Thursday, August 28, 2008


Just got back from Mega, the big supermarket here in Modi'in. Grocery shopping is my most hated chore, especially when I have one of those huge shopping lists. This week I decided to treat myself to home delivery, because, well, I'm worth it.

The first time I treated myself to home delivery, (months and months ago), I just let the stuff sit on the counter. The cashier very snidely said that I still have to bag the stuff and put the bags in the boxes. Well, I'm paying extra for home delivery, shouldn't someone do that for me??? Sheesh.

This time, I knew what had to be done. As I started lifting a box of water, the cashier started screeching, "no, no, no!". I looked at her, puzzled, as she came running around to my shopping cart. "I'll help you," she said.

I almost fainted. Israeli cashiers are not trained to help the customer. Trust me on that one.

I said, "That's okay, I can do it." She replied, "No, you shouldn't be lifting this stuff" and looked pointedly at my mid-section. I looked down to see what she was staring at, and then the light bulb went off in my head.

She thinks I'm pregnant!

Perhaps I shouldn't be wearing these empire-waisted shirts that Mazi brought me from America.

I smiled, almost laughed, at the cashier, opened my mouth to disabuse her of the notion and then--G-d forgive me, but I stood back and watched as she loaded all my groceries into bags and then boxes. I even touched my belly a couple of times for effect.

Maybe I'll just wear the shirts when I do the grocery shopping.


rutimizrachi said...

LOL! You wicked, wicked woman.

How I wish I had your attitude, to use what G-d has given me (or, more accurately, what I have given myself) to positive effect, rather than feeling like it's time to find a Curves...

I love food shopping. (It shows.) I loathe clothes shopping. Shall we swap?

Very cute post.

SuperRaizy said...

Oy my God, I would have been embarrassed if it was me. Good for you for taking it so lightly.

EndOfWorld said...

You handled it so well. I would've said something stupid like "I'm not pregnant" and then we both would have been mortified. At least this way you got free help.

frumhouse said...

LOL! I think you deserved the extra help after that!

Actually, the same thing happened to me a few weeks ago. I was wearing a large tunic shirt, and stopped by my husband's office. A number of the ladies who work there kept popping in to say how wonderful I looked and how they were all buzzing about it.

I found it a little bit odd, but flattering. Or maybe they were just kissing up to the boss's wife? Finally, one of them came in with same, "You look amazing!" line, and then added in a whisper, "Are you pregnant again?"

Eeek! I know that they expect me to pop out a baby every few years, but, sheesh!

Anonymous said...

Very funny!
I love home delivery, especially when I resume work.

Leora said...

Comment on Ilana-Davita's comment...when you said "home delivery" I thought "at home birth". Then I realized you meant groceries.

Great post, Baila.

Juggling Frogs said...

This was too funny! I love your attitude.

I've contemplated wearing a jumper to a wedding and absentmindedly touching the top of my belly, when I felt particularly heavy, but I've always chickened out.

RaggedyMom said...

Hysterical! It's great that you had the gumption to stay silent!!

I have a couple of shirts like that, and being that my kids are young, I'm sometimes wary of wearing them, depending on where I'm going.

But nothing beats the first time I came to visit RaggedyDad's family here in Belgium - not frum at all and apparently, very liberal-minded. We were engaged at the time, and the plane ride made me sick to the point where I threw up soon after we landed. My future mother-in-law smiled and asked me, totally calmly, "Could it be that you're pregnant?" Um, no!! I was mortified!

Unknown said...

I cannot tell a lie. I too have made that mistake. During my intern year a group of med students tagged along with me during their rotation in Internal Medicine. One of the students had a very firm belly with just the right topography that suggested that she was pregnant. So I asked her when she was due.
She replied that she wasn't pregnant, but just during summer break she and her husband had vacationed in Italy where they ate a lot of pasta.
I wondered whether there was any pasta left in the Italian peninsula. (I thought it, I didn't say it!!!!)
Of course, when I told my wife (we were newlyweds at the time) the story I got the third degree for being completely tactless.
Since then, I've spent most of our married life in the dog house.

Jack Steiner said...


I kind of like the dog house. It is quiet in there. ;)

Unknown said...

Sure Jack, it's peaceful in there, but cold in the winter.

bec said...

mazel tov--on finding a way to get the cashiers at mega to bag your stuff!
even when pregnant i get uncomfortable when people mention it or want to help. my husband has taken to parking in the "expecting" parking spots at the grocery here (we're expecting) and i'm like "DON'T PARK THERE! I"M FINE!"

Fern Chasida said...

boy, you're good. i would have been mortified and stewed in silence.

Batya said...

Under the circumstances, your reaction was good, but maybe you ought to take a good look at your wardrobe. People here figure women are pregnant rather than fat, since large families are common.

Baila said...


Understand, I WAS mortified. The whole thing happened quickly and I kind of thought it funny. These cashiers rarely do anything extra. You could have a line of forty people behind you and they will NOT help you bag your stuff. So I really was surprised that this one was going out of her way. There are lots of pregnant women in Mega, she must be really tired!

But I'm totally embarrassed and plan on starting a whole new healthy way of life....soon. Really. "אחרי החגים"--after the holidays.


[And guys, we know you like the doghouse. That's why we let you out every now and then.

But not when its cold].

Juggling Frogs said...

Not to interfere with anyone's motivation for a healthier lifestyle, but I'd still blame the new fashion.

My mother bought a bunch of those baby doll style shirts for my elementary school aged daughters. All of them are thin, a couple of them quite thin.

If those shirts could make them look pregnant, then it's really the shirts.

So, don't count on getting the extra help at the supermarket too long. Soon enough, the fashion will spread, and the cashiers will catch on.

Unknown said...

Medically speaking, whenever we treat a woman of childbearing age, "she is pregnant until proven otherwise". This is of course, out of concern for the developing fetus, and the necessity of avoiding medications that might harm it.

A Living Nadneyda said...

I've also had it hinted that I was pregnant while wearing one of those shirts... and I'm nowhere near sticking out in front, figure-wise. It is the style, it's super-comfortable, and heck, if it causes additional side-effects, like having your groceries packed for you, then go for it!

Maybe the cashier had recently given birth and was identifying with what she thought was your "situation."

BTW - One of the smallish supermarkets near our house actuallly bags the groceries for you. A very large number of ex-patriot Americans shop there. Maybe the store just got sick of having the newer olim stand around waiting for someone to help them, so they decided to make it store policy. I must admit, I've gotten used to the local system and now it surprises me to have my stuff bagged for me!

Benji Lovitt said...

One of those things you should never guess at ever ever ever.

EndOfWorld said...

Brian Regan does a comedy routine on this one

Gila said...

Touching the belly for effect? NICE!

Quietus--what do you mean cold? You are in Beer Sheva!

rutimizrachi said...

With apologies to Benji (who will undoubtedly bump BR out of the way, once we know him better): We love Brian Regan at our house! His comedy is clean, which means we can actually laugh with our teenagers, instead of peering over glasses rims and pursed lips, and saying words like "inappropriate" and "lascivious."

Unknown said...

The desert is very cold at night!