Recently in our house, we have been having a discussion. I don't know if I'd go so far as to call it a debate, but it's more the divergence of two very strong opinions from two very stubborn people trying to make a decision about something when each very stubborn person is equally right. To look at it from a historical perspective, for Abraham and Sarah, it was donkey or camel. For Henry VIII and Catherine, it was France or Scotland. For Elizabeth and Richard, it was diamonds or sapphires. For Romeo and Juliet, it was dagger or poison.
For Sarah and Chris, it's to iphone or not to iphone.
The disparity of our respective feelings results from the vast discrepancy between our personalities. Chris is a thinker. Before he makes a decision, big or small, he needs to perseverate about it. He is the offspring of an engineer, and I know this is where he gets it from. Me? Not a thinker. No, noooo. I'm the anti-thinker. Before making a decision, I just impetuously act, then reflect on it later. As you can imagine, this attractive feature of my personality has not necessarily served me well over time.
For example, if I were more of a thinker, I would have a lot more money in the bank and a lot fewer blisters on my feet from those really cute Tory Burch sandals that, turns out, are really a bizarre shade of neon orange and not the "festive coral" as described in the Nordstrom catalog, and therefore go with nothing in my closet. Nothing. Not on my color wheel. (FYI, blondes, I'm here to tell you, nary one of us can pull off neon orange. I've tried. It's not pretty. Just saying.) And what about that darling little clutch purse I all but gave my eyeteeth for? Adorable, yes, but not so practical when you are hauling two kids around, and you need to have with you at all times: baby wipes, goldfish, a sippy cup, jelly beans (for bribery purposes only), a teething ring, and can of keychain pepper spray so as to deter any no-good person from attacking you and those two kids, lest they waste a felony to rob you of the sticky change in the bottom of that darling clutch. Indeed. I would have a lot less of those types of impulse items now for sale on ebay if I had spent more time being the thinker and less time being the anti-thinker.
So this smartphone purchase, well, Chris wants to do research. Puh-leeze. I did enough research in grad school to last me a lifetime. Just give me a cool phone, bedazzled pink would be lovely, with all the swanky apps, including but not limited to: facebook, people.com, ebay, tmz, and youtube. Yep. Gimme that fancy new iphone, y'all. And throw some games on there too. Scrabble would be perfect. I rock at Scrabble, ask my brother.
But nooooooooo. Are you sure about the apple phone, he asks? What about the Droid? The Curve? The Evo? Have you even thought about this? Have you? My husband, Inspector Extraordinaire, wants to go look at them in stores. He wants to hold them in his hand, poll people on how they like their phone, compare operating systems to giga-thingamabobs. He wants to look at screen sizes while I want to look at shoe sizes. What can I say? My two X chromosomes stand in direct opposition to his Y and create this inherent difference in our personalities. Thinker vs anti-thinker. He is Yin to my Yang. Thus, the orange shoes.
Take the whole Sophie Giraffe debacle, for instance. A friend tells me Sophie is THE new hot baby item and do I have one. Well no, friend, I do not, and please tell me more about this new hot baby item. She then describes in detail the baby teether that all the mommies in line at the take-an-overpriced-picture-of-your-kid-with-the-sedated-bunny exhibit at the Arboretum (yes, I have four of these pictures, so what?) are full-on raving about in the sort of frenzied way that mommies size up each other's mothering skills. I have a Sophie. Do you have a Sophie? Oh, Isabella just COULD NOT LIVE without Sophie. I know, dahling, Emma is the same way. She just ADORES Sophie. What would we do without Sophie? I'm thinking of writing Sophie into the will. And so on. These are the conversations my friend was privy to. So in my zeal to not be outdone by the ardent mothers in the overpriced bunny-picture line, I rush out and plop down the $16 needed to buy my poor underpriviliged baby a Sophie. I mean, really, how could I let Caroline go one more minute without a Sophie?
You are now probably wondering, exactly what is a Sophie, and I'll tell you. It's nothing more than an overhyped but clearly well-marketed giraffe-shaped teether for babies (think exorbitantly priced dog squeaky chew toy, cleverly packaged with a cute baby on the box joyfully chewing on his Sophie), which also happens to have a long neck and four legs, all of which are shaped, regrettably, the same size as a teething baby's airway.
Yes. In all my impetuous naivete and inclination to believe propaganda over reality, I managed to once again overlook the obvious: Sophie - or more specifically, Sophie and her four appendages - is a choking hazard.
As you can guess, my observant husband pointed this out to me as soon as Sophie was presented to him with a flourish as Caroline's hot new baby item and aren't I a good mom for getting her one. Noooo, never would they market Sophie as a teething toy if she were a choking hazard! Please, good man, go back to researching your smartphones and let me be supermommy. Well, have you looked into it? he persisted, have there been any reports of Sophie-chokings? As is unfortunately typical for my impulsive nature, I justified my purchase to him by assuring him no, this would never happen and don't worry, it'll be fine and, (distraction) what would you like for dinner?
So, a week later, I'm at work and you'll never guess what happened. Y'all, it gives me heart palpitations even now just writing about it. [Mom, close your eyes and don't read this part]. That wily giraffe somehow managed to force one of her airway-shaped legs down my precious (and very orally-fixated) baby's throat. By the grace of God, Chris was standing ten feet away, and was able to extricate that ghastly creature's limb from her mouth and save our daughter from what was almost certain peril.
After we recovered from the trauma, we then went online to file a formal complaint with the Sophie-makers and were horrified to discover that diabolical Sophie has been responsible for many chokings (one is too many!), and is being taken off the market in Canada for that very reason. Assassin. Homicidal maniac.
Mea culpa, my love.
My advice? Don't buy a Sophie. Tell your friends not to buy a Sophie. Tell the mommies in the overpriced bunny-picture line to stay away from Sophie. She's a gimmick. A scary, dangerous, ill-conceived gimmick.
Was Chris right about Sophie? Regrettably, yes. Did I learn a lesson? Argh. Did I ever. Do I research everything now? Absolutely, yes. Well, almost. Do I still want an iphone? Of course! But on this subject, I will now defer to the results of my husband's extensive research and let him make this decision. Have I sold those neon orange shoes yet? Sadly, no. Why - anyone interested? Size 7, new in box, never been worn...