Showers: Bridal, Baby, or Otherwise

Last weekend my cousin played host to more than fifty people at her baby shower.  It was a lovely mid-March day, filled with balloons, diapers, tiny baby booties, strollers, soap shaped into pacifiers, a baby spa tub…er, what? Wow. Where does the ridiculousness end? While sitting next to the crazy aunt (don’t deny it – every family has one) making inappropriate comments such as, “She can start a department store with all of those clothes,” I felt like this baby is going to go to a spa the third day of his life, and I can’t afford to go get my nails done.

Amidst the spring and summer seasons, many of us will be invited and attend multiple showers.  Engagement parties, bridal showers, and baby showers are seemingly dated with new, fresh ideas for showering friends with gifts, i.e. diaper parties (for new dads), tool shower (for the groom), garden parties, and bridal teas.  After receiving an invitation to one of these parties, we might not know what to do.  Should we bring a gift?  Are the men invited? What does one wear?

To save ourselves from the embarrassment, we attempt to look to wedding and baby blogs for advice.  After reading twenty of them, we feel as though we have chosen a middle-ground outfit that will blend well, a nice, small gift in a well-researched price range, and a healthily rehearsed story about a guy or girl that we are currently dating – fake or real, no matter. We throw on a nice pair of pants and break out the “fashionable” jewelry.  Yet as we walk in to the party, we see the baby spa machine and the stuck up girl you knew from high school in her lovely maxi dress.

We, the viewers of the gift opening, the polite conversationalists, the diverters of awkward moments, and the fake smilers for the happy couples must stick together at these lovely events.  They are the happiest moments of someone’s life.  The moments will forever live on a coffee table in a cute and pastel-colored album.  So smile when they are excited for their unnecessary gifts, for some day, we will be there, too.  Just a thought from a graduate’s perspective.

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