Dear Jen,

I don’t think you look pregnant. And if this opinion persists, here’s hoping that you are (if, of course, you’d like to be, as so many “friends” and “sources” close to you have revealed exclusively to In Touch, Star, Us and anyone who would listen.)

While no one has ever called me out for looking pregnant on the cover of a magazine, believe you me, I am quite familiar with how it feels to be told you appear to have one in the oven when you do not.

I have looked to be in my first trimester my entire life, and considering I was  expecting for only nine of the 498 months I’ve been alive, this is a mighty long time to be smiled at coyly by elderly ladies, steered toward tummy-control swimsuits by well-meaning sales people and insincerely reassured by flatter-abbed contemporaries. It’s also ages to have had to practice what Nora Ephron so aptly called compensatory dressing. (Compensatory dressing is tricky with a faux-preggo pooch, because if you wear baby doll style or empire waist tops, they look like maternity clothes, and if you cram your midsection into more fitted clothing, you’re showcasing your not-pregnant-just-pudgy belly.)

If there were an upside to merely looking pregnant, I’d say, Jen, just roll with it. But there isn’t, at least none that I have ever experienced. People do not give up their seats to you on the subway, you don’t get to eat for two, and you don’t have a tax credit to look forward to, let alone children who will likely turn out to be the light of your life.

No, looking pregnant plain sucks unless you are, and even then it still sometimes sucks.

I feel you, Jennifer Aniston. We don’t have much in common (except naturally curly hair—you really should lay off the flat iron and embrace your ethnic heritage) but on this, we are sisters.

Much love and drink a lot of water because it reduces bloat,