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Went to a baby shower today after a long streak of boycotting them. Honestly I felt a little guilty for going to this one, because on the ones I skipped I didn't even send a card. Any friends who asked me why I missed it, I was dead honest: "I hate baby showers".

BECAUSE I DO HATE BABY SHOWERS. Ladies, why must we play stupid disgusting games? Why must we start up a chorus of "Awwwweeee" after every present... a pack of spit rags is not at all cute. And really, why must it be a celebration of all things pastel and baby? What the hell is the baby doing right now? Nothing! Why can't it be a celebration of powerful womanhood... am I sounding way too crazy?

I went to this one because it fit into my party rule, which is: "I will go to your 'give me stuff' party as long as it's not the first party you've ever invited me to." You'd be surprised how many showers this policy gets me out of. Engineer wives seem to think that if you've seen them out at a group dinner twice before, you're a good friend who'd love nothing more than to walk the aisles of Babies R Us for them. They'll never get me back either... I learned this early, they have babies then fall off the face of the earth, so when my baby/wedding comes along I haven't seen them in years. So I've gotten great at saying "oh gotta wash my hair that afternoon".

Regardless, this shower was still horribly painful. I went upstairs at one point and read the paper for ten minutes so I wouldn't kill myself. Opening presents was soooo sloooow and I felt forced to smile at all the things she was struggling to make up about each gift: "Oh this will come in so handy when ____..."

I almost thought about revising my party rule. Forget the "if you've given me free beer I'll go to your baby shower", I think I have to expand it to some sort of "if you'd donated an organ for me I'll go to your baby shower" or something huge like that. Free beer = I'll send a card in the mail. I can't sit through hours of these things.

If/when my own time comes, I don't see myself getting a baby shower. Yes it'll suck to buy all the stuff we need without help but I've been such a bitch about these things, it evens out. The more I think about it, it's worth it. I didn't get a bridal shower and didn't feel like I really missed it.

Someone's got to end this cycle. I cannot be the only one who hates these things... I think I'm just the most obvious/outspoken about it. I felt bad today, it's rude to go to a party then be obviously about the fact that you're not having fun. I should have really stayed home.

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( 16 comments — Leave a comment )
dashrew
Nov. 15th, 2009 04:08 am (UTC)
The best baby shower I attended was a costume party complete with a priest and nun. And the party favors were condoms. It was a decidedly anti babyshower extravaganza, you could always
do something like that if/when the time comes. It was awesome. It may have been the best party I've ever attended and was hands down the best baby shower.
mrs_dragon
Nov. 15th, 2009 04:39 am (UTC)
Having only been to one baby shower (which was weird because it was for a teacher of mine) I'm hardly an expert. I do know though that the best parties involve food, an excuse for people to talk, adn then leaving them alone to do that. And the best "excuses to talk" do not involve brown candy wrapped in diapers. I suggest that if someone offers to throw you a shower, you agree only with the stipulation that it be NOT a typical shower. Go have it at Dave and Busters or something. : )
schmelf
Nov. 15th, 2009 05:05 am (UTC)
I'm actually all for celebrating the fact that babies are valued and loved even though they don't do anything. But an infant baptism would probably suffice for that. These things sound like agony (granted, most of what I know of them is from your journal). It seems to me that some sort of registry is in order. "If you'd like to help out, we could really use... And we'll get you back when it's your turn!" And then have the store ship the goods to the address on file.
tabloidscully
Nov. 15th, 2009 07:58 am (UTC)
My sister-in-law actually had a cocktail baby shower that was put on by her company and co-hosted by her godmother. She drank water and juice, but the rest of us got smashed. They did open the gifts, but no stupid shower games were played. Greatest baby shower ever, because after enough complimentary glasses of wine, spit rags actually DO look kind of cute.
feanelwa
Nov. 15th, 2009 01:15 pm (UTC)
The last time somebody told me they were going to a baby shower and what on earth do they buy (which is quite an unusual, American sounding event over here) I said they should take a gift voucher for three hours, to be redeemed at any point after the birth. The gift-giver sounded rather unsure about taking something that didn't cost money, but every parent in the discussion said "Yes, damnit, that's exactly what new parents need, not the five billionth newborn sized pair of jeans".
blinkerbook
Nov. 15th, 2009 03:23 pm (UTC)
I hate baby and wedding showers. I don't mind buying the present. If showers were like birthday parties, I would probably love them. Hang out, eat cake, drink wine, talk with friends and open presents. Cool. But no, I have to sit in a circle with grandma and the church ladies, unable to conduct a meaningful conversation while we play pin the diaper on the baby. Not fun.
smittenbyu
Nov. 15th, 2009 06:08 pm (UTC)
I think I will go "traditional" when my turn comes! ;) In India, it's the woman who is celebrated and pampered before the arrival of baby. Since, traditionally you don't buy any baby related stuff until baby arrives! Lets see how that pans out.

