Have you ever wanted strangers to come up to you, unannounced, on the streets of New York City and strike up a conversation? Would that change your stereotypical view that “New Yorkers are Assholes?” As a native New Yorker I have to admit that apart from the occasional exchange about delayed trains with another passenger or being asked for directions, total strangers didn’t often come over to talk to me.
That all changed after I got pregnant and then had a baby.
Turns out, pregnant bellies and babies attract strangers like bees to honey, in all the good ways (honey), and in all the bad ways (BEES!).
Some of the attention is positive. Faces softening into a smile as they asked: "When are you due?," or “How old is she?”or “What’s her name?” reinforced my faith in humanity and the everlasting cuteness of babies.
But a lot of the attention was and is negative. While I was pregnant I heard a lot of unsolicited scary pregnancy and birth stories that my forgetful "pregnancy" brain was very unaccommodating about deleting from my mind. And these days, pushing a baby stroller around apparently gives people the impression that they can walk up to you and just say anything. When was the last time someone walked up to you on the sidewalk and judged you? It's incredible and I plan to share some of these experiences.