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No room in the inn and no ‘push present’ either

Whoa, did I miss the boat! I gave birth two times, yet I received no tangible payment from my spouse. No diamond, no piece of art work, no $500 spending stipend. What a rip! I am speaking, of course, of the new marketing ploy called the ‘push present.’ If your wife has a baby, you buy her a gift for her trouble. I’m sure Debeers, the diamond seller of the world, had a hand in this whole ridiculous campaign. They deny it, of course.
Men, hear me now. Do not allow this to go on. You may be thinking that it is a sign of love or generosity on your part, and, of course, your wife or significant other will love your ‘baby bauble,’ but do not be fooled. This is all about sales.
Granted, pregnancy is an inconvenience, and we can only wish we had the 16-day gestation period of the opossum, but let’s face it, most species give birth without demanding a new burrow or a fresh watering hole for the proud mama. I’ve read lately that workers in this country of a certain age have to be stroked, praised and cajoled into continuing to perform. They’ve been told they were the cat’s meow since the day they were born and, by golly, they need to hear that from the boss fairly often or they get fussy. This gifting for something as natural and preordained as childbirth is just one more example of this indulgence game.
Do these women really feel so bereft of self-worth, or maybe it is self-confidence, that they need to be stroked, pampered, admired for their dubious bravery and then babied with a gift for having a baby? Is not the baby reward enough? Are they equating their nine months of being uncomfortable with something like college graduation for which they also get a trip to Europe? It does seem remarkably silly.
Of course, men are left with nowhere to go but the jewelry store in this promotion. Are women interested in lording it over the heads of men that they can carry a baby and the male cannot? ‘Look what I had to do and you didn’t.’ It puts men in a subservient position and the women lean back against the pillow smugly assured that no man can fight this kind of righteousness. It smacks a little of the power play.
People interested in power love leverage. Money is the most obvious leverage tool and isn’t as interesting as the other modes of extortion. Fear is a good one and is getting a good workout these days. Sex has always been used to gain power. But the overriding and all encompassing motivator to get what you want from someone else is guilt. Make them feel guilty and you have them in the palm of your hand.
As a woman, our sex is looking mighty silly and shallow. Did anyone ever hear of just doing the work and shutting up about it? Doesn’t anyone want to take the high road anymore? I guess not. And if you can’t beat them, then join them.
Therefore, since I missed the opportunity of a $50 iTunes gift card when I had my son and daughter, I think I can parlay menopause into some kind of guilt trip on Steve if I word it all correctly. Say, something like, ‘Honey, I am going through quite a bit of physical irritation and mental turmoil because of my ability to bear children. Because of my choice to generously and courageously bear your children at the risk of my own life and semi-destruction of my body, you (not me) gained the continuation of your family name. I didn’t choose to be a woman and go through this hot flash hell, so could you please buy me something?’
What in the world can a decent guy say to that?
Even though I am getting what I so totally deserve, I am bothered by a vague and general unease about the course I have decided to follow here. I mean, I hardly think that in this Christmas season, celebrating the birth of someone’s baby whom we all know, that that mother would have demanded a gift after riding that donkey, putting up with raw accommodations in a barn, being distracted by hovering angels, and listening to all those friendly beasts. I think possibly she would have taken the high road. Maybe the baby was worth it.

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