Tomorrow we are having a baby shower for a coworker. I think that the basic concept of a shower has good intentions: you have an acquaintance, coworker, friend, or family member undergoing some major (usually expensive) life change, and to encourage and assist them in their new endeavor, you buy them a present.
Housewarming party? Here’s a squatty potty. Bridal shower? Here’s some lingerie you’ll be embarrassed to open in front of your future mother-in-law (but you’ll definitely delight your ninety-eight-year-old great-aunt). Baby shower? Have some nipple cream or clamps (I don’t know what those were actually for). It starts off so simple.
I am all for an occasion in which it is not your birthday, and you get presents. Despite the fact these things tend to occur right before a paycheck Friday, I actually do enjoy giving people presents. I like seeing someone laugh or get excited because I’m a fucking present genius and gift like a chic she-Santa.
I dislike all the activities that the people throwing the shower feel necessary to orchestrate. If I am coming to an event with a present I went to a physical store and bought (instead of a new bikini with neon mesh and metallic tassels), please don’t assume that I need any kind of compensation other than cake.
I realize that some people enjoy the games (by some, I think I know one person who has admitted to this to my face), but even they have usually stipulated that they like them as an icebreaker. An icebreaker I can live with – put a sticker with the names of a famous couple on my back and I’ll walk around asking twenty questions until I’ve weirded out most of your (probably mostly only female) relatives. Or give me a chance to act like I am a human who knows how to conduct herself in public – I mean I did go to that store to get the present remember?
Also, it’s 2017. There’s some stigma where a lot of men resist attending baby showers more than cats about to get a bath. The last baby shower we threw at work included the dads in addition to the future moms, and it was really nice to see people acting like the baby was something happening to both parents – because it is. If you’re having a baby with someone, then the easiest thing you can do is both show up to get presents.
And if you’re a straight man who has an acquaintance, coworker, friend, or family member having a baby, now’s the time to step it up. Just because you haven’t typically been expected to show up to those events before, feel free to break that stereotype and purchase some organic cotton reusable diapers and join us for brunch. Don’t let it all hang on your significant other just because baby showers have typically been grouped in the feminine category – bae would probably like to be able to buy that bikini for a change.