Friday, January 16, 2004

Brawny Man: The End of an Era

They changed the Brawny man. He used to be a 1970's gay man's dream of a lumberjack. Now Chico says he looks like Elvis working at a gas station.

My mom always bought generics and icky stuff for food. We were always short of food. Those loaves of wheat bread with 1,000 pieces. The margarine where you get 3 tubs for a dollar. The sacks of apples with tiny microscopic apples. Yes, children can survive for years and years on frozen pot pies.

When I was very young we sometimes got food donations--like the giant cans of peanuts and hunks of cheese from the Department of Agriculture. I would bring some can of food to school to donate to a 'poor family' and then we would end up getting a bag of canned food several weeks later. We were the poor family! This free food always thrilled my mother.

My mother wasn't into cooking or eating but she was way into cleaning. No generics there. And Brawny has always been her brand of choice. Perhaps she had a hankering for that mustachioed macho man? Nah. She is immune to advertising. My mother takes cleaning too seriously for that. I can only assume that Brawny is a fine, fine product.

Thursday, January 15, 2004

Insulating myself...

As much as possible I try to know as little as I can about the process of giving birth. Unfortunately, it is now almost mandatory that one attend childbirth classes, etc.

When people talk about the birth experience I try not to snort derisively and say "Oh, you mean when gruesome fluids spill about and you spend hours screaming in pain?" I just cannot figure out: Why is this meaningful? Why do people care about it as an experience?

OK, there is something I'm missing.

I envy the woman who can turn this into a glamourous event. Yet, there is a contingent of birth afficianados who get to me. Maybe you've never met these people. They are the kind of people who later go in for attachment parenting and spend a lot of time checking out what is in the baby's diaper. Then talking about it. Believe me, if you knew them, you would know because they also have to tell everyone else.

I know I'm going to be annoying. I know I'm going to do things wrong. I know I'll blather on and on endlessly about my beautiful child. I know I'll break every rule I now set for myself about maintaining some infant-free brain space. Still, I hope there will be a limit.

In fact, I'm so obsessed with seeing my baby that I almost slept next to this jumpsuit he got for Christmas a few nights ago. My yearning is so intense I'm thinking of creating a little baby scarecrow thing in that jumpsuit and putting it on the baby play mat...My obsession frightens me. Chico says we should build a baby-rama. Kinda like a diorama.

It's as if I am madly in love with my baby and it went away to France and now I must wait weeks and weeks to see it. And this wait is torture. Yet, all that separates us is a bit of tummy.

As for the birth thing, I'm just there to get my baby. Give it to me, thanks. Slice me, dice me, do what you must. As long as it leads to me with a baby. My preparation is to imagine the most horribly yucky gross experience I can and then try and comprehend mind bending amounts of pain and telling myself it will only be truly horrific for 24 hours tops and I can do that, etc.

Of course, I also become annoyed that others must be involved.
Besides the icky and the agonizing, I forgot about the embarrassing--strangers seeing you naked in the most unappealing circumstances possible. I had a dream where I got to do it all by myself.

But I don't want details.

Then the Yeti comes along and with his hilarious allegory gives me a detail I just didn't want to know.

But still, it's pretty funny.