Welcome To The Monotony of Existence, New Human

Sad beige lady etiquette guide for new babies

The New Baby Etiquette Guide With Werner Herzog*

*Not the real one, the Sad Beige one.

If you have the grave misfortune to be anticipating the arrival of a new baby into a friend’s life, you have surely felt the pit of rumbling despair begin to gnaw at your belly, the realization that, as new life enters this world, you will see your comparative age and decay with raw, unfiltered truth. But no matter how much you may desire to hide from the new creature and the frilly pomp and parties, it is best to dive into the fray and swim with the currents, so that you may position yourself as an ally to the new wriggling mass of humanity and its caregivers.

As both a renowned German filmmaker with a penchant for the bleak, and an actor experienced with babies, I am here to guide you through the abyss that is the arrival of a new child in this wretched, miserable world.

How to respond to an announcement

Humans have a tendency to marvel extravagantly at their basic, mundane achievements, churning out joy-filled posts on social media declaring the expected birth of their progeny. Animals do no such thing, preferring instead to drop their young and suckle them where they land, or even devour them whole, perhaps because upon witnessing the bombastic cruelty of the universe they decide there is no point, no point to anything at all. But humans insist on celebrating their young prior to their arrival, and so you must engage in the expected congratulatory statements.

I have heard people say, “Oh my God, so excited to meet you baby!!” which seems to be received better than my preferred, “Welcome to the hideous ennui-soaked experience that is existence in this world, baby.” But don’t feel constrained by propriety here. Let the creative juices flow. Perhaps a jaunty, “Don’t scream too much once you discover the true nature of suffering in this world!!” Or, “Don’t forget baby, the moment we are born, we begin our journey from the cradle to the grave.”

How to choose a gift

You stand peering at the registry and the needling thought intrudes: should I go off-list? That path ends in darkness. If you cannot help but pitch yourself off the edge of this cliff, do so after purchasing the most boring small item from the registry that you know nobody else would purchase as an act of self-redemption. Then go buy a set of pale beige stacking rings.

How to host a shower

The human experience is one of endless suffering and misery; do not add to that by insisting on shower games involving diapers and candy bars. We have all suffered enough already.

Always ask to see the baby photos

Babies are small, ugly, leggy flailing things, seemingly designed to remind you of the frailty of the human condition, and yet we must delight in them and coo over their images, no matter how much they look like a raisin.

Gandalf Starburst is a fine name, really

It is likely (given how base and boring and predictable as a suburban homeowners association many people tend to be) that the name chosen for the little dumpling will be one from which you recoil instinctively. Scream your disgust to the stars or whisper it into the depths of some dark hidden cave, rather than to those who may repeat your true feelings on the matter, which does not concern you anyway.

Don’t ignore the birthing person

In your pitiful delight over their wriggling new bundle of hideous humanity, do not forget that no matter how that baby came into this world — via home, hospital, C-section, or “natural” hypno-bouncy castle — the baby and birthing person have arrived at the destination. Treat the birthing person with dignity and care and marvel at their strength, victory, and how they glow, and do not remind them at this time that the human experience is one of endless suffering. They already know this, as they are likely not sleeping.

How to meet the new baby

While I personally prefer a detached, “I would like to see the baby,” a simple squeal of, “HI BABYYY!” is also allowed, if you feel the bubbling joy of new life overwhelm your mortal vessel. We all must succumb to our base instincts sometimes.