I can be pretty dense, especially when it comes to people’s needs. I simply fail to hear what is being said to me.
Case in point is a story called “A Bundle of Joy Isn’t Enough?” by The New York Times.
It’s all about how wonderful dads happily buy deserving moms fantastic baubles as a thank you for carrying and delivering each child. Linda Murray, executive editor of BabyCenter.com explains to The Times:
“It’s more and more an expectation of moms these days that they deserve something for bearing the burden for nine months, getting sick, ruining their body. The guilt really gets piled on.”
Adds Sandra Miller of Arlington, Mass:
“Women can and do expect a thoughtful token of appreciation. It’s a way to honor a mother giving her emotions, body and hormones over to a baby for nine months, culminating in an experience which, when done naturally, redefines the meaning of pain. And when not done naturally, it’s still an act of sacrifice.”
After writing a particularly clever post, I asked my wife what she thought about this budding tradition. Boy, did I get an earful on this one.
Apparently, in my wife’s family, this is an OLD tradition. Anne had nudged me to get her such a present while she was pregnant; I protested that money was too tight. While I have no recollection of the conversation, that sounds like something I would say.
Anne then told me certain family members were disappointed in my failure. Not only that, I forgot her first Mother’s Day. I don’t remember that, either, but I probably did.
To further compound my woes, Anne had C-Sections, which probably means I should have doubled up on any gifts.
While not everyone thinks Push Presents are a great idea, more than 55 percent of moms expect them, writes the Times. Honestly, I had no idea.
If I was to guess why I didn’t get Anne a present, I was probably thinking along the lines of Rhonda Grote, president of ThinkThoughtful.com:
“This isn’t the time to give a $200 piece of jewelry. I do not think that because a woman has had a baby she requires a Tiffany & Company item. She requires help, love and emotional support.”
While I think I did okay in the love and support department – now I’m afraid to ask – Grote is wrong. It WAS the time to give a present, and I failed miserably.
Or maybe I was thinking like Beth Mears of Grand Haven, Mich.:
“It’s a really bizarre and unnecessary thing for a woman to expect. For one thing, lots of people are giving gifts to the mom, baby and entire family. Also, there’s a lot going on when a new baby is expected. It’s just not a nice time for a woman to demand that her partner get creative and think of ‘the perfect gift.’ ”
While I appreciate Beth unknowingly coming to my defense. It doesn’t help: blew it.
And I’m only too sure now, that if I continue to read The New York Times, I will eventually learn of some other marriage failing on my part. The list seems to be building up.
To stay out of trouble until our Golden Wedding Anniversary at which I plan to slip a 600-carat diamond ring on Anne’s finger – that is if she doesn’t dump me for all my boneheaded mistakes before then – I plan to hide in a dark corner of my closet.