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Old 03-26-2013, 12:10 PM
 
9,228 posts, read 18,808,195 times
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I just got inspired in another thread to start this. There have to be more women like me. There just have to be.

I hate bridal showers. I hate baby showers.

I'm not married, and I've never wanted children. But sure, I am happy for family and friends who choose to do these things.

I'm generous with gifts; I'll buy you a really nice gift--so it's not about that.

And contrary to what some wedding-obsessed or baby-obsessed women will surely claim, I don't hate showers because I'm somehow "jealous" and wish that I were getting married or reproducing. I have no desire to have kids and never did. And the only one responsible for me not being married is me.

I don't have an aversion to all parties. Some parties can be fun. But showers are very different.

Here's what I hate:

1. The registry. I don't like that getting married or having a baby requires a person to register for gifts, but no other occasions do. We get gifts for birthdays, graduations, Christmas, etc. But we don't get to register for those occasions. Sure you can get into that whole argument about "all gifts are good" and "it's the thought" vs. "some gifts really do suck" and "It's best to let people know what you want/need." But the fact that we have registries for two gift-giving occasions and not for any other gift-giving occasion means there is a double standard. When I bought my house, I'd have loved to have a registry. People gave me lots of housewarming gifts. Some were nice or useful, some were awful and I had to give them away. I also had to buy a bunch of stuff myself. I've had graduations, from college, from graduate school, but no gift registry. Wouldn't it be great (if you think registries are fine for bride and expected moms) to have registries for all kinds of occasions? Then you'd never have trouble picking out what to get a person, and worrying that they won't like it. You wouldn't have to worry about all those bad gifts, and how to accept them gracefully without hurting the person's feelings.

So I don't have a problem with a bride or expected mother having a gift registry. Frankly, if I'm getting the person a gift anyway, I like knowing what they need and want. I just wonder why the rest of us never get a registry.

Then with regard to the wedding shower specifically, it's really sort of a way to get two gifts out of people. If I'm invited to a wedding, I'm usually giving a very generous monetary gift. So how come a few weeks before the wedding, I also have to go out and buy a registry-requested present for the person? If I'm giving you $200 for the wedding, why is it also necessary to buy you a bread-maker or microwave?

1.A. The people who violate the registry. When I have to buy a gift from a registry, I follow all the rules. I go to the store where the person registered, buy the item, and make sure the store marks it off the list. But inevitably, when I go to a shower, someone always buys the same exact gift I bought! They usually say "Oh, I saw it at Target for cheaper." Okay, well the person didn't register at Target; They registered at Bed, Bath & Beyond. you were supposed to buy it there. And if you insist on cheaping out and buying it at Target, fine, but notify Bed, Bath & Beyond and HAVE THEM MARK IT OFF THE LIST. You idiot twit. The whole point of the registry is to get what you want, and to not get duplicates.

The best example I had was a baby shower for a friend from work. She had registered at XYZ store for a certain stroller. It was pricey, but perfect for three people to pitch in. So two other friends and I chipped in and got it. It was wrapped in the huge box, and we noticed another huge, wrapped box of identical dimensions. Turns out, the mother-in-law bought her the stroller, from some other store, and never informed XYZ store. This was also the alcohol-free shower (see #5 below), so this behavior was particularly troubling.

The other violation of the registry occurs when a person decides to buy another brand item instead of the one the person asked for. The person wanted a particular Black & Decker rice cooker. She probably researched it, checked out the reviews, Consumer Reports, who knows. But she wanted THAT one. So don't decide on your own to get her the Cuisinart rice cooker. She picked the other one for a reason. She doesn't need two rice cookers.

1B. Babies-R-Us. Enough said there.

2. Why the need for a women-only party? When someone is getting married, that usually means TWO people are getting married, right? Why do we have to have a stupid girly-girl party for the bride? why not have a party (with presents) for both the bride and groom? Why this female version of the "sausage fest"?

I'm not a person who goes to parties looking for "male attention" by any means, but being in a room with just women can get pretty annoying and boring.

And when people have a baby, there are usually two parents involved too. So why the stupid girly-girl party for the expected mom and nothing for the expected dad? I've heard of some people having "Jack and Jill Showers" and I like that idea, if there has to be a shower at all.

3. The required Add-On gifts. It's not enough to buy a nice gift from the registry, but you're usually required to bring a "wishing well gift" or "baby basinette gift" too. This is a smaller gift that you buy, toss into a big pile, and don't get credit for having bought.

For wedding showers, it might be a spatula or meat thermometer. For baby showers it might be a little toy or an anal thermometer. (Maybe you could reverse those?) But I just learned in another thread where the guests of a baby shower were expected to fill out a card for a particular website, and pledge to each buy the woman 12 dozen diapers to be delivered to her home.
I have no clue what 12-dozen diapers would cost, and really, that's not my point. It's the bullying, peer-pressuring, shake-down of squeezing another gift out of a guest. Sure you could decline to participate, but then you're a selfish b*tch according to everyone else.

