Dear expectant parents,

I am writing today with some ideas for your “gender reveal” party. That is the glorious day on which you gather your friends and relatives and colleagues to brag in a reckless, melodramatically kinetic way about your astounding accomplishment of having found out what your baby’s genitalia will look like (though in comically miniature form). And sure, it can be argued that each such celebration is driven by bigotry, since your reveal is, by design, a celebration of the wonderfulness of this binary detail, ergo, a rejection of the alternative. If it were NOT in fact a joyous reveal — if it were an either/or-but-who-really-cares-we’re-just-happy-to-be-here announcement — that would underscore the blinding stupidity of the entire event, and the very industry of ostentatious American self-celebration, as we know it, would collapse in an acrid stew of its own vapidity. So ... it’s a girl! Yaaay! We definitely dodged a bullet there!

And sure, it can also be argued that absolutely no one but you gives a crap about the sex of the baby — it’s not even important to British royalty anymore, now that new laws of primogeniture certify that girls are actually people. In terms of stakes, a gender-reveal party is as though you threw a soiree to reveal which Internet provider you had selected.

But I am not here to be cynical, or fault-finding. You newly expectant parents apparently demand your Special Day, and I am here to accommodate you with ideas.

Now, I know what you are thinking. You are thinking: Wait a minute, hasn’t there been some ... bad publicity about these events? Doesn’t something embarrassing seem to happen at half of these parties as cameras are rolling: a piñata that can’t be battered open, a live alligator that couldn’t be persuaded to chew open a balloon — or worse? Didn’t the pyrotechnics at one start a 23,000-acre wildfire? Didn’t the pilots of a small plane — a chartered gender-reveal plane squirting girly pink smoke — expire when their plane plummeted into a lagoon? Didn’t one guy fire a gender-reveal air cannon that unexpectedly erupted out the back, clobbering the portion of the dad’s anatomy responsible for the gender-reveal party itself?

Yes, yes, but that’s no reason to back off like some sort of wuss. You have to double down! After Ford failed with its Edsel — the company mistakenly thought Americans would like a car that looked like a toaster — did it quit trying to be wild and different? It did not! The carmaker quickly designed the Ford Gyron, a big sedan with only one tire in the front and one in the back, the whole thing held erect by gyroscopes! It was insane! No one ever bought one. But my point is, Ford didn’t give up! Neither should you. If life hands you lemons, explode them with dynamite in a garbage can!

So, here are three modest gender-reveal ideas, all of which do away with the trite pink-or-blue conceit.

1. The expectant dad walks into the backyard carrying a live chicken and a bazooka. He puts the chicken in the branches of a tree, walks back 20 feet, aims and vaporizes the tree and the chicken. As friends and neighbors watch in silent awe, confused, benumbed, the father lowers the launcher and stage-growls the absolutely unnecessary: “It’s a boy.”

2. High-anxiety, highly cerebral party-game time! Guests are each issued a cold bottle of beer and asked to participate in a contest to guess the sex of the baby. They are told that if they are smart they should already know the answer. Two large cages have been placed on the lawn, one labeled “male” and the other “female.” After everyone enters the cage of his or her choice, the cages are locked. Then the hosts start firing steel-tipped lawn darts at the male cage, one every second or two! People cringe and cover their eyeballs. The barrage will end only when someone in the besieged cage figures it out and blurts out their mistake: They should have known the baby was a girl because the beer they’d been handed was Dos Equis!

3. Father and mother walk onto the lawn. Mom produces a festive, flimsy piñata. Dad applies a fungo bat. The thing explodes and out comes a color of powder seldom seen in nature. No one has any idea what to make of it. Mom explains, quietly, that this is periwinkle, an equal mixture of pink and blue, the only reveal that honors the power of their child to define him, her or their self, without the weight of the world’s oppressive expectations. Mom then reminds the assembled of what is reputed to have been the very first gender-reveal party, in Chicago, in 2008, where the reveal was in the color of icing inside a cake. Shocking pink. The baby’s name was Bianca. These days, judging from Instagram, Bianca favors short cropped hair and rocks the look of men’s-style suits and a very proud and defiant expression. At this new gender-reveal party, amazingly, nothing — and no one — blows up.

Email Gene Weingarten at Twitter: @geneweingarten. For previous columns, visit

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