Seriously, I love ya’ll but this has got to stop….

If you are planning on getting married or having a baby in the next year, and you’re my girlfriend or relative or acquaintance in some shape or form, could you do me the very great favor of forgetting my address when you’re making out the invitations to your shower? I just received my third shower invitation in a week, and one of them wasn’t even for a person living in this state, but, of course, Ms. Manners dictates that if you are invited to a shower, you’re supposed to provide a present or monetary supplication even if you can’t attend. Seriously, gals, I’m going broke with all your major life changes!!

I’ve already attended two baby showers in the last few months. I’ve held and admired two babies. I went to one baptism party. I threw one wedding shower (for one of the gals now having a baby shower because she went and did everything all at once). I was invited to one wedding that I couldn’t make due to TOSRV (which, of course, means I had to send another gift). I attended two weddings last year and one bachelorette party. In 2006, I attended three bridal showers and three weddings. For you men folk who don’t understand how the feminine world of marriage goes, I, as a female, am obligated to buy two gifts for every wedding–one for the bridal shower and one for the wedding itself. I won’t even mention how many bridal dresses I’ve had to buy over the last ten years of my life (I’m apparently very popular as a close friend). It wasn’t 27 dresses like that recent movie with Katherine Heigl, but give me ten more years and it will be awfully close! (At least I can say that I’ve never attended more than one wedding in one day as a bridesmaid.)

This is getting a bit crazy. Now all my cousins are starting to get married, so the spiral is doomed to never end. All I can do is promise you all that I will not be hurt if you don’t invite me. I’ve got other things to do with my time and money. I promise sincerely that I will never ask you to attend any future bridal showers, baby showers, or weddings I may throw. I didn’t have a bridal shower when I got married because I believe they are a scam to sucker your girlfriends out of one more gift (and they are!). I had a bachelorette party because, hey, that’s just drinking and carousing with your best buddies–just a regular girls’ night out (I didn’t do the strip club thing). You can spend as much or as little as you desire.

I don’t care what people say–I will NOT have a baby shower if I ever decide to have kids. I don’t need the charity of my friends to procure the proper baby equipment. If I decide to have kids, I expect I will be in the financial situation where I can afford to buy all their accompanying kitch. Besides, the whole girlie event of a shower–baby or bridal–just makes me want to gag. If you haven’t noticed, I’m not too girlie. I enjoy riding my bike with the guys. I like to drink beer. Sometimes I belch loud and uninhibitedly. I’m most comfortable in a pair of shorts, sandals, and a tank top. I like to get my hands dirty and sweat. The color pink makes me want to smack people around. I’m feminine, yes, in my own way; a girlie girl, I am not.

Occasionally, I like chick flicks. But, I swear, that’s it.

If I have kids, we can get together after the child (Aurora if it is a girl and Martin if it is a boy) is born. We can have a bonfire and I’ll pass the baby around for all to ogle. We can celebrate the excitement of motherhood or creation or whatever is so glamorous about children in a nice, informal way that doesn’t require you providing anything more than a dish for potluck. Bring the guys, too, for they are part of the whole creation event. Sure couldn’t have children without their help. I promise it won’t be a hen party!

If I ever am blessed enough to find a man I feel compelled to marry, attendance to the wedding will not be obligatory. Maybe it will be a destination wedding in Vegas (on the Enterprise bridge at the Hilton!) or a small ceremony in a vineyard. Either way, no presents will be required, just the presence of my most cherished friends. It won’t even be that big of a deal. Maybe dinner would be small and informal. I would still buy a nice dress, but I wouldn’t spend more than $100. (The dress from my first wedding hangs in my closet. It was $600. I wore it once.)

I might have another bachelorette party. It just wouldn’t be one of those crazy things those young girls are having these days. I would have something small and relaxed, representing the pace of my life in my thirties (or forties–it may be a long time before I’m ever married again). Maybe we’d go to an Indians game or sit at a wine bar. Peace and quiet and not a lot of money–these are my vows for my thirty-something life. The party girl I was still likes to party, but at a slower pace these days.

