Modern Rituals

Andrew Sullivan —  Apr 25 2012 @ 3:42pm


Gender reveal parties, which the Dish noted last year, have gained popularity:

Last month, Bobbie Stroessner, a pregnant Wisconsin mom of a 7-year-old girl, discovered her baby’s gender through cupcakes that she’d ordered after asking an ultrasound tech to tuck a fetal crotch shot into a sealed envelope. Stroessner gave the envelope to a baker with instructions to dye the cupcakes — but not the vanilla icing — pink or blue. The next day, with friends, parents, grandparents and great-grandparents gathered around, Stroessner, her husband and their daughter peeled back the foil on their treats: the cake was tinted the color of a Smurf.

Packer is saddened by the parties:

At bottom, the invented rituals that proliferate in our culture signify a disenchantment with modernity. If, like millions of Americans, you’re secular and the traditions of a church or temple have no hold on you, or if you’re assimilated and ethnic identity has faded away, then what is there to sustain you on the lonely path through a turbulent, rootless, uncertain world? 

(Photo by Flickr user kristin_a