Herald Mail Media
Most guys no longer go as far as W.C. Fields, who said he liked children “so long as they are properly cooked.” So, too, have guys grudgingly changed their preference for celebrating the birth of their child in the bar across the street from the hospital.
Yes, we are incrementally giving up our caveman tendencies. This happens when you make small concessions. Pretty soon, the union has taken over your whole shop.
That’s happening in Brazil, where C-section births are becoming not just a family affair, but a special event with a gaggle of people watching.
According to The Washington Post, “The phenomenon is inspiring a new industry of party planners, makeup artists and caterers, focused on turning these highly orchestrated operations into wedding-like spectacles, produced for an audience.”
Look, I’m as enlightened as the next guy. Actually, that’s not completely true. Thirty years ago, I was just as enlightened as the next guy. Today, it’s not just that I want people to get off of my lawn — I don’t want the lawn. I want it paved so I don’t have to mow.
Isn’t this supposed to be a blessed event, intensely quiet and personal time in the innermost sanctum of the nuclear family? Why in the name of Pele would you want the whole fraternity house, getting drunk, cheering on your spouse and urinating into the potted plant?
This is probably her idea, not his. According to the Post, “At the Sao Luiz private hospital in Sao Paulo, a mother-to-be can get her hair and makeup done in her hospital room. For 2,000 reals per day — about $500 — her family can rent out the presidential suite, with a living room and bathroom for guests, a balcony and minibar. Mothers can request their favorite flowers and magazines, and even change the furniture if it clashes with their planned decorations. A 22-story maternity ward now under construction will include a wine cellar and ballroom.”
For all this extravagance, $500 a day seems cheap. An American hospital would charge you — well, your first born child. Really, what can you get in an American hospital for $500 besides an Ace bandage?
I am aware that Europeans do things differently, with their nude laundromats and their weird breakfasts and their invasion of your personal space, but sheesh. It’s a matter of time before copycat Americans, who think it makes them look suave, latch on to this radical idea, which makes Elizabeth Warren’s look like the Coolidge administration. (I am also aware that Brazil isn’t in Europe, but in today’s politics, a foreigner is a foreigner, right?)
The French thought Marie Antoinette was a snob because she refused to give birth in public, but at least they had a reason — they wanted to make sure the heir to the throne was actually a live birth and not some changeling.
But face it, we’re not all giving birth to the dauphin. And to that point, doesn’t this put a lot of pressure on the child? What if you throw this big celebration and then he turns out to be a cheese-fries-eating Uber driver?
My fear is that this won’t stop at child births. Especially if profit-minded American medicine gets hold of it. I can see the day when they rent out the operating room for pet parties where everyone gets to spay their own cat.
You know how women are with events. It’s just a matter of time before she pops a surprise colonoscopy party on you. You’re just about to go under and she says, “Look, honey, I invited all your friends!”
You’re going to need that wine cellar.