Things I’m Not

I’m going to be doing a lot of traveling this year, and there are some misconceptions I need to clear up before I hit the road again.

1. I’m Not Pregnant

So here’s what happens when you hit middle age: your weight settles in your stomach and everybody thinks you’re having a baby. I’m assuming God intended the gray hair and wrinkles to offset the menopause bump, but since we don’t do gray hair and wrinkles any more, there’s a cognitive disconnect and people keep congratulating me. For about two years now, I’ve been getting invitations to speak at conferences that begin, “We can accommodate your pregnancy.” I had a woman at a conference say, “Whenever I see you, I expect to see your baby.” I said, “My baby is thirty.” I am not alone in this; I have a friend who actually had somebody pat her stomach and say, “And what is this?” She said, “A soon-to-be liposuction.” My worst was in a real estate office. I was waiting for my realtor and the receptionist said, “He’ll be right out.” I said, “Oh, no hurry.” She said, “Well, we don’t want you delivering in the office.” I told my critique partner, Val Taylor, about this and she said, “You need one of those maternity tops that say ‘Baby’ with the arrow pointing down, except yours can say ‘Fat’.” I’m considering that. Dave Barry gave good advice here: Never discuss a woman’s pregnancy unless you can actually see the baby.

2. I’m Not Sleeping with Bob

I hadn’t intended to address this EVER, since, like my gestation status, it’s really nobody’s damn business, but it’s reaching critical mass. I have never seen Bob naked. I am never going to see Bob naked. We don’t do that. I’m reporting this so I won’t get any more e-mails congratulating me on “making great books and having great sex with Bob.” Or after I’ve said that writing books with Bob is wonderful, having any more workshop participants yell out, “How’s the sex?” Or having a friend say to me after a presentation, “You might as well sleep with him; after people see you talk they think you’re doing it anyway.” I could go on, but basically, the number of people I don’t know who are discussing my sex life with me has just exceeded the number of people I don’t know who are discussing my pregnancy with me.

So I’m in Maui on a stage wearing a long flowing dress and in my bare feet because, hey, it’s Maui, and giving a lecture on revising. And at the break this darling man comes up and says, “I have to leave to go to an appointment, but I wanted to tell you that with the light behind you, I can see right through that dress and I’ve really enjoyed it.” Him, I like. Then a woman comes up after the next hour and says, “That was a great lecture,” and I say, “Thank you,” and she says, “And boy, that Bob,” and I say, “Oh, yeah, that Bob,” and she says, “He knows how to keep his women: barefoot and pregnant.”

I laughed. Well, I pretty much had to, it was too damn funny.

3. I’m Not Sleeping with Bob and Pregnant.

So I went out into the hall and Bob was out there and I said, “You owe me a drink, you bastard,” and he said, “What did I do?” and I said, “You knocked me up.” And he said, “How?” and then I told him, and he said, “Where is she? I’ll kill her for you,” and I started to laugh again because it really was funny. And then he started to laugh, too, and we went out to the pool bar and he bought me a drink with a little umbrella, and we laughed harder. Then the usual gang showed up, and John Saul said, “What’s so funny?” and we told them all, and after they all gasped, they started to laugh, too. John said, “That’s a compliment, considering how old you are. And you know at your age, multiple births are common.” And Bob said, “Damn right. I want twins. Boys.” So we had another round of little umbrellas to celebrate the boys. Then they offered me another drink, and I put my hand on my stomach and said, “I really can’t. It’s not good for the twins,” and Andy Cohen, who had just walked up behind my chair, looked down my cleavage and said, “The twins look pretty good to me.”

To recap:

  1. I’m not pregnant, I’m fat.
  2. I’m not sleeping with Bob.
  3. The twins look pretty good.

Let’s try to remember all that, shall we? Thank you.

34 thoughts on “Things I’m Not

  1. So I’m winding down before going to bed, indulging in a bit of blog-hopping and relaxing before I snuggle in for the night so I can get up at the crack of dawn and finally finish the last chapter of my overdue manuscript. And what happens? I find your pregnancy disclaimer post and I laugh so hard I know I won’t get to sleep for hours. Hours!

    Mmm-hmm. If that damned WIP doesn’t get finished tomorrow we know whose fault it is, Jenny, don’t we? (Because it couldn’t possibly be mine!) LOL

    Anyway, thanks for a great laugh. As someone in the same age bracket I can so relate to these middle age misconceptions …which probably isn’t a good thing!

  2. I’m youngish, married, with a pot belly that is the Wong Family Heirloom (we don’t pass jewelry on).

    I’ve apparently been pregnant for 3 years (since it’s impolite to ask how far along you are before you’re married). Talk about long incubation…

  3. Yay – twins! Name ’em J.D. and Shane, to keep Bob happy. And I’ll provide the sequined pasties with tassels.

    Wow – beyond mixing metaphors… I had too much to drink on my business trip, didn’t I?

  4. Yikes and Lol!! I had wondered who Bob was, but then I remembered your post about writing in cars with boys… err, or something like that…

  5. I think it’s admirable that you’re finding the humor in this. Many other people would just be angry and defensive. I’m sure you’re frustrated, too, but it’s great that you acan still laugh about it.

  6. *dies*

    Oh, lordy. I ran into a few people who were wondering whether or not you and Bob were a Thing. It seemed to be a hot discussion all week.

    Although I guess it really can’t hurt, PR-wise, can it?

    And You Are Not Fat. Some people are just really stupid, that’s all. End of story.

