3.23.2010

Issues

I’ll just say this now: I have issues with showers.

Not the hot-water kind, either. (As long as there’s hot water I’m happy.) (Except for the contractions.)

It’s those traditional, gift-giving showers that I have issues with.

Always have, really.

I have vivid memories of dressing up on Saturday morning (“you can’t wear jeans!”) and heading to Grandma’s house with my mom and all my sisters. The women in the family would ooh and aah over dishes and baby stuff while we played awkward games and gave awkward presents and, in my case at least, pretended that we wanted to be there. Sometimes the food was the only redeeming part.

In college I made sure that my roommates knew how vehemently opposed I was to bridal showers – they thought I was crazy – and furthermore, that if they ever threw one for me, they would never be forgiven. When the time came, they did it anyway.

And when the time came, I forgave them.

It’s not that I dislike the sentiment of showers. Gift-giving is wonderful and gracious and especially at those stages of life, the woman of honor (usually) really needs the gifts. I’ve certainly never been opposed to people giving me stuff either … which is maybe why I didn’t make a fuss about my own bridal showers. And to be fair, I have been to showers with fun games, easy relationships all around, and fabulous food.

Still, I haven't been able to pinpoint why they’ve always made me uncomfortable. Until today.

According to Wikipedia (I know), Sociologist Beth Montemurro wrote that “the bridal shower ‘socializes women into the hyper-feminized traditional wife role,’ with its emphasis on the future role of the bride-to-be as family cook, homemaker, and sexual partner.”

Yep.

It’s just another scrapbooking convention, Scentsy party, cooking class, chunky jewelry boutique … just another one of those things that I don’t get.

Can't we all just get together and have lunch? Visit like old friends and family, which we ARE?

You can even bring your husband.

8 comments:

Tay said...

Sounds good to me!

The showers I like are come, eat some food, give congrats and maybe gifts, and leave - whenever you want! No games, no ridiculousness. :) But, fantastic food!! And whoever wants to see what was opened or watch the honored one open their gift, can.

☠ ♬ ❤ said...

I think it's super awkward opening presents in front of tons of people. Plus they aren't fun for guests, so it's all around awkward.

But hey, there's usually cake :) and it's the best way to get everything you need :)

Fig said...

I am the same way. I begged everyone not to shower me - my coworkers did anyway, and it was so sweet. People love buying baby things, so you shouldn't deprive them of the pleasure. At least that's what everyone told me.

Good luck.

The Farrers said...

Heaven bless you! It's good to know that we're on the right track for your open house in a couple of weeks. Hooray! I'll be sure to add that hubbies are invited :)

amy morgan said...

Phew . .. I will officially stop worrying about whether or not I should have initiated a baby shower festival!! Instead, I will just shower you with the gifts I've already bought when I can HOLD the cutie while you open them ;)

Jean said...

Laurel- YES!

Amy- no worries! I hate that awkward "should we throw a shower?" feeling too, so I don't want anyone to feel obligated. I DO think we should do lunch (or something) sometime, though. Preferably before the end of May...

Linnea said...

Hmm...I love cooking, homemaking, and being a sexual partner to my husband. So I guess that whole thing doesn't put me off. ;-)

However, I'm so over games at showers. When I was young and 18 and throwing showers I didn't know any better. Now, an ideal shower to me is just good food and time to talk with good friends. And I only really attend showers for people I really want to go to, now. I've gotten those invitations where you sit there and go - why on earth did they invite me? - and now I just choose to be rude and not attend. Of course, I rsvp no - I'm not THAT rude. ;-) I don't want to waste my time trying to pretend to have a good time, though.

Also, I hate opening presents in front of other people. It's always made me feel so uncomfortable.

Brit said...

I just want to say, that I have neither had a bridal shower thrown in my behalf or a baby shower or any shower of that kind, just the hot water kind, but Rach I just want to bring to your remembrance that I have always HATED going to showers and I always, ALWAYS manage to embarrass my myself. Hate them! I think that for your baby shower we should just go somewhere for lunch like you said and then give you cute baby clothes :) Sound good? Anyone opposed?