[Being a columnist allows you to chronicle the way your opinion changes (or doesn’t) over time — sometimes drastically and embarrassingly so. Nowhere is this more evident than the column below. In February 1999 I was single, childless and carefree. Compare the column below with the next one I’ll post from 2002, six weeks after becoming a father. Yeah, I know I was sort of an arrogant a-hole in 1999. Even though my feelings toward children have changed, that hasn’t.]
Last month we discussed the Y2K bug and how it might affect air travel around the turn of the millennium. Today we’ll look at another symptom of the Y2K bug: Baby Fever.
A recent study shows that more and more young couples are competing for the honor of having the first millennium baby. The belief is that a baby born at midnight, January 1, 2000 is doubly blessed. Currently these couples are checking their ovulation cycles and making plans to fornicate on cue. The ideal time to conceive a millennium baby is late March/early April of this year—in short, any time now.
Breeders Not Welcome
My advice to young couples planning to have children is: DON’T DO IT! There are enough people on this planet already. There are plenty of unloved children who need new Mommies and Daddies if you’re really feeling paternal. Everyone, please, STOP BREEDING!
Of course, my advice will fall on deaf ears, and the babies will keep on coming. Most babies are born not out of love, but out of vanity (“Oh honey, I hope our baby has your eyes and my nose” and/or “A baby boy will carry on the family name”). Yes, your child will have physical features similar to you and your spouse (at least, you hope so).
But your child will also inherit other traits from Mommy and Daddy, like neurotic behaviors and bad table manners. With apologies to all expectant parents out there, no matter how good of a parent you think you’ll be, chances are you’ll screw up somewhere along the line. Your child will grow up to be another flawed adult who will propagate the cycle all over again. You won’t give birth to next Albert Einstein. You won’t give birth to the next Jeffrey Dahmer. You’ll give birth to the next average Jane or Joe, only they’ll look a little like you and for the first ten years of their life they’ll look up to you and think you have all the answers until they realize you’re as clueless about life as they are. I commend young couples for wanting to bring a new, hopeful life into the world, but frankly, the gene pool does not need your contribution.
Vanity, Thy Name Is Mom and Dad
If the average couple breeds out of vanity, Millennium Fever Couples take it to a whole new level. Their New Years’ baby will be revered, and, as the child’s proud parents, they will be put up on the pedestal, too. They’re not thinking of the lifetime commitment or the emotional and financial obligations that come with child rearing. They’re thinking only of their 15 minutes of fame when “Good Morning America” and “Dateline NBC” come calling to run a feature on their bouncing baby. Vanity, thy name is Mommy and Daddy.
As you can see, the Y2K bug affects not only computers but human machines as well. It threatens to send them into an irrational state where nonsense and short-sightedness chase each other in an endless loop. I can tell you exactly when the best time to conceive a Millennium Baby is—April Fool’s Day.
Originally published in Wayne TODAY, February 1999