June 20, 2013

So while running absolute-last-minute-emergency-errands with the mother yesterday, we land ourselves in what used to be 'Mothercare' but is now (thanks to some sort of errant copyright laws) known as 'Babycare'. The reason we're there is to buy a present for my mother's grand-neice (sigh). You know, the byproduct of a happy union of her brother's son to a fertile representative of the opposite sex. Don't get me wrong, baby is fairly cute and everything but every new offspring (and consequent baby-shopping) sets of a tirade of 'what-if-you-hadn't-turned-down-xyz-and-had-your-own-baby-to-shop-for' conversations.

But I digress.

So we walk into Babycare to buy something appropriate to gift a new born. While wading through a sea of possibilities (all rejected because apparently the baby is not very useful and cannot be relied upon to play with anything until atleast 6 months of her life have passed) we eventually come across something the mother and I can agree upon - a set of very-very cute baby clothes, complete with matching booties, bib and cap. A helpful saleswoman and man (yes the rather empty store guaranteed super-efficient service) guided us through the store making suggestions every now and then, usually of the more expensive kind.

Finally decided about what to get, we deliberated a little bit about which kind. There was a pink set with little  colorful flowers on it, a blue set with camels, a yellow with elephants and a white-grey with giraffes. Our concerns were somewhat practical, and somewhat determined by trying to guess the tastes of a set of parents one half of whom we have never met, and the other half of whom we haven't seen in nearly a decade. The salespersons clue into our indecision and ask us if we're shopping for a baby boy or baby girl. We reply and they tell us that we should take the pink. A little annoyed, we ask them why we can't take any of the others, and they look at us like we're a little stupid and (almost in cohesion) tell us that the others are for baby boys, only the pink section is for baby girls. What's the difference, we ask? Aside from the color, we're told, nothing. The sizes are the same (because baby boys and baby girls have the same specs more or less when they're that little). That said, we CAN'T buy the others for our baby girl,  say the almost-appalled salespeople.

Err, why not? We inquire?

Because, they explain to us rather patiently, baby girls wear PINK!

As much as I wanted to immediately buy anything-but-the-pink just to prove a point (also I kinda really liked the yellow) the mother had already decided on the flowers because animals may or may not be a hit with the happy-parents (apparently people are superstitious about this kind of thing). So we walked out of the store with the pink set and reinforced gender stereotypes, but not before I made a promise to myself that if I ever ended up being mother to a daughter, she will definitely be surrounded by every color in the rainbow. Least of all pink! :P

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