Time for the
pet peeve of the month.
Okay, so think about it. Your cousin, your bff, your old college roommate, or your co-worker is pregnant. She has the BIG appointment...you know, the one God never intended for us to have? The one that shatters the divine mystery of whether you're having a man-child or a princess? Okay, so that's my opinion and isn't really the pet peeve. That's obviously another post.
All right, the pregnant couple goes to the BIG appointment and they see the, well, the *junk* (to quote a now famous would-be traveler) on the sonogram. And the first thing they do when they get home is to get on Facebook and announce what they're having. (Dumb me, I thought they were having a baby.) Okay, so far so
good questionable. But now...what do you say? Oh, come on, what does EVERYONE say?
CONGRATULATIONS! WOW! SO HAPPY FOR YOU!
Yes, I'm going to sound like a crab, but seriously, do people not think about the implications of what they're saying? What does the "congrats" really mean? Congratulations that you're having a boy instead of a girl? A girl instead of a boy? I mean, honestly, we knew it was one (or two) or the other, right? It's not like Mommy was accepted to med school. She didn't DO anything other than what had already been done months before. So again, remind me just what it is we're congratulating? Are you really congratulating the couple that they're having one of the only two genders available? Or are you congratulating them that they chose to find out, or did find out prematurely? Or maybe you're high-fiving the little guy for spreading his legs in the exact four minutes you needed him to? Are you followin' me here?
The dilemma, then, is: what does a reasonable, thoughtful person who refuses to use the word "amazing" in every sentence, say in response to the BIG revelation? Really, guys, climb down off the CONGRATS and think seriously about what a logical response would be. "Awww...Mikey is going to have a little brother! He'll love that!" or "God knows after eight girls you'd be so excited to have a little boy--how nice!" or "You guys are so good with girls He just keeps 'em comin', doesn't He?" or "How fun! I'm getting ready to knit a little cap and now I know what color I'll use!" or "I always wanted my first to be a boy and I wasn't disappointed. You won't be either!"
But no. Tomorrow some 18-weeker is going to post that the ultrasound was successful in exposing the parts in question and "Isn't it aMAZing--we're having a girl!!!" You just wait. She's gonna get CONGRATULATIONS All.Day.Long. And one of 'em is gonna be you.
If you get a promotion, or get into law school or pass the bar or lose 50 pounds and you're congratulated, the implication is that the current outcome is way better than the alternative (getting demoted, getting a rejection letter, gaining 50 pounds). But if you're having a boy, the alternative was having a girl, right? And why do we congratulate either one?
It's because, of course, we feel obligated to say something, and we haven't taken the time to think about what response would really be appropriate. So we default to saying things that make no sense at all.
Your eyes are glazing over, I can tell. I'm locked in a prison of rationality in a world of hyperbole and superlative and double exclamation points and "AMAZING" descriptors. And people who want to write but don't want to think.
[Next time, I'll make fun of all of the people who look at the ultrasound photo and say, "Oh, look how cute he is!"]
I now return you to your regularly scheduled Facebook comments.