I’m always happy to receive a baby announcement and to send a gift when the baby is born.
But, I get really annoyed when I receive shower invites from across the country- when the mother-to-be knows you can’t be there- in order to get a gift. I also get annoyed when it’s from someone you haven’t seen in ten years and here’s the new one- baby shower invites from people who aren’t married! Todd and I have a couple of these folks in our extended family. Now- there’s always a ring involved followed by either a short-lived marriage or a broken engagement. I’ve seen this pattern again and again. Bristol Palin anyone?
Where has etiquette gone? Don’t you think that if you’re having a baby- and you’re not married- that you should forego the shower?
I also think that if you get married- and are knocked up- you should get married quietly. At a courthouse, at a private home. There should be no 1. Dance 2. Dinner.
Who the fuck does this woman think she is? The reception Nazi? Is this crazy bitch really bumptious enough to think that it’s her place to dictate how couples celebrate their weddings on account of their parental status prior to marriage?
I’ve found that many people disagree and I ask the question again and again– what is with the out-of-wedlock kids? I heard the other day that now 40% of children are born to single moms. There are more kinds of birth control available today then lipstick shades. If you don’t want to get pregnant- you don’t. This is crossing all socio-economic lines and education levels it seems to me.
No shit they disagree. Who wouldn’t disagree with a third party’s attempt to censoriously interfere with their wedding plans or a friend’s wedding plans because she’s scandalized that the bride had premarital sex? That’s just fucking crazy and antisocial. And it most certainly is about sex, not motherhood. She wouldn’t be claiming that there are “more kinds of birth control available today then (sic) lipstick shades” if she weren’t snooty about other women not keeping their legs shut. Besides, that’s a claim so misleading and hyperbolic as to be materially false. In effect, she’s lying. Let’s count the ways: abortion (like it or not, the classic standby), oral contraceptives, IUD’s, male condoms, female condoms, contraceptive shots, vasectomy, spermicides, tubal ligation. Maybe I’m missing some, but I’m certainly not missing enough to make up for the additional shades at the makeup counter at Neiman-Marcus. And yes, I’m deliberately omitting “natural family planning,” which is a psychotic half-assed form of quasi-contraception motivated by a desire to draw married couples into a sectarian form of Stockholm Syndrome, and is a significant distortion of the antecedent Catholic tradition of simply having as many children as a couple’s fertility permitted.
“If you don’t want to get pregnant- you don’t.” Can’t you just feel the superiority complex? Allo, govness, permission to conceive, if it pleases your ladyship?
I think it’s a combination of things:
1. the idiots in Hollywood who have made it look “cool” to tote a baby around sans daddy
2. the Boomers refuse to encourage adoption of their grandchildren…every Boomer I know who is faced with this situation says they’re disappointed, but there’s no way that they’re going to let that grandchild go- so they fully support (financially and emotionally) their single-mother daughter. They’ll be in the labor room, they’ll help with daycare and they’ll help with the bills….whatever it takes. Of course, I believe a family should be supportive in this situation and it is the individual family’s choice on how to handle this situation. My rule is- if I don’t have to pay for your daycare, then do what you want.
3. marriage is no longer seen as an institution- but an excuse to have a wedding
4. it’s now completely, socially acceptable
I’m seen as very cold-hearted with this issue and it’s caused a couple of big arguments in my family. I never blame the children involved- but I certainly feel sorry for them because they’re immediately at a disadvantage with only one parent.
Quite a classy reason to start a family fight.
Point 3 is well taken, as is point one, to a lesser extent. These are cases of qualis rex, talis grex. Point 4, on the other hand, is nothing but tautological pearl-clutching. And point 2? Holy fucking shit. She’s blaming people for not clamoring to put their own grandchildren up for adoption. She wants grandparents to break up their own extended families. How fucking depraved must a person be to feel this way? Then she disingenuously offers a caveat that of course this is an individual family’s decision, which she clearly does not believe. She wants to use overbearing social pressure, and probably state compulsion as well, to break up these families. And she’s butthurt that grandparents are providing what she considers a moral hazard by providing financial and in-kind support to help raise their own grandchildren? What, is this the first time that grandma spoiled the little ones?
