October 4, 2007

DT Headline Roundup: Keeping Up Edition

A few quick items to clear out the browser tabs:

  • There's a party in my tummy tuck! Can't quite figure out what the takeaway is on the "Mom Job" post-pregnancy plastic surgery package article in the NYT, but Karen's quote from StrollerDerby is very pert. Inent. Pertinent. Sorry. [nyt]
  • In other crazy insecurity news, you're only as good as your expensive stroller: "As a first-time mom I had no idea of the importance of having a high-end stroller," said Sarah Francomano, 35, of Foxborough. "I registered for a Graco, I got the Graco, I like the Graco, but I have to admit that I am embarrassed by the Graco when I take my son into the city. I guess I really am this shallow." Yes, you are. That's why I live in the city. On the bright side, that's another $800 you can put towards the Mom Job. [boston.com via dt reader sara]
  • Parenting 2.0 - No pressure, but you are the curator of your child's permanent digital identity: "I don't blame my friends for making [their baby blog] private and saving themselves the headache of contextualization; social networking terrorists are everywhere, as are other online predators." Terrorist vs . Predator sounds like a Netflix pick. Also, does Babble get its own category? Cuz they both sound kind of harsh. [frogdesign via swissmiss]
  • Oh wait, that's it. Just three. Contest ends in an hour and a half, folks!


    We live in Somerville, one of the densely populated inner suburbs of Boston. (It's closer to downtown Boston than most of Boston is.) We get our two little girls around every day in our Phil & Ted's e3, and while I know one could survive with a cheaper stroller, I also know one could survive the winter with a whole bunch of blankets rather than paying for heat.

    Notice that they could only get the airhead quotes to provide the angle the story was aiming for by talking to people from the actually-suburban outer ring towns like Foxborough -- or freakin' Providence. These people are *just visiting*, probably in a gigantic-ass keep-up-with-the-joneses SUV.

    Those of us getting around the actual city actually really do benefit from having a sturdy "high-end" stroller which can actually stand being used as a primary means of transportation (not just a ferry between the SUV and the mall). I'm not even going to get into explaining in detail why it's better that something you depend on every day be well designed and well made, because despite the insulting tone of this particular genre of parent-hating puff-piece, it's actually pretty obvious.

    [my first headline for this post was going to be "cheap stroller pegs you for a daytripping suburbanite". Sounds like I should've kept it. -ed.]

    Funny because I have the opposite problem. We started off with the Stokke Xplory & the Graco SnapNGo for the car seat first year -- now we have the Volo for subway/cab trips. I love the Stokke -- there is nothing like having him at our (tall) level and being able to communicate through all the stroll -- but I do feel (a little) embarassed at having such a "fancy" stroller -- whereas with the Graco/Volo, I feel comfortably one of the "people"... This is of course absurd reverse snobbery, perhaps a marker for an even subtler class demarcation.
    Anyway, the bottom line of course is that none of us should care what other people think, right?

    [lolol, no, I love it: the Volo's for slumming. for keeping it real. Volo from the block. -ed.]

    "mom jobs" piece was direct lift (sic) from an msnbc.com piece on sept 19: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/20765597/. hate it when the NYT does this -- dudes, just SAY where you got the idea! copying without attribution is bad, whether it's a plywood mini-bike or a trend story.

    {"An increasing number of news outlets are writing stories about boob jobs." -ed.]

    I don't know; there's expensive, and there's expensive, even in cities. We have a Phil&Ted for my half-mile walking commute to preschool/work on sidewalks without cutouts up and down San Francisco hills, but I never seriously considered a Stokke or a Bugaboo. Part of that was practical (watching those little plastic wheels in front of those two slam to a stop on bumps that I power over), but another part of it was social. Pushing a Bugaboo will get you mocked by all the surgeons at our medical center preschool--around here it is the accessory du jour of the vapid trophy wife--but there are a fair number of Bobs, P&Ts, and Baby Joggers. And the issue sure isn't that a two-neurosurgeon couple can't afford whatever stroller they desire.

    There are two Bugaboos in our preschool stroller lineup and I see 20 parents roll their eyes as they walk by them every morning, just in the time that I'm waiting for the elevator. When I told my upstairs neighbor we were buying an expensive new stroller (the P&T) he said, "Oh god, not the Bugaboo?" Around here, at least, that particular stroller overshot practical and landed right on pretentious.

    [fascinating. but all this eyerolling sounds just a different kind of snobbery, like the people who judge other people by how obscure their bike brakes are, or how hitech their goretex shell is. Still, endlessly entertaining, thanks. -ed.]

    I'd love to see the reaction if the Boston Globe ran an article dissing people for their nice bicycles with the implicit assertion that there's no difference but "status" between that and a $80 Huffy.

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