No sacrifice is a good sacrifice

Dear Dissonance,

A little bit more on pregnancy. One thing I hate about it is that it blows holes in everything that we tirelessly work for each day. On top of that list is shaping a worldview that totally revolves around self.

In this mission modern culture could not be more helpful. Doing what you want when you want to — and forcing others to celebrate or even pay for your choices regardless of merit might as well be the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Whether it’s the people who call 911 because they didn’t get the right dipping sauce with their chicken nuggets at the drive thru or families who apply for financial aid at private schools without first giving up their country club memberships, Americans’ and sacrifice go together like the proverbial fish and bicycle. Of course, they still thank the troops for their sacrifices, but often feel uncomfortable doing so because no one knows what it means or if they do, whether they believe in it. It’s just something to say like “awesome,” another expression that once elicited a visceral response but has been relegated to a word bar where it bores fellow patrons with stories of times before it was constantly inserted before “dude” and “man.”

But I digress.

Today’s culture is aimed at making people think they “deserve” stuff, regardless of whether they can pay for it or even want it. It’s amazing to see, for example, the millions of half-drunk super sized drinks discarded each day because people impulsively bought something that on second thought they didn’t want. And then they do it again the next day because it is what you do to reward yourself each day for … existing. Who really deserves anything, good or bad, after all? Do people deserve cancer or to lose a child to miscarriage? Of course not. So then why do they think they deserve a monthly facial, a new $1,500 hand bag each season or a frappuccino every afternoon? Being able to afford something is one thing. Deserving it is something else. The fact that the two have become confused to the point that being able to pay for something is almost totally detached from whether a person should have something is the best part.

Pregnancy creates temporary moments of false clarity, however. Sure, women make their husbands or boyfriends run out and buy them things to fulfill cravings. But it is often nine months of constant reminders that one’s body is not one’s own. I can understand, because a woman’s body becomes merely the means for a child to survive, taking almost all her energy, pushing organs around, distorting her body in often grotesque ways and frequently causing pain. A woman could be forgiven for wondering how this fits with the idea that she is in control. And then after the child is born, that little life means she won’t be able to go to the bathroom with the door closed or wear a shirt without drool stains for years or have “me time” without paying a babysitter to provide it no matter how much she thinks she deserves it for free after countless nights and sometimes years without regular sleep.

This is what I can’t stand. Of course, I never like people to feel healthy, but those pains and questions give credence to the Enemy’s false notion that you do not belong solely to yourself. Unfortunately no matter how much pregnancy yoga one does or how many babymoons taken or personal assistants one can afford to employ changes the fact that the self-sacrifice of pregnancy often leads to misperception that humans do not own themselves, or their time or their life spans, only their choices along the way.

It is your job to make your Patient realize pregnancy is merely a temporary biological aberration from the life she controls and not a signifier of the Enemy’s ridiculous assertion that “you are not your own; you were bought at a price.”

Your affectionate aunt,




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