Thursday, 21 February 2008

A weighty issue...



Americans generally avoid talking to one another about weight.  Its a touchy subject for us.  We don't want to make people feel bad by telling them they've gained weight, and we often don't even tell people when we've noticed they've lost weight because that would be insinuating that they used to be fat, which is quite a backhanded compliment.  Turks, on the other hand, LOVE to talk about weight.  It's one of their favorite subjects.  This is one place our cultures clash.

Take, for instance, the nine months I was pregnant with Marie.  First of all, you have to understand that I'm not one of those pregnant people (like my sister in law Sara) who look like a supermodel the entire nine months, having nothing but a cute little pregnant belly on their small frame.  No, the second I find out I'm pregnant I gain 10 pounds.  I then continue to swell and gain weight from my water retaining toes to my fat face.  When I'm pregnant, I am not just carrying the baby in my belly, it's as if my entire body is carrying another body inside of it.  And Turks notice.  They don't just notice, they let me know they notice.  Here is a small smattering of the MANY comments people made to me during my pregnancy.
 
It starts off small, "Wow Jamie! You're really gaining weight! It's obvious that you're pregnant."Have you ever felt like crying over a little thing?  Because I have...

As the months progress so do the comments, "Jamie, you've gained a lot of weight.  You're HUGE!  Do you think you'll be able to lose that after the baby comes?" Have you ever wanted to crawl into a little hole and hide?  Because I have... o wait, did I say little hole, because according to my friend who made that comment I would need a very large hole to crawl into...

But wait, it gets worse.  As the months progressed my size did too.  James, who never seems to gain or lose weight at all, would stand beside me and just look thinner than usual.  It's not that he actually got thinner, it's just that being next to me made him look thinner.  People noticed this as well, "James, you're wife isn't feeding you anymore.  You're wasting away!  Look at her... she should stop eating all the food and look after her husband a little bit!"  Have you ever really really wanted to punch someone in the face?  Because I have...

I could go on, but just know that these three comments represent the types of things I heard every time I went out of the house.  And its not just pregnancy.  This is a subject that people bring up all the time.  It didn't end after I had the baby.  Just a couple days ago my friend commented, "Jamie, you've lost a lot of weight.  Wow!  You look so much better when you're not fat."  Then to another friend, "Don't you think Jamie looks better when she's not fat?"  Ah, they sure do know how to give a compliment around here, don't they?  

While writing this I realized that I've always been on this side of the ocean while I've been pregnant.  I am tempted to show you all a picture of me pregnant, but I'm not sure I can do it... yes... no, I can't... yes... no..well...okay, here it goes (covering eyes with my hand)...


I'm such a chicken that I only gave you a picture of me from the front... I might as well show you what I really looked like...

Here it is... Or most of it.  This is half of pregnant me just a few days before I delivered Marie.  I can't believe I'm showing it to you.

1 comment:

TnT said...

i can't see any picture! and after your hilarious story- i am dying to see it. that is so funny. i am cracking up out loud. poor jamie-- good thing you have a good sense of humor.

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