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Monday, December 28, 2009

The Tolerance Tribute

I don't know what it is about me and the writing lately. It's like I left the brain faucet on again. I should be sleeping.


The Boy recently found out what a "push present" is. (To be fair, I only found out what a Push Present was not so long ago, too. If you don't have kids, and don't plan to, there's just a whole entire vocabulary that you'll never acquire.)

He asked me if I had ever heard of the concept, wide eyed. To which I replied that I thought perhaps the concept of the Push Present is something akin to a Hallmark Holiday, wherein deBeers and Harry Winston, plotting in an evil jewelry cabal, cooked up a diabolical scheme to create another reason for an unsuspecting populace to buy fine diamonds.

I'm not sure when the Push Present hit the mainstream consciousness and I'll never be familiar enough with the demographic of new parents to know if this is the totally middle-class/ upper-class American phenomena that it seems to be at the outset. Did this particular gift find its start on the pages of People magazine? Anyway, I'm guessing that in the olden days (i.e., when you and I were born) that the Push Present was basically... the kid. Now it's the kid AND something encrusted with diamonds, which for an earlier generation of moms who never got a Push Present must be a little bummed to say the least, there must be some sort of retroactive compensation, to be fair?).

I'm not one for owning fancy jewelry, or even real jewelry. (Which is a good thing as I live with a guy who doesn't believe in buying it either.) I have a box full of costume jewelry and I'm BIG on rhinestones. First of all, rhinestones can be just as sparkly and exciting (and due to their being cheap bits of glass, you can have lots of them), and secondly, if a rhinestone falls out of a ring or an earring, you won't throw up thinking about how much that just cost you. I don't want the pressure.

However it did get me thinking about us non-child producing females. The Boy asked me what kind of present we should get. I don't know about the rest of you, but I decided that I should get a Tolerance Tribute (it's all about alliteration to make a catchy and lasting impact on the mind). For putting up with daily shenanigans more akin to living with someone who's part Spanky from the Little Rascals, part Harpo (as in the Marx Brothers) and the rest Calvin from Calvin and Hobbes. In short, trouble.

The Boy can be a full-time job, too. I just didn't give birth him.

Yesterday we went to the "Cartier in America" exhibit at the Legion of Honor. It's one of those things that you go to, thinking This will be cool. I'm glad I have a membership so I don't have to pay and stand in line and end up leaving saying, Yeah, I totally need a tiara. Even if in your wildest imagination you had never considered a tiara, when you leave this exhibit, you will feel like owning one now is pretty much a necessity. And, that it should be a real tiara, with real Cartier-style diamonds in it. Granted, you might not have anything to wear with the tiara, but that's not the point.

On a less shallow note, the exhibit is pretty gorgeous and extraordinary. While your eyes are dazzled and you take in all of the exquisite detail and workmanship of these artisans of a bygone era (yes, because the newer Cartier pieces can't hold a candle to the Belle Époque stuff), you also can't help imagining the subtle pressure and competition amongst the elite who commissioned, bought and wore these items. Who will have the bigger tiara, the heavier brooch, the more elaborate cigarette case? It didn't mention on the descriptions which of these jewels might have been Push Presents, but you can use your imagination there too.


Anonymous December 28, 2009 at 7:58 AM  

Yeah, I'm going to argue as someone who did push a kid out of them, that the whole idea of a 'diamond encrusted' push present is fairly disgusting and the term should be lost and quickly. Now, a Tolerance Tribute, that makes a whole lot more sense.

tangobaby December 28, 2009 at 8:00 AM  

It also makes those of us of the female persuasion who have not pushed a kid out of them feel like slackers.

Tolerance Tributes for everyone!

Brenda Susan December 28, 2009 at 8:58 AM  

I have been educated today. I was already bummed that all these new moms get to connect online while I felt all alone with huge questions.
Now you add this missing gift excuse & I am truly mad that I birthed my sons in the 80's! Ha!
Can I get my gifts retro-actively? Is that a word? Sounds right.

Nancy Ewart December 28, 2009 at 10:50 AM  

As you know, I'm not a jewelry person but the Cartier exhibit had me lusting after a number of pieces - the three piece tiger set made for the Duchess of Windsor, the tiny scarab broach, the gorgeous red Chinese ink well and any one of the tiaras. The catalogue - which I bought - has caused much diamond lust among my friends. I walked out of the exhibit singing "Diamonds are a girl's best friend." On the other hand, tolerance is the world's best gift but sometimes, when I look at all that jewelry, I am channeling my lower chakra.

valerie December 28, 2009 at 11:17 AM  

"The Boy can be a full-time job, too. I just didn't give birth him."

Seriously too funny and I can totally relate! I also call my bf *the boy* and dealing with him is a full time job. I always tell him he should thank his mom for pushing him out and dealing with his stubbornness. There are days...I ground him and send him to the other room.

On another note..so jealous! Must get to the Cartier exhibit!

J9 December 28, 2009 at 2:00 PM  

Push Presents? please... I think it's just a Hollywood thing, and it came along after my first kid, but before the second, and if you have an emergency c-section, does the baby daddy return the diamonds?

RNSANE December 29, 2009 at 1:52 AM  

I must see that exhibit! My last two sons, now 25 & 27 had to be pushed HARD - they were 8lbs 9oz and 9lbs 8oz, respectively. Their father is long ago out of the picture so I think THEY should gift me with diamonds! Now, at 65, I can't giggle without a trickle and I think it's all because of them!!! Thankfully, I did my Keigel's faithfully so I'm not too bad and won't spend my retirement on Depends.

melissashook December 29, 2009 at 7:24 AM  

oh, dog, push presents! I was in this world even before both parents got pregnant, give me a break, and now push presents???
bring on the rhinestones....

Anonymous January 4, 2010 at 5:40 PM  

Don't know about tolerance tributes, but I've been lusting after an honest-to-God tiara for decades.