Angst-ridden preganancy as sexy entertainment

This Sunday’s NYTimes had this article on upcoming TV series about a couple expecting their first baby. The series is based on the book Notes From the Underbelly, which I’ve never read, but there’s enough entertainment value in the article that I don’t feel like I ever need to read the book or watch the show.

“It’s not just a random day in the life of a mom,” [Jennifer Westfeldt] said. “It’s: ‘Whoa! We’re pregnant, and I’m not ready for it.’ ” As Lauren, who counsels high school students on their college choices, says at one point, “We’re barely in our 30s and these days that’s like being in your 20s, which is actually an irresponsible age to have children.”

First, who is ready to have kids? Mom used to say that her kids were “willing until able,” as in “willing to wash the dishes until able to wash the dishes.” Having kids seems similar; we’re all ready until pregnant, then we realize how hopelessly inept we are. What I particularly love about this quote is the logic, as it were, of the final sentence, in which her character says that anyone who’s “barely in [their] 30’s” and having kids is “irresponsible.”

Say what? Since when is a 30-something having a baby irresponsible?

Then there’s this, from the executive producer:

“The beauty of a pregnancy,” Ms. Traub said, “is there’s a built-in arc.”

Funny, there were many beautiful parts of our pregnancy–you know, once the beauty of the nausea was gone–but I never realized that the true beauty of it was that you could fit the story of the pregnancy neatly into a TV season.

A network vice president pointed out other benefits to having a baby:

“There’s something very sexy about having a baby right now,” Ms. Calfo said.

She’s the network’s VP of vapid comments and fashion accessories–“Ooh, where did you get that cute redheaded baby? I’ve just got to get one!” I’ll have to ask Mama which parts of pregnancy she found most sexy, the nausea, the aching joints, or the swollen feet.

“Risa tapped into something that I think a lot of people of our generation feel but haven’t wanted to say,” Ms. Traub said. “No one really told us that it’s O.K. to complain a little and to be a little bit selfish.”

Really? No one told you that? You haven’t heard of all the self-absorbed, bitchy blogs on the innernets? Where do you people live that you don’t have to encounter reality?


Oh, right.

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  • Anonymous

    A Fliker question Cillia and I would like to print out and frame a few of your photos, how can we get hi rez ones from you?

    TCB on framing 3B

  • …there were things about my body that I found sexy while I was pregnant.

    …those things will never be outweighed by the backaches, nausea, cankles (nothing sexy ’bout those!), stretch marks, mocha-latte nipples, & the fear that I’d grow a 3rd nipple or random hair (…man, I read that in one pregnancy book…9 months of fear, my friend!)…

    Now…I had my child in my 20s. So, according to her math, I was really like 10, and that’s INCREDIBLY IRRESPONSIBLE!

    With regard to the “willing until they’re able” comment.
    Excellent.
    Makes me think of something I also figured out in life: I resisted my parents telling me what to do my whole life. Then, when critical decisions came up in my adult life–suddenly they couldn’t/wouldn’t tell me what to do, and I longed for them to make the big decisions for me!

    …anyway.
    Those are my comments.