My birth announcement

Thursday 20 March 2008This is more than 15 years old. Be careful.

A co-worker (hi, Matt!) is expecting a baby, and he is a movie fan, so we were passing around a link to, which makes birth announcements styled like movie posters. Cute.

It’s been done before, though a little differently. My parents were in the theater. At the time I was born, my Dad was working on a Masters from Yale in the subject. This is the birth announcement they sent when I (and my twin sister) were born:

Ned & Sarai's birth announcement: looks like a theater playbill

I don’t know how they produced it (electronic assistance was not available). Possibly Letraset-style transfer lettering (the lines of asterisks are uneven, but it doesn’t look like real letterpress). Also unknown: the intent of the relative billing of my Mom and Dad. Witty joke? Genuine reminder of the perception of the roles of men and women at the time? I’m hoping joke...


Mega, mega awesome. Or, as my 21 month-old daughter has taken to saying: "awe-shum". Very progressive (humor-wise) for the time, I would think. I love it!.
Ned! You and I have the same birthday. Of course, you are 21 years my senior...

That is all.
Sarai Batchelder 6:29 PM on 20 Mar 2008
I've heard from one horse's mouth that the differential billing was a joke. (I never asked the other horse.)
That is really funny. Obviously, I know nothing about your parents, but I just want to point out that without the differential billing it would lack the marvelously funny role of "productive assistant" for your mother.
It does seem to fit in with your dad's sense of humor muchly....
Eleanor Batchelder 11:01 AM on 21 Mar 2008
The technology was Prestype, but I think Dad must have done it, so he should comment. As to the relative billing, it was definitely a joke! While 1962 was still a dim period with respect to women's rights (after de Beauvoir but before Friedan), we weren't totally ignorant. What no one has commented on here, but was a source of embarrassment to us at the time, was the use of the word "conceive" for the male contribution -- we had in mind a pun, of course, but were widely accused of not understanding that the biological meaning is limited to the female.
Go, Eleanor!! It was an extremely stylish beginning for two really great babies.
Definitely a joke. And as I have said before, I did it in the middle of the night, with not enough sleep, while trying to complete an MFA thesis, and as it was done in Letraset, there was no opportunity to back up and make corrections. Eleanor is right about the incorrect use of "conceived", (and the subsequent embarrassment), but it was and is a theatrical phrase. If we had thought about it a little more before doing it, it probably would have come out differently. That's the great thing about computers as opposed to Letraset!!!

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