Santa Clara, California. March 20, 2002: The immense joy and exuberance Jackie and Marcus Shelton have experienced due to the birth of their first child has been routinely diminished by the selfishness and rudeness of their peers, the couple reported yesterday afternoon. The pair, in their second year of marriage, have even begun actively seeking a new group of friends, because their current one shows such apathy toward Morgan, their 8-month-old daughter.
“It’s really frustrating,” Jackie, 24, said as she folded laundry in the family’s toy-strewn den. “Since having little Morgan, I don’t get to see my old friends very often. Then when I do, to have them be so completely insensitive…it’s just really rotten, you know.” Coming across one of her daughter’s “onesies”, the young mother paused and gazed adoringly at the microgarment. “Isn’t this just the cutest little thing you ever did see?” After a brief, pensive pause, Jackie added: “I was so happy when I had a girl, cause I’ve always wanted someone I could dress up and curl her hair. It’s just really low of my friends not to share in my joy.”
“Yeah, I’m really disappointed with my old buddies,” Marcus agreed, pausing to mute the golf program he was watching from his recliner. “I mean, I can understand that they aren’t into having kids yet…you know, some of them are still bachelors and all. But that doesn’t mean they have to completely blow me off any time I try to talk about my precious little pumpkin.” Marcus, 23, expressed dismay and irritation particularly toward his two former roommates, Robert and Darren. “They never call me to hang out anymore, and that really pisses me off. Sure, I can’t always join them for ‘guy’s night out’ or play football on Saturdays like we used to, but I still like to get together and watch a movie or play (Sony) Playstation.”
“I went to lunch last week with Jennifer and Sara W., and they were so rude to me I almost cried,” Jackie reported. “It all started after we sat down and I was showing them the newest pictures of Morgan. Sara W. looks at the first picture and says ‘Oh yeah, you showed me those already,’ and starts to hand them to Jennifer, and I’m all, ‘No, you haven’t seen these yet. These are the 8 month photos; you’re thinking of the 7-and-a-half month photos.’” Pausing to share an indignant look with her husband, Jackie continued: “I couldn’t believe she just passed them off like that. I mean, someone shows you a picture of their baby, you could at least pretend to care.”
Jackie was also upset during the aforementioned lunch when her two friends repeatedly tried to steer the conversation toward themselves. “It was just after I’d finished telling them little Morgan’s eating schedule and explaining how you make formula,” Jackie recalled, “and I started talking about how quickly you get used to changing poopy diapers, and the next thing I know, Jennifer is trying to tell us about some guy she’s dating. I could not believe her gall!” Jackie finished by adding, “I just don’t know if I’m going to be around those two anymore. Especially Jennifer…I still haven’t forgive her for that time she refused to hold Morgan.”
When reached for comment, however, the couple’s circle of former friends told a different story.
“We really miss Marcus…you know, the old Marcus,” Robert Durant reported from his apartment this morning. Durant, who has known the new father for nearly ten years, added: “Now all he can talk about is his daughter. I mean, it’s great that he’s suck a doting father and all, but damn. How many times do we have to hear about the ‘wonderful feeling of fulfillment’ he feels each morning when he goes to get her from the crib?”
“Yeah,” Darren Rogers agreed. Rogers and Durant still live in the apartment they shared with Marcus for a year before he met Jackie. “We thought it was bad when he and Jackie first hooked up. We thought he was different then just because he couldn’t hang out with us all the time.” The two roommates exchanged knowing looks, and Darren continued, “but now…damn. He’s completely lost it. We can’t play Playstation for five minutes without something reminding him of something cute his daughter did.”
“Right. It’s like, dude, we do not want to listen to our buddy talk about puke and shitty diapers and stuff,” Rober added.
Jackie’s longtime friend, Jennifer Kleinman, also expressed regret over the loss of contact with the new mother. “I really miss her. We used to be so close,” the 25-year-old loan officer said from her office today. “It’s so frustrating, because I want to see her, but then when I do, I just want to pull my hair out. She will absolutely not shut up about her baby.” Kleinman went on to say, “I’ll admit, I’m not all gung-ho about kids at this point in my life, but I like them. I was really happy the first time Jackie let me hold Morgan.” As Kleinman went on to explain, however, that excitement quickly turned to irritation and then nausea. “The second she handed me her little girl, Jackie starts cooing and babbling like an idiot. I had to stand there and listen to ‘goo-goo ga-ga’ this and ‘coochi-coochie’ that for fifteen minutes. I didn’t want to be rude, but I finally couldn’t take it anymore and handed the kid back to her.”
Jackie reported that she has begun searching for some new parent groups so that she and her husband can find people to socialize with “…who aren’t so self-absorbed.” Marcus nodded slightly as his wife explained, “I guess it’s just a matter of some people growing up and realizing there’s more to life than just themselves. Marcus and I now have a physical manifestation of our love in little Morgan, and we’re just a little more mature because of it. If our decision to share the joy of life with a precious child means we lose some friends, then so be it.” Looking at her watch, Jackie exclaimed, “Oh honey, will you go wake up the little angel. We’ve got to get her ready for her 8-and-a-half month photos; the appointment is at 3:00.”