Monday, February 27, 2006
Baby showers are not for wusses
Who invented the baby shower anyway? Get that many women in a room and you can smell the estrogen in the air. Add cute tiny baby clothes and ducky wrapping paper and it starts condensing on the walls. Break out the itty-bitty-booties, and forget it. Female animals for miles start to nest and don't know why. It's the estrogen cloud, I tell 'ya! How insane is sitting and watching somebody open presents? Right up there with watching paint dry and milk curdle, I imagine. Gifts are only entertaining when you are doing the opening. Or while the person opens YOUR gift. But still, even I am not immune to the tiny clothes, the booties that would fit on my finger and look like duck feet, and the inevitable bunny outfit (or pumpkin, or santa, depending on the time of year). I awwwwwww and giggle and sigh with the best of them. Little things are just too cute. The response to the unwrapping of a small plastic chair can attest to that. It's just a little plastic chair! Key word, little. Showers are a funny animal. Where else do you find a whole gaggle of ladies scarfing down cake while insisting they NEVER eat this way. Look lady, we see those hips under that sunday viscose skirt and control top hose. We know you eat cake. We ALL eat cake. Get over it. Now go and sit down, and don't bump into MY cake hips on the way by. In any event, shower food should have a category all it's own. Mushy pasta, the inevitable baked beans that look like tar and taste like they came straight from a can. How is it possible to take a product, add 20 dollars worth of stuff to it, cook it all day, and have it taste exactly the same?!?! The odd pasta salads with ingredients that don't go together and dressings from a bottle. The inconspicuous potato salad that turns out to contain sardines AND sweet pickles and is somebody's great-aunt-something specialty. The deli tray of rolled meats next to a basket of crusty rolls that look so inviting. Nothing like spending an afternoon sitting in a room full of estrogen in a viscose outfit completely covered in bun crust crumbs. It gives us something to do while watching the mountain of gifts slowly disappear....we chat, pretend to watch, ooh and ahh, and brush crumbs from one part of the polyester tablecloth to another. Oh but wait, what about the shower games? Gift bingo. Favours or corsages with one special thing different. Words under chairs or plates. The contest for the centerpiece at each table. The fun never ends, folks! There is heavy competition to yell out that bingo and get your very own tissue wrapped gift. Candle holders from the dollar store. Pot pourri and oil simmerers from the dollar store. Measuring cups and other kitchen implements from the dollar store. When asked why I was not paying close attention during the bingo game, I replied that I really don't need any prizes. I have all the measuring cups I need, scented things give me a headache, and if I get one more candle I might have a stroke. I haven't burnt a candle (other than during a power failure or on a birthday cake) in fifteen years. We are starting to call our house "the wax museum" - I have decorative candles that are older than me. One year some of them were exposed to sun and got all faded and weeped oil. I sighed with relief at having a reason to pitch them out. I avoid bringing new ones into the house like the plague. DD is already discovering certain things about showers. They are long. They are not exciting. The prizes are not the point (she has "won" pencils at every single wedding and baby shower she has ever gone to) and are nice enough but nothing to rave over. You have to sit quietly and watch somebody you don't really know open millions of presents that are not from you. Shower food is odd and it is hard to survive an entire afternoon fueled by a single slice of rolled lunch meat, a piece of white cake, and a styrofoam cup of warm watery punch. If you are a picky eater, showers are hell. Now don't get me wrong. I don't abhor showers. I know what they are and appreciate them for just that. But try to explain one to a guy and he will immediately decide he would never go to one again. That is why stag parties are nothing but booze, gambling, and naked women - that is the only way to get a man to go to more than one in his life. He asks why I don't just send a gift or make excuses to not take DD along (she is good for most of it, but it is a long time for a bored little girl to stay quiet and sit still). My answer is that showers "build character". Those are the words I use when something just has to be done and that is that. Like shoveling snow, eating brussels sprouts, and folding laundry. Now I have to get back to more character building (read, work LOL). In the meantime, here is a picture of two of my babies. This is what happens when you have black fur and get too close to the cookie baking action LOL. DD is giving her the proper "babying" because the poor thing got "floured" - tee hee!