Last night, I went to a leaving drinks party with my ex-co-workers from the company I worked for up until November last year.
My wonderful ex-boss has resigned and is moving on to greener pastures. He was such a wonderful executive that there were many, many people attending last night, both current and non-current employees. It was such a great reunion and I was there until midnight (that’s late for me nowadays).
As I’m four months pregnant and being quite short – you can easily see that I’m pregnant – so of course there was much congratulations as soon as people saw me. But another interesting phenomenon, especially as the night progressed and people were on to their 4th glass of wine, was that my stomach became a free for all and everyone, men especially, had no qualms about touching, stroking and even poking it!
I’ll be honest, it didn’t highly offend me. However, if a close friend of mine did this, I probably wouldn’t think twice, but some of these people last night I hadn’t seen for over a year and let’s be brutally honest, aside from being a Facebook “friend” I probably won’t ever see these people again.
I have never felt the urge to touch a person’s stomach when they are an acquaintance or an ex-work colleague because, just for example’s sake, they have put on a few pounds. The only real acceptable places to touch another person who you are not very familiar with, is really, hands, arms, slight brush of the cheek (with the air kisses) and the top of the back. When did the stomach get added to this list? Granted, the stomach wouldn’t be there if I wasn’t pregnant – but it just feels so odd. Just like a really close talker – you just feel a little uncomfortable and just want to back away to create some space.
I kept jumping when someone went for the stomach for the first time and there were three repeat offenders. Two of my ex-colleagues have become very good friends of mine and by the end of the night; they noticed the touching and started telling people in a half-joking way to back away from the stomach…. amusing.
Considering that I only have a small bump, I wonder if this free for all is only going to get worse? Anyone else experienced this? How does it make you feel? Does it bother you, or are you offended? I would love to know.