The mother of all selfish purchases

Been trying to figure out how to make this post relate to ballet, and there just is no way, so fuck it, I’m just gonna tell it.

Lawd help me Gentle Reader, I went to Babies R Us.
I’d been really hoping to Never Set Foot in that place Evar, but then Mr. Adult Beginner handed me this gift card and was like, “Here, somebody gave me this, go spend it before I forget all about it.”
And, like, ok, it was super nice of whoever gave him the card, I totally appreciate the thought of ‘Hey, you’re having a baby, you might need to get some baby stuff’, totally nice and thoughtful,
I just really hate the fact that these Huge Baby stores even exist.
I mean, I feel like there’s so much pressure of Omg You’re Pregnant Now Immediately Buy Everything OR ELSE and I feel like it totally preys upon our fears that maybe we really are unprepared to be parents unless we buy this thing and this thing and all of these things.
And I don’t like being marketed to that way!
Fear-based marketing!
It’s mean!
Like, I was reading this book, it was just this fluffy non-fiction beach-read type book, like the kind of thing you throw into your beach bag along with your towel and your Maxim and your SPF 5million, and it was just this silly account of some lady and her pregnancy related shenanigans, and at one point she goes shopping at a Big Box Baby Store called Buy Buy Baby, which I thought was a Completely Hilarious name.
Like, this name was a Searing Criticism of the whole baby supply industry, and I was totally applauding the author for coming up with such a brilliant fake store name, encapsulating the entire Fear and Love driven mania to buy stuff Or Else and how the name was like Not Even Pretending that it wasn’t all about pushing merchandise and then-
I actually walked past a Buy Buy Baby while I was in New York and was like Holy Crap, it is a real store. Wow.
It’s like that moment in pregnant yoga class when I realized that I was not actually going to make any BFF’s in there. That unlike my ballet class, where there’s at least a common interest that brings us all together, the only thing I have in common with my prenatal yoga homies is timing.
That moment happened before yoga one day when one of the girls was organizing a group to go see What To Expect When You’re Expecting in theater, which I had zero interest in, the book or the movie, and she was like, “I mean, we are a target audience, who knew?!!”
And I kept my mouth shut because this girl is nice even though she’s not My People, but my head was exploding with, ‘Are you kidding??!?! Of Course we are a target audience! We’re emotional, and we have a time limit! We’re every advertisers wildest dream!’
So anyway, Babies R Us.
I walked in with my gift card and was immediately hit upside the head with the unconquerable vastness of the store, the glaring brightness, the buzzing fluorescent lights, and the uneasy feeling of Oh gawd look at all this stuff oh gawd I don’t have any of this stuff, oh gawd what am I doing I am totally unprepared must buy must buy buy buy buy buy before its too late buy buy buy’
Then, like, took a deep breath and was like, ‘KIT, Adult Beginner, keep it together, it’s just shopping you can do this’ and started walking through the store.
And, I don’t know if this is the lay out of all Babies R Us’s, or if it was just this one, but they’ve done a brilliant job of putting all the cute clothing in the front so you have to wade through adorable outfits complete with hats to get to the necessities like, I don’t know, diapering and feeding, stuff you actually Must Do with babies.
And by cute clothing I mean two sections of extremely sex specific clothing, the sugar-coma pink ruffled girl world on one side and the aggressively sports themed boys stuff on the other, no neutral area.
It’s princesses, football, or go naked.
And the thing is, I know what sex my baby is, I’m just not telling anyone because I’m a jerk who enjoys annoying my friends and driving my family insane. So I wasn’t about to walk through either section for fear someone I know would suddenly pop out from behind a rack of footie-pajamas and yell Aha! while snapping photos directly to stupid Facebook and then I would be busted, Gentle Reader! Busted!
So I did a kind of perimeter check of the store while becoming more and more convinced that I have no idea what I need, but that I damn well better get something so I don’t have to come back ever, when I came across the extremely tiny Stuff For Mamma section and there, right in the middle, was that ridiculously expensive all natural hypoallergenic French moisturizer I’d been eyeballing but not purchased at C. O. Bigelow in Greenwich Village.
It cost $45.
I have never spent that much on a beauty product in my entire life.
The gift certificate was for $50.
I picked it up.
In my head was flashing a friend, couple months ago, saying, “Dude. This is your last birthday before you are a mom. You had better do something really selfish tonight.” and I had said back, “Something really selfish? What, like, make a person? Who carries half my genetic code? Selfish like that?” and he was like, “No! You know what I mean!”
And also flashing was Mr. Adult Beginner’s Theory Of Gift Certificates, which is: always spend gift certificates on something you wouldn’t buy yourself.
And then I put it back down, thinking, ‘No, not this, not something for me, must get something for the baby’
And then picked it up again and totally spent the gift card on it.