Man. I really want to buy two CDs (The Church’s Heyday and The Wailin’ Jennys’ Firecracker), but now I feel broke with two baby showers and one bridal shower in my future. Ugh. I’m getting waaaaaaaay to old for this stuff.

I forgot to mention that I officially retired from bridesmaiding as of Angy’s wedding. If you really want me as a bridesmaid in your wedding, you must submit a petition including a 10-page essay as to why you feel I should bless your marriage with my devoted witness. Trust me, you need more than my cherished witness to bless your marriage. I’m not sure I provide very good luck. My odds are good; of the nine or so weddings I’ve attended as a bridesmaid, only three have ended in divorce. Never fear–two of these people already have someone better in their lives. Still, do you really think your luck is helped by a woman who lost her husband within twenty months of her marriage? Not hardly! You’re better off to pick a woman married much longer than I have ever known!

I might consider being a godparent again. Though, knowing my amorphous non-specific beliefs, probably most people would avoid that one like a plague (my best friend made me a godmother with the caveat, “I’d rather have an atheist being my child’s spiritual guide than the kind of guidance others close to me would provide.” It was really touching, especially since I knew immediately who one of these “others” she was referring to was.)

Though, being a godmother means more money out the door…. and that commitment is more of a lifelong obligation… Though, I suppose I don’t mind so much. Even if I don’t really feel a big influence of said child’s life.

23 thoughts on “Seriously, I love ya’ll but this has got to stop….

  1. Well said! Baby showers are very cluck-cluck. I never had one, or a bridal shower. Should you have a kid at some point I will send you a bunch of Starbucks gift cards, because you will need lots of coffee!When Shawn and I got married 5 of our friends attended our civil ceremony at the courthouse and we took them out to dinner afterwards. Very nice and casual. My dress cost $50, and Shawn wore a suit he already had. And our reception was having friends over for chocolate torte at our apartment. Very relaxed and I’m so glad we did it this way!

  2. I wonder if scratch-off lottery tickets might be the appropriate bridal shower gift. It sort of says to the bride, “your chances of picking a winner here are very remote” which should give her something to think about before she commits.

  3. Bob,Should I be frightened? I like how you think! ;)My coworker, upon reading this blog, has declared that I’m well on my way to becoming crodgety… And my coworker is a guy!

  4. Maybe that was too cynical, but let’s face it; all these showers you ladies have have long since outworn their economic and social purposes and have become big, steamy loads of crap. I never met a woman who didn’t really think the gifts are stupid and unnecessary and that party games are lame. You women should get rid of those stupid showers altogether.Take a page from the man’s book. If you feel a need for some celebratory wildness, throw a drunken bachelorette party and hire a couple strippers. It’s cheaper and more cathartic for everyone involved.

  5. Bob, I’m <>trying<> to start that movement towards no showers, but as much as <>other<> women bitch about them, they give me the “evil eye” when I tell them that I refuse to have one… They gasp at my utter break in tradition, like I’m some grumpy misanthrope for not giving into the utter materialism of the event…I think that probably most of the women you hang around are not “girlie girls.” I am positive that there are some girls out there who do like these little–as Sarah called them–cluck-clucks… Girls in the cycling community, maybe not so much. ;)

  6. Even ruder, I think, are the people who throw bridal showers for their second (or third or fourth) wedding when they are in their 30s and 40s and have been clearly living alone with their own stuff. Also among these rude people are those who decide to have a shower for their first baby with a new husband… like that baby cant use the stuff from your first baby!!Our nuclear families these days dictate that these old traditions have long ago outlived their usefulness…

