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When Being Judgmental Makes Sense

The sheer stupidity of Utah liquor laws never ceases to amaze me. Last night while at Club 90 for the “Rock of Love” tour I was so pissed off. It’s illegal for me to have two shots in my vodka tonic, but it’s perfectly legal to serve a pregnant woman who looks like she could deliver at any moment. I so badly wanted to walk up to her and tell her off, but I’ve done that in bars before and guess what? It doesn’t change a damn thing. For me to point out to the parent(s) in question what horrible parents they are going to make changes nothing. They will still make shitty parents, and chances are they’ll be back in the bar the following night.

The pregnant woman kept encouraging her friends—who, incidentally, were smoking around her—to feel the baby kicking. Aimee and I sat there in complete and utter disgust. When she took her shoes off and walked around the bar in bare feet I had to stop watching her. It was just too much. That poor, poor baby…


  • Suddenly, I’m not so sad about missing B.M.

  • Next time order your vodka tonic tall with a side car. It helps a bit.

    In all fairness, the pregnant woman might have been drinking Shirley Temples, but how stupid for her friends to smoke around her. Stupid for her to go in a smoking establishment anyway.

    And those animal heads on the walls scare me…

  • If only Shirley Temples came in Bud bottles…

  • Pants: BM was amazing!!

    Sra: I wanted to give her the benefit of the doubt but she was sucking on beer bottles…

    Rockandcookies: Still soooo pissed about that woman. Can’t seem to let it go, which is lame, since she has. You are the best date ever!

  • Come on, since when has a little bit of the 3.2 turned out flipper babies? Worst case scenario, it (yes, babies are genderless, but unfortunately animate, pronouns) becomes a world class swimmer.

  • You know, I love chasing women, but after seeing that picture I’d say she’s already been caught.

  • Sidecars were made illegal in most-recent session of the Utah State Legislature. When the law goes into effect, your Vodka Tonic will have a bigger (1.5 oz) shot of primary liquor, but you won’t be able to order a second shot of vodka on the side. You can order a second shot of tequila or bourbon or whatever else you want, just not vodka. Stupid laws made by stupid lawmakers.

  • Wait, you have a friend named Aimee? Even cooler.

    And I am in the middle of building a responsible beverage service web site. Clearly I need to ship the FASD section off to Utah.

  • Wow. I have to admit I’ve never seen a pregnant woman in a bar. I guess I never expected to. Geez, when I was pregnant I even stayed away from all things caffeine! Just when I think that society can cease to amaze me………

  • Doesn’t it just make you want to SCREAM? I experienced the same scenario with an expectant mother who was both drinking AND smoking. Hate to think how these babies will be treated when they’re not in utero…

  • I’m sorry.. drinking and smoking while pregnant ya bad, but more importantly…were those moose heads on the wall??

  • I think that’s digusting, but just to play devil’s advocate, how do you know she was drinking something alcoholic? I once met friends at a restaurant when I was really pregnant; we had to wait for a table, so my friends decided to get a drink at the bar. I ordered a Kaliber (a non-alcoholic beer made by Guinness; though it’s non-alcoholic, it definitely looks like a regular beer). I got the stink-eye from a group of women nearby; I thought it was hilarious. (And the bar, btw, was non-smoking).

  • I have waited tables in the past. Once, a very pregnant woman and her husband came in to eat. She ordered a Kaliber (a non-alcoholic beer). I spent the rest of the evening shooing away self-righteous individuals who felt the need to come up and lecture the poor woman on her poor parenting choices.

    Point? It’s none of your business. Unless you’re a medical doctor, you’ve got no business telling women what they can and can’t do with their bodies while pregnant. (And, to boot, you’re showing ignorance on this point–fetal alcohol syndrome happens to the children of ALCOHOLICS, who are drunk daily while pregnant. Having a beer or a glass of wine per day after 20 weeks is acknowledged as fine by most OBGYNs who are familiar with the literature on fetal alcohol syndrome.)

