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  • You stood in front of us in line at a Mexican restaurant at O'Hare, Terminal 3, Concourse K. Very Caucasian, perhaps early 30s, mousey brown hair, general mousey look about you, soft-spoken. "Is your cheese pasteurized?" you asked.

    "Hmm...what would that be connected to?" I wondered.

    The register worker responded that it was. (I supposed it was a semi-legitimate question, seeing how there may be some queso fresco on the menu.)

    "OK, I'll have the Taqueria salad."

    It's not pronounced "tack-uh-REE-uh. It's "tuh-CARE-ee-uh," I thought, superiorily.

    "The chicken on that...has it been sitting out for awhile?"

    "What?" The strained patience of the register worker was showing.

    "'What?' indeed," I thought.

    You repeated your question, although I could tell it was not in your nature to be this difficult or high maintenance. Nevertheless, I was starting to find you a little annoying.

    "Your chicken. Has it sat out awhile after it's been cooked? I'm pregnant, and I just have to be careful what I eat."

    Ohhhhhh!! THAT'S your problem. It's all coming together. Let me just help you out here. In case you're not particularly aware of how humanity has come to be, women everywhere, for thousands of years, have been sustaining pregnancies and giving birth in the filth of nature, with germs, and disease without giving a second thought to high maint dietary restrictions. I fear you have become a victim of the Hypersensitive. Yes, I get that you have to be aware of these things, especially in the first trimester. But I don't think you need to go outside of your own comfort zone, and worry aloud to people that do not get paid enough to care about what you're asking. Stay away from the shellfish and sushi if you must, but you're pretty safe with Mexican food. You are part of the Continuum of Life. And you will win out over a little bacteria.

    I promise you, it'll be OK. What to Expect When You're Expecting ain't got nothin' on the resiliency of homo sapiens sapiens.
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