There are two things I find very hard to get excited about—other people’s photographs and other people’s babies. Or worse, photographs of other people’s babies.
Okay, I am not one of those baby haters. Neither am I the bra-burning feminist types (is that still a term?). It’s just that I never know what is the right thing to say when I see a baby. The last time I was in close contact with one, I said something like, ‘Don’t you think she has her father’s jaw line and her mother’s cheeks?” The beau gently nudged me to speak softer, hinting that the ‘baby’ might not be too pleased to hear it.
So now I just reserve my comments to “He/she is so adorable…” It always works.
The baby visit ceremony is a mostly a to-be-done thing, especially if the person concerned is a good friend, and more so if she has spent a good part of her pregnancy moaning about tight bras and breaking wind… People who have babies always want you to come and ‘see the baby’. I have never understood why. Are they expecting you to tell them, “I like what you made.” Would you ever tell them, “Well, you should have another go, this one hasn’t turned out as I imagined….”
Last year, my friend had one, and at the hospital, I was actually wondering why she still looked pregnant, even though the baby was technically out. I was severely admonished by another friend for thinking such insensitive thoughts. I seriously have to pick up some politically correct phrases.
And then is the whole ordeal of baby pictures. I used to live in a hostel, where by default, the women seemed to follow the same biological clock—one by one, they all got married, and most of them had babies soon after. And then began the onslaught of baby pictures— the baby’s first diaper, first tooth, the first thing it put in his mouth, the first time it sat, or stood or burped or farted, or spoke…..and later, first stage play, first karate class, first swimming medal, first work of art or some such.
I can hear my friends saying, “Wait till you have one…” Well, we’ll see.
A close second is wedding pictures. For starters I can never understand the throne thing and the queuing-up-to-wish-the-bride-and-groom-and-taking-a-picture-with-them. In my barometer of uncool, this figures the highest. Why do we have to go through it? I have had many a fun conversation with others in queue, and everyone has the same problem. So why don’t they all just go on strike and say, “We will not be demeaned like this…”
Wait, it doesn’t stop there. Because soon after, the bride or groom will send you a couple of really fat files containing “the wedding albums.” Now, what were they thinking? “Err..in case you missed looking like a complete moron on our wedding, you can see what others looked like….”
Gimme a break..
There are people who know exactly the right thing to say at births, deaths and weddings. I have come to realise that I am not one of them.