I'm a reasonable guy. I like to be noticed as much as the next person who has a blog and a Facebook page and a Twitter account. Believe me, I know how strong the pull of social media is; I struggle with it every day.
Luckily, when it comes to blog-related stuff, I have a bit of an out: I write in character and I keep my Dad and Buried accounts mostly separate from my personal ones. But even there I don't broadcast every moment of my life. Case in point: My non-blog Facebook wall is almost entirely links to The Onion. Which is where you'd expect to find some of the outlandish pregnancy announcements that have been all over the Internet lately.
I hate pregnancy announcements, and not just ones with those terrifying 3-D sonograms.
First things first: I'm happy you're pregnant. Thrilled, in fact! Someone else will be joining me in the life-consuming spiral of anxiety and awe that is being a parent? Hooray! One of us! One of us!
At the very least, my blog is now relevant to someone new (especially if you "hate" your own kid as much as I do!)
All joking aside, whether it took you five years and thousands of dollars or you somehow scored the first time you pulled the goalie, having a child is a momentous occasion that deserves to be celebrated. By your friends and family, not by everyone on Earth. And certainly not with the help of a production company.
I seem to remember a time when there was such a thing as a private moment. I barely remember it, but it's there, in the dark recesses of my memory, alongside that early "X-Files"-type show with Parker Stevenson ("Probe") and the time I went on a field trip and had diarrhea. Years ago, way back in the day, milestones were passed without the use of a gimmick and a megaphone. Shocking, I know, since nowadays, every intimate moment is an opportunity for exposure and exploitation.
And, of course, some attempts pay off more than others...
Did you see this HILARIOUS video that went viral over the summer? Of course you did, that's why it's called "viral." Kudos to this couple for their originality and inventiveness and artistic vision and free time and narcissism, but can this over-the-top pregnancy announcement trend stop now?
First of all, who wants to sit through two long minutes of lip-syncing just to find out someone they know (let alone don't know) is having a kid? Ain't nobody got time for that! Next time just spring it on us at dinner, when suddenly the Mrs. can't drink and now my wife is bummed because she doesn't have a wingman and I'm bummed because my wife is bummed and shit this went downhill fast maybe next time just send a text? Second of all, those Coke bottles are stupid. Third of all, way to generate publicity for a product that will probably give your kid diabetes!
Hey, but at least the billion-dollar peddler of sugar-water was happy about it: "He also said that Coke sent them a congratulatory tweet and featured them on their website. 'Sadly, they have not sent us free Coke for life or commented on how GORGEOUS my wife is yet. Your move Coke!' he said."
Congratulations, you went viral! Oh, and that's cool about the kid too, I guess.
It used to take a little while for parents to start going all batty about their offspring, turning everything their babbling fleshbags do into a picture or a video or a Facebook status. Now it doesn't even matter if a kid exists yet before he's turned into a spectacle and his parents try to get famous off him. Everyone thinks their child is God's gift, but at least parents used to hold their bragging until the kid was actually born. These kinds of announcement videos and hilarious images simply didn't exist before "going viral" became a thing.
(It's one thing to inadvertently have a funny picture go viral; it's another to take what used to be --should be? -- a personal, private celebration and contrive a way for it to go worldwide.)
When Mom and Buried and I learned she was pregnant, we didn't announce it to the world; we announced it to our friends and families. And we didn't even "announce" it; we just told them. Quietly, privately. Proudly, sure, but not "HOLY SHIT YOU GUYS HAS THIS EVER HAPPENED TO ANYONE BEFORE? YES, OF COURSE IT HAS, IT'S BEEN HAPPENING FOR MILLENNIA, IT'S A PRETTY NATURAL PART OF LIFE? WELL IT HASN'T HAPPENED LIKE THIS BEFORE! BEST. PREGNANCY. EVER!"
To be perfectly honest, I don't even remember how we let people know we were having a kid. I assume we just said something like, "Hey, we're having a kid," and then when my wife started showing said something like, "No, she's not letting herself go, you insensitive boor, she's pregnant." But I am positive there was no fanfare, no special effects, no clever video or photoshopped image or cutesy Facebook post. I think there was some hugging, and lots of drinking. (But only by some of us.)
Four years later, I don't have anything special to look back on and help me remember my wife's pregnancy.
Except my son.
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