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Judging people based on the type of stroller they have

I apologize for my site being down all of yesterday – simple hosting issues were all it was.

I found myself eying strollers this past Thursday in one of the largest outdoor stores in the New York metro area. I was waiting for my bike to get fixed, and instead of drooling over the latest in bicycle technology and imagining all the cool stuff I could do with a fourth bike I was checking out the latest in stroller innovations and wondering how cool I could be wheeling my kid around in something with 4 cup holders and anti-lock brakes.

I don’t have any kids, nor will I likely have them for several years on the track I’m headed, but I couldn’t help but examine the several fashionable and indestructible looking strollers featured in the store.

All of the strollers had pneumatic wheels, and all sorts of flashy technological goodies. Like I-pod holders so you don’t have to listen to your kid screaming, or telling you that you are about to walk into the path of an oncoming bus. I couldn’t understand why one of the strollers had 2 full sized cup holders by the kids tray table preventing the child from leaving the safe confines of the cool looking stroller. I wondered if open container laws pertained to strollers as well? What about hot containers, could a mother drink a piping hot cup of coffee while wheeling their kid around the park?

I was at my buddies house last week when I learned how your stroller type determines your socioeconomic status within the frum community. Stroller style and cost is a big deal, because they cost tons. My friends have a Valco, that they are mighty proud of, they are trying to custom order 8 inch spinning rims so they can pull of to shul ghetto style and throw in a little individual style to their frummy game of Sarah Palin sheitles and kosher sippy cups.

The problems start when you get the stroller on sale, you move up ranks within your caste system but are really just as poor as the next kollel family, suddenly people think your rolling in the dough, because your inlaws bought you Buggaboo, but really you found the neon pink ones on sale at some thrown together clearance rack at your local outdoors gear store.

I started taking notice to strollers ever since I learned of their status and labels. They just make it easier to judge people, I started thinking of the different ways to judge people based on their strollers. Like maybe, folks from Brooklyn have larger wheels because of the rough streets and constant going up and down curbs. But maybe in Lakewood where its all suburban cul de sac style streets they don’t need as large wheels and can therefore afford to spend less money and the traditional strollers that are about as fun to drive as shopping carts with the always lazy wheel – that one wheel that refuses to go in the direction of the others.

Then of course I started wondering about safety features, because I know that if I would have one of these strollers, I would go nuts. The big wheels and the hand brakes would cause me to go a little nuts and I want to know my kid would be safe. What would happen for instance if I decided to take my kid up a steep incline, or down through a rocky patch, would there be rollover protection and side airbags, or its every baby for themselves as sippy cups, bottles of formula and bags of animal crackers fly out of the stroller along with the kid during a rollover.

I also started thinking of all the cool innovations you could make on a stroller. Solar powered phone chargers or bottle warmers. Missile launchers to clear the playground of any unsavory individuals. What about an automatic siren warning of sex offenders in the area? Maybe I could get some hydraulics if I wanted to show up in a more ethnic part of town?

{ 27 comments… add one }
  • G6 November 11, 2008, 8:57 AM

    I just love those people who are sooo excited to have their little princess that they plunk down a mortgage payment on that hot pink bugaboo, only to have FOUR BOYS over the next six years….
    Schadenfreude……

  • Dan the man November 11, 2008, 9:05 AM

    Did you see any Peg prego from italy? Or see any 3 wheelers ? How about Double or triple ones? We have a Graco travel system.

  • MK November 11, 2008, 10:12 AM

    Great post, thanks for the laugh.
    This is the first time I’ve read your blog, but I’ve added you to my list.
    Best of luck,

    A fellow Monseyer (Monseyite?)

  • tnspr569 November 11, 2008, 10:44 AM

    Don’t forget the Mountain Buggy strollers…and let’s not get started on the diaper bags, Petunia Picklebottom and Kate/Jack Spade and whatnot…

  • sporadic intelligence November 11, 2008, 11:19 AM

    and there’s those really creepy one my sister has where the baby is underneath the big seat, so it fits two kids like claustraphobic bunkbed.

  • RMS November 11, 2008, 11:33 AM

    all I have is a 5 year old graco travel system…I must be considered a wefare case!

  • Anonymous November 11, 2008, 12:03 PM

    Sorry, RMS and Dan. Graco is the Ford Escort of strollers.

  • Moshe November 11, 2008, 12:05 PM

    I is cheap Jew. We got a Peg Perego from a friend. The thing is like a tank. Great for running down those stupid women who are blocking the sidewalk. When people see this thing rolling towards them at a brisk pace, it’s either get out of the way fast or get run over.

    Now that we’re getting another kid next month, another friend gave us a Graco tandem.

    Cribs also donated.

  • tesyaa November 11, 2008, 12:34 PM

    Moshe, the handling on the Graco tandem is like driving a rear wheel drive Lincoln Town Car down a steep slope in a snowstorm.

  • Tamara November 11, 2008, 12:42 PM

    If we ever, G-d willing, have kids, I would invest in a GOOD and hell, even trendy stroller. First, the aluminum are lighter for getting in and out of the trunk, going up stairs in an apartment, etc. I would also be sure to buy one that I could use for five years. $1000 for 5 years is worth the safety and comfort of my child. Our friends have, I think a bugaboo. It’s the car seat, it snaps into the stroller frame, and when Ami gets bigger, the stroller seat goes in.