  7. I opted to NOT have a bridal shower cuz I figured that I had been on my own long enough and I had what I needed. I didn’t feel the need to try to coordinate yet another thing while planning a wedding. I got lots of weird looks when people asked me when the bridal shower was and I told them that I wasn’t having one. I mean c’mon, if something that I have that’s a few years old breaks after I get married, I can go get a new one myself.I had told my mom right at the beginning when we got engaged that I didn’t want a bridal shower and I also told my matron of honor too this up front … just in case somebody was going to try to throw one for me.And we didn’t even register anywhere, we let the guests give us gifts that they thought we might need. Which was nice as we didn’t get one duplicate thing.BLN

  8. I sense bitterness here! One gift idea is a gift of time. A coupon book or some kind of service. One time, I cleaned a friend’s house while they were in the hospital having a baby. I think some of these gatherings are just as much for the guests as the one being celebrated. They indicate a rite of passage and help the community to come along with the change. I do think there is room for changing up the actual events or how it is done. It seems like if you had endless resources you may enjoy this ritual more- with less funds, each purchase becomes a burden rather than an opportunity.One way to look at this is that people invite you into their world. The way you tell it, you seem, dare I say it, popular. Unless of course your so called friends are calculating how many gifts they can get from acquaintences. I promise you that if I have a life changing event, based on what you have written, I would not invite you. Not that I know you, but I think your post would effectively dissuade those who might be tempted.

  9. Erin,The bulk of this post was actually tongue-in-cheek, though reflecting an inner frustration I’m having at having to spend all this money on people’s showers… I do realize these are important events to my friends and family and, as such, I do always make the best effort to attend, despite how inconvenient having to make all these dates has become (for a shower in July, I’m already registered for my club’s big ride so I’m going to have to do my 62 miles and then run home to shower and get back on the road… ie, I wont get to socialize after the ride and I’m going to have to constantly worry about time). The shower I just got invited to is the day after a ride I’m doing in Toledo… I’m having to work all these showers around my riding schedule… It’s just a big time stress on me and also gobbles up all my free time with other people (ie, a boyfriend). So I guess I was just expressing frustration about that.Yeah, I guess I am kind of popular… I have a lot of close friends. I come from a huge Catholic family (15 cousins on my mom’s side, I’m the second oldest, so it’s a line of younger ones!). It’s really a craziness. I’ve got two more cousins getting married next year (in addition to the one that already got married and the one getting married later in the year). I watched a lot of these kids grow up so I understand the importance of being present for their important life events… It’s just all really wearing me out.In all seriousness, I do not mind being a bridesmaid. I’m honored that I have had so many friends ask me to be a part of their special day. I still want to retire from doing it, though. It’s a lot of work… I suppose this just means I’ll be more selective about the ones I say yes to (who am I kidding? every time I’m asked to be a bridesmaid, I’m so surprised by the offer that I say yes). I’d prefer not to do second weddings. I really think that people should make their second weddings a little less of a big event… It looks kind of ridiculous when you’re thirty-five and on your second marriage and you’re wearing virgin white and skipping around like you’re twenty. I think it should be a quieter event with less people… but that’s just me. And I’m saying this as a widow who did not lose her husband by any fault of either party in the marriage… I totally dont want to burden my family and friends with another huge blow-out if I get married again… I’d prefer something tastefully simple and intimate. And NO GIFTS. Good grief, I’ve been living on my own for six years now, I can afford to run my own house, I don’t need gifts!I personally am not into the whole shower scene and all my friends are well aware of it. And, like I said, they know that I will show up because I care about them and it’s important to them (I usually dont play the games, though, cuz I feel stupid). That said, though, I think that I will do things differently when I have these life events… I definitely will not have a baby shower, but maybe after the baby is born, we could have a “baby greeting” party that includes men, and we all just sit around a bonfire in my back yard and share stories of our youth, passing the baby around for all to enjoy. I’m not really Christian, so there probably wouldnt be a christening event; though, the UU church does have a “naming” ceremony that looks suspiciously like a baptism without the actual baptism…So the bulk of my post was really about the stress of these social responsibilities. (Though, really, I probably wouldnt mind if a few less people invited me to their showers!) I would like to invest less money in these events–I wanted to make my cousin a stuffed animal for her baby, but I just dont have the time to sit down with my sewing machine right now (I can barely keep my house clean and I’m starting a new hospice assignment).I guess, also, I think at a certain age these shower things look kind of stupid… We’re in our thirties… We’re not newbies just out of college without money… I dunno…

