Last week, People magazine ran a story under the headline, Rachel Zoe ‘Thrilled’ With 10 Carat Push Present.
There is so much to say about that statement that I’m not even sure where to begin.
Rachel Zoe? 10 Carat? Push Present?
After I rubbed my eyes, gave my head a shake and downed a shot of vodka, I was ready to process. First of all, I had no clue who Rachel Zoe was, but after getting a farking 10-carat diamond ring just for having a kid, it was easy to deduce that Rachel Zoe was either a) Queen of the Vaginas or b) the first woman ever to give birth. I’m pretty sure that I – and many of us – gave birth prior to 7 weeks ago, so I’m going with Rachel Zoe, Queen of the Vaginas.
I suppose that as Queen of the Vaginas, one is entitled to the most extravagant, ridiculous gifts in the universe, but let’s say – let’s just say – that Rachel Zoe is actually a mere mortal like the rest of us, or maybe even just Duchess of the Vaginas, and therefore does not, for that reason alone, qualify for a 10-carat ring just for pushing a kid out her nethers.
I’m just not sure about these push presents. They kind of gross me out.
Yes (and Twitter will vehemently agree with me on this one), it’s nice for a husband to show his appreciation for his wife after all the hard work she did to carry and birth his progeny. Yes (and Facebook will back me up here), it’s nice for a husband to commemorate the birth of his progeny and the expansion of his family with a thoughtful trinket.
A gigantic doorknob of a ring is probably going to be seen as excess in all corners of the internet, but I just don’t really get the whole concept. When I brought up the subject of push presents on a recent car trip with my husband and 21-year old nephew, it turned the trip into a laugh riot:
From my nephew: Does it have to be sparkly, or could it be, you know, a sweater or something?
From my husband: A present?! Isn’t the baby the present? Do I get a present for putting it in there?
From my nephew: So, like, do all girls expect this now? Is there a special bank account I have to start saving in, like an RRSP?
From my husband: Aren’t bigger boobs the ultimate present?
From my husband: Is this just something men get their wives because they have no intention of actually doing the hard work of parenting, and want to make sure their wives don’t complain about it? Hey! The kids 6 months old and my husband’s never changed a diaper! But look how shiny!
So our conversation got me no closer to understanding the motivation behind the push present, and also kind of made me thankful that we were done having kids.
I also think there is something condescending and inherently unfeminist about the whole thing. It feels less like a show of appreciation and more like a pat on the head for doing a good, womanly job. I can’t shake the image of a woman sitting up in a hospital bed in full makeup, smiling like a fool while a man swoops in with a little blue box and rewards his wifey for quietly putting her feet in the stirrups and doing what’s she told. This is probably not the reality of the situation for the recipients of the venerable blue box, but it’s what I think of.
I didn’t get anything sparkly when I had my kids, and the only little boxes I got were full of take-out Chinese food. But I did get a committed father for my children and a dedicated partner, albeit with a questionable sense of humour. Oh, and beautiful, healthy babies.
What more could I have pushed for?