Thursday, July 22, 2010
The Women Rituals
The expectant momma was over last night and we were talking about the party and she announced that she has never been to a baby shower before. Oh to be 26... (maybe 27) but even though she's got cousins galore with babies and friends who have had babies somehow she has missed this magical ceremony.
I explained all the wonderful and mysterious things that will go on. The games:
"Baby" - every lady gets a diaper pin and if she utters the word "baby" then she has to surrender her pin to the gal who catches her. At the end, the woman with the most pins gets a prize, like a Party Lite Candle or Lotion from Bed Bath & Beyond. (While there is typically only one pregnant person at any shower, beverages or gifts like wine are strictly verboten!)
Memory - A covered tray of baby things are brought into the center of the room (at a baby shower the women sit in a circle - perhaps signifying the embrace of the placenta?) and the cover is removed for about 30 seconds and then replaced. Each woman has to then write down as many of the items as she can remember. This is especially hideous for women who haven't had children and for whom many of these items are nameless. In my day I have noted many a "colorful noise thingy" and "odd suction cup" on trays at baby showers.
WHAT THE F*CK IS THAT? - labels from baby foods are removed, and then the blobs of colorful goo are passed around and each gal has to taste each one (usually from a rubber covered spoon) and then decipher the flavor. Flavors like Apple, Banana, Sweet Potato and Pear are easy to point out, but combination "flavors" like Ham & Ham Gravy or Mixed vegetables & turkey are harder to pinpoint.
Who made a poopie : This is a darling game of chance where every guest is pinned with a little diaper looking pendant and then later in the party you're asked to open it up and whoever has the "poopie" one (usually a smudge of chocolate) wins a prize.
I forget the other games that as a childless, unmarried woman made me want to cry. I do recall that there is a lot of helpful advice heaped upon the expectant mom and at one shower the advice seemed pretty universal until one of the moms turned to me and said, "we'll I guess you could use it on your cat" and then turned away after getting a big laugh from the room. I wondered if murder at a baby shower was bad form.
For this upcoming shower we were issued cards and are supposed to submit Advice for the New Mommy. Is it funny, or just rude to write "How the h*ll am I supposed to know?" Or better yet, "just keep smiling and be thankful that we wont all come live at your house."
I saved the BEST part of a baby shower for the last. Since we're all seated in the mandatory circle when the gifts are opened by the super pregnant lady (who generally can't even reach her toes) she has to hold each pretty pink or blue item up and coo. Then, if it is at all passable the gift is passed from woman to woman around the circle. Each little item is handled and touched by no less than 12 pairs of hands before it is safely tucked back into the bag it came in.
There is cake at every baby shower. Genreally really good cake too - like from Costco. Women don't bake anymore for their closest friends of friends. Frankly a big ass sheet cake from Costco is totally worth the baby food tasting activities. It's just too bad we can't be having champagne with our cake. I know, it is not fair to the momma, but the thing I find funny about baby showers is that even though being naked with your man usually got them into that condition, baby showers are a chaste, sterile, no-raunchy humor, idealistic celebration of "perfection". I've never heard a new momma ask "when can I have good hot sex again?" It's almost as if every baby shower happens in 1952.
Don't get me wrong... I enjoy a good shower and am thrilled for my friend, but she needed to know what she was in for. The advice and cooing is the price you pay for all the wonderful and greatly needed items that are coming your way. And... while she has never been to a shower before, I myself have been to plenty. I've considered adopting just to finally get my investments in other people's kids back. (it doesn't work that way, but wouldn't it be nice.)
After hearing all this, the soon-to-be-Daddy decided to go golfing with Jason that day. Lucky bastards...