On Gender Preferences –

Jul 15, 2010 | family, goals, life

Or: I’m not looking forward to when my children are teenagers. 

Yesterday while at the nail salon getting a pedicure (because I can no longer reach my own toes), my experience was a little less than fabulous. The ladies at the salon were wonderful, so no problems there. But my company was slightly irritating.

I sat down in the massage chair and had just reclined it and set the buttons to my liking (a feat in and of itself, because I worried myself to death about shaking the baby silly if I turned on the chair), and was instantly met by a shrill, demanding voice – “I don’t like this color, it’s making my toes look yellow. Can we change it?” Her question was directed at the nail tech that had just finished her feet, and was starting on another client.

The girl looked like a typical teenager I’ve seen around our neighborhood – thin with long blonde hair, teeny shorts, tank top and a slight attitude problem. Pretty much the exact replica of many girls I went to high school with 10(!) or so years ago.

I wasn’t turned off by the fact that she didn’t like the color, (although, you do pick your own color at the salon beforehand…) I was turned off by the fact that she was kind of rude, and expected a tech to just drop another client right then and fix her yellowed feet.

As I sat there trying to drown out her conversation with her friend sitting right next to her, I started to think about a few months ago, when Oscar and I found out the gender of our baby. Before we found out, I was hoping for a girl. Really, really hoping for a girl. And then we went in for the ultrasound and the tech told us we were having a boy, and I have to admit I was the teeniest bit disappointed. Anybody that has ever shopped for baby clothes knows the clothes available for a little girl are much cuter than most of the clothes you can find for boys. After a few days, though, I warmed up to the idea of having a little boy first, and now, I’m absolutely ecstatic and have found many a cute Marvel-themed outfit to dress him in.

As the girls’ conversation went on, I couldn’t help but think that now I’m doubly glad we’re having a boy. I may not have the option of dressing my baby in adorable dresses and clip little hairbows in his hair, but later, once he’s 13 or 14, we won’t have to worry about him going out of the house in little hoochie-mama shorts and too-revealing tops. And, as Oscar so eloquently put it, “Instead of all the penises, we just have to worry about one.”

Now don’t get me wrong, I still would love to have a little girl, too. I like the idea of having a little girl who has an older brother to watch out for her, and kick the piss out of any boys who treat her badly. But I was really turned off by this girl’s sense of entitlement, and more often than not, I think many teenage girls grow up with a sense of entitlement due to an infrequency of hearing the word “no” growing up.

I think most of all, my experience at the nail salon with the Cher and Dionne clones made me realize the extreme importance of manners and gratitude that I intend to instill into all of my children – male or female.


  1. Oh, this made me laugh (we won’t have to worry about all the penises, just the one) and nod in recognition. I totally understand.

  2. These children will know good behavior like it’s nobody’s business because you are, after all, “saved by the grace of Southern charm” as your mother puts it.

    I have no doubt that your children will be incredibly appreciative, gracious, and above all well mannered with all situations presented to them…even something as simple as getting your nails done. Or in Grayson’s case, maybe getting the finishing touches of a chest piece done someday.

    Boys are not without their troubles or complications, though I can almost guarantee that your little chico will not be the emotional train wreck that I was growing up.

    Girls are cute and great to shop for, Ashley…but boys are SO much more fun. 🙂

  3. God, I so agree with this. I am not excited about teenage girlhood…it wad a rough time for me, and we grew up in a decade where teenage girls weren’t as oversexualized as they are now. I worry about keeping her safe.