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6 Tips for Not Being an Asshole to Your Pregnant Friends

At some point you reach an age where all your friends are getting pregnant, but now they're doing it on purpose, ignoring all the advanced technology we invented specifically to avoid that hassle. It's like arriving at their house to find them augering a well, or saddling a goat, or other things people did back in your parents' time. And we're not talking about sex positions. Although your existence proves your parents also did those things. Basically, you need to call ahead before visiting friends or parents.

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Or friends' parents, who in fairness weren't expecting you to come. While watching.

Your priority is helping your friends against the new invaders. A great way to do that is by buying my eBooklet, "Self-defense Against Babies," DRM-free defensive goodness for 99 cents. It makes an excellent gift, and is as subtle as a velvet sledgehammer when plugged into the intro of a pregnancy article. "Velvet sledgehammer" may also be a sex position.

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"Why does our son's friend keep following us?"
"I think she's a stock photographer."

There are thousands of guides for the newly pregnant, but most guides for people whose friends have been infested with a growing organism just tell them to run and open the airlock. And are misfiled in the "horror" section. Which is why I've collected advice from parents (aka "point-blank pregnancy survivors") on how you can best help the future of the human race.

#6. Talk to Them Like Human Beings

Expecting parents are stereotyped as nothing but biological engines built to serve the needs of their offspring. Sorry, not "stereotyped," I meant "genetically programmed."

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"This will make a great toy for my son. I think it might also be genes or something."

But, like anyone biologically enslaved to serve the whims of a new lifeform, many want to rebel and escape. When visiting pregnant friends, you don't have to parse everything in terms of the baby. Trust me, if there's anything they want to tell you, they will absolutely tell you. Filling up with things to unleash upon the world is their entire deal right now.

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"I'm thinking Daenerys Boudicca Hannibal."

They're not in prison, but they are sort of biologically being a prison, and the mindset leaks across. Possibly because growing an ever-expanding new person specifically to stomp and headbutt your bladder beats the hell out of ankle bracelets in terms of enforcing house arrest. And leaking. They're undergoing an inverted Chinese water torture where the constant small drops of water are coming out of instead of landing on them. As a friend of someone in prison, it's your job to help them remember the outside world.

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"When you see only one set of footprints, that's when I was pissing in the sea."

#5. Don't Tell the Obvious Jokes

It's amazing how many people think they're being original about something that had to have happened before they were born. Pregnant ladies didn't put on weight, they're not smuggling watermelons, they didn't sit on a bicycle pump, and they're really not amused. They just find it easier to smile and laugh than punch you in the face right now. It seems harmless, but you're saying the most obvious things about the most obvious thing about them. They've already heard every one of these jokes a thousand times, and that's annoying enough without learning that all their friends are unoriginal assholes.

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"Yeah, if we want someone smart to talk to we'll have to grow them ourselves."

Most importantly, don't make jokes about their life being over. Christina already talked about this. It's nonsensical and insulting, and even if it were true that would make saying so even worse. You sincerely believe they're about to be enslaved by a squalling shit factory, and you're laughing in their faces about it? What kind of asshole are you?

#4. Allow Yourself to Experience Contact Maturity

Hanging out with pregnant friends can be like flying near a black hole: They're getting bigger and bigger, consuming as much mass as possible, and proximity will radically alter the flow of time. They're going from seemingly endless months of anticipation to a nonstop everything always at once. This uterine warping of space-time can affect those nearby. You find yourself unconsciously acting more mature around them.

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If only because babies can't hold their liquor.

You don't get hammered as much around them, because they no longer need your services as someone who slurs their words and throws up. They're getting somebody new to do that in-house. You don't complain to them as much, because your everyday problems really do seem small when you realize the only asshole you have to look after is your own. It's important to use this period of enhanced intelligence to maintain good relations with your friends. After all, they're working toward outnumbering you. Keeping them sweet is just good tactical sense.

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Keep a hose handy for when the baby reaches Sun Tzu's chapter on fire.

They're about to welcome someone infinitely interesting into their lives, so if you ever want to see them again you'll have to install good memories right now. A newborn is the Emperor's New Personality: to any bystander it's just pink flesh and nothing else at all, but to the parents that child is more interesting than Stephens Fry and Colbert asking the Egyptian God of Knowledge about the meaning of life.

Marc Debnam/Digital Vision/Get
"Actually, that's me as well, according to my parents."

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