Anger Management: Dogs and Babies

Saturday afternoon after watching (part of) a matinee at the lovely Cobble Hill Cinema, my friend PK and I wandered the neighborhood trying to figure out what to do. The film had unexpectedly broke down and let out early leaving us unsure of what to do with ourselves. It was 3:30 on a Saturday in New York: Too late for caffeine, and too early for drinking, and not the right time for a before dinner snack. Neither of us needed thriftstore/designer women's fashions nor precious, overpriced housewares. It was the quintessential NYC dilemma: what to do if you're not consuming? Befuddled and unable to answer this question, we decided it was, in fact, not too early to drink. So we go to Abilene, a lovely bar with a good soundtrack, small assortment of classic bar foods, and an al fresco front patio for summer. We get two Brooklyn Weisse and proceed to talk about the film, my rage at the absurd family in Flight 001, and PK's job in branding. It's about this time when the first baby arrived, followed by another, and another. The couches slowly fill up with the two separate groups of hipster parents and their children as we look on in horror realizing our mellow bar becomes a nursery school, or at best, the alcoholic version of Tea Lounge. PK and I begin to discuss the horror our non-native friends and relatives have experienced in baby bars such as Union Hall and how in other cities it's only alcoholics, single-mother/bartenders, and trash who bring their children to bars. Among the Brooklyn intelligentsia bringing a child to bars seems to represent a certain european je ne sais quoi. It's as if they're saying "i am exposing my children to adult discourse. I am teaching them that alcohol is not a drug to be abused but a healthy part of life in moderation. And also: I can't really be bothered to make changes to my life now that I have these little bundles of joy." A man walks in with a pug that starts barking at someone elses's lapdog and prompts three of the kids to start crying. I turn to PK and say "Babies are the new dogs." They're the new cute pet cum fashion accessory, the item the quality-obsessed and self-indulgent obtain when they've already bought every high-quality and self-indulgent item they can for themselves and need something or someone else to pamper and accesorize. The rage dies down and PK and I go back to talking about branding, the kid in his office who thinks shorts and knee-high white socks counts as business casual, and the retro 70s porn moment we're currently experiencing in fashion. This turns into a discussion about work, how conservative one needs to dress in the media, and how both of us feel lame but relieved that we'd never gotten tattoos. "Tattoos... THAT was a bad fashion trend." "And one you're stuck with forever. I feel bad for them. And a little embarrassed." At that moment one of the indie daddies leans out the open window to hand a plastic truck out to the parents who have moved out to the sidewalk so they can smoke (SMOKE?!?) and parent. His sock falls down a little and a tribal band is revealed above his ankle. I turn to PK: "Babies aren't the new dogs. Babies are the new tattoos: A sometimes impulsive choice that alters your body and your life forever. Even after the trend has passed, you can't get rid of when you're bored or realize it was a bad idea. " At least you can do the right thing and take a dog to the pound when you realize his need to be walked and fed is crimping your social life.

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