I’d like to talk about something close to my heart — literally. The lard baby.
Last week Jennifer Garner – yes, that Jennifer Garner who is able to pull of a seriously crazy Thriller dance imitation in the movie 13 Going on 30 and is married to Ben Affleck – blatantly stated that she has a baby bump… without a baby inside.
Friends, Jennifer Garner has a lard baby, too! She told Ellen Degeneres all about it, summing it up with these words: “I am not pregnant, but I have had three kids and there is a bump,” she explained.
“From now on ladies, I will have a bump. And it will be my baby bump. And let’s just all settle in and get used to it. It’s not going anywhere. I have a bump. Its name is Violet, Sam, Sera.”
I’m not sure there is a way for me to like a person I’ve never met more, but if there is, Jennifer Garner has just paved the way.
I haven’t had to deal with magazine readers scrutinizing my midsection, or bold headlines discussing my fertility. But I have had strangers ask me when I’m due with my next child. The only thing is… I’m not pregnant and we’ve made it medically unlikely that I my uterus will ever again house a rapidly growing tenant.
Perhaps you, too, have experienced that awkward moment when people break the law of never asking a woman when she’s due without visibly seeing her stomach lurch, making it blatantly obvious there’s either an demon-possessed intestinal tract or a fetus fighting for space in that midriff. My lard baby has been celebrated while waiting in line at a Love’s rest stop, in a sporting goods store, at a homeschooling conference… at all of these lovely locations when you’re really not thinking about sucking your gut in.
No one really wants to be on the receiving end of the situation, but it still happens — and what are you supposed to say in response?
I typically try to take the high road and explain to people I had four tenants in my uterus in a space of six years, I love potato chips, and I’m pretty sure I’m allergic to the function of my own sweat glands. I try to smile and encourage them that I’m not upset and lately I’ve been telling myself that (now that I’m nudging 40-years-old with my tippee-toes) it’s a compliment these strangers think I’m young enough to be in the process of replication.
But, my friends, I also feel the need to prepare some creative come backs. If you have any, please leave them in the comments. In the meantime, here are twenty-six clever, tart, and/or hilarious responses to “When Are You Due?” when you aren’t due at all I’ve found (and embellished):
1. “I’m not pregnant, but I just ate a meal the size of an infant hippopotamus.”
2. “I’m actually not pregnant — perhaps that’s just one of the many things you can’t tell by looking at my body’s size and shape.”
3. “Oh no, that’s not a pregnant glow. I’m just super attractive. Thanks for noticing!”
4. “Don’t worry. You’ll be the first to know when it happens because I always tell strangers before family.”
5. “Why? Do I look fat?!”
6. “Actually, I just gave birth…but my body doesn’t realize that yet.”
7. “I don’t have a baby in my tummy. It just looks like I do, thanks for encouraging me to support the Spanx brand.”
8. “I prefer not to talk about that. It’s bad luck.”
9. “My OB once said he never assumes a woman is pregnant until he sees a head coming out. Maybe you should do the same.”
10. “Nope, not pregnant yet, but we are having so much fun practicing! Would you like any tips?”
11. “YES, I am going to have five fat babies and name them all Dave! They shall be known as ‘The Daves’.”
12. “Wow, that’s awkward.”
13. “That’s a rather… personal question, isn’t it? What other personal questions would you like to ask me?”
14. “Oh, enough about me – let’s talk about you! When are going to >insert overly-personal life event here<?!”
15. “I hope not… it means my birth control isn’t working.”
16. “We’ve been trying for so long… (looks away) I think I might be barren.”
17. “Why do you ask?”
18. “Actually I’m infertile. Do you think you’d like to donate your eggs? I could pay you.”
19. “Oh, Heavens, no, I can’t *stand* children!”
20. “My insides are a rocky place where [husband's] seed can find no purchase.”
21. “Not yet, but the night is still young!”
22. “Are you really that interested in what goes on in my bedroom? You don’t look like that type.”
23. “No baby, just fat!”
24. “I am not pregnant, but I will assume you are admiring my lovely glow.”
25. “I’m not pregnant, just wearing a tummy enhancing dress.”
26. “OH MY HEAVENS — WHAT DO YOU KNOW THAT I DON’T?!!!”
Again — I’d love to hear your own comebacks in the comments. Jennifer Garner, the lard babies of the world, and I both thank you.