On Thursday I went to the dentist for a cleaning.  I know, getting your teeth cleaned during pregnancy has some controversy surrounding it.  Something about bleeding gums and infection, but my dentist felt it was best if I kept my regular cleaning schedule and being that Ireland is the land of pregnant women, babies and families of 8 or more, I figured she might know a thing or two about pregnancy and teeth.  I also am in love with my dentist.   I’ve never had such a thorough, honest, and competent dentist in my life.  So with that said, I went through with the appointment. 

It has been raining here, like torrential downpour rain and I was concerned about the possibility of traffic and arriving late for my appointment.  So, as I often do in Los Angeles, I gave myself a few extra minutes to account for traffic.  For some reason the stop lights on the coast road near Dun Loaghaire ( pronounced Dun Leery, don’t ask!) operate weirdly and can create congestion and backup the likes of the 405 freeway.  I don’t mind it because I always give myself extra time, but I think for the Irish who aren’t used to 405 traffic, it can be maddening.  So, this day, I decided I wasn’t going to take the coast road and chose to go the back way, thinking it might take me a bit more time, but I’d avoid any possible traffic delays.  Needless to say, I arrived 15 minutes early for my appointment.  Now in LA, arriving early is what it is, but in Ireland, for some reason arriving early for an appointment is the absolute strangest thing someone can do in the world!  It’s happened once before at this particular office, where I arrived 10 minutes early, and the receptionist made a point to mention how “considerably early” I had arrived for my appointment.  I remarked back, “well only 10 minutes…”, but it fell on deaf ears.  I remember that day feeling stunned that I was being “called out” on actually being courteous and making it a point to arrive on time to my destination.  Today was no different.  As I walked up to reception, I made a point to mention that I was early for my appointment and took a seat in the waiting area.  Several people were in and out of the area, striking up conversation with the reception team, as I sat and gladly read a magazine waiting for my appointment.  At one point, around 10 minutes into my wait, a woman who worked at the office approached me asking if “I was Okay?”  I said, “yes, thankyou, I’m just a bit early for my appointment.” She replied, “well yes, you’ve been sitting there a long time, I wasn’t sure if everything was alright!”  I smiled, said, “nope just early,” and after that exchange she was content to go back to her conversation.  So weird!!!  They treated me as strangely as if I’d come in wearing antlers, wearing roller skates, and carrying a harp.  Apparently, arriving early for an appointment makes you stand out that much!

At this point with all eyes upon me, staring at the “girl who arrives too early”, I was wondering, I hope they know I’m pregnant and not just fat!  That is what travels across my conscious brain as of late.  Even when I’m walking down the street and I notice people looking at me, that’s the first thing that pops into my mind.  So, as I walked out from my teeth cleaning and up to reception to pay for my appointment, the receptionist asked, “when are you due?”  I looked at her stunned.  I haven’t had one person ask me that question without me adding a precursor about morning sickness or just flat out stating that I’m pregnant.  My stunned look must’ve taken her by surprise.  She looked like she wanted to take back the comment and hide under her desk, worrying that maybe “whoops, she is just fat and not pregnant.”  After I sat there for a moment, I said, “you can tell I’m pregnant and not just fat?”  She laughed at me and just smiled.  I told her I was due at the beginning of December, and that was that. 

So I guess I’m finally showing enough for strangers to notice that I’m pregnant.  Right On!!  Although to me, I still look in the mirror and think, just fat…not looking Pregnant, but I guess I’m mistaken. Plus, now that receptionist knows what it feels like to be looked at like you’re a total freak of nature, instead of just… “early for your appointment.”