Here, from the parenting listserv of parent-friendly Park Slope, Brooklyn, is a soon-to-be dad’s alt-rock dilemma: Is it okay to leave your eight-months-pregnant partner at home while you travel out of state to see Pearl Jam for the 19th time?
Whatever your initial reaction, this turns out to be a question on which reasonable people disagree—and the ensuing email chain was so compelling that someone leaked it to Jezebel in its entirety. On one hand, four weeks in advance of a regular, non-complicated pregnancy due date isn’t exactly cutting it close. On the other, there is the small but terrifying risk of missing the birth of your first child, all but ensuring that the child’s mother will neither forgive you nor want to hear the words “Pearl Jam” ever again. The certainty of Eddie Vedder, or the possibility of permanently shattered trust? Doesn’t Pearl Jam mean something?
Understandably, the listserv responses are of two minds: “If you’ve seen Pearl Jam 18 times already, you can miss one more concert,” wrote one subscriber. YOLO, replied another: “It’s going to be harder to go to concerts in town let alone out of town once the baby is out and about.” One dad went for an extended metaphor about a dishwasher warranty:
I’d answer the original question with another question: are either you or your wife the sort of person who buys insurance that isn’t required (life or disability, or even little things like the warranty on a new TV or dishwasher), or would if you thought about it?
If the answer is “no,” and you’re certain of it, then maybe you decide to gamble. If the answer is “yes,” or you think it might be “yes,” then you stay – that is your insurance against the low probability but very bad outcome (i.e., not being there to support your wife through the birth of your child).
Personally, I buy the insurance.
The consensus reportedly leaned toward “don’t go.” Maybe he should have asked Spin readers instead. Peruse the entertaining and surprisingly deep debate here.