DEAR ABBY: Recently, while making a purchase at a local store and handing the cashier my money, she asked, "How many months along are you?" I was confused for a moment, until I realized she had assumed I was pregnant. (I'm not.) When I told her I wasn't, she just shrugged and said, "Oh."
Abby, my feelings were hurt. I will most likely never see that cashier again -- and I do not know her -- but I would like to know how to respond to this in the future. I don't believe people should assume a woman is pregnant unless they know for sure that she is. What she said made me instantly want to lash out. However, I knew that responding with more rudeness would do no good. So, what should I say if this ever happens again? -- NOT PREGNANT IN ALABAMA
DEAR NOT PREGNANT: You handled the situation appropriately. The cashier was presumptuous. If it happens again, either handle it the way you did with that clerk or say, "Why do you ask?" and let the person squirm. The choice is yours.