|Image from here|
I went to visit a friend at the hospital the day after she had her first baby. There she was, lying in bed with the baby sleeping in the crook of her arm. She was clearly exhausted, but when she looked up at me it was with a proud smile. The baby lay still, except for the rising and falling of her chest, her red face all puckered up. I said she was beautiful.
I had said goodbye and was making my way to the door, with a promise to visit again soon, when my friend sat up.
‘Wait!’ she said, ‘don’t you want to take a picture of baby?’
I’ve never found newborns particularly fascinating. I can understand that a mother would be taken with her own child – this person that has shared her body for nine months or so. But as far as I can tell, all they do at that age is sleep, cry and poop. So no, I don’t want to take a picture of baby.
One of my goals for this year is to be more honest, especially in the face of social constructs and rules of etiquette that dictate how we should act. And so I ask myself, what would Larry David – the master of awkward, damn-the-consequences honesty – do?
If I were him, the conversation would go something like this:
Me: Picture? Naah.
Friend: Why not?
Me: Well, the baby’s not really doing anything.
Friend: What do you mean? Of course she is; she’s sleeping.
Me: Yeah, exactly. And then it’ll wake up and it’ll cry and you’ll feed it and it’ll poop –
Friend: She’s not an ‘it’. She’s a girl. She.
Me: Oh. Sorry.
Me: So, see ya later.
Friend: You’re really not going to take a picture.
Me: No. It’s not like I’m ever going to look at the picture.
Friend: Why wouldn’t you look at it?
Me: Well, it’s not very – she’s – not very… pretty right now, is she? Face all wrinkled… nah. Let’s give it a few weeks.
Friend: You’re saying my baby is ugly?
Me: No, not ugly. She’s alright. But I wouldn’t jerk off to a picture of her or anything –
Friend: You want to do what with her picture?
Me: No, see I said I wouldn’t –
Friend: You pervert! Get out, and don’t ever come near us again!
There’s a reason Larry David doesn’t have too many friends.
I turned to face the new mummy and whipped out my phone. ‘Sure, let’s take a picture.’