China tends to scare the shit out of me, at least in some future incarnation – they seem dormant enough now, but you get the sense that all they need is some whacked-out Messianic leader to throw the entire human race into a fantastic tailspin.
One such abject, stupid, cruel act of the Chinese is their preference for boy babies. Through ultrasounds and abortions, they have 129 boys for every 100 girls in that country, stemming from some ancient ideas about boys carrying the family name, being able to support the parents, and some other such shit. For second kids (and the poorer families), the rate is more like 147 males to every 100 females. Girls that do make it to their birthday can find themselves summarily drowned in the hopes of better luck next time.
Anybody with a long view of history knows how violent nature reacts to any manmade meddling in a perfectly good game of chance. Pack any country full of too many people and nature will invent a disease that will kill off exactly the right number. In this case, China is going to murder itself with testosterone.
What do you think will happen when all of these boys come of age with no chance of love, tenderness or redemption in their lives? In China itself, they will rove the country in lawless packs, living by their own rules, perpetuating a crime wave that will rival the Old American West (itself a victim of too few females in the population).
Outside the country, young Chinese men will roam other countries looking for a way to couple – and, I predict, will become the most unpopular archetypical suitor in the history of social demographics. The future will have a name for these Chinese men, something that will spawn a bestselling humor book in the year 2015 or so. I won’t even venture a guess.
Why do I bring this up? Many of you know that Tessa and I decided not to know the gender of our baby until it was born. This, of course, was met with the usual warm smiles of “how quaint” and an appreciation for how Old Skool we were being. Mostly, I didn’t want to know because I didn’t want to give this unborn baby a gender, a name and a personality before it had a chance to offer its own.
So we got to the eighth month without figuring it out. And when we switched doctors to Brooklyn, we were given our “chart,” which showed the results of the amnio, the ultrasounds and other cool stuff. I knew to leave the manila envelope closed, but the other night, my delightfully-overfunctioning wife pored through the details of our baby’s chart. Not realizing, of course, that it might be fairly easy to “stumble” across the sex of our baby whilst doing so.
In her defense, we were so adamant about not knowing gender that it seemed like it wouldn’t be in those pages anyway. She even read the results of the amnio three times before she realized she was looking straight at the gender of our baby. Apparently, she dropped the chart on the living room floor, realizing what she had just done.
Sheepishly, she came up to our bedroom, and told me the whole story. She asked me: did I want to know what we were going to have? I reckoned that it made our relationship bizarrely unequal not to, and so she told me.
The Chinese may be having billions and billions of boys, but let’s just say that in our tiny little corner of the world, we are bucking the trend. Get ready for our little girl.