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Be Cool

So I’m beginning to understand how people transition from being cool, down-wid-it twenty-somethings into boring, hapless forty-something parents. I know this because I’m slowly transforming into someone none of my friends or family want to hang out with. Last Friday I met my brother and some friends for dinner and movie. All was fine until we broke into the alcohol-seeking and the home-seeking groups.

“Goodbye,” I said to the sleep-bound. “The next time you see me, I’ll smell like baby shit.”

Okay, I admit, it’s not my finest moment or my best joke. And, I’d never met about half of these people before. But I had earnestly (relentlessly, according to some) talked about being a father, and in a momentary lapse of judgment, I chose to say that. I didn’t immediately regret saying it, because, well, it’s probably true. People laughed until my brother completely freaked out.

“Nobody wants to hear that! Why did you say that?!?” I shrugged and said, “Because it’s probably true.” “SHUT UP!!”

And with that, we were off. He decided he would make me shut up and I decided that I would make him hear every gross detail about babies. Together we virtually guaranteed that neither of us would enjoy the rest of the night. Any time he brought up shutting up, I brought up babies.

Scene #1 – Cab on the way to the bar 1:30 AM

“Bro, seriously, you’ve embarrassed yourself. You didn’t even know those people and nobody wants to hear about baby shit. Ever!”

“Did you know that the baby in the womb drinks its own urine? We’ve all drunk our own urine.”

The cab driver looks uncomfortable.

Scene #2 – Lunasa on 7th Street 2:00 AM

“Dude, do not talk about the baby stuff anymore. I don’t want to hear it. Please stop.”

“If the baby breathes in its own poo when it’s first born, it could get pneumonia.”

“Please, stop, I mean it.”

Scene #3 – On the way to One and One on 1st Street 2:45 AM

By this point another friend, who was interested in learning more about newborn babies, joined the group, much to Ryan’s chagrin.

“I will run away and leave you here if you do not stop talking about distgusting baby facts!”

“The newborn is covered in a cream cheese-like substance called vernix.”

“Dude, stop. Just stop.”

Scene #4 – Mona’s on 14th and Avenue B 4:30 AM

Interested Friend: “What’s baby’s first poo called?”

Jason: “Meconium.”

Ryan: “I am sitting at the bar by myself!”

Scene #5 – Dynasty Diner on 14th Street and Avenue B 5:30 AM

Jason: “Hi, Ryan!”

Ryan: “Do I know you?”

The point of the story isn’t that I’m an asshole, which of course, re-reading this, I clearly am. The point is that I’m kinda self-centered and I’m thinking about the baby, so I talk about it. To everyone. Until they want to kill me.

Ha! Ha! No, clearly the point is that even the strongest among us will quiver in the face of baby poo, even if it’s just mentioned, and not even in sight or smell. I can torture my brother, because he’s stuck with me, no matter what, even if right now he wishes he wasn’t. I was actually surprised at how freaked out he got about gross baby stuff. Then I remembered that I changed his diapers – but I’m not sure he’s ever changed a diaper before.

By the way, I only brought up baby stuff if he did, except for my first comment. And if someone asked about babies. Or if someone asked why Ryan was so upset.

About the only people I can chatter away to about baby stuff without them batting an eye is other expectant parents. We joined an expectant parent group here in Park Slope. They are real nice folks, and all of us are expecting around the same time. When you get fourteen expectant parent couples together, people are going to think it’s an invasion. The first place we met at was a coffee bar, where two patrons kept wondering if it was a coincidence that seven pregnant women all arrived at the same time, or if it was a mommy meeting of some kind. Now we meet in a burger bar that has a back room with comfy chairs, which is important. I wonder if the waitress is bothered by our conversations, which last week consisted of discussing how toddlers use potty training as a weapon.

So, since I’m sure you’re wondering, when did I stop being cool and turn into a parent? There are some who would argue that I was never cool. But clearly, judging from Friday night, I have passed some sort of rite. I am no longer cool enough to hang out, because I talk about expecting a baby.

The thing is, I’m sure Ryan and his friends will also become parents one day, and they will no longer be cool either.


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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on March 12, 2007 12:28 AM.

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