About adultbeginner

Had my first ballet class Ever at the advanced age of thirty-two. Yikes.
This entry was posted in ce n'est pas une mom blog and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

20 Responses to The mother of all selfish purchases

  1. hiccup42 says:

    This story is brilliant. You are my fifth favourite person that ever existed. Beaten only by my significant other, my bff, my mum and David Tennant.
    Have a lovely day and enjoy your moisturizer :D

  2. Janet says:

    I am happy that you got what you wanted. Of course you will need to invest in a few diapers for the baby, eventually.

  3. guyenne says:

    Great use of the gift card. I have always found Babies R Us to be full of overpriced stuff that isn’t worth it. I only go there when I need an rare specialty item.

  4. Katy says:

    You made a wise choice…

    I got so overwhelmed I had to keep chanting ‘What did they do before baby shops?’ as a mantra to ward off unnecessary purchases. (Also handy when reading baby books or websites.)

    • Yes!
      I’ve been getting lots of funny stories from my mom about all the things she didn’t have, like standing in the kitchen realizing she had no where to put me while she cooked dinner. Didn’t have a swing or playpen or bouncer or one of those foam chair thingies or a portable car seat so she built a pillow fort on the kitchen floor and put me in there. And that was only 35 years ago!

      • Diane says:

        Ha ha! I love it! I have two kids – now 23 and nearly 21 – and for both of them I also built “pillow forts”, which would move from room to room as needed, as we also did not have swings, foam-chairs, car-seats or playpens.

  5. Jenna says:

    Lol, ironic that you posted this today. My friend’s baby shower was yesterday, which means I was at Babies R Us picking out a couple cute outfits earlier this week. I agree, though, that stores like that are way too over priced, and have way too many unnecessary things just waiting for unsuspecting first-time Moms to come in and think that maybe they need all of that stuff. I wasn’t actually going to get her anything from Babies R Us at all. I was going to get something more economical from Zellers (a department store in Canada), but ours is in the process of converting to a Target and they had next-to-nothing in stock.

    I actually worked for that company back in 2007 as a Christmas seasonal hire. I was on the Toys side, not the Babies, and I was mostly stuck on a register since I was one of the few seasonal employees who came in already knowing the basics of being a cashier (surprising that so few did), and I was disgusted by how much the company desperately wants to fleece its customers. I’m really glad it wasn’t a commission job, because I definitely did *not* upsell nearly as much as they wanted me to.

  6. loveablestef says:

    lol. I generally detest stepping foot into Babies R Us as well, but went there yesterday to purchase the same product for a different reason. Weird.

  7. O'Fla says:

    What a good thing to get something for yourself! You are going to be living almost entirely for the Baby soon enough, and there may be very little time (or energy) to do other things.
    I also totally agree with the idea of using gift certificates only for things you would not buy otherwise.
    About Huge Baby Stores: There were no such stores in the country I lived in when I had my children, so shopping there was not an option. I generally got used baby clothes from a friend, and sent them on to another friend afterwards for the first child. For the second, I decided to buy most clothes at second-hand shops, as I had read that by the time the clothes were there, most of the chemicals had been washed out. (and I had not even known there WERE so many chemicals used in clothing! :o ) So, anyway, I was spared having to do hardly any shopping in places like that. Now, if I am ever a grandma, who knows??!!

    • Yeah, thank goodness for friends. My best advice to women looking to get pregnant is: arrange for most of your girlfriends to have babies before you do, because your mom-friends become an amazing resource for cheering, information, understanding, and yes, totally, hand-me-downs.

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