Saturday, January 29, 2011

Designers Don't Do Bellies

The scene: Interior Design Show 2011
The location: Toronto, ON

When I read the article in the Toronto Star billing the opening night party as the "hottest" event in Toronto, I knew I was in trouble. Granted it was on a trade show floor in the middle of the city's financial district; sure, it was Thursday and no truly "hot" event takes place on a Thursday; and did I mention it took place on a trade show floor? Anyway, I knew I was in for an interesting evening before I even stepped into the hall.

It'd already been a long day by the time we arrived - around 8 p.m. I'd taken a 7:30 a.m. flight that morning, traveled out to a job site and karate chopped through a dozed emails, so needless to say when I began sipping that cran & 7, I could have easily sucked down a bottle of vodka.

At the base of the escalator, a line wrapped around the 1st level floor, closely resembling nightmarish scenes from the airport during the holidays. Except the people in this queue were donned in crisp Italian shirts, thigh-high boots and mini skirts rather than bulky winter wear.

"Oh my GOD!" said a guy in a striped pink and purple shirt to his scantily clad female counterpart. "Can you even BELIEVE Marco wore that vest again this year?"

We managed to circumvent any further painful conversations in the line and found an alternative entrance into the techno-pumping party. Passing countless flutes of champagne, stations serving raw oysters and more thick-framed eye glasses than I could count, we finally made our way to the booth. The fancy booth that one second place for superior design. At the trade show. Don't forget, it is a TRADE SHOW.

The minute I shed my protective garb, it began. I could just hear Tim Gund shouting "designers" in the back of my head as I watched the eyes start at eye level and work their way down. When their eyes once again met mine, it wasn't the warm, generous smile you normally receive from strangers, but more of a faint wince. Some might as well have been shouting "breeder!" Others clearly disappointed by my comfortable shoe selection for the evening, and a fist punch to the few random mothers who gave that reassuring nod as they passed.

Remember you pretentious a*holes, you're at a TRADE SHOW. Anyway, the evening passed quickly and I was fortunate enough to only have to spend a few hours the next day on my feet at the show. I love my clients, I love Toronto and it was LAST work trip (via airplane) so all in all, it was a great experience. Plus, I found a new lamp for BG's room! :) HA!

Friday, January 21, 2011

He Tried to Give Me a MINIVAN.

There's something about that aura women get when they're pregnant. That radiant, healthy glow that follows them around, disguising the fact that they haven't been able to sleep for days, their backs feel like they could give out at any time and that the only place they really feel like hanging out at is an Old Town Buffet.

That being said, Tuesday morning was a fiasco. A business meeting in Cincinnati required an early start to the day, shoving myself and child into a skirt suit that made us both fight for breath - quite a departure from the relaxing jeans we're accustomed to sporting. That, coupled with an early morning flight and a pair of panty hose from hell, and we're off to the motherland.

Upon arriving in Port Columbus, we made our way over to the car rental place. Rentals were strangely hard to come by on this random Tuesday in January, so I'd secured an SUV--the only decent available option. The attendant calls next and I give him my name to retrieve the reservation. He types in the information and looks back at me.

"We have a mini van available, ma'am."

A MINI VAN. Oh HELL no he DIDN'T just ask me if I wanted a mini van. Mister, I'm six months pregnant. Do you see any snot-nosed brats running around me yet? Is there spit up anywhere on my suit? Even bags under my eyes? I don't think so.

It took every bit of phat girl restraint inside me not to go off on this poor, naive little guy. He didn't know any better. He didn't realize his words were like shotgun bullets coming at me in several pieces from one direction. Obviously not a father, obviously not thinking, let it go, phat girl, let it go.

"I just can't do that yet, sir."

He laughed. I breathed. He pushed some more buttons.

"Would a Lincoln work better for you?"

"Yes. Yes, it does."

Sunday, January 16, 2011

We've Gotta Get WHAT?

They sit you down at the nice desk with a cute little old lady who you're convinced will be handing over cookies before too long. She asks you the normal questions and gets almost teary when she starts talking about the "gift" you've been given and what an exciting time it is in your lives. She obviously has blocked out the memories of sleepless nights, incessant heartburn and persistent nausea. We smile and nod politely.

The Hubs asks for a beer. I want the gun. Let's get this party started, hunny.

Excited to begin the quest and start giving form to our new life, we make our way to the stroller and car seat section. With price tags ranging from $400 to $1k on the three and four-wheeled varieties, visions of those romantic dinners out and impromptu 3-day trips become increasingly faint, kind of like Michael J. Fox's family in the picture he references throughout Back to the Future.

Our "personal shopper" joins us with another expecting couple who seem to be as clueless as us. Face filled with holes from random piercings around his lips, nose and ears, he begins telling us what we'll "need." This includes THREE different car seats by the time the kid is 8. THREE. However, the hubs astutely discerned that we'll be able to skip one of these units if we can get BG (baby girl) to 20 lbs by the time she's one - so of course we're on a course to fatten her like fois gras before she's even born.

Then there are the strollers. You can get "jogging" strollers and "snap and goes," upright Stokke strollers and the lesser recommended Graco strollers. Regardless, he advises getting two of these bad boys too - one for the car, one for city cruising. We're stuck in this section for two hours before we can even progress to the next section. I start feeling nauseous. The hubs really wants a beer.

Then there's the baby entertainment centers. Shocking they don't come equipped with wide screen plasmas at this point, but these are undoubtedly right around the corner. This little pod will likely send your kid to outer space if you put enough quarters in it.

So we made it. We ingested enough information to require a three-hour nap at the end of the trip, and we may have emerged with a mere five items on our registry after four hours in the store, but we made it. We made it right to the restaurant down the street where the hubs shed a few tears in his beer and we consumed every bite of the most expensive items on the menu. With dessert.

Monday, January 3, 2011

I am not a kernel of corn and I will not POP.

There are so many funny, wonderful and random things that happen when you're pregnant. Then there are so many people you come across that you want to punch in the face. I seem to be gravitating toward many of the latter, so I figure that if I don't document these lovely encounters, I'll forget all about them and the journey that brought us to this wonderful little face that we'll be seeing for the first time in April. This is also for the wonderful woman who yesterday advised that the women who go on and on about how they were just "meant" to be pregnant and how their bodies feel so complete now that they have a baby growing inside them are full of shit. I'm not saying it's not a wonderful experience, I feel very blessed because I know the little one is going to be rad, but it doesn't replace the fact that I feel like I'm auditioning for "Alien."

That being said, I'll start this blog with a vent. This vent is directed to the three people who, in the past two weeks, have made the comment that I look like I'm going to "pop."

First things first, people. Each of you proceeded this comment with an inquiry as to my due date. I told you I am due in April - which means I HAVE FOUR MONTHS of looking this way. In fact, chances are pretty darn good that I'll be getting even bigger! I'll be registering about 9 on the "pop-ter" scale around late March - just watch out.

Second, when I "have" the baby, in no way can or will it be qualified as "popping." Enough said.

Third, let me be the first to tell you that it looks just how it feels. You think my belly is "popping," just imagine how my back feels, jerks.