We're All Damaged

Friday, July 31, 2009

The Unnecessary Man

Grammatically speaking, pregnancy can be confusing. A lot of couples go with first person plural. “We’re having a baby.” “We’re eating for two.” “We’re no longer aloud to drink grain alcohol and then race dirt bikes.”

I, however, have decided to go old school. I know that it’s 2009, and I’m well aware of the fact that we have a Democrat in the White House, but I am not pregnant. Far from it. There is, frankly speaking, nothing interesting or miraculous or even life-affirming going on inside of my body. I am a painting hung in the lobby of a hotel. Sure, I’m aesthetically pleasing and undeniably sexy in a raw, hyper-masculine sort of way, but there’s really nothing here worthy of discussion.

This point has been made perfectly clear to me over and over as I’ve accompanied my wife to the doctor’s office.

Inside that tiny little room with its paper-covered bed and frightening diagrams of things I don’t even want to talk about, my wife is treated like something never before seen by mankind. Her temperature is taken. Her expanding belly is measured with great care. She’s asked how she’s feeling, eating, and sleeping. She’s quizzed about her emotional well-being and whether or not she’d like a glass of water. Her arm is touched gently, and she’s asked if she has any questions—any questions at all.

I, on the other hand, am a far less precious commodity. This is how it goes. My wife and I sit quietly in the examining room, waiting. While she checks her Blackberry, I pretend that the tiny plastic baby on the shelf is a football, and I try to hike it to her. When the doctor walks in, I am given a curt little nod, and from that moment on I become the equivalent of a potted plant that is too big for the room and is somehow in everyone’s way. After the second visit, the staff gave up saying “excuse me.” They just shove me out of the way now, occasionally kneeing me in the groin.

Being ignored by a room full of women is nothing new, believe me. But, let’s take a step back here and analyze the situation. Am I really that unnecessary? Think about this: would we even be having this conversation in the first place if it wasn’t for me and my own, admittedly less-impressive, miracle? And how about 18 months from now when a certain miniature someone in her pink jammies sees a spider or is convinced there’s a monster lurking about in the closet? Will I be unnecessary then?

Hmmm, well, maybe. But she doesn’t know that. Not yet anyway.

I am man! Hear me . . . sigh quietly to myself in a dejected way!


  1. I relate, brother. Just ask anyone here at The Death Star: Men are redundantly useless. You'd be surprised how many of the Storm Troopers are actually women underneath that awkward helmet.

  2. Dude, your presence in the room extremely necessary- the level of aggro you would get from NOT being there would be cataclysmic. Take a cup of resentment, a bag of hormones and a dash of bloating and you have a recipe for couch soup. You're doing great!!


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