  10. And now, let’s hear from a representative from the side that doesn’t think that Baby and Bridal Showers are The Cause of All Evil…I don’t think of myself as too much of a girly girl, but I honestly don’t mind attending or throwing showers. Maybe because I see beyond the gift-giving aspect, I more relish the celebration of the Major Life Event that’s taking place. Technically, a shower should NOT be thrown by the person expecting the baby or planning the wedding; if that’s the case, then I view it as a blatant ploy for getting gifts. A shower in its true essence should be thrown by friends or relatives who want to celebrate the Life Changing Event. Almost as soon as Jeff & I announced our engagement, my mother had her calendar out to plan the date of the bridal shower. My only say in my bridal shower was basically, “Yes, Jeff & I are free that date.” Oh, and we registered for gifts. It made it so much easier than answering the barrage of, “What should we get them for a gift?” questions that would have come from my family members. If I felt the way that Heidi or some others who have posted did, I could have tried to insist that I Did Not Want A Shower And If You Insist On Having One I Will Be Very Angry, but that would have only upset my mother who really wanted to throw a shower for me. Because there she was, wanting to do something nice and special and wonderful to celebrate this big event in her daughter’s life, and it would have been just rude and selfish of me to tell her, “No, I don’t want your help celebrating.” Like Erin wrote, these gatherings ARE just as much for the guests as they are for the ones being honored. I grew up attending baby and bridal showers for family members, the little girl who helped pick up the paper as each gift was unwrapped or got to make the ribbon bouquet bows for the bridal party to use at the wedding rehearsal (my absolute favorite part of any bridal shower to this day – and which, ironically, no one did at mine). So for me, having a shower is just another part of the traditions that go along with these events. When the showers end up piled one on top of another, like they are this year, it gets tiresome on the social calendar and the pocketbook, but I try not to let that overshadow the real reason for the event – to celebrate. Now, another thing about my family is that we do not have cluck-cluck showers. Our showers consist of lots of food, lots of dessert, and opening gifts. Games are left off the agenda, since my mother also thinks they’re stupid. At my bridal shower I got to talk to relatives who I hadn’t seen in a while and who, let’s face it, I wasn’t going to get the chance to talk to much the actual day of the wedding. And yes, we had guys there. Jeff was there, the fathers were there, the groomsmen were there. They were getting fed, they could deal with watching us open some gifts for an hour! So, in conclusion, the shower haters have every right to feel the way you do, but don’t drag down those of us who don’t mind the hoopla and fanfare that these things cause. If people want to shower me with gifts, who am I to tell them no? I’m not so high and mighty where I’m going to say, “I’m well enough off, I don’t need your gifts.” Because again, for me, the shower is more about the celebration, the gifts are only secondary. Oh, and don’t worry, Hei, I will give my mother strict orders that when/if Jeff & I start having kids that you are NOT to be invited to any pre-baby celebrations. You’re one of my closest friends, but if that’s how you feel about the situation I will make sure that you are excluded.

