Monday, January 25, 2010

And the Oscar goes to...

This was a hard one! I was just about ready to do eeny-meenie-miny with my favorites, it was so hard to pick. But the winner is...Olyglotpay! For capturing that special patronizing WTEWYE tone with deft writing and a plot that's true to the spirit of this pregnancy classic - even incorporating an especially lovely quote from the original:

Our protagonist is a woman who thinks of herself as a non-conformist. She's been married for a few years, doesn't work, and is antsy staying at home. Her husband is getting kind of freaked out because she seems different than he remembers her as a new bride. She goes for long drives and returns late at night, wide-eyed and silent.

On her birthday, he surprises her at a nice dinner with his gift - the announcement that they can start trying for a baby. She acts ecstatic, although we see some signs that she's privately ambivalent.

Fast forward a few weeks and we see her starting to deal with some morning sickness. She's not happy about the pregnancy - just pissed off about the inconvenience. Unsurprisingly, the dad-to-be is alarmed that getting knocked up hasn't knocked her out of what he thinks is a long-lived funk.

In desperation he goes to the university library and browses until he stumbles on an old, ratty copy of WTEWYE. He jots down a note and leaves. Cut to him handing his wife a nicely wrapped package, containing a bright new copy of WTEWYE (you didn't think he was actually going to hand her that germy old copy, did you?!).

That night, our little mother starts reading. We see dark turn to light as she sits up overnight, reading in a rocking chair (in a muumuu). When dawn breaks, we zoom in for a close up of her face. She has found her focus. Her pregnancy will give meaning to her life! She has something to spend her time on!

The next montage shows her raiding every room in the house, throwing out all plastics, sanitizing, getting rid of all her old unhealty/evil foods, then making trip after trip to Babymart for gizmos and gadgets of all sorts. She curses herself for being over 30 but starts wearing flats and support hose. She puts away her China so that she can "keep her clumsy paws" away from it [that's a real quote!]. She buys the WTE Journal. Bravely, she peruses some pregnancy websites, but of course trusts her OB to know best.

When her husband tells her he's anxious about the birth, she comes up with her own surprise for him: a C-section, scheduled during week 38 on his birthday! As he pulls her into his arms, he sheds a single tear of happiness for how involvement in her pregnancy has changed his stagnant wife's ways. No longer does she mope around, thinking about herSELF. And the baby itself? Why, that's just the icing on the cake.

As they day draws near, she gets happier and happier, counting down. On the actual day of the birth, we see her wheeled into surgery (doors swing closed), then being wheeled back out (doors swing open) ... down the hall to the nursery, where her lovely baby lies fussing. The credits roll as she gives the baby its first bottle.

Please go and read through all the entries - there are some great zombie horror, "your baby will DIE", mass world domination, and Stepford robot plots cooked up by all the awesome participants.

Olyglotpay, please e-mail me with your address so you can get your copy of Our Bodies, Ourselves: Pregnancy and Birth!

Thanks to everyone for participating! This contest has been fun, I'll have to do another one sometime!

And for my last word (for now) on the subject of WTEWYE, I leave you with a passage from a recently published novel (that I otherwise enjoyed): "Commencement" by J. Courtney Smith. (Note: SPOILERS if you plan to read the book):

"Sally, we're having a little trouble getting the baby's shoulders out," the doctor said. "We're going to have to do a small episiotomy." ...

"No," Sally said, shaking her head. "I don't want it done."

Celia was about to speak up, about to say that these damn people needed to listen to Sally, and really, hadn't the poor girl been through enough without slicing her open?

"Babe," Jake said gently. "I know you didn't want one, but it will heal so much better than a jagged tear."

Bree's eyes nearly popped out of her head.

The doctor grinned. "I see Daddy here has been reading
What to Expect When You're Expecting. He's right, I'm afraid."

"Oh okay," Sally said. "Just get this thing out of me." She put her head back, resigned.


Molly said...

Funny--the first couple times, I read "He's right, I'm afraid" in the novel excerpt as "your partner is correct--I'm acting out of irrational fear like that in What to Expect," as opposed to what I assume it actually means: "Sorry, but he's right" ... (I think the first version is probably more accurate, though!)

Patrice Nichole Byers said...

That was a good one! Congrats to the winner!