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.