  11. Jesus, Diane, you know I would attend yours. Just try to have a baby in a year that is all on your own, when 50 of my other closest friends are not having babies too.Personally, I do think it is totally within my right to tell someone to NOT throw me a shower (like I did at my own wedding). Because i would feel CORNERED and ANGRY if someone threw one even though I specifically asked to NOT have one. I would feel like people did not respect my wishes and forced me into something THEY wanted to do OVER MY LIFE EVENT. Why would they want to celebrate FOR me MY event?? I told you how I would like to do my event… It’s not like I’m asking people to NOT celebrate the coming of my baby; I would just simply ask for it to be done on my own terms, which I’ve already described to you how I’d prefer it to be done.I guess in my family, these little rites of passage are no big deal. When my mom offered to throw a bridal shower and I told her I didnt want to have one, she did not become insulted or hurt. She was more hurt that I didnt let her contribute in any of the wedding planning. Still, I dont think that was anything that hurt our relationship. She knew how I am–I wanted things done a certain way and there was no stopping me. I managed to hold a nice wedding, using my and my husband’s money to pay for it. We didnt do any of that traditional stuff (though I think my in-laws insisted on paying for the rehearsal dinner, I cant remember).I am just not really into that “whole family makes the wedding” ideal. Especially now, when my in-laws turned out to be not really the ideal family… My true family turned out to be my close friends and my blood-family and those are the only people I trust anymore anyway.

  12. PS. It is my firm belief that anytime you get a room full of girls together, talking about babies or weddings, it totally becomes a cluck-cluck, making me embarrassed to be female as I realize that every stereotype men spew about us being in groups is 100% true… ;) Sorry, but it’s true.Most men I know would not be caught dead in anything with “shower” in the title, just by pure principle alone. You’re lucky that the men in your family are more liberated. But I can say that every guy I’ve dated has stated that there’s no way they’d show up at a shower. I guess maybe my husband would have… But those kind of guys are rare. Most of them go running from girlsie things like that, even if other guys are showing up.And anything a guy wont show up to in his right mind makes me shy away from it totally. I hate the whole “men go in one room” and “women go in another room” mentality that showers promote. I’m all about bringing men and women together based on the things we share alike. And it drives me insane that men wont turn up to baby showers, even though they helped to make the baby and are equally as proud of fatherhood, yet they wont show up at a shower… If I’m having a baby, I want the guy who helped me make the baby standing proudly beside me at any celebration cuz I sure as heck didnt do it alone!!

  13. Count me among those who don’t see the problem here. I’m just going to echo what has already been said. First off, the more parties you’re invited to just equals the amount of people who want you in their life. As someone who has spent a good portion of my life lonely or wishing for closer ties with my extended family, all I can do is just shake my head over this.Second, our society is obsessed with getting rid of any and all traditions. I think we’re going to get to a point where we have inherited nothing from the people before us and we are going to realize that we lost something really, really important. Holidays are virtually meaningless anymore, they are days just like any other day–work, shopping, TV.What’s so imporant–is there something on TV you’re missing that day? You wanted save $5 in gas? Sheesh! When you’re old and gray, are you going to remember what was on TV that day, or are you going to remember the rites of passage and celebrations?

  14. <>the UU church does have a “naming” ceremony that looks suspiciously like a baptism without the actual baptism…<>That’s right. People break away from older churches and get rid of traditions only to find out that they end up re-inventing those traditions anyway! Those traditions have a reason for being there.

  15. <>I can say that every guy I’ve dated has stated that there’s no way they’d show up at a shower.<>Can you cite your sources for this??

  16. Frank,1. You’re all missing the point of this blog, which was really tongue-in-cheek to begin with.2. When I made the statement about men I’ve dated not wanting to take part in the shower ritual, I was actually thinking about all the guys I’ve dated since Mike, so you’re excluded from that (totally forgot about pre-Mike guys).3. I think the ritual is stupid. I attend them for other people who feel they are important (though always grudgingly cuz I cant stand the cluck-cluck-iness of them — I’ve only attended a few that didnt make me feel creepy crawly up my spine in all the weird girly behavior and stupid games). I am exercising my right to beg people to not make me take part in them when it comes to MY life changing events because that is NOT how I want to celebrate my lifechanging events. Sorry. But I think the ritual is antiquated and DUMB. That’s just how I feel.