I went to a baby shower that required us to each buy two non-wrapped books to throw into a basinette for the baby. I bought Atlas Shrugged and The Federalist Papers. (I'm not joking, I have witnesses). We didn't get to add gift tags to the books, so no one knew who bought each book. The mom-to-be held up my two books, and half the room turned and looked directly at me. I took another sip of my wine and said "Um, Barnes & Noble was all out of Everybody Poops." (I still have faith that that little girl will grow up to be incredibly smart and well-informed).

4. The Stupid Shower Rituals. These are usually in the catgories of games, the pass-around, and the ribbon-hat. For those of you who don't know (men, I guess), there are "games" they have to play at these things. It's usually some quiz or bingo game that has to do with how much you know about the guest of honor. Not fun. Far, far from fun.
Then when the guest of honor opens each gift, you all have to pass the gift around and pretend to look at it. Sometimes it's expected to "ooh" and "aah" as you do this. Example: "Ooooohhh, breast pump!" I usually go take a pee break.
Then every ribbon or bow, from every gift, gets gathered together by the designated most-annoying party guest and sculpted into a silly hat that the guest of honor must then wear for several pictures.

5. The lack of alcohol. Now, showers in my nice WASP family usually have an abundance alcohol flowing. But many seem to think that showers are so much fun that alcohol is just not needed. But several drinks are required to make all of the above even remotely tolerable. I don't care what time of day it is, if you are throwing a shower, alcohol is required. Re. Quired. If you're on the wagon, great for you. But you need to make sure the other guests can all drink. Serenity, man. Just go to a meeting afterward if you need to. Either way, you'll probably need to.

And mimosa doesn't count. Mimosa sucks. Look it up in your bartender's guide under "useless p*ss." Same with the tooty-fruity punch with floating sherbet in it and 0.05% alcohol.

So anyway. I'm sure I can't be alone. Do any other women hate showers? I must be missing a gene or something.

Last edited by Tracysherm; 03-26-2013 at 12:21 PM..
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Old 03-26-2013, 12:13 PM
 
Location: Dunwoody,GA
1,988 posts, read 4,739,554 times
Reputation: 2231
I hate them too, especially the games. I'm married with two kids, so it's not an anti-child thing. My sis is pregnant and there are four (count 'em, four) coming up, and I'm dreading it. Not the baby, mind you, just the showers. I'm happy to give a good gift if I don't actually have to show up!
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Old 03-26-2013, 12:34 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
16,823 posts, read 17,116,304 times
Reputation: 40502
Quote:
Originally Posted by TracySam View Post
I just got inspired in another thread to start this. There have to be more women like me. There just have to be.

I hate bridal showers. I hate baby showers.

I'm not married, and I've never wanted children. But sure, I am happy for family and friends who choose to do these things.

I'm generous with gifts; I'll buy you a really nice gift--so it's not about that.

And contrary to what some wedding-obsessed or baby-obsessed women will surely claim, I don't hate showers because I'm somehow "jealous" and wish that I were getting married or reproducing. I have no desire to have kids and never did. And the only one responsible for me not being married is me.

I don't have an aversion to all parties. Some parties can be fun. But showers are very different.

Here's what I hate:

1. The registry. I don't like that getting married or having a baby requires a person to register for gifts, but no other occasions do. We get gifts for birthdays, graduations, Christmas, etc. But we don't get to register for those occasions. Sure you can get into that whole argument about "all gifts are good" and "it's the thought" vs. "some gifts really do suck" and "It's best to let people know what you want/need." But the fact that we have registries for two gift-giving occasions and not for any other gift-giving occasion means there is a double standard. When I bought my house, I'd have loved to have a registry. People gave me lots of housewarming gifts. Some were nice or useful, some were awful and I had to give them away. I also had to buy a bunch of stuff myself. I've had graduations, from college, from graduate school, but no gift registry. Wouldn't it be great (if you think registries are fine for bride and expected moms) to have registries for all kinds of occasions? Then you'd never have trouble picking out what to get a person, and worrying that they won't like it. You wouldn't have to worry about all those bad gifts, and how to accept them gracefully without hurting the person's feelings.

So I don't have a problem with a bride or expected mother having a gift registry. Frankly, if I'm getting the person a gift anyway, I like knowing what they need and want. I just wonder why the rest of us never get a registry.

Then with regard to the wedding shower specifically, it's really sort of a way to get two gifts out of people. If I'm invited to a wedding, I'm usually giving a very generous monetary gift. So how come a few weeks before the wedding, I also have to go out and buy a registry-requested present for the person? If I'm giving you $200 for the wedding, why is it also necessary to buy you a bread-maker or microwave?

