Life has always been a little awkward for me. Since I shared our pregnancy news, though, the awkward factor has been off the Richter scale. Take, for instance, bowling last weekend. As the pins started to wobble after my feeble attempt at a strike, a coworker shouted, “Jump! You’re bigger now!” And then there was the other coworker who generously offered to lend me her nursing bras. And I’ll spare you the labor and delivery stories. At this point, it’s hard to know which are supposed to be stories of things gone wrong and those gone right. I know people mean well, but it turns out when you mix babies and money, you get a whole different level of awkward.
“I mean, why wouldn’t you want a baby Keurig?”
It turns out that the world is full of items that people “would literally die without”. We are months away from even beginning to create a registry, but to say I’m a little overwhelmed by the suggestions is just like saying I’ve been just a little nauseous. It’s a lie. A big fat whopper. There is so much stuff. And this is coming from the former reigning queen of clutter.
For the most part, though, I appreciate people sharing what has actually been useful to them as they take the plunge into parenthood. It’s when people can’t seem to let things go, though, that I’m never quite sure what to say. The other day, one of my bosses waxed poetic about Baby Brezza, essentially a Keurig for formula cartridges instead of coffee cups, for nearly five minutes. I marveled at the novelty of the contraption with what I thought was the appropriate gusto until I was meant with the question “I mean, why wouldn’t you want a baby Keurig? Do you know how hard it is to fix a bottle and hold a fussy baby at the same time?”
While I could come up with a laundry list of responses–the waste, the expense, the countertop clutter–to the first question, the second question had me stymied. Of course, I’m not a mom yet, but I also have the sinking suspicion that moms and dads have been dealing with bottles for quite a long time.
“Wait, you’re not even going to look at Pottery Barn?”
We haven’t even started tinkering with the idea of registering somewhere. We have exactly zero names picked out. And I’m pretty sure we’ve put more clutter into the guest bedroom/soon-to-be nursery than we’ve removed from it recently. So no, I don’t know what kind of stuff I want or where I’d like it to come from. But it turns out, people are ready to shop.
Initially, I rebuffed the idea of having a shower to the point of making my aunt cry. Talk about not learning how to let people spend their money how they want. It turns out my next faux pas was a bit more difficult to anticipate. At least two relatives and nearly a half dozen coworkers have been absolutely flummoxed by the notion that I have had nary a peek at a Pottery Barn catalog. I may not know our baby’s name, but I do know that this kid will be Target through and through.
“And there’s even a coupon to bank your baby’s umbilical cord blood.”
Right before winter break, I moved into a new stage in my pregnancy. My pants only fit comfortably if I never sat down. It made things like conferring with students, sitting in meetings, and driving more than just a little difficult. After trying to make it through the day one too many times with a safety pin holding up my pants, it was time. So I bit the non-frugal bullet and bought four pairs of maternity pants.
After the sales associate rang up my bounty, she interrupted my
eyeballing hardcore judging of the $297 maternity jeans on the mannequin and started talking me through the coupon packet she put in my bag. Normally, coupons are my jam. This time, not so much. Discount on a monogrammed nursing cover. Pass. Limited time offer on tuition to be a work-from-home medical billing specialist. Side eye and pass. And the perky sales associate who oh so clearly had forgotten what it was like to shop with morning sickness chirped, “And there’s even a coupon to bank your baby’s umbilical cord blood.”
“Uhhh, thanks so much” was all I could muster before smiling and ducking out of the store.
So Tell Me…What’s the most awkward money conversation you’ve had lately?