Wednesday, April 29, 2009

This is sort of the perfect image to tell you how many conflicted emotions I feel when I am invited to yet another baby shower. Being in your early twenties means you go to a lot of baby showers. Between friends and family getting knocked up and the eternal rotation of impregnated co-workers, it seems like there's another baby shower every couple of months - and if I had more friends, I'm certain it would be more often than that.

Baby showers are a problem for me on a couple of levels. In large part, the fact that I never intend to have children plays a roll. I can see why, if you intend on having one of these events for yourself in the future, you might be willing to wear a diaper pin covered in curling ribbon and plastic rattles for a few hours in exchange for harvesting the population for gifts of your own one day.

because apparently people will do anything for free shit - even if it's just plastic beads

But for me - oh for me - going to a baby shower is several hours of an indescribable pain. First, there's the compulsory gift registry. Like weddings, people register for baby shower gifts. It ensures that you get what you're looking for - that themes are met and it also allows people to fully understand how completely and utterly insane you are. Take, for example, my 19 year old cousin. When he knocked his 18 year old girlfried up on a weekend home from college, they registered for an iPod and iPod docking station for the crib.


I've developed a bit of a "standard" baby shower gift which I will occasioanlly supliment depending on the situation and it works for me - it usually runs about $30 that ends up in the Compulsory and Unreciprocated Gift Giving tally on the yearly budget. By the by, that colum, when you factor in housewarming parties, weddings and baby showers - it's FAT, but it's money I would gladly spend if I just didn't have to actually go to the shower itself.

See, as painful as the gift experience can be for me (I spent a half hour this morning staring at a monkey hat on Etsy wondering which co-worker it would be most appropriate to give it to based on month of infant birth, personality, race, gender and religious affiliation.) the worst part really is going to the actual shower. Bad food, screaming kids, horrible music, and the games - oh the games! No self-respecting woman should be expected to pin curling ribbon encrusted diaper pin to her lapel and listen for someone to do or say something on a list of twenty odd 'taboo' statements or behaviors (leg crossing, the word baby...) in an effort to obtain their pin in exchange for a scented candle from Pottery Barn. No one. Or estimate how many squares of toilet paper it would take to wrap around the Mommy-To-Be's stomach, play musical highchairs, or - and this is the point where I usually throw my hands up and leave no matter how many pounds of pastel colored m&m's they try to weigh me down with - see who can eat chocolate pudding from a diaper the fastest.

So yeah, seriously.

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