  17. PS… I am a very busy person, none of which of my activities include missing shows on TV… It’s mostly working in these showers around various bike rides I’ve signed up for and my hospice work (which will soon be sucking up a lot of time).

  18. Heidi wrote:I’ve only attended a few that didnt make me feel creepy crawly up my spine in all the weird girly behavior Diane asks:What is so wrong with the occasional girly behavior? We’re women, dammit, it’s our birth-rite to act girly on occasion. Men don’t ever feel a need to apologize for sitting around acting “manly” while watching a football game, downing a beer, and belching. As a woman, why can’t I sit with the guys drinking and belching Saturday night and still be able to put on a pretty dress and coo over cute baby things on a Sunday afternoon? When you make comments about feeling weird being all “girly” at something like a shower, you make it sound like it has to be one way or the other – a woman must be a complete tomboy, or a complete princess, that we can’t be a little of each. As for To Shower or Not To Shower, I think everyone within the 88 counties of Ohio and then some all know by now that HEIDI DOES NOT WANT SHOWERS OF ANY KIND, SORT, OR MANNER EVER. We’ve heard it loud and clear. But in your original post, you’re bitching because that’s how OTHERS have chosen to celebrate and since you are anti-shower you’re going to grumble and complain about having to attend the showers of those who aren’t opposed to having one. Don’t give me the tongue-in-cheek line, ’cause I’ve heard you go on and on about this topic before. Every few years, summers end up filled with multiple weddings or graduation parties or showers of some sort. I’m in the same boat as you this year – I think the July shower will be my 4th this year? I may complain about the Sunday afternoons that I won’t be able to spend doing something else, or the frequent trips to Babys R Us, but I’m not complaining about the actual fact that showers are being held (OK, so I DID complain about the fact that a shower was being held for my sister-in-law, but that fell into the “you don’t get a shower for the second kid” category, usurped by the “well, OK, if the second kid is actually twins then we’ll make an exception” caveat). Anyway, back to my point – you’re complaining about the mere fact that people are having showers period, because you think they’re antiquated and dumb. You can think that, fine. But that’s not going to stop the rest of us from having them, so why are you exerting so much energy reminding everyone how much you hate them? We all know that already, and we’re not going to stop throwing them for others just because you don’t like ’em. If the intent of this post was supposed to just be a light-hearted, good-natured rant, you lost me somewhere along the way.

  19. Years and years ago I got dragged to a bridal shower once by an ex-girlfriend and after about 10 minutes I was looking for excuses to leave. I remember what seemed like hours of present-opening after which there was an enormous pile of uninteresting appliances and linen that looked like the stock room at Bed, Bath and Beyond. Then there were dumb games, one of which had something to do with breaking ribbons. The rest of the games made no sense at all to me. It was all a crashing bore. I kept waiting for somebody to offer me a beer which never arrived.Call me a caveman or an iconoclast or something, but from my experience I conclude that: (1) I agree with Heidi’s ex-boyfriends that I won’t willingly go to another one of those things and (2) if there ever was a tradition that I can do without, the bridal shower certainly is a big, fat one. And, so long as I’m commenting on a subject that I don’t know much about, I’ve got to say that it seems to me that it doesn’t bode well for the marriage if the only reason for holding a bridal shower is because the bride is afraid of disappointing her mother. That attitude sets off my mother-in-law anxiety at a very remote distance.

