So, it’s true that we shouldn’t jump to conclusions. God alone knows what is in the heart, and the rest of us should be kind and careful when dealing with
On the other hand, I believe that God takes self-control off the list of symptoms pregnant women have to endure. An angry pregnant woman can do God’s work like no one else can: that is, in a way guaranteed to terrify.
There was the day that I dragged the four-year-old, the three-year-old, the one-year old, and my ludicrously gravid self out of the car to the supermarket. It was hot, we were poor, everyone was crying, and I wondered how we’d even make it through the parking lot, much less through the next eighteen years.
And there it was: the bumper sticker. IF YOU CAN’T FEED ‘EM, DON’T BREED ‘EM. Now, pregnant women have a way of taking everything personally. I remember suffering through my first ever first trimester, leaning against the doorjamb of the bathroom door. Someone, you see, was in the bathroom. But . . . but I needed to go the bathroom! The wild, ragged injustice of it all! My poor husband. Every day was like Wuthering Heights; every night was like the book of Job.
So there I was, already steeped in the tragedy of walking through the parking lot while pregnant, when this poor sucker happens to step out of his car–the car with the bumper sticker. Well, I wasn’t going to let him get away with that. I couldn’t go very fast, but I kept going until I caught up with the unlucky son of a gun inside the store.
“Excuse me,” I said. “Excuse me.”
“Um?” he answered, turning away from the counter, where he was paying his light bill and buying his lotto tickets. Little did he know it, but he had just hit a very unpleasant jackpot of his own: THE ANGRY PREGNANT LADY.“That’s your bumper sticker, right? The ‘If you can’t feed ’em?'”
“Umm . . . yes. Yes, it is,” he said. Equal parts defiance and panic in his voice.
“Okay!” I said. “Now you listen to me! You do not say that! You do not say that about people! People are not animals! You do not talk about people that way! Do you understand what I am saying? That is wrong, and you don’t do that! Do you hear me?” I think I got some spit on him.
Then I made a gesture as if flouncing away in a huff. It actually took me several seconds to make it the whole 180 degrees, and my maternity dress got caught in the cart wheels. But I think the general intention came across.
I’d like to say that he caught up with me in the parking lot and apologized, and said that I’d given him something to think about. Heck, I’d like to say that I’m sure I even said what I think I said, idiotic though it was: for all I know, I was just going, “GA GA GA! BOO BOO BOO!” (I’m trying to convey that I’m not really at my best while pregnant.)
What really happened was . . . nothing at all. Well, the kids stopped crying, anyway, fascinated by the little show Mama put on. The lady behind the counter wouldn’t turn her back to me while processing my electric bill, and she said, “Boy, I won’t mess with you!”
But I’ll admit it: it felt good. It did no good, I’m sure. Maybe it was unjust, unkind, foolish, and counterproductive. But I couldn’t help feeling like I had scored one for our team.
Such a mean, mean bumpersticker! Somebody had to say something, even if it was only “BOO BOO BOO! GA GA GA!”