I’ve been thinking a lot about babies. It’s not that I want to have one anytime soon. I don’t. I can’t possibly have a baby. I’m a selfish 28-year-old who will, in one month, be a selfish 29-year-old.
A couple of weeks ago, children’s clothing store Harper Lane hosted an adults-only cocktail party to celebrate the launch of Love Is Organic Denim. While I’m a big fan of cocktails, I don’t love cocktail parties. I’m just not a schmoozer.
(Great. Now I’m not only selfish, I’m also a misanthropic lush.)
Up until an hour before the party, I just figured I would go alone. I was only planning on staying 15 minute — long enough to chat with the store’s owners and the denim-line’s designers, but not so long that I found myself making small talk about the weather, the presidential election, or the dipping sauce for the nori maki.
When I asked my husband if he wanted to go to the party with me, I was merely following married-life protocol. I didn’t expect him to say yes.
Harper Lane is located on Main Street. It’s a high-end boutique filled with ACDC onesies, birthday crowns, KISS T-shirts for 4 year olds, and tiny tweed swing coats. Last season, when I went into Harper Lane for the first time, I was surprised that they carried $90 dresses made from vintage silk handkerchiefs. Who dresses their toddlers in silk?
This season, owners Stacy Harper Bernstein and Laney Rosin chose not to carry the silk dresses. Citing the economy, Bernstein says, “We want people to feel like they can give fun, character-filled gifts this holiday season, and not feel bound by the price tag.”
At the party, I talked with the designers of Love Is Organic Denim about where their jeans are made (India), and if they use recycled fasteners (no). Though Love’s denim is the softest I’ve ever felt, I could never justify spending $118 on jeans for a 9-month-old.
My husband mingled. It weirded me out, being around him and baby clothes at the same time.
I was equally weirded out when he brought “Baby Mama” home from Vidiots. My husband’s movie preference usually involves lasers, or plotlines based on stories by Philip K. Dick.
Maybe the biggest reason I’ve been thinking so much about babies is because I always believed that someday I would be a mother, but I can’t imagine trying to raise a child in Santa Monica.
“I could see us having one right now, but you’re so stressed out all the time,” my husband said when I brought up the subject.
“Where would we put it?” I asked.
“You don’t have to worry about where to put it until they’re, like, 5.”
When my grandmother gave birth to my father, she didn’t ask, “Where should we put it?” My grandparents didn’t have room in their Waukegan, Ill. apartment for a crib, so my father slept in the bottom drawer of a dresser. Can you imagine someone now admitting to putting her baby in a drawer?
Not in Santa Monica. A Santa Monica baby is planned for using iCal. Mommy eats, not for two, but for one. She attends prenatal yoga, proudly displaying her baby bump over the waistband of her yoga pants. After an ultrasound confirms Baby’s sex, Mommy and Daddy go out and buy pastel zero volatile organic compound paint for the nursery.
We have no nursery. I try to visualize a crib in our apartment. Where would we put it? In the kitchen? Babies don’t belong next to the refrigerator.
Earlier this year, I learned of “pregnancy portraits.” I thought these nude photographs were just something celebrities did for magazine covers. Am I supposed to want to do this? Do you hang this picture on the wall? Do portrait packages include wallet photos?
The Santa Monica Mommy researches birth hypnosis, midwives, doulas, lamaze, epidurals, electronic fetal monitoring, what to do if she goes into labor trapped alone in an elevator ….
In the 900 page tome, “The Encyclopedia of Country Living,” Carla Emery explains, “Just pick up the baby and wind it out of the cord. (Practice now with a doll and a cord until it feels simple to free the neck.)”
I think I need a cocktail.
Mariel Howsepian digs black coffee, fairy tales and a man in coveralls. She lives in Santa Monica and can be reached at Mariel_Rodriguez@antiochla.edu.