Calgon, take me away!

Deliberate Consumption, Motherhood

I don’t think I understood what “Calgon, take me away!” meant before becoming a mother. The first three months have been hard. There were the breastfeeding issues, the continuing acid reflux issues, the screaming, the postpartum depression, and being an extrovert all cooped up in a house with a nonverbal being.

Motherhood is a kind of insanity. Yesterday, I went out for an afternoon and engaged, for the first time, in the kind of stereotypical retail therapy I never thought to engage in. I drove my luxury SUV to a high-end downtown mall, bought an absurdly expensive stroller and other pampering goods (without batting an eyelash), and came home with the spoils. This, along with my odd craving and comfort found in Starbucks has me not only feeling guilty, but also like I understand what I never understood before.

Anyone who knows me, knows that I have preferred deliberate consumption, and ignoring the baby industrial complex, and corporate everything. Then there’s the fact that until very recently, I have been a part of the 99%, fighting with the proletariat, as the proletariat. The years have been good to my small family unit, and while some in the 1% say it’s hard work that got them there (and that’s not totally untrue), the larger influence is luck. There’s no rhyme or reason, or even deservingness. For this, I make sure to contribute charitably, and often. I helps me sleep better, with the luck we have.

Motherhood is a type of insanity, and there is no limit to how much you can spend to make your life seem easier. I somehow believe it must have been simpler when you went to your girlfriends’ houses and painted each other’s nails and bought Calgon to soak in your own bath instead of buying Groupons for spa deals. When Pantene was a luxury, and you bought a new shade of Revlon lipstick to perk up your exhausted visage.

Maybe it was never that simple, but Starbucks seems to be the simplest part of the post-baby consumerism. It’s wherever you are, and always the same. It’s not the best, but it’s known.

Yup, motherhood is a type of insanity.