Kate and I attended our fourth (and last) childbirth class on Monday night. There were ten couples in all; somewhat older than I would have expected (late twenties and early thirties), and much more affluent than I would have guessed (Chester county is more of a Volkswagen area than a Mercedes area, but the cars in the birth class’ parking lot were definitely of the leather-seat variety.) No wonder every time Kate tries to buy something at Mimi Maternity or Babies R Us, the person behind the counter tries to shake her down for her valuable personal information.
Seriously, just as I have become a tinfoil-hat type at Radio Shack, so has Kate become at the maternity stores: paying in cash, refusing to divulge our zip code, wearing a bushy set of ginger whiskers while examining infant seats. I’m afraid that ChoicePoint or one of the other big data vendors has already spotted us, holding us in its baleful orange gaze like the Eye of Sauron, and that we’re doomed to receive a deluge of targeted promotional materials for the rest of our lives. Pottery Barn! Frontgate! Free trial subscription to Parenthood magazine! Resistance is futile!
In the birthing class, the nurse explained to us that the baby will be LoJacked within moments of birth (which doesn’t bother me too much), that the footprints will be taken within minutes (again, no problem), and that the baby will not be released from the hospital until we have applied for a Social Security Number. (!!!)
Sigh. Just as the baby already has worldly possessions (five or six stuffed animals, some onesies, some really great books), I wonder what the first marketing datum captured will be. Our use of a diaper service, triggering a trial subscription to Mother Jones magazine? An automated search on this blog:
“SELECT ssn FROM indexer.findAllBlogs() WHERE ‘baby’ NEAR ‘mercedes’ ADD TO Oracle.tables.rich_assholes”