Thursday, March 08, 2007

"How many times a day do you go to the bathroom?" - complete stranger on elevator

I've found many more strangers talking to me in the past few weeks as I ballooned to an obviously 9-mos pregnant lady.

In Finland, I don't recall a single stranger asking me about my pregnancy or commenting on my belly. In fact, I don't even recall anyone ever getting up on a bus or the metro to give me a seat or anyone ever offering to help me with my bags, etc. But, then again, strangers in Finland don't talk to each other about much in any case.

The oddest question here I've gotten so far is about how many times a day I go to the bathroom. Really. Asked by a total stranger on the elevator. I was leaving the doctor's office and stepped onto the elevator with a bottle of water when a woman who I believe is a drug company rep just thought she'd ask out of curiosity. I really haven't a clue. Zillions? Every 15-30 mins? At least 4 times a night?

Most comments are very friendly and a surprising amount have come from grandfather types who often stop me in the stores. "Oh, when are you due? Is it a boy or girl?" Followed by stories and even pictures of their own grandchildren. Very sweet.

Women are more likely to make observations like "You don't look at all pregnant from behind!" or "You're all baby". Even my doctor couldn't resist the last one. Or, women tend to ask if its a boy or girl and are certain from the shape of my bump that its indeed a boy.

Baggers at the grocery store are eager to help me out to my car. And, today at the garden center a man who happened to park next to me offered to help load the flowers and soil into my trunk. "I don't mean to insult you, but can I lend you a hand?"

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