  20. To everyone who was offended: I humbly apologize. I’m sorry that the manner in which I expressed my opinion pissed you off so much… I seriously DID think–no matter how you took it or what your opinion of me is–I was being funny in this post in expressing my frustration and asking my readers to “forget my address” when writing invitations to showers. I know that some of you took it harder because you know how much I hate the showers and how I’ve expressed this hatred openly to you on several occasions. This post really WAS intended to be light-hearted in its frustration. Words, I guess, dont reflect the overblown sarcastic way in which I would have said this whole thing, like a comedic routine, had you heard it in person. I guess it was more like bitching about when your husband does something that frustrates you and you want to relate it someone. If you’d written it to a friend in email, they would read that you hate your husband’s bad habits and they might think that you are on the verge of a divorce. Had they heard it in person, they might have heard that sort of frustrated-but-admiring tone you would have used. Anyone remember how I used to talk about my husband’s annoying habit of putting napkins down the garbage disposal? And how he’d fire back that I left things around the house? People would *laugh* because the way in which we delivered our little routine and they would understand that we were expressing, humorously, something that really did bug us about each other, but it wasnt something that we felt would make or break our marriage.That’s all I was doing here. The whole “I hate going to these things but I love these people, and isn’t it silly that how many of these things I’ve attended over the years?” I guess the delivery didnt go off as well as I thought and some people got offended. I swear, I’m not back-pedalling, I truly didnt think people would get so angry here.Yes, I did push the envelope by adding what I think is the “appropriate” way to celebrate these life changing events…. I dont know. I guess I just wanted to assert how I think people should do these things in a way that makes more sense to me. I have no problem with celebrating a Life Changing Event with people. I understand how excited someone is to bring new life into the world, even though I’ve never had a baby. I certainly understand the happiness and completeness one feels when they decide to spend the rest of their life with someone… And I want to celebrate that with people I care about, truly I do.I guess the part of this post that went wrong was when I tried to propose what I thought was a “better way.” I do hold a little bit of resentment in some respects because I think that I’m being scammed by girlfriends as far as bridal showers go… I feel like I want to buy my friend a gift, but, you know, buying two gifts within a span of a few months just feels overwhelming to me. And as far as baby showers go, I have heard girls say that they dont have to worry about buying such and such for their baby because they will get it at the shower, almost as if they expect all their friends and family contribute to a decision they made themselves to have a child. I think it’s great to celebrate the event and presents should be customary… I just think that in this day and age, when most of us get married in our thirties, and we’ve been living on our own for awhile, we shouldnt expect to get these big appliance gifts from other people when we can afford them ourselves. How about a small monetary donation? (I tend to give gift cards these days for weddings…) How about small gifts? Why the expectation that your friends and family are going to buy you the crib, stroller, and car seat you need? Why cant you just expect some clothes, diapers, and toys? I think it’s kind of rude to register for big ticket items and then expect that you will get them… (Actually, I am starting to think the idea of a registry is a little rude… it’s like asking specifically for something you want and presents, I feel, should be more inspired, which is why I always go OFF registry for the people I’m closest to, because I dont want to just buy them the plates they asked for or the silverwear. I want to get them something that they will remember as special because to me they are more than just silverwear to me in our friendship…. if that makes any sense?)As for the whole debate on being female or male and why I cant appreciate my female qualities… I do appreciate the things about me that are female… It’s just that the female traits I reject are the ones that are stereotypical and seen as annoying to men: the backstabbing, the hen-pecking, the gabby gossipy girl traits. I guess in some ways I feel that showers promote the worst traits in females as opposed to their good traits because they exclude the guys… It seems to promote to me that whole “men” v. “woman” mentality that I am trying to break free of in my own life. In order to advance as a society, we need to appreciate each other for who we are, and then realize that we are still equal. There’s no battle of the sexes: we are different, we look at things differently, and these good values on both sides are what make a great balance of point-of-view between us. We should focus on the positive aspects of our feminine/masculine traits and try to concentrate on improving ourselves instead of letting ourselves slide into the traditional role of “gossipy girly chick always doting on or picking on the men” and men should likewise lighten that whole “I’m a macho-assed male and I won’t go near anything slightly feminine because that will make me less of a man.” By separating them men and women into these little cliquish parties, I feel like we’re keeping that division going in our society with the gender roles. Men make babies, they dont do any of the care-taking; women take care of the babies and talk about the baby stuff. These stupid games we play at the parties make them cluck-cluck and make men avoid them like the plague. Can we not make more cool gender-friendly parties that dont make men get the dusche chill whenever they think of them?Okay, so I dont know. I’m on my feminist soap box. I guess I just see showers as the epitome of that which represents all of the things I dont like about being female. Laugh at me on that–I dont care. It’s how I feel.And it’s just my opinion. I can cluck-cluck with you all if it means that much to you. I’ve done it enough now as it is… I’m getting pretty good at it. More power to you if you’re better at finding the gender balance while attending these things than I am. Maybe I mistakeningly see everything remotely female as an assault against my feminist approach to life. Mind you, I am not a femi-Nazi; I dont believe femalekind should take over the world and I certainly do not hate men. I’m just trying to make my piece of the world have more gender balance.Like I said, sure, I appreciate my own femaleness in ways…. I definitely do not feel that I’m all a tomboy (well, mostly, but I do have female characteristics and I dont try to squash them all). It’s okay to be female if you’re not a tomboy… I dont know…I am sorry if I pissed people off… Although, I will point out, that two women on this post agreed with me and one even stated that my post was “well-written.” So I think the people who got offended were the ones throwing showers. I’m sorry that I offended you… I thought, for real, that the post would cause you to chuckle. I admit that some of my reply comments have not been the kindest. Sometimes when I reply when I feel I’m being attacked, I dont say things in the kindest of ways. I’m sorry. I hope this comment expressed my opinion a little nicer. But it probably still offends some. And some arent convinced that my original post was ment to be “tongue-in-cheek” funny. That’s the problem with words on the internet and not hearing me in person, I guess. I suppose this also means that I’m not that great of a writer if I cant express myself well even in written form.

