Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Snakes, ladders, and gadgets

I recently bough a packet of vitamin tablets that you take when you are trying to conceive. As in a child, as opposed to a money-making invention, for example. Although I suppose if you make your kids work as child models, you could say that you had conceived money-making inventions. But I digress, massively.

We are not actively trying to have another baby, it's just that I'm neurotic and I want to get my body ready for when we do start trying. Some books and nutritionists advise getting your body into shape three months before even starting to try. Saying that, a lot of women fall pregnant after a night of heavy drinking, and indeed continue to drink, smoke, and imbibe other interesting things without even knowing they are pregnant in those early weeks. And their children turn out perfectly fine right? Or like Amy Winehouse.

So these vitamins - the box has an image of an attractive young couple embracing and smiling smugly at the camera, as if to imply that they are intimate with each other, just in case 'For women who are trying for a baby' in clear lettering is not self explanatory. There's also what looks like a large pink moon being attacked by a giant blue snake in the foreground. I think it's safe to say that the marketers were assuming prospective buyers of the product were not only trying for babies but were idiots too. God only knows what non-English speakers must make of that packaging.

We've been house hunting ahead of our move in the summer. You'll be amazed at people's choice of light fixtures. It's always an interesting one. One place was absolutely gorgeous - newly done and with great taste. And then you entered the dining room and there was this eyesore of a chandelier. The landlord stood there and proudly told us it was all Swarovski crystal, and how he'd gone directly to the manufacturing factory in Europe to get it etc. I had a feeling that any request to have it replaced with something a little less ornate would not have been warmly received.

It's come down to two houses, and Roberto and I are split down the middle on this. One is very much a family home - beautifully finished, well thought out, and it has a nice airy peaceful feel to it. I think it's safe to say it's boringly perfect. The other, well, it's kind of like this massive gadget, but no less beautiful, light and airy, just not what you'd picture if you were going for a 'family home'. No prizes for guessing which one Roberto favours, and if you are still in doubt, one of them has fingerprint recognition technology to get into the front door.

I thought back to all the times I've struggled to get the television and phone to work in Roberto's absence, and an image came to me of myself standing in the rain loaded down with shopping, babies crying, trying to get the fingerprint recognition thing to work at the front door, failing, and the state of my marriage being in serious peril.

But as Roberto so emphatically points out, the sensible perfect family home can be rented, or even purchased, at any time. But how often do you get a chance to live in a gadget house? With, lest we forget, fingerprint recognition technology? I think he's got me on that one.

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