December 6, 2007

Someone At The Times Style Section Just Learned About Push Presents

It's ok, I'd never heard of a push present until about six months after the kid was born, and I'd been working on one.

A Bundle of Joy Isn't Enough? [nyt]


Oops. I thought the term "push present" was something like re-gifting something you got and don't want. The whole notion of an extravagant gift like diamond earings for going through labor is the kind of thing that makes Europeans roll their eyes about Americans. Talk about reinforcing a stereotype. I'm sure DeBoers is happy to read this.

Nothing says "I will take no part in raising this child" like giving diamond earrings to your wife in the recovery room.

And nothing says "That's okay, neither will I; that's what nannies are for" like WANTING diamond earrings in the recovery room.

[i think it's important for parents to be on the same page, don't you? -ed.]

Wow. I'm a little put off by the "backlash" against push presents. I suppose I can understand decrying some kind of movement to make them an expected gift, but some people are going to get painted with a big old nasty hate-covered brush for doing nothing more dastardly than wandering glassy-eyed into a jewelry store.

When my wife and I came home from the hospital with our daughter I felt an overwhelming urge to DO SOMETHING. I was full of love, and wonder, and gratitude, and I made the trip to the jewelry store and I made an outlandish purchase (um, two purchases). But I didn't do it because it was expected of me, and my wife didn't love the gifts because she insisted on them in the first place.

As for the suggestion by one interviewee that Dad should do something other than buy a gift, like do some chores or something: I am the primary in our home. I already do the chores. I think the shiny stuff was appreciated; I would not have seen that smile or those tears if I had said "Now I'll go do the dishes." That's the person who deserves the mocking response: the person who hates crass consumerism so blindly that they can't separate those acts from more genuine acts.

Nothing says "I love you and appreciate what you just went through" like scrubbing the toilet. Bah.

Ought we present our women with gift certificates for hugs instead of engagement rings?

[the storyline of the "push present" trendspotting article haven't changed in like a hundred years. the truth is, when a terminally shallow woman, or one who's married to a d-bag i-banker with no sense has a baby, she expects and demands diamond earrings. He's already used to buying jewelry as penance for his affair with the summer associate. When she posts about all this on UrbanBaby, a discussion ensues. A few months later, pregnant reporters, reporter friends of pregnant women, or the partner of same, hears about it, scratches head, asks around, and then writes a story as if he's discovered fire.

It happens every year, like the flowers blooming in the springtime. If you're not a jewelry marketer or emotionally stunted, the push present controversy has nothing to do with you; you're free to continue buying and accepting jewelry as thoughtful surprises, no sweat. Personally, my favorite quote in the story was, "This isn’t the time to give a $200 piece of jewelry,” because I could imagine women going, "damn straight, I'd send it back. it's gotta be at least $2000 for what I went through." -ed.]

Another nerve touched on by DT's.

I agree that there are some shallow people out there that need to fill their lives with meaningless crap. This IMHO is one of those situations.

How much more in debt must we go into to fill the void that just being a parent should fill??

Put your money to good use and start a college fund!

I was overwhelmingly happy with the flowers my husband brought to the room when I had kids. Now since the second time I had my birthday while in the hospital and didn't get jack I was a little ticked but then we were all overwhelmed at the gorgeous baby!

...and who said it had to be jewelry?

My husband took me to London for a week when my son was 10 weeks old.

Some people have no imagination....

hmmm, I wouldn't mind getting a hot tub or a sculpture as a way to celebrate the birth of a new family member. Jewelry? Nope, that would make me feel objectified. But that's just me.

Have you heard the cutesy name for the post-birth gift given to mothers who have a C-section? It's a "nip/tuck present"!!! Isn't that special? ::gag::

As a woman who physically birthed our beautiful baby into this world, I felt rightfully rewarded and appreciated when my husband brought home an iphone for me soon after. A gift that was part luxury yet part necessity. We had never heard of a "push present", but it seemed natural to him to get me something special and it seemed absolutely natural to me to receive it. Also - the "baby blues" are real and everyone gets them to some degree. A gift in aknowledgement of birth is helpful for the mother to fight those as well. If jewelry is what the woman covets, then so be it. For me I was much happier to have the latest and greatest gadget from Apple.

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