Yesterday and today I have been battling an attack of the swollen extremities. My hands have swollen to freak-like proportions. My feet and ankles look like hobbit feet. And the swelling is continuing up my legs. Its reeeeel perty. To combat this cruel trick of nature, I have been trying to get out of my office and walk every hour to get the blood flowing. Yesterday afternoon, I decided the perfect distance to walk would be to the cafe around the corner from my office where it just so happens my favorite cookies are sold.
When I hobbled up to the counter, I asked the nice woman behind the register for a chocolate chip cookie, please. Before she processed my order, she says to me real sweet like, “When are you due, honey?”
“In June,” I said, smiling.
“JUNE?!?!” the woman screeches. “In JUNE? You haven’ twins?”
“Um, no,” I stammer, now blushing. “Just one baby in there. Can I get my cookie?”
The woman stands there for a second, staring at my belly. And then she turns and yells into the back room, “BERTHA! You gots to come see this!”
At this point, students are starting to stare (I work on a college campus) and I’m starting to blush even more. And my feet are getting bigger by the second. And I still don’t have my damn cookie.
Here comes Bertha.
“Bertha, look at this. She’s not havin’ this baby till June and she’s not havin’ twins neither! That’s just one baby!”
Now, Bertha seems to have something resembling a soul and so she says, “June’s not that far away. She’s ’bout right.”
“Nuh uh,” insists the Evil Cookie Withholder. “That’s TWO MORE MONTHS. She’s already huge! Two more months and she won’t be able to move!”
“Uh…can I just get my cookie?” I ask, as politely as my twin-size belly will allow me.
Both women seem to come to their senses for a minute and they give me the most sympathetic smiles they can muster.
“Here you go, Sugar,” says Bertha, handling me a cookie. “You need this cookie. You take it on the house.”
A pity cookie. I was given a pity cookie because I’m so enormous that people think I’m having twins. Under normal circumstances, I would have told those women just where to stick their pity cookie. But the fact is, they’re right. I’m huge and I’ve got two whole months left. I have people calling friends over to point and discuss my size. I’m swelling more than a fat lady at a buffet. These are not normal circumstances.
And so, I took their pity cookie. And I hobbled my way back to my office, thoroughly enjoying ever last crumb.