Monday, September 5, 2011

Nobody Cares about the Dimensions of Your Baby

Seriously, people: what is with birth announcements? Specifically what is with making little pink or blue cards with nothing on them but a date, a name, and some pounds and inches? What is with posting this same information on Facebook and updating it every week for months and months? Hm, let's see: the name hasn't changed, birth date hasn't changed, oh, I guess it's just gotten fatter and longer, hasn't it? The way that the offspring of all mammals do? Thank you for keeping us current. Thanks for giving the underemployed the opportunity to make comments like "Wow, that's big," or "Oh, that's tiny," or "Hm, I don't really know anything about the relative measurements of infants," in their spare time.

Come on, now, really: these measurements, nobody cares about them, not even you. I realize that there's not much to say about a newborn besides "Ooh, it's all sticky," but there must be at least a dozen more relevant pieces of information you could share. Or are height and weight really your child's defining characteristics in your eyes? If so, what the hell is wrong with you? If not, why the fuck are you boring everyone else with this pointless data?

Don't get me wrong, there is nothing at all about your child that is interesting to anyone but you. Not that thing she does when you tickle her ear, not the incredibly intelligent way he eats macaroni off the floor. But if you insist on boring everyone, why not at least bore us with some information that could conceivably have a little bit of meaning to someone, somewhere?

Imagine if we described all things in this way. "Yeah, I got a new car. It's 207 inches long and weighs 5500 lbs. Yeah, she's a big-un. Oh, and this book I just read, it was awesome. 10" x 7" x 3" and about .6 lbs. Really great, you should check it out. Also I'm dating this girl. You know I usually go for 65 inchers, but this one's 67" and still alright. I'm having trouble pinning down the weight though. She keeps bursting into tears every time I bring her near a scale. She says it's the result of a lifetime of being judged solely on height and weight measurements, but I mean, seriously, what else is there? I'm pretty sure it's not going to work out between us." Hopefully you're laughing right now, but remember: this is what my Facebook feed turns into every time someone has a baby, and it's not okay.

I've heard many people describe the intense psychological experience of becoming a parent. One minute you're a typical, self-centered asshole. Then your baby looks at you and something in your DNA wakes up and turns you into a typical, self-centered asshole ready to kill to defend its young. But I've never heard anyone say "Oh, and make sure you bring a measuring tape to the delivery room because you'll also experience a compulsive desire to measure stuff. That's really what being a parent is all about." I'm about 97% sure that doesn't happen, so tell me: why? Are you hoping someone will convert your baby to metric for you to make it sound smarter? Are you sending out coded messages to members of a secret society that non-parents don't know about? Or does having a baby really just make you that boring?

I'm sorry, did you say something? I must've fallen asleep for a second there, which I guess answers my question, doesn't it?

Snore,

S. Misanthrope

2 comments:

  1. Why the over-weening sense of achievement on behalf of a statistically normal offspring who isn't responsible for its growth (or lack thereof)? Perhaps the parents are simply relieved that they didn't beget a dud - kind of like gushing to all your friends that you are so thrilled that your spouse hasn't divorced you yet. Or maybe it's symptomatic of the initiation of passive-aggressive parental one-upsmanship, the prelude to Little League Wars?

    I'm probably the wrong one to offer a plausible defense of their behavior. Why otherwise-rational adults go nuts over the production of an expensive, life-threatening, noisy poop-machine, which happens to be one of the more common triggers of stress-induced health problems, reduced sex drive, and divorce is beyond me.

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  2. "Why otherwise-rational adults go nuts over the production of an expensive, life-threatening, noisy poop-machine, which happens to be one of the more common triggers of stress-induced health problems, reduced sex drive, and divorce is beyond me."

    Well said, sir, well said. Would there were more like you (by some means other than natural reproduction, of course!)

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