Would "Push Presents" Be So Obnoxious If They Weren't Called "Push Presents"?

Illustration for article titled Would "Push Presents" Be So Obnoxious If They Weren't Called "Push Presents"?

You know how sometimes, a man will give his wife a nice piece of jewelry or whatevs when she gives birth to a baby, just to be like, "Hey, sweetie, I know you feel a million kinds of gross right now and can barely focus on something as inanimate and utterly pointless — not to mention earlobe-depleting! — as earrings, but like, maybe if we make it through the next few years okay you'll be able to put these on at night and think about the guy who, when you were in pain, gave you something sparkly and grinned sheepishly until you popped out his spawn"? Well now this thing is called a "push present," according to the New York Times, and boyyyyyy were Anna and Jessica and a half gazillion of you tipsters offended by passages like this:

Chris Beggini, a 43-year-old mutual fund manager in Radnor, Pa., didn't know about the practice until his wife, Jennifer, straightened him out. "We talked about how she had nine months of difficulty, and 'Aren't I the good soldier?' blah blah blah," he recalled. So when the Begginis begat Abigail in 1999, Ellie in 2002, and Julia last year, Mr. Beggini responded with earrings, a bracelet and what he jokingly calls a "suffer ring."


Said Anna:

I have a theory about these: that they emerged primarily in upper class milieus in which having a baby/gaining weight/etc. is considered some sort of SACRIFICE of one's precious shopping/socializing time and taut young body. Maybe I'm being unfair/judgmental/overly broad but in my mind, only a superficial, wealthy woman would think she should get DIAMONDS for having a goddamn baby. (I make this judgment probably because one of the women I know who got such presents is a millionaire Upper East Sider.) Women give birth every day ALL OVER THE WORLD in much worse conditions than those found in, say, Columbia Presbyterian, and honestly, if I had a baby and wanted a "gift" in return for having one — isn't a baby gift enough?? — I'd ask my husband to give some money to a mother(s) who actually NEEDED IT.

Added Jessica:

One could argue a baby isn't a "gift" in the first place!! It's a GODDAMN LIFE!

And concluded a tipster:

Rather than a natural occurrence, rich white woman consider having a baby a major inconvenience.

Yeah, okay, but here's the thing: having a baby is a major inconvenience. Buying a ring is not. These are facts of life, as natural and time worn as the fact that nothing is fair, and once upon a time a ring could simply be a token that a husband was capable of stepping outside himself and seeing the situation for what it is: 10 months that he can drink, dress and go about his daily routine like normal while she's getting all gross and sweaty and shit, and yeah, aw, maybe i should get her something special. But no; now it's just another gross harbinger of end times brought to you by the luxury goods industry on the backs of African slave labor. Thanks, late capitalism!

A Bundle Of Joy Isn't Enough? [NY Times]
Related: Get Your Rocks Off [Philadelphia Weekly]



It's the expectation, no the gift, that's so violently heinous. I myself enjoy gifts of jewelry more than any other because it's a great way to think about a person/event through an item you can always take with you. So I would think "Yeah, one's partner COULD get them a piece of jewelry to celebrate the occasion" but it's CERTAINLY not a requirement and CERTAINLY doesn't have to cost more than the hospital bills! I feel the same way about engagement rings.