  7. LOL…my daughter has patted my stomache and told me she was excited about getting a baby sister or brother…how……mortifying!

  8. LOL–Jenny, we at last have something in common.

    I am not pregnant and I’m not sleeping with Bob either!


  9. No offence Bob, BTW. After the ‘taking one for the boys’ comment I figure you can take it 🙂

  10. LOL! You better watch out Jenny. Your fans are going to expect you to blog more. Where you once wrote once in a blue moon, we are going to want more!! I really laughed at your latest blog. We have so much in common it’s scary! I am your age, have a stomach, and am not sleeping wiht Bob either. (Heck, I am not sleeping too much with my husband much either…opps TMI)

    Can’t wait til the day I get to hear you speak in person.

    Cyndi – jealous of your Maui trip

  11. Maybe this is the new Cherry t-shirt slogan:

    “We’re not pregnant, and we’re not sleeping with Bob.”

  12. Damn it, Crusie. I have better things to do than read your blog. Like write! But with all the sex talk here, who can resist? And I think your twins look pretty darned good.

    Susan Elizabeth Phillips

  13. I completely understand, when in Vegas I had a totally drunk man (at least that’s what I keep telling myself)hand me a couple of dollar coins and tell me to win something for the baby. I hope some day soon people learn to keep their speculation to themselves!

    Love your writing. Thanks.

  14. I have to stop reading your blog at work. A coworker came down the hall to find out what was so funny. You were born to blog, and, with your wit, I’d read your “to do” list, but I bet you hear that all the time.

    Tell Bob you are getting him lots of new readers…so he owes you big.

  15. I can so relate to the “not pregnant” bit. I’m also not sleeping with Bob…

    Please blog more. It’s a wonderfull pick-me-up in the middle of a sad week.

  16. HILARIOUS!!! But okay, I have to admit that after I saw the pix of you and Bob online, I thought you two looked ADORABLE together, and I assumed that he was the inspiration for your amazing love scenes…oh well…

  17. Bob,
    Stop playing around here and go update your own site, and while you’re at it, get Kari to add a comment spot for us to harrass you there (too).

  18. Y’know, speaking of Bob and babies, in that bio thing on the sites and all, you two say that Don’t Look Down took nine months–“Nine months later, Don’t Look Down was done.” Since the first time I saw that, I thought it should have been “Nine months later, Don’t Look Down was born.”

    Sorry, slightly random, but it seems to fit the topic of the post. =P

  19. Poor Bob. I’m laughing too hard at his little comments here to even reply – he’s been getting lucky in so many minds and he didn’t even realize it.

    And to see SEP on here too – now I can’t think of her without picturing the nipple shirt or imagining her yelling, “CRUSIE!” How’s Charles?

  20. Okay. Being me, I cannot resist. So, Bob, does this mean you’re up for grabs?

    Damn, but it’s hard to type with wet nail polish. Just a side note.

  21. Jenny, my baby just turned four on the 29th (yes, Hurricane Katrina came to celebrate) and people still ask me when I’m due!! That damned post-partum hypothyroidism really sucks!

    I love your books, my husband loves your one-liners, and I can’t wait for more.I’m also becoming addicted to your blog. Maybe it can replace chocolate.

    Why aren’t you sleeping with Bob? He looks pretty do-able.

  22. Poor Bob, it sounds like no one is sleeping with him. But I guess he should just be glad he’s not pregnant either.

  23. Gad, you ruined it for me! I loved wondering if you were sleeping with Bob.

    Hilarious blog!


  24. Thank goodness for blogs! Glad to hear that you have “twins” also–my b-i-l started calling mine “The Twins”, capitalized, thank you very much, years ago… Too bad about you and Bob, though–you are quite the catch and wouldn’t it be fun if the fantasy became a reality?! (sigh) We romantic types can always hope, I guess…

  25. Hmmm. Amazingly enough, I too am fat, not pregnant. I too am not sleeping with Bob. And my twins are looking pretty good these days too — these new bras I found really made a difference. 🙂

    I’m sorry to hear you’ve gotten so much flack over your sex life but glad you could keep your sense of humor about it. I’m eternally grateful that I’m not famous enough for anyone but my immediate family and friends to speculate over my sex life. If it were me it’s quite likely a few umbrella drinks would have been poured over the offenders. And that would have been a pitiful waste of rum. Although I’d likely have been drinking Harp and I’m not sure I would have been willing to sacrafice my precious Harp to the cause.


    P.S. Did you get the name of the man that told you how much he enjoyed your see through dress? Care to pass on his number?

  26. I met my best friend ten years ago when I was running after my four-year-old with my two-month old in my arms and I sat down at her picnic table to catch my breath. She said “you shouldn’t be running when you’re pregnant!” and I looked at the baby and said “It’d be pretty hard for me to be pregnant enough to show when she’s only two months old. I’m not pregnant – I’m just still fat.” Then I laughed and she turned bright red. For the record, now, ten years later, I weigh exactly what I did when I was nine months pregnant with my second daughter and thirty pounds more than when I was pregnant with my first…but my twins are spectacular!

    Jen VW

  27. Well, heck, Jenny…I wish I’d’ve known you weren’t sleeping with Bob at the cover workshop in Reno. I would have said, “Hell, Yes!” when he asked me if I could get that thing up!

    So…I’m not pregnant and I’m not sleeping with Bob either. But the thought has crossed my mind. Once or twice. Well, maybe three times.

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