Hey! New or about to be new parents! Listen up!
Shut. The. Fuck. Up.
Okay, a little terse. Let me expound.
We know you’re very excited about your new thing. That’s natural. I get excited when I get new shoe laces. But the difference is I don’t try to include anyone in my joy. I tie it tight and skip through the day with an inner smile.
But new parents don’t do that. They have to include. They have to point out how great their kid is. But kids are a lot like pets. Most of the time they’re only interesting to you and very few others. Sorry, new parents, that’s the truth.
Then there are the about to be new parents. Please, listen carefully here, most of us don’t want to hear about the conception much less the amniocentesis. It’s not that we don’t wish you well, we just don’t need too much information. We all have experience or very vivid imaginations.
And don’t try to include us in any of your plans and schemes. I’ve heard people keep a diary during their pregnancy telling their unborn child how things were going. I don’t know about you, but, I’m not sure that would be on the top of my reading list.
“Dear Unborn Child, YOU KICKED!!!!!! It was such a magical moment shared between us!!!! I’ll never forget this moment!”
“Dear Unborn Child, GET THE FUCK OUT!!!!!!! You’re killing me you bastard! I want you to know you’ll be fatherless if you don’t get here soon!!!!!! The two of you SUCK!!!!!!!!!!!”
I was in the company of two such people (pre-homicidal impulse). They were taking pictures, writing prose, shooting video. And that’s all well and good. In private. Your own images and words. But that wasn’t enough. They wanted others to give their thoughts on this joyous occasion.
I’m happy for them and that’s about all I could say.
“I’m happy for you,” I would say. “I hope little fetie doesn’t tear your snatch too badly.”
What else can you say? After congratulations is there really anywhere to go that doesn’t cause discomfort or sound cloying? I can’t think of anything.
“We’d like you to record some words, advice, comments, feelings, whatever for our little bundle of joy.”
No, thank you.
The problem is I have no idea what to say. I barely know these people and have no clue what the kids like. What if the kid turns out to be a homicidal limerick writer? Last thing I want is an old recording of me used as a character reference.
I try to beg off. I tell them I really don’t have anything to say. I am happy for them. Wish them the best. But I don’t think I have the skills needed to converse with something smaller than my cat.
But they insist. I get a little firmer. They smile the smile of a true believer. I, eyes darting nervously, attempt diplomacy. They gang up with their sing-song platitudes. I, for the last time, tell them that I am not a good person to ask to do this.
“Oh, come on! It’s just a few simple words!”
So are, ‘Guilty, your honor.’
But I can see they are not going to go anywhere. They are going to stand in front of me, video camera waving in my face, until I give in. So, I give in. With a caveat.
“You may not like how this turns out.”
I’m not going to go out of my way to fuck with them. But, for me, this is an uncomfortable moment. I truly have nothing to say. But, camera now rolling, I look into the lens and say,
“This is more of a favor I’d like from the parents. So,” I motion to the father to be. “If you could stand here so I can address you.” The father gleefully joins me. “When the baby is born, less than a minute old, I’d like you to take it in your hands, look it proudly into her eyes and say, ‘Always remember that, from this moment on, there will always be someone younger, prettier, and more talented than you so, don’t get too cocky.'”
Now I didn’t think that was too bad. But, boy, did they disagree. They told me I was making a mockery of the blesses event. They’re tongue lashing me while quickly destroying the evidence of my blasphemy.
And I’m hurt by this. Truly. I censored myself. And I told them so,
“I thought that was better than my first thought about not fighting so hard to keep her virginity.”
I wonder if I’ll be invited to the Christening?