Tuesday, July 18, 2017

WIC and Baby Registries are a waste of time

Early on in my pregnancy, I applied for and received WIC. The purpose of WIC is to provide food for pregnant ladies. As they like to assure you, IT IS SUPPLEMENTAL. Meaning, they aren't going to give you all your food, just supplement your food supply. Supposedly, they are supplementing you with HEALTHY food to create a BALANCED NUTRITIONAL DIET for you and your impending spawn. This is because food ain't cheap and poor people eat for shit.

WIC WAS A MOTHERFUCKING JOKE.

I believe what I received FOR AN ENTIRE MONTH, was 16 oz of peanut butter or an equivalent amount of beans, 5.5 gallons of milk, 2 boxes of cereal, 1 dozen eggs, and also $11 for fruits and vegetables.

Look at that list and realize, it's FOR A FULL MONTH.

Ok, so 1. I could never eat that much peanut butter! I'd have to eat it for every fucking meal. Now, I could call or visit and change it to beans before the beginning of the next month. So, in order for a poor person to get the food supplements she needs to provide for her growing fetus, that poor person has to make arrangements to change the options before the start of every month. There's a disconnect there. I gave away some peanut butter because it was way too much.

AND LOOK AT THE MILK! 5.5 GALLONS!!!??? Also, it had to be 2% or skim, because I'm fat. (Look it up and you'll see this actually reduces the positive effects of milk by making it more sugar, which leads to more fatness.) The cereal had to be special cereal and I always got Whole Grain Cheerios, but marvel for a moment at how WIC thinks super processed cereal is HEALTHY. I could eat a dozen eggs in a week, almost, so that was just a joke. Also, ELEVEN DOLLARS FOR FRUITS AND VEGETABLES FOR AN ENTIRE MONTH!??? You have got to be kidding me!

These decisions were made based on my race and fatness and income level. I'm guessing some women also get Food Stamps. I don't know. All I know is this list was alternately too much and way too little. Also, since natural peanut butter wasn't an option, and organic eggs and organic fruits and veggies were forbidden, WIC skewed the food to actually be more unhealthy and add to my fatness.

I was supposed to go to a second appointment a few months in, or lose my WIC. I lost my WIC. It was fucking pointless.

You know what else is pointless? A fucking registry!

Let me tell you, I was not interested in creating a registry. I think registries are outdated and smack of desperation. I was not having a baby shower, so making a registry just seemed like begging for gifts. But man, EVERYONE ASKED FOR ONE! Seriously. After the sixth request, I was like, "Maybe I should make one." And all the people asking were like, "OH, I WANNA BUY YOU SOMETHING YOU NEED ... AND YOUR FAMILY WILL TOO!" After being bombarded with requests for a registry, I gave in, and I made a very practical registry with a few fun things.

I have since received one gift from my registry, and it wasn't useful.

I really don't know what I was thinking. My mind went something like this, "Ok, I wasn't going to make a registry, but since so many people are requesting them, maybe I have missed the social cue here. If people are asking for my registry, they must want to help me supply items I need for the baby, so I will make this registry very practical and affordable. I will put the absolutely necessities and just a few fun items on this registry. I do not expect anyone to buy me a $400 stroller or $300 pack n' play, but surely they will want to buy me a $30 starter kit of bottles? Maybe this will work out and I'll receive items I really need."

Clearly, my mind has no idea what anyone else is thinking.

Almost immediately, I received a toy. I should not really have been surprised at this, but I was. Because it came from a really good friend who knows I don't have any kids, and I just thought she'd buy me, like, bottles. To be fair, she says her own kids love it, but it still sits in the box, because I'm still not sure if I'll return it for diaper rash lotion.

MONTHS passed and I received nothing else. And you know what, I was mad about it! Being mad about it made me feel incredibly selfish. Who the fuck was I to EXPECT gifts from people? What was I thinking that my own relatives might actually want to furnish necessary items for my future spawn? I mean, these fuckers didn't knock me up and they don't pay my bills, so why the fuck would they buy me bottles or cloth diapers? And why did I expect any of my friends or my acquaintances to lay down their hard-earned cash on something for me and for a person they have never even met? Honestly, what an asinine, foolish asshole you are to think that anyone would care. But I was also confused, because the same people who BEGGED me for a registry and were quick to give me their e-mail address so they could buy something for my baby, were the ones who didn't do anything.

You know who did something? Y'all, I can't even believe it. The mother of a girl for whom I did senior portraits had a friend with a BUNCH of baby stuff that she no longer needed, and so they passed it on to me. And it was a FUCKTON. It was so much stuff, that I didn't even keep all of it. Instead, I went through it and took what I needed and then sold the rest so that I could buy bottles. Which means that a near stranger basically furnished me with the first three months of stuff for Smashface's life. Another friend sent me a bunch of her bottles and her breast pump and will be sending me cloth diapers. Also, my mom bought some of the baby furniture.

Two people single-handedly did more for me than almost all of my relatives and all of my friends.

And I feel SO STUPID. I feel stupid for being anxious every day since I made an announcement and distributed my registry. Because I feel like I made an assumption that people would want to help and then they didn't. And I feel so mad and cheated by all the people who asked for a registry and then never sent me anything. But I feel selfish and disgusted with myself that I would even EXPECT help from anyone. I feel like I did it wrong, like without a baby shower, I'm not supposed to receive gifts. In order to receive gifts, I have to hold up my end of the social contract and host an event I don't want to host and invite a bunch of people over and feed them and play games with them and answer invasive and uncomfortable questions from them and since I didn't do that, it serves me right that no one sent me anything. And I feel like I intruded on the friends who didn't ask for a registry but received the announcement with the link anyway, because other people made me think it was what people wanted. And I feel so confused and cheated by my own culture for not understanding this social contract and having it turn out in such a negative way.

I also feel incredibly selfish and stupid for spending TWO MONTHS being anxious and nervous and angry and confused about the registry that I updated only because I went out and bought things for myself.

Clearly, there is a whole social order to being pregnant, and I do not understand it at all. But from now on, I'm not participating in anymore cultural events that I don't like or don't understand.

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