    Being pregnant does not give the general public the right to assume (badly) about your choices and lecture to you about them. Being pregnant does not grant people the right to turn into self-righteous assholes who lecture you on your life choices. Being pregnant does not make you public property. You might want to think about that, next time you are having so much trouble curbing your self-righteous impulses.

  • Layla, I don’t disagree with your point entirely, but the ignorance seems to be yours on your point. Fetal alcohol syndrome is a risk that non-alcoholics assume as well.

  • Layla, where in the post did Sarah say she walked up and lectured this woman? From what I read she did no such thing. It’s possible the woman wasn’t drinking an alcoholic beverage but in the comments Sarah said it was a beer bottle. I know what a non-alcoholic beer looks like and I don’t drink so I imagine Sarah might too know what one looks like. I think it sounds like it was a real beer. How are you going to explain that the smoking is OK? We’ve all been to smoking bars and left with our clothes reeking of smoke. Tell me Layla how that is good for the baby?

  • I’m thrilled a fucking waitress is telling people a its okay for pregnant women to drink. How would anyone take that seriously? It’s Layla’s job to serve people alcohol.

    Layla, I find it interesting you tell Sarah unless she is a medical doctor it’s none of her business, but you just made it your business. I would be willing to bet money on you not being a medical doctor either. You’re an idiot.

    Sarah–found your blog via Dooce and I’m hooked. You’re in my RSS now and I’m looking forward to reading more of your blog.

  • When I first read the story – had not looked at the picture yet – I thought to myself, when did Ms. Spears get pregnant again.

  • Misspelled judgmental.

  • Just wanted to stand up for you Layla. A drink or two late in pregnancy is not at all risky. Pregnant women in other countries drink alcohol (in moderation), have caffeine and gasp! eat sushi, with no ill effects. Just another example of foolish, judgmental Americans. I can’t speak to the danger of secondary smoke, but I know that where I live you would be insisting that pregnant women never leave the house and don’t allow any relatives or friends to come in. That’s a bit unfair.


    I’ve seen the effects from fetal alcohol syndrome from non-alcoholics first hand. It’s not fun. Stupid bitches.

  • I have to say, I’m with Layla and Anonymous on this. George, just because someone does not agree with you does not make them stupid nor a does it make them a bitch. Seriously, grow up, there is no need for name calling. You simply weaken your argument, if you ever had one. Talk sense to a fool and he calls you foolish.

  • Hey anonymous… Go fuck yourself. Coward.

  • You’re quite the wordsmith George. Whatever my name is, the point remains. So belligerent George, perhaps an anger management class would do you some good.

    With reasonable men I will reason – so this is goodbye George. You’re not even worth it.

  • Having recently made the jaunty move-the-life trek from SLC, where I lived for twelve years, to parts rainy and northwest, I will say

    1. I spend a lot less money now when I go out, living in a free pour state

    2. I’ve never seen parking spots at the grocery designated for those who are knocked up

    3. I love living where it’s legal and safe to be queer, and that queer people and straight people are seen hanging out at the same bars. (Crush at 14th & SE Morrison!)

    ps: I was going to say “judging other people is wrong” but then you’d see that I too was raised Mormon because I’m so damned sanctimonious. And we can’t have that, can we?

  • Angela, you really ought to read before you reply. I said I have waited tables in the past. My current profession is a professor at a medical school. I am not an MD, I am a nurse in a medical program that trains future OBGYNs. So, it’s safe to say that I have slightly more knowledge than you or George or Sarah combined. I am most certainly familiar with the literature on fetal alcohol syndrome (from reputable medical journals, that is, not from About dot com). That link you posted? Did you miss this part: “While we don’t yet know exactly how much alcohol is required to cause these problems, we do know that they are 100-percent preventable if a woman does not drink at all during pregnancy.” I’m not the idiot here, dear.

