon, so I said, “Sure, of course I can.”
I pulled into the parking lot, circled a few times to get a spot as close to the entrance as possible — because, hello, I’m HUGE. I got out, grabbed a cart, and started waddling my way up and down the familiar aisles of the grocery store. I grabbed everything on my list and was headed toward the checkout as thoughts of renting RedBox videos played on a loop in my head.
At the checkout, I pulled everything out of the cart and piled it all high on the black belt that draws the groceries closer to the cashier. I had this annoying feeling that I was forgetting something, but I couldn’t think of what it was. The registered dinged a total and I slid my card through the machine, punched in some numbers, and BAM, I remembered what I forgot: my husband’s beer.
Not being one to hold up a line, I finished paying and asked if I could have my bags sit out of the way as I forgot one quick thing and would run and get it, get back in line, and be on my way. These people know me. I stop in here several times a week. I trusted that they would watch my loot and they trusted — I think — that I wasn’t some loon being intentionally difficult.
I quickly weaved my way to the beer aisle and searched high and low for a six-pack of glass bottles of beer, the brand my husband likes to drink on weekends or when nature threatens us with a snow day. They were out; all they had was cans of brands I knew he wouldn’t drink. But, I was in luck, there was a case of his beer. Because I’m cheap AF, I couldn’t help but notice that the unit price for the case was less than that of the six-pack, so I was excited because really, I was about to get a sweet deal.
I leaned forward, my belly pressed up against the shelf lining of price tags, and I hauled out the case of beer. I stood there awkwardly trying to balance this sucker on my left hip the way I would balance my child, and I slowly waddled my way back to the checkout where my bags of groceries were waiting.
And Oh. My. God. If looks could kill. Not a single person that I passed missed the opportunity to drop a jaw, hiss an inward gasp, or utter a whisper, “Holy sh*t, is she really buying beer? IN THAT CONDITION?!”
I got to the checkout, slammed the heavy case of beer down onto the belt a little louder than I intended to and looked up to see a red-faced checkout lady giving me the hardest stare I’ve ever seen in my life.
“Are you serious?! You cannot seriously be buying that case of beer. Honey, do you want your kid to born with no brain or are you that stupid?”
I was a flabbergasted. Who talks to anyone like that?!
I meant to say: “I don’t mean to be rude, but for starters, this is not my beer, thankyouverymuch, and secondly, this is none of your business.” But instead, I just stammered and cried like a hormonal pregnant lady standing in a checkout line being humiliated by a total stranger. So, ugly crying replete with snot and sobs. Yep. Not my proudest moment.
I pulled myself together, explained that I was buying the beer for my husband because he wouldn’t be able to get to a store with this storm coming and letting them know they were out of the six-packs, because at this point I was so embarrassed I simply couldn’t shut up.
The next day we did get snowed in. A week later, while on my way home, I called my husband and asked him if we needed anything from the store. “Can you grab me some beer?”
I hung up on him.