    Features I would prefer? Storage for purses, baby bags, etc. Cup holder. No pink or blue. Hipsters do orange. I’m down with orange or earth tones 🙂

  • Chubby November 11, 2008, 12:52 PM

    It is one of the wonders of frum society. How can all of these folks afford their cadillac strollers? (on top of all of the other standard excesses of the frum velt). It also seems the frumer the person, the more expensive the stroller.

  • dina November 11, 2008, 1:20 PM

    ooh, I had the Graco tandem. You have not lived until you have pushed that thing, through the snow, with 2 toddlers in it, and cars at the stop sign honking at you to cross faster, dammit. Gave it away a couple of years ago; Moshe, is it possible you have it now?

  • Anonymous November 11, 2008, 1:33 PM

    When my brother was born my dad went ot an upscale Italian owned children’s store to buy the best stroller they had. The owner gave my dad what he said was the best stroller they carried.
    My dad, wanting to make sure he got the best, asked “is this the Mercedes of strollers?” and the man answered “no sir, its the Ferari”.
    My dad still tells this story to everyone.

  • jennthejewess November 11, 2008, 1:38 PM

    Ha Hesh…the buggaboo is already on the way to being passe- its only like $700-$800…u gotta get the Orbit system- $1200 for that !

    and @ sporadic intelligence – ur talking abt the phil and ted…its actually a great wheel but its total child abuse…relagating ur baby to the basket on the bottom of the stroller…

  • Moshe November 11, 2008, 1:44 PM

    Dina, if you gave it to D & EV, yeah.
    That would be ironic.

  • Anonymous November 11, 2008, 3:13 PM

    Nothing like a kollel wife pushing a $800 stroller to make me feel like my tzedaka has been put to good use.

  • Mikeinmidwood November 11, 2008, 3:32 PM

    I think those bikes with the car seat in back are the best.

  • s(b.) November 11, 2008, 4:31 PM

    i’ve got some secular friends in the city who totally love their maclaren. my phish tour buddies made sure to get a running stroller so the dad (who runs marathons in jersey) can take their little susskeit out running with him. not sure what brand, but it looks like it has 12″ bike tires.

  • Es November 11, 2008, 4:39 PM

    very cute post!
    im soooo out of it with the whole stroller scene… i wonder if when i have kids ill even care?!

  • zev November 11, 2008, 5:58 PM

    R’ Nuchem Rosenberg tells the story of the recent attempt on his life on Chol Hamoed Succos. (story at http://hamercaz.com/hamercaz/site/news_item.php?id=2054

    See the video: http://hamercaz.com/hamercaz/site/mfile.php?id=3629

  • chanief November 11, 2008, 7:15 PM

    I love the ones who buy the status symbol stroller of the moment, but say it’s because they liked the options that model offered. The insist they would NEVER buy the status symbol stroller just because it “in” but they just have no choice because of the ergonomically designed baby footrest (or something equally ridiculous.)

    Anon, no kidding, I always wonder which one of the grandparents or tzedaka giver slaved at work an extra couple days for that monstrosity.

  • Chris_B November 12, 2008, 8:57 AM

    Those super expensive ones are all the rage in Tokyo too. Couple women bring those things into shul, its like trying to park a Hummer

    If me and the wife ever have kids, I’m gonna design and build one for her, something optimized for the streets and hills of Tokyo, knobby tires and hand brakes. Something with a fold back roof, viewing panel with snap down covers for the rainy season, maybe a built in cooling system for the brutal summers.

  • Chris_B November 12, 2008, 9:01 AM

    D’oh! Hit submit too soon. Shoulda said “its like trying to park a Hummer in a compact car space”

  • Shira Salamone November 12, 2008, 1:32 PM

    When I went stroller shopping 25 years ago, I gave every stroller what I call the “subway-schlepper’s test”: I held my then-baby in one arm and, with my free hand, attempted to fold, sling over my elbow, and re-open the stroller. Any stroller for which I couldn’t accomplish this feat of dexterity was illegible for purchase. The then-Cadillac of strollers, Aprica, was sturdy as a battle tank and a very good choice for parents with cars, but was too big and heavy for handling on subways and busses. We ended up with a Maclaren, which lasted, if I remember correctly, for about a year and a half. Status had nothing to do with my choice. Fortunately, I don’t remember it having been an issue at the time. Good grief, is there anything that’s *not* a status symbol in some segments of the Jewish community?

  • shua November 12, 2008, 3:28 PM

    did anyone see the Office episode where Dwight puts the stroller (I think it was an Orbit?) through its paces? great scenes 😀

  • Lea March 10, 2010, 1:39 PM

    WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) – About Louis Kestenbaum – A teenage girl has filed a $50 million lawsuit against a New York billionaire, and the president of the ODA in Williamsburg NY saying he sexually abused her when she was 14.

    Louis Kestenbaum”s attorney says the allegations are false and motivated by money. Kestenbaum is also the CEO of Fortis properties and the ODA a goverment funded organisation in the williamsburg section of Brooklyn NY

    The girl, now 17, claims Louis Kestenbaum invited her to his Florida mansion in 2005 to perform a massage for $300. The lawsuit, filed in federal court, claims he demanded she remove her clothes, then sexually assaulted her.

    The girl, her father and stepmother are seeking more than $50 million.

    JOEL KESTENBAUM a son of Louis Kestenbaum said ” The family is in shock ” but had no comments when asked.

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