The Knot In Your Stomach

I do not mean pre-wedding jitters; I mean TheKnot.com. It’s trying to impregnate you!

My friend Brigid got married on August 28th of last year. Yesterday, exactly six months later, The Knot sent her an urgent notification with the subject line: “Pregnant? New Parent? Trying to Conceive?” The content of the email reads:

Believe it or not, it’s already been six months since we helped you plan your dream wedding!
Did you know that our family of websites also includes two of the top pregnancy and parenting resources on the web? With all the same great features you loved on The Knot, TheBump.com and LilaGuide.com are can’t-miss destinations for anyone even thinking about adding another member to the family. If babies aren’t on your brain right now, forward this email to a friend — she’ll thank you for it later!

Now, I know one frequent side effect of marriage is babies, so I am not attacking The Knot for partnering with the even-more-cloyingly-named The Bump and the somewhat-mysteriously-named LilaGuide. Seems like good business sense to me and, of course, companies have to market new services somehow. I get all that. But THE URGENCY! WITH WHICH YOU MUST PLAN! YOUR DREAM WEDDING! AND THEN! YOUR DREAM BABY! — it’s just too much. Did The Knot really have to send out that email six months to the day after Brigid’s wedding? Did they really have to use almost the exact same concerned headline you might see on a billboard ad for a women’s health center or fertility clinic? (It also made me think of the Archdiocese of Washington’s pro-life “Pregnant? Need help?” bus stop campaign.) We’re talking Maclaren strollers and Diaper Genies, not in-vitro and open adoption, correct?

Oh. I was wrong about that. Well, partly. I assumed The Bump exists to help retailers sell panel jeans, breast pumps, and the like (which it does, with a registry section and its own store). But it also exists to help newlyweds figure out how to make babies – a much more complicated enterprise than I ever realized. See the “Fertility Chart” and scroll down to the “cervical fluid description” section if you thought any Average Joe and Jane could procreate (warning: for strong stomachs only). I’m sorry – I know that fertility problems can be heartbreaking for some couples, and I’m sure I will be cursed with them now. But, um, did you know feminine discharge can resemble “rubber-cement”? My inner twelve year-old is not sure whether to laugh hysterically or throw up. Also, isn’t a fertility chart something you should learn about from your doctor, not from the same conglomerate that will tell you whether a trumpet-style wedding gown is flattering to your figure?

The Knot’s other baby-pushing partner, Lila Guide, seems a bit more useful for the long-term. For one, it assumes your “bump” days are over: the baby is here, now what do you do? With its local event listings, meet-up groups, and message boards, Lila Guide is like a more visually appealing Craig’s List for new mothers. I could see it coming in handy some day when I’m lonely, bored, covered in spit-up, and… Oh God, The Knot and its cohorts are getting to me! Their ruthless marketing has taken hold! I’m not even getting married for another five months and they’ve already got me thinking about which mom groups to join (Baby Loves Disco sounds like a fun one) and where we should send Special Someone Junior to preschool (the co-ops seem like a good deal). You fooled me once, Knot, but you won’t fool me again. Until I need more ideas for our gift registry so, like, tomorrow.

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6 Comments on “The Knot In Your Stomach”

  1. Mim says:

    Thoughts:

    1. I like it better when Jose Andres impregnates us with flabor.

    1. a. I think TheKnot.com, TheBump.com, TheseAreYourLadyParts.com, and the whatever.com conglomerate should have a guest post from Andres about impregnating. With flabor.

    2. They couldn’t even use a sexually related descriptor for the vicosity of cervical fluid? Like AstroGlide, for example, because, um, VAGINAL SECRETIONS ARE WHAT IT WAS DEVELOPED TO RESEMBLE.

    Unless of course they assume the vast majority of women are too virginal to know what KY or Astroglide are, let alone knowing the consistency of their cervical secretions because they pretty much didn’t even realize they had a vagina and a cervix until like 6 months ago when they got married and their husbands pointed them out them with their penises.

    Ok, that’s even more depressing, although my inner 12 year old is currently rolling around on the floor, hysterical with laughter…

  2. Sheena says:

    Weird! I got “bumped” from theknot to thenest, which I think is pre-bump. Anyway. They send me newsletters that make me worry about our country and marriage as an institution. People have weird and scary problems.

  3. Brigid says:

    WOW! You did more research into this email than I did, and I received it. All I did was groan/laugh and forward to all my friends.

    By the way, The Nest (the magazine) has started arriving in my mailbox. I think it’s The Knot’s wedding gift to me. Lucky me! Sad to say, I think I enjoy it. Think Real Simple on a sugar high.

  4. skepticbride says:

    Mim: Gah! Of course I too think of Jose every time I think of the word “impregnate.” The Dept of Ed really needs Jose to narrate health class videos.

    Sheena: interesting. It’s been over 6 months. The Knot must have detected from your Google searches or whatever other info they have access to that you and Ian are waiting a little longer. I’m sure they’ll attack soon though.

    Brigid: Thank you for the inspiration!

  5. Ellie says:

    I am so grateful that I signed up for TheKnot in high school with my old Yahoo email and they don’t send me updates anymore. (I was a bridesmaid in a wedding, okay? Okay, not really. I like dresses. They are pretty.) Or rather, they send me updates, but I don’t check them. Shoot, we’re about to hit the 5 month mark…we’d better get crackin! Or I could find, y’know, a real job…

  6. Nicole says:

    Oh dear God why?! Ugh, I freaking hate the Knot. Though at the moment that’s mostly because of all the little ticking clocks on my Knot To Do List.

    And fyi, I already know we are going to have a very rough time conceiving (endometriosis = no bueno), and still I would NEVER consult those scary charts on the Bump. You’re right, that’s what doctors are for.


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