On Tuesday afternoon, I received an email that made me do a double take. I, and thousands of others, received messages from the online retailer Amazon alerting us that people had bought items from our baby registries.
The problem: I am not currently pregnant. And I don’t plan to be in the foreseeable future. I reserve the right to change my mind about this at any moment, for any reason, but having a baby is not on the to-do list right now.
So I definitely do not have a baby registry.
My first thought: Oh, shoot, did my Amazon account get hacked?
Twitter quickly resolved that concern when I saw hundreds of jokes and memes from folks who’d also received the odd email.
My second thought: Good grief, even Jeff Bezos is bugging me about babies now?
I am a happily married 32-year-old woman, which means people assume I am pregnant constantly.
When I decline to have a glass of wine with dinner. (I’m trying to cut back on alcohol in general.)
When I choose shrimp cocktail over oysters at happy hour. (Oysters look like giant boogers to me.)
When I wear an empire-waist dress to a party. (It’s the most flattering cut for my body.)
When I fall asleep early on weekends away with friends. (I’ve become a morning person.)
How do I know this is what people are assuming? Because no one — from nosy neighbors to well-meaning relatives — is shy about asking.
When I smile and explain that, no, I’m not pregnant right now, sometimes I get a mortified apology for the mistake. Other times, I get a reminder that time is tick-tickin’ away.
Amazon’s baby registry email was a dumb mistake — some busy person probably just clicked the wrong button — but it was also another reminder that there’s no one who doesn’t seem to think that the happenings in my family, and in my uterus, are their business.
Before my husband and I tied the knot, people would regularly ask us when we planned to make it legal. What some people probably viewed as polite conversation grew tiresome as year after year we explained that it just wasn’t the right time for us yet. Of the great many things that excited us about our wedding, one item on the list was the fact that people would stop bugging us about it.
The most common question we got at our wedding reception was where we were honeymooning. The second most common question was some variation of “When are you planning to start a family?” (Funny, because I thought we already were one.)
I’m not alone: My girlfriends — both parents and child-free pals — complain about the same issue. We talk about it over shrimp cocktails in our empire-waist dresses.
A few hours after the initial email faux pas, Amazon said its mea culpas by sending another email. “Earlier today, we accidentally sent you an email from Amazon Baby Registry. We apologize for any confusion this may have caused.”
Confusion? Nah, just another day of deflecting.