Hester Prynne

This morning I woke up only to find that I had outgrown yet another piece of clothing, a pair of pants I bought three months ago that was four sizes bigger than the pants in my non-pregnant wardrobe. This leaves me with exactly four items of clothing that I can actually wear, including a pair of my husband’s plaid pajama bottoms which I am embarrassed to report don’t make the best impression when worn to a business lunch.

I know it’s time to invest in maternity wear. I can’t continue to deny the fact that my belly has transformed into such an awkward shape that the only thing that is going to fit any longer is an industrial-sized canvas drop cloth. But I’ve never been a big clothes shopper, and I find it supremely hard to justify buying a pair of pants that I will only be able to wear for two months when the average life span of a pair of pants in my wardrobe is longer than the series run of “Law and Order.” I’d much rather spend $50 on a really good dinner at a Thai restaurant than on a sturdy, name-brand pair of pants, even though I know the pair of pants will last 700,000 times longer than a serving of massaman curry. I know it makes no sense, but food tastes better than clothing, and that’s where my priorities are.

Because I have yet to purchase any maternity clothes I’m still wearing t-shirts and sweaters from The Old Life, and this annoys the more conservative members of my family to no end. I think they see my exposed pregnant belly as some sort of scarlet letter, that I’m announcing to the world in a broad stroke of flesh that I have had sex successfully. Sadly, the only thing I’m announcing to the world by wearing a t-shirt that barely covers the top of my belly is that I gained two pounds yesterday.

I’m also supposed to be setting some sort of an example to my nieces and nephews about modesty and whatnot, and baring my mid-section in public is, I suppose, evidence that I am a coke-snorting whore for hire whose evil flesh will burn at the second coming of Jesus Christ. The last thing my family should be worried about is what my clothes are saying to their children, which is, if you listen really closely, “Dressing in clothes that are too small for your body, like Aunt Heather does, makes you look COMPLETELY FUCKING RIDICULOUS.” They should be much more concerned with how I plan to dispose of the bodies of their children after I sacrifice them at the alter of Satan, which has been my master plan ever since I left the church and started reading Noam Chomsky.

I will eventually give in and start wearing those atrocious pup tents they try to pass off as clothing, the shirts that flare with a full 15 foot circumference at the waist. And if I have to I’ll even get a pair of elastic-bellied denim trousers that do nothing but make pregnant women look like cheap concubines in Humpty Dumpty’s harem. I’ll buy into it all, for crying out loud, but in the meantime my family is going to have to get over my bare belly and all the sinful, successful sex that got it here in the first place. I should point out that since Jon and I are married, our sinful, successful sex is state-sanctioned, which in Utah means approved by God. So my bare belly is, for all intents and purposes, a righteous, God-fearing belly with a place reserved in heaven for itself and all its polygamist wives.