As I said, this isn’t about family values. It’s about premarital sex.
When somebody gets knocked up- without being married- you’re just supposed to hop on board. You’re not allowed to say a thing- it’s none of your business of course- but when it comes time for baby showers and weddings, rest-assured you’re going to be on the invite list.
I picked up the Target registry for the un-wed mom-to-be yesterday…I started laughing out loud. Among the basics of onesies, baby monitors, high chairs– one item stood out– a $180 portable DVD player. Now THAT’s moxie.
Qualis rex/1,000, talis grex. The expectant mother here is crass, but she isn’t Kardashian crass. From what I’ve gathered, she can’t hold a candle to my bachelor uncle in the home electronics department. Probably not in the foreclosure on account of HELOC/credit card binge shopping department, either.
And we’re supposed to believe that a hardline Republican political operative from Eden Prairie is a sincere adversary to the crassness and existential shallowness of American consumerism. Good fucking grief. The MSP metroplex, in a nutshell, is two moderately troubled core cities surrounded by orbital rings of covert racists, each ring more paranoid and religiously unhinged than the last. If you think that these people aren’t hearty consumerists, I have an EZPass transponder that I’d like to sell you, good for crossings on any of the Twin Cities’ collapsible bridges. They darken the Target electronics department and Boston Market as much as the next guy.
What this lady really is is a resentnik. What she wants is consumerism for me, but not for thee. She’s trying to adapt technocratic conservative incentive-mongering to her vendetta against the slutty unwed. She’s turning a stupid Rube Goldberg policy mechanism into an outright predatory one. Her intent is to punish a grown woman by withholding mid-priced low-end household electronics from her. That, and a dinner party with a dance floor.
This is what happens when Heritage Foundation white papers are released into a Concerned Women for America convention.
This sort of hyperpoliticized Christian womanhood is an important reason why the United States has such an incoherent and dysfunctional natalist policy. The family values agitators have to fish or cut bait: do they want to support parenthood or not? NB: I’m not talking about the Santorums here, and I’m definitely not talking about the Palins. “Bristol Palin anyone?” Okay, she had a kid, and then didn’t follow through with the marginally advisable idea of entering into holy matrimony with her dimwitted baby daddy. So what’s our policy stance towards her as a single mother? Supportive? Neutral? Actively hostile? There’s a lot of grumbling from the exurban Bible belts of Minneapolis and Cincinnati about how the city slicker coastal elites are hostile to “breeders,” but what about the married exurban breeders themselves? If the concern here is about the children, why are all these people shitting on their mothers for having conceived them in unapproved circumstances?
This resentment of unwed mothers is the same resentment that motivates “traditional marriage” campaigns. It’s a zero-sum logic in which the legitimacy of unwed mothers negates the legitimacy of wed mothers and the sanctification of same-sex marriages negates the sanctification of opposite-sex marriages. The real goal of these campaigns isn’t to safeguard one’s own civil rights and privileges, but to deny the same rights and privileges to others. It’s to aggrandize oneself and one’s own parochial community by destroying others.
It’s to assuage one’s own persecution complex by telling others that they aren’t permitted to invite friends and family over for a wedding dinner. No Italian wedding soup for you!
Here’s the kicker: the crazy bitch who wrote the foregoing screed, Sheila Kihne, is trying to unseat a Republican incumbent in the Minnesota State House. The incumbent, so help me, is named Jenifer Loon.
This is the state of Minnesota Republican politics. It’s high-hat Christianity worthy of the Magdalene Laundries and the old Irish orphanages overlaid with Randroid carping about how these women won’t pay for their own damn babies. We’ve reached the point of objectivist slut-shaming by means of purposeful deprivation of baby shower gifts and electronic sit-down-whore orders as the stated policy goals of a candidate running for state office on the ticket of our two major political parties.