When I was 9 months pregnant, I went into a major chain store (that sells wanna-be-high-end baby stuff that is actually all made in China and too expensive for what it’s worth,) to return a gift.
I was a little concerned I wouldn’t be able to find anything to buy with my store credit. Then I saw that they had a baby book; the kind where you write down everything that happens first bath, first smile, first solid poop… Hard cover, thick pages, places to add photos… I didn’t have one yet. I was going to get it! I started scrolling through the beginning…
Page 1: Baby’s birth statistics.
Page 2: About mom
Page 3: About dad. Well. Yeah, that makes sense. I guess most baby books would have mom and dad pages. What do the gay couples do? What to single mom’s with sperm donors do?
Page 4: My mom and dad’s wedding.
OK! WHAT THE F? When was this book written? I looked and it was like 2010. I was livid. I was hot and sweaty and HUGE. This was an outrage!! WEDDING? How fucking dare they?!
“EXCUSE ME!” I yelled to the employee. She was maybe 19 and this was most likely her first job. Her name tag said”Carrie.”
“Yes?” Carrie came over with a bright smile, “How may I help you?”
“Um ,” I gave a sarcastic laugh, “Well, you can tell me where the baby books for alternative families are, thank you.” I shot her an iron glare, knowing she would NOT be able to deliver.
“Yes, right here” her smile faded only slightly as if maybe she didn’t understand what I had just said, “Our baby books are right here. Yes, I see you are holding one.”
“This is the only kind you have?” I asked, I was gonna get her, I was like Johnnie Cochran with the small glove; I had her right where I wanted her.
“Yes,” she said as innocent as a kitten.
“Well….” I opened the book to the marriage page. “Do you see that this book asks not only for the information for both parents specifically as MOM and DAD, but also asks to give information about a WEDDING!”
The sales girl blinked.
“What if you are a single mom? Do you just rip the wedding page out? If you do, you miss out on the grandparents info on the back. And what if you are a gay couple, you can’t legally get married, can you? So, I ask you again, where are the books for the alternative families?”
“Ummm,” the sales girl was uncomfortable and smiled apologetically, “we must be out of them.”
“Out of them? But you said this was the only one.”
“Yeah,” she was so sweet. “We must have run out of the other kind.”
“So you have another kind, with pages for same-sex families and single parents?”
She shrugged slightly. She was scared of me. I was yelling.
“You have another kind?” I demanded again.
“Yeah, I’m sure we did. I’m sorry.”
That lying bitch. This was conservative, huge corporate money-making, probably religious family values types. I was going to ask her to show me the other kind on the computer, but I took a deep breath.
I was having a hormonal rage.
“No, I’m sorry I said,” taking a deep breath. “Sorry.” I turned to leave the store. I wasn’t in the mood to shop anymore.
“They should have a book like that,” the salesgirl called after me.
I turned around.
“I think we should sell a book for all the kinds of families,” she said.
I welled up with tears and nodded. I was hormonal and hopeful.