Life happens: Can't touch this?

By Aprill Brandon
Dec. 19, 2013 at 6:19 a.m.

Here's a fun trivia game. Want to guess how many times I've gotten up to pee while typing this sentence?


OK, OK, maybe I'm exaggerating a little. But only a little. Luckily, I'm a pretty fast typist, or it could have been true. Seriously, as if my constant snarting wasn't bad enough (sneezing and farting at the same time), I now have to worry about wetting myself any time I do something more taxing than breathing (and sometimes, even then, it's touch and go for a bit).

Yes, I have officially crossed into "Nothing About You Is Sexy Anymore" territory, also known as (cue dramatic music) the third trimester. And that's not me being self-deprecating. That's just being honest. I imagine from an evolutionary standpoint, the grossness of pregnant women at this stage is to keep potential predators away since said woman wouldn't be able to waddle up a tree to safety very quickly.

Lion 1: "See that pregnant woman over there?"

Lion 2: "Yeah."

Lion 1: "Should we eat her?"

Pregnant woman: "... (burp) ... (fart) ... (snart) ... (sobbing uncontrollably) ..."

Lion 2: "No, no, let's just go, man."

For example, my formerly cute little basketball belly is now an unwieldy giant sphere-like object that is constantly covered in food or dust or whatever else I happened to unknowingly rub it up against (stunned strangers in restaurants included).

I now breathe like an old man who has smoked three packs a day for 67 years just from the effort of getting up off the couch (old man grunt included). As the temperatures get colder with each passing day, I get hotter, making for a nice permanent state of being in which I am always covered in sweat. (Whoa, calm down, fellas. I am already taken.)

And, of course, there is the drooling, the cankles, the giant Hobbit feet, the sausage fingers, the snoring and the eating like a linebacker. Lucky guy, that husband of mine.

Lucky, lucky guy.

All these changes got me to thinking though. Perhaps all of the above is why I have yet to experience one of the most common annoyances of pregnancy. As embarrassed as I am to admit it this late in the game, I have to confess that I have yet to have a random person come up and touch my pregnant belly.

No big deal, right? Except I kind of feel like it is. Because from the second I peed on that stick, all any woman wanted to talk about was how infuriating it was when people came up to touch their belly. I mean, these ladies made it sound like their swollen stomach was the Justin Bieber of baby bumps, with giant crowds of people swarming around them, unable to resist touching that sacred bubble of baby (and pent-up farts). So naturally, as soon as I started showing, I envisioned that the same thing would happen to me.

Only no one has touched it yet. On the subway, they'll offer me their seat, but keep their hands politely to themselves. In crowded stores, they'll say "no problem" when I apologize for bumping into them with my bump but then throw their hands up to let me pass unmolested. While walking down the street, they'll treat me just like everyone else walking the street.

So, I'm starting to take it personally.

I mean, what? My belly isn't good enough for you to touch? My baby isn't cute enough in utero to warrant even a few seconds of unsolicited awkward touching? Is it because I'm so sweaty? Because let me tell you, a lot of pregnant women are sweaty. And they still get accosted on the street.

Come on, people. I'm a humorist. I make my living by finding humor in the small things of life and writing about them. So if you don't touch my belly inappropriately, I have nothing to write about.

And me and my baby will starve.

So be a buddy, huh? Rub my belly without asking and while preferably saying something creepy, like "He's got such a strong life force."

I promise I probably won't even punch you (unless I thought it would make for a funnier column).

Aprill Brandon is a columnist for the Advocate. Her column runs every two weeks in the Your Life section. Comment on this story at



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