  21. I think that showers DID come from a time when a very young married couple had babies. Only one of them had a job, and it was a starter-type of job. They NEEDED help purchasing house and baby supplies.I agree w/Heidi that maybe it is time to allow the shower to evolve into some other kind of get-together to celebrate these events…and having men and women there is a good idea. I think a post-birth celebration is in order: baptism or naming ceremony. That way, everyone gets to visit w/the baby.I also get a little put off by registries…and other times I think they are soooo helpful.It can be intimidating when you speak out against a social “norm”. I would invite Heidi to one of your baby/wedding celebrations, for sure. She always tells me about the next generation that her friends are having.

  22. Ha ha! Vindicated by the Mother!! =) *gloating*But I’m still sorry if I offended anyone… Opinions, however, can offend when one doesnt agree (Bill O’Reilly does it to me all the time!)Love and Peace to ya all.

  23. I read this and to be honest, I think all things have a time and place. These are old customs dating back to a time when no one had much starting out. I always thought Bridal Showers now are just a cheap ploy to make people hand over more stuff. What no one wants to stop and realize is that a Bridal Shower actually reduces the amount you get at the actual wedding. It’s like forcing your friends to give you things. You have to be dense to think someone is going to give you fifty dollars and then turn around and give you another fifty dollars for the wedding. No. They will give you $20 and $30. So just forget the entire Bridal Shower biz and if someone’s mom wants to throw one, just have a party period with no gift strings attached that everyone can attend and have fun. Baby Showers I can see for a new mom who normally will not have any baby stuff in the house. I don’t have any myself but my friends do. But even then, new mothers now expect too much it seems. The $300 car seat and stroller and crib is your responsibility moms. You go out and buy that yourself. At baby showers you should expect socks, blankets, diapers, cute inexpensive outfits. Sensible stuff for the baby that people can afford to give. Not big ticket items. Technically, you shouldn’t expect anything. Gifts are not a right. And you shouldn’t expect to get a Baby Shower for kids #2, #3, or #4. It’s a one time deal and after that you are not a new mom anymore.

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