Friday, December 07, 2007

Push Present? Put it in the College Fund

I appreciate the ingenuity of capitalism in turning every event, no matter how intimate or sacred, into an occasion to buy things. But even I find the idea of giving your wife a "push present" as a reward for giving birth to your child, um, repulsive. Evidently, a large number of women would rather get diamonds in the delivery room than, say, a good start on a college fund. My wife says the best "push present" I gave her was the chance to stay with my helpful mother when the kids were born.

Men should, of course, be very appreciative of their wives for bearing their children, and show that appreciation in a hundred ways, especially during and just after your baby's birth. But giving jewelry seems to me a way of letting the market into your nursery in an unwholesome way.

I do appreciate that Mrs. G. pushed our kids out into the world. And I have been pushing them ever since. That is part of our joint project.


Anonymous said...

I suppose I don't see this in quite the same light. Material things can be so much more than just trophies or rewards. A piece of jewelry to mark a special occasion becomes an heirloom passed down to help generations of a family feel connected. I have a ring set on my great-grandmother's wedding band, and it is a treasure far beyond its dollar value.

I think someday being able to give my grandchild the necklace her grandfather gave me when her mom was born would be a wonderful and meaningful gift, and being able to give it years down the road requires spending a bit of money now!

Of course, if it is a choice between starting a college fund or buying jewelry, I think the college fund is a much wiser choice, but many families can do both. Some of the people quoted in that article are ridiculous, but that doesn't make the whole concept inane.

Anonymous said...

I guess I'm not like other women. I would rather start the college fund. Hindsight is 20/20 and now we are scrambling to send my daughter to college next year. I tell her to make sure she and her husband are financially responsible no matter what their income. Stupidity leaves you in debt forever. Stupid me.