    That’s the standard approach in the US–if there’s any risk at all, ban it completely. The fact is, it’s usually perfectly safe for a woman to enjoy a glass of wine or beer a day while pregnant, especially in the later stages of pregnancy. In Europe, where I was initially trained, women are told to limit intake a bit, but that there is no need to cut it out completely. There is no higher incidence of fetal alcohol syndrome per capita in European countries, despite this advice.

    George, so nice to know “you know someone” who’s not an alcoholic and has a baby with fetal alcohol syndrome. Is it a friend of a friend? Now that you’ve enlightened me, I guess I’ll just disregard what all the damn experts say. Stupid bitches with medical degrees! Can’t believe I listened to them. /sarcasm off

    Janna, I never said she went up & lectured her, I was relaying a story from my own experience. She did write, “I so badly wanted to walk up to her and tell her off”. She sure did pass judgment and lecture here, didn’t she? A non-alcoholic beer bottle is indistinguishable from a regular beer bottle from that distance, it’s highly possible Sarah was just simply dead wrong. And the smoking? The woman wasn’t smoking, her friends were. I seriously doubt that a few hours exposure to secondhand smoke is going to impact that woman’s baby.

    The point is, again: UNLESS YOU’RE A MEDICAL DOCTOR, YOU’VE GOT NO BUSINESS TELLING A PREGNANT WOMAN WHAT TO DO OR NOT DO WITH HER BODY. PERIOD. Being pregnant does not make you public property. The U.S. is very overly cautious about limiting pregnant women, most other advanced industrialized democracies are not. Leave the poor women alone.

  • PS: Saying pregnant women shouldn’t drink at all during pregnancy because there’s a possible risk of fetal alcohol syndrome, but we don’t know how much alcohol will cause it is akin to saying that people shouldn’t drive because there’s a slight chance they’ll have a serious car accident. And if there’s a slight chance, even though we don’t know when or where or how it might happen, you’re best not to drive at all. See the error in logic here?


    Apparently there is no place for sarcasm on the internet.

    Also, it’s my sister-in-law’s sister’s child. Who calls me Uncle George.

  • Foul language does not constitute sarcasm (George, ask your cousin brother to look up the definition of sarcasm for you).

    Do make some sort of an effort to read the reasonable comments/arguments regarding alcohol,pregnancy and fetal alcohol syndrome before you continue to name-call. FYI, the term troll is often erroneously used to discredit an opposing position.

    George, do you know, beyond doubt, that your “sister-in-law’s sister’s child” has fetal alcohol syndrome? Did your sister-in-law’s sister have a couple glasses/few bottles of beer during her pregnancy? Was she previously an alcoholic? There are many mitigating factors which you may not be taking into account In fact, it may not even be fetal alcohol syndrome.

    I was advised (in an urbane European country) during my pregnancy to imbibe in a 1/2 pint of Guinness thrice weekly to combat my slight anemia. It is quite common for women to do so as opposed to going on prescribed medication.

    Be civilised. Peace.

  • sar·casm /ˈsɑrkæzəm/ Pronunciation[sahr-kaz-uhm]
    1. harsh or bitter derision or irony.
    2. a sharply ironical taunt; sneering or cutting remark: a review full of sarcasms.

    Bitch falls under harsh/sharp, right?

    FYI I’m just really glad I could come to Sarah’s site for information regarding fetal alcohol syndrome.

  • Wow, I wasn’t aware the definition of troll had changed from someone trying to get a rise out of others to someone who bothers to post thoughtful and intelligent replies to insults and blather. Funny, that. I’ll have to update my personal ‘net dictionary.

  • Bitch certainly may be harsh and/or bitter (unlike like yourself G – whoa, sarcasm) but used in the context in which it was used is in no way sarcastic (nor ironic for that matter). Derisive and/or contemptuous – Yes. In this case it was intended purely as an insult in an attempt to deviate from the main topic to which a certain person had no feasible or reasonable retort to the rational arguments and opinions put forth.

  • I’m sorry, by troll, I meant windbag.

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