SPEW :: the envelope please

created: january 22, 2003

there is an envelope. there is an envelope, the contents of which, reveal the gender of baby. a colour of infant. i flavour of alien. this envelope is currently sealed. for how long is a question of patience and a question of sanity and more over, a question of curiosity. never before has there been a more important envelope. not even the envelope marisa tomei refused to give back to the academy can beat this one. prior to this morning, not one single entity knew the gender of the little bug. now, there are a few in the medical profession in central marin county who know. them, and this envelope.

i think i’ve heard the spectrum on this topic, whether solicited or not. it seems from the surface to be an issue of a unified front. for surely for every couple who chose to find out, there must have been some amongst them who grappled with disagreement. perhaps those couples, like us, had a canned response to the 2nd most popular question to the baby on the way. seems rather trivial really. perhaps in the future when we’ll be able to check a box for BOY and have a boy. but for now, whilst its still out of our control, it seems odd that some people would be so concerned with the topic. yet i was met with this underground resistance to my response. “why wouldn’t you want to find out? its going to be surprise either way!” as if it was about trying to prevent the spoiling of something.

and i capitulate in certain regards. it *does* seem trivial to clutch such a massive swath of news and keep it under-wraps. even when we’ve the technology to peer into the future like we did this morning. and perhaps thats the base of where my mindset is coming from. empirically, there’s a black & white issue at hand. the bug in annas belly is either a boy or it is a girl. but symbolically and spiritually and emotionally there is still a mystery under there. there is still the wonderful awe of not knowing the colour of the wee little wizard behind the curtain.

there is no doubt that certain peoples minds will have a better ride for the remainder of someone else’s pregnancy knowing that its a boy or knowing its a girl. it makes the ‘gearing’ and the ‘personalisation’ for the pending sausage easier for them. the manufacturers of all the baby-schwag appear to devote little attention to the ungendered baby. perhaps they feel that light-greens and pale-yellows and lavenders are too neutral. one MUST find out the baby’s sex and one MUST then choose blue or pink. but it *does* go deeper then that. couple want to make themselves as well as their surroundings more suited to the baby thats coming. neutrality is for business suits, where some couples want to know what shade of paint to buy. better still, grandparents tend to stoke the fires of impatience in the gender revelation.

i’m all for clearing the fog of uncertainty and revealing what there is to know in this world. i feel the more we humans can learn about ourselves and the world we live in, the better off our children’s’ world will be. that means embracing controversial research, that means debunking ritualistic practices, that means exploring the limitless world of genetics of our inner-space. but all of this, it all means something else. it means exercising the choice inherent in all of it. sure, we can find out the gender of a baby before its born. but here come the choice.

of all the things that we as humans can do with our lives, it seems frivolous to me that there should be some pursuit of greater importance then giving birth to & nurturing our young into the world. call it prehistoric in light of evolution, call it animalistic in spite of our intelligence, but I feel it is our most profound gift. In concert with that, of all the wonderful things we as intelligent humans have revealed, of all the current & future knowledge we wield, the single-most distilled example of a secret is if its going to be a boy or if its going to be a girl.

Aw fock sean. All this spew and what has it all gotten us? So fine, you’re in the camp of keeping it a secret.