Monday, March 31, 2008

Push Presents: Irrationality?

There is apparently a disturbing new trend according to the Telegraph, namely push presents. These are presents a mother is expecting for the delivery of a child, and these presents are expected from the father. There was a time where the gift of life and flowers would do, and the latter served a purpose: beautifying a hospital room. But this new trend is not about flowers, but expensive jewelry. And I do not understand the logic of it.

A child is usually a big financial liability: feeding, clothing, educating, entertaining, providing shelter and security do not come cheap. For a rationally thinking person, this is a large financial hit. This is why governments typically support families with children in various ways. Then why add to the financial burden with jewelry requirements? It is not like those shiny rocks are any good investment. Just try selling a diamond. In particular, why would a mother, who cares very much about her child, jeopardize the future of said child with unwise financial decisions?

The only way I can think of rationalizing this is the following. Say the mother is worried the father would walk away. Then any financial guarantee is good, and shiny rocks have some value, can be immediately coaxed from the father and are considered in many jurisdictions as unreturnable in case of break-up. Weighing this against the financial gain of the couple of not purchasing a diamond, a gain that is mostly in the future, calculate the probability of a break-up, and it may all make sense. Sorry to take the romance of the diamonds...

PS: Sorry, no post last Friday, I was wasting my time on Uncyclopedia.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

In 1971, My husband gave me a bicycle for an engagement present instead of a diamond ring. Smart man. The bike is long gone, but he's still my guy.