Sunday, November 21, 2004

Furious Styles Morrow

Chris and I were treated to a wonderful baby shower this afternoon and got a chance to spend time with family and friends. As far as showers go, I thought it was pretty fun.

I heard from numerous people how shocked they were when they heard I was pregnant. I'm almost 32 years old and been married for 8+ years, but OK, I guess everyone has their own impression. This just further backs up Sam's claim that I give off the distinct impression that I hate children. I think it just shows how utterly misunderstood I am by the entire world, even by those who supposedly know me best. People have pretty rigid ideas of what makes a parent and I don't fit those ideas. Apparently, despite being 7 months pregnant, I don't come across as maternal. This afternoon I was told to stop referring to my son as "the kid" and instead I should call him "the baby." For a poet, I am especially dense to baby word nuances because saying "feeding bowl" instead of just "bowl" seemed to rile some folks up as did calling "onesies" (did I spell that right?) "body suits." I was joking when I referred to the "play yard" as the "cage." Sort of. But come on, it's a box with netting you put the kid, er the baby in so he doesn't escape. Let's be honest. That's a cage. What would Foucault call it? Yeah, I know, fuck Foucault!

As for the name game, well let's say I didn't quite expect the reaction we got. I wasn't expecting people to rave about it --

I'll announce the name here in another 24 hours or so there's still time to throw your guess into the ring. But let me reiterate, I don't think the name is "weird" or "goofy" and I consider any name out of the bible as "traditional." You would have thought we announced the name to be "Turd Finklestein" or "Douche Catoosh" by the gasps and glazed stares of utter disbelief. Some folks thought we were joking at first -- like there was no way on earth we'd actually name our kid, er baby that. Someone yelled "There's still time to change it!" Another "That's not in the bible, that's a place!" (Um, no, it's a person in the bible, trust me.) Another, "That kid is going to hate school."

A few people asked, "What's his nickname going to be?" Well, I don't know. We're calling him by the name he's given. Nicknames are earned, he'll get what's coming to him. I remember reading how when Ahmet Zappa was a kid he was teased and called "Ahmet Vomit" (or something similar). He hated it and changed his name to Rick. So the kids started calling him "Rick Dick." I went to school with a kid named David. We called him Gayvid. My mother wanted to name me Ashley, but my dad said no, they'd call me "Assley." I married a guy named Christopher. I usually just call him "Chris" but sometimes I call him "Kisstopher" or "Chrissie" or "Kissie" or "Chris Piss" or "Gigantore" or "Jolly Green Giant" or "Russian Hands" or "Ass Master" or "Pillow Biter" or about 50 other unmentionable things. It depends what he earned for that moment.

After the initial "You've got to be shitting me" responses, some tried to smooth things over and said "It's kind of growing on me." It wasn't, but it's the thought that counts, I guess. I wasn't upset, just taken aback and I must admit, it strengthened my resolve. The whole experience gave me a lot of insight into myself. I was amongst my people and this is what my people do. This is why I never have problems saying what's on mind. This is why I'm always unintentionally offending people. While occasionally people appreciate my being a "straight shooter" often they're wounded and hurt by what I have to say and I'm just trying to be helpful or thoughtful. Last month a friend said I was "exceedingly liberal with the spearpoints" when I thought I was being flirty and coy. Of course, my first reaction to that was "what a pussy" but the next time I wrote to him I put a little more thought into my words. But being sensitive to sensitive people can be a futile chore and if one isn't careful one can become false. I have no intention of becoming false and it was best that everyone told me they thought our name was horrible because at least I know where they stand. I can respect that.

Look, I love my kid, the kid I'm going to dress in body suits and place in a baby cage. I would never give him a name that I thought would encourage an ass kicking or create unnecessary obstacles in his life. Mean Mommy what's best for her kid. Her kid who will be blunt and insensitive and an ass just like her and his father, just like all the generations before them. If he doesn't like the name we both love and chose with such care, well, he can change it when he turns 18 and write a memoir about what dicks his parents were. Then we'll hire Aunt Tender Buttons to sue his unappreciative ass for libel.

It was a really nice shower. While nobody said anything about me being a "good parent" (cause I'm pretty sure they all have their reservations) they all said I looked good -- and that's the important thing.

Signed, Joan Crawford Livingston

p.s. Stay tuned for the scandalous name that shook Pittsburgh. I'm loving everyone's guesses so far!


At 7:39 AM, Blogger Suzanne said...

As far as I'm concerned good mothers utilize the cage for their kids. I mean, how the hell else are you supposed to take a shower?

Reb, you are going to be a Great mom, I can tell just by reading your blog. Now if only you were nearby...maybe these informal play groups would be enoyable (for me) rather than tolerable for the sake of J.

At 10:04 AM, Blogger Abulsme said...


At 10:08 AM, Blogger Abulsme said...

Mordecai Moab?

(Meaning contrition, bitter, brusing of his father...)

At 3:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey....Rob here. Two things, I can give you a chinga-load more nicnames that Chris has earned over the last 10 years, AND, I received the same load of shit when I 1) announced that I was to become a parent and 2) announce that I was going to name child number 4 (Joshua) Wassily. Kim obviously talked me out of that and he is now able to be referenced in the bible, and is not named after a state.

At 8:06 PM, Blogger Michael said...

I knew it! It's Methuselah Frank! What's my prize?


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