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Mike: I don't know if they're fun, exactly, but I know that it's way less shitty to get things like bibs and strollers and bouncy seats for free, as gifts, than it is to have to pay for them yourself.
Kristin: If your pregnant friend doesn’t have family throwing one, and it’s her first child, then yes, throw one. Get together a bunch of her other friends and have a big party. It will only be terrible if you are terrible and if you like terrible things, such as stupid baby shower party games. But you are not terrible, Virginia, so I’m sure you would throw an awesome baby shower. It should have lots of food and alcohol and so it will be great. Drink twice as much as you usually would in honor of your sober, pregnant friend.
[Ed note: I would never force anyone to play a party game, let alone someone preparing to give birth to a child. Despicable.]
Will you think I'm an idiot if I compare this whole thing to having a pet?
Kristin: I will if you compare it to having a cat. And I will if you compare it to having a dog, although I will think you’re a little bit less of an idiot. It’s not the same. Having a pet is a huge responsibility and, if you are a decent person, you will love your pet a lot. It’s still not the same thing at all.
Congratulations, you had your baby! Now that you're not pregnant (or holding off from drinking in solidarity? is that much of a thing?), can you start going out again? Do you want to?
Kristin: Well, you know, I never really stopped going out. Even while pregnant. Unless by “going out” you mean drinking a ton and doing all the drugs, in which case, yes, I did stop doing that. This totally varies person to person, but I think the main thing that prevents new parents from going out is getting a babysitter and, also, the fact that they’re probably extremely, bone-crushingly tired. But usually people will still want to go out as much as they ever did. Maybe more if their kid’s a shithead. Which, probably their kid is not. But you never know. Some kids are.
Mike: I sense that with this particular friend, you may have to redefine going out. For a good few months at least, she probably won't be interested in marathon drinking sessions or squeezing into some crowded bar. Starting at around six weeks or so, I'd just say, "Hey, let me know if you wanna leave [the kid] with [its father] and go get lunch or dinner or even just a cup of coffee." It will be appreciated, even if she doesn't take you up on it.