storks carrying little bundles of diaper-soiling joy
Sunday, November 13 2011
I ran some errands in town today, the last of which took me to the Hannaford supermarket on 9W just north of Kingston. This particular Hannaford is a cut above the one in Uptown we sometimes refer to as "Ghettoford," mostly because it doesn't double as a stop on an Ulster County Area Transit bus line. In keeping with its cheerful middlebrow ambiance, there are a number of parking spaces out in front purportedly reserved for expectant mothers. The signs claiming these reservations depict storks carrying little bundles of diaper-soiling joy. Of course, there is no legal basis for reserving parking spaces for expectant mothers; all it can ever be is a friendly suggestion by Hannaford, perhaps enforced by public shame.
As an outspoken member of the philosophically childless, Gretchen routinely parks in these spaces as just another fuck you to the Baby Industrial Complex. But nobody ever gives her grief about it; in a country with reality shows about not knowing that you're pregnant, it's always possible that she is an expectant mother.
But when it's just me and the dogs parking in an expectant mother space, onlooker have only three choices, all of them somewhat implausible: I am an unattractive big-handed woman whose pregnancy has yet to show, I didn't see the sign, or I saw the sign and chose to ignore it. As I was loading groceries into my car, these were apparently the thoughts going through the head of a skinny skeevy-looking man with a thin mustache. He was in the passenger seat of the car that his evidently pregnant wife was parking beside me. Behind them were one or two small children, probable earlier products of that same assembly line. The skeevy-looking man leaned out his window and siezed on the most probable of the three scenarios that had caused me to park in this space, "Didn't you see the sign?" he asked. "I don't believe in that shit," I replied. "But what about handicap spaces?" demanded the skeevy-man, to which I conceded, "They're okay." I could hear him telling his wife that they should call the cops as I smiled and drove away. He apparently was under the delusion that there is actually some legal basis for expectant-mother parking. Of course, in his world, surrounded by pregnancy, he has come to see it as a huge sacrifice to humanity. From my perspective, though, it's a sociopathic act of selfish genes. In an overcrowded world full of consumers, childbirth is nothing to be celebrated.
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