Surprisingly though, I haven't actually ever been to a baby shower! But I think I wouldn't last for very long into it!
saritajane
Nov. 15th, 2009 06:36 pm (UTC)
Ugh, my sister got married this summer and I attended my first shower of any kind. Reveling in the supposed delights of capitalism, it is. I would have been perfectly happy to celebrate my sister, but I don't get that same feeling of happiness and joy about 3 identical sets of salad bowls and some plastic lingerie.
(Deleted comment)
ex_rita
Nov. 15th, 2009 10:24 pm (UTC)
My mom came up with the idea that at the beginning of the shower, you announce that anyone who pays $10 (or whatever) is exempt from games. But I think I'd rather be exempt from watching gift-opening. At least with games you can get over-the-top competitive (I *always* win the word scramble, and I'm a real ass about it).

What really pisses me off is that men don't have to go to these things. How much money and how many Sunday afternoons have I spent on showers? Why is there no male equivalent?
fireboy4plai
Nov. 15th, 2009 10:41 pm (UTC)
My favorite take on baby showers was in "Sunshine Cleaning". The main character has just spent a few months cleaning up grizzly crime scenes and blood and guts and all manner of things and she talks herself into going to the baby-shower of a friend she knew in high school. They bring out the candy filled diapers and she smiles politely and says something like 'I'm sorry, I just can't take this seriously,' and walks out.
Rosie O'Donnell had a stand-up routine years ago mocking baby showers and playing up the false oooing and awing by saying "One of the women bought a spice rack, but she'd individually wrapped all the spices. Do you have any idea how hard it is to spend an hour going 'Ohhh, Paprika. Ohhh, Basil'."
beunydd
Nov. 16th, 2009 12:13 am (UTC)
What about wedding showers?

I went to a wedding shower for a friend of my husband's once, and her sister was married to one of those Porcaro brothers from Toto. We played that game where they set out a tray of "wedding night aides" and you have 2 minutes to look and then right down as many as you could remember. One of the items on the tray was a condom. When they brought the tray back out and held that item up, Porcaro's daughter loudly proclaims..."I know what that is...I see it in daddy's suitcase when he comes back from the road!"

Awkward!
kirstene
Nov. 16th, 2009 01:13 am (UTC)
"a celebration of powerful womanhood"
YES that's exactly what it should be. But I think too many women let others handle the delivery, not realizing they have a choice. Society then focuses on the baby. Regardless of how the doctors/nurses may have perpetrated birth-rape, or unnecessary cesarean, etc., we pretend like the only important think is a healthy baby. It IS important, but so is the mother, I argue.
I wish I had my baby shower to do over again, I'd demand a celebration of powerful womanhood instead.

And babies should wear black and other bold colors; pastels stain and show dirt way too easily.
kirilisa
Nov. 16th, 2009 03:57 pm (UTC)
Another tactic
Do what I've done. Get pregnant, before you even get through the 1st trimester relocate to a country where you don't know anyone, live in peaceful obscurity for the next X months, thus avoiding all pregnant women and baby-related things, and then, after the baby is born and you've had a chance to skinny down a bit, go back home and tell everyone you just found the baby under a rock somewhere.

(Of course I haven't quite achieved the have the baby, get skinny, then go back home part yet, but the rest has worked great so far!)

I know I hate baby showers and I've never even been to one.
tequiladawn
Nov. 16th, 2009 07:46 pm (UTC)
Ok, given the number of people here who also hate baby showers, if you did try to throw one, you might just end up with a mailbox full of cards and get to eat all the snacks by yourself. Now thats a grand idea!

Yeah, I don't do baby showers, weddings or funerals (unless you're really, really fuckin' special). I'll send you a card.
aliki
Nov. 16th, 2009 09:29 pm (UTC)
Never been to a baby shower. Going to my first one this Saturday. I feel a little scared.
( 16 comments — Leave a comment )

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