1.A. The people who violate the registry. When I have to buy a gift from a registry, I follow all the rules. I go to the store where the person registered, buy the item, and make sure the store marks it off the list. But inevitably, when I go to a shower, someone always buys the same exact gift I bought! They usually say "Oh, I saw it at Target for cheaper." Okay, well the person didn't register at Target; They registered at Bed, Bath & Beyond. you were supposed to buy it there. And if you insist on cheaping out and buying it at Target, fine, but notify Bed, Bath & Beyond and HAVE THEM MARK IT OFF THE LIST. You idiot twit. The whole point of the registry is to get what you want, and to not get duplicates.

The best example I had was a baby shower for a friend from work. She had registered at XYZ store for a certain stroller. It was pricey, but perfect for three people to pitch in. So two other friends and I chipped in and got it. It was wrapped in the huge box, and we noticed another huge, wrapped box of identical dimensions. Turns out, the mother-in-law bought her the stroller, from some other store, and never informed XYZ store. This was also the alcohol-free shower (see #5 below), so this behavior was particularly troubling.

The other violation of the registry occurs when a person decides to buy another brand item instead of the one the person asked for. The person wanted a particular Black & Decker rice cooker. She probably researched it, checked out the reviews, Consumer Reports, who knows. But she wanted THAT one. So don't decide on your own to get her the Cuisinart rice cooker. She picked the other one for a reason. She doesn't need two rice cookers.

1B. Babies-R-Us. Enough said there.

2. Why the need for a women-only party? When someone is getting married, that usually means TWO people are getting married, right? Why do we have to have a stupid girly-girl party for the bride? why not have a party (with presents) for both the bride and groom? Why this female version of the "sausage fest"?

I'm not a person who goes to parties looking for "male attention" by any means, but being in a room with just women can get pretty annoying and boring.

And when people have a baby, there are usually two parents involved too. So why the stupid girly-girl party for the expected mom and nothing for the expected dad? I've heard of some people having "Jack and Jill Showers" and I like that idea, if there has to be a shower at all.

3. The required Add-On gifts. It's not enough to buy a nice gift from the registry, but you're usually required to bring a "wishing well gift" or "baby basinette gift" too. This is a smaller gift that you buy, toss into a big pile, and don't get credit for having bought.

For wedding showers, it might be a spatula or meat thermometer. For baby showers it might be a little toy or an anal thermometer. (Maybe you could reverse those?) But I just learned in another thread where the guests of a baby shower were expected to fill out a card for a particular website, and pledge to each buy the woman 12 dozen diapers to be delivered to her home.
I have no clue what 12-dozen diapers would cost, and really, that's not my point. It's the bullying, peer-pressuring, shake-down of squeezing another gift out of a guest. Sure you could decline to participate, but then you're a selfish b*tch according to everyone else.

I went to a baby shower that required us to each buy two non-wrapped books to throw into a basinette for the baby. I bought Atlas Shrugged and The Federalist Papers. (I'm not joking, I have witnesses). We didn't get to add gift tags to the books, so no one knew who bought each book. The mom-to-be held up my two books, and half the room turned and looked directly at me. I took another sip of my wine and said "Um, Barnes & Noble was all out of Everybody Poops." (I still have faith that that little girl will grow up to be incredibly smart and well-informed).

4. The Stupid Shower Rituals. These are usually in the catgories of games, the pass-around, and the ribbon-hat. For those of you who don't know (men, I guess), there are "games" they have to play at these things. It's usually some quiz or bingo game that has to do with how much you know about the guest of honor. Not fun. Far, far from fun.
Then when the guest of honor opens each gift, you all have to pass the gift around and pretend to look at it. Sometimes it's expected to "ooh" and "aah" as you do this. Example: "Ooooohhh, breast pump!" I usually go take a pee break.
Then every ribbon or bow, from every gift, gets gathered together by the designated most-annoying party guest and sculpted into a silly hat that the guest of honor must then wear for several pictures.

5. The lack of alcohol. Now, showers in my nice WASP family usually have an abundance alcohol flowing. But many seem to think that showers are so much fun that alcohol is just not needed. But several drinks are required to make all of the above even remotely tolerable. I don't care what time of day it is, if you are throwing a shower, alcohol is required. Re. Quired. If you're on the wagon, great for you. But you need to make sure the other guests can all drink. Serenity, man. Just go to a meeting afterward if you need to. Either way, you'll probably need to.

And mimosa doesn't count. Mimosa sucks. Look it up in your bartender's guide under "useless p*ss." Same with the tooty-fruity punch with floating sherbet in it and 0.05% alcohol.

So anyway. I'm sure I can't be alone. Do any other women hate showers? I must be missing a gene or something.
That is really funny!

Many of the recent baby showers that I have attended (or heard about) provide book plates so the parents & new baby know who gave each book. I personally think that adding a children's book is a nice touch. One of my friends had a lot of nice notes like, "This was my favorite book as a child" or "My son, Jonnie loves this book" or other nice comments.
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Old 03-26-2013, 12:40 PM
 
Location: Vero Beach, Fl
2,949 posts, read 12,143,292 times
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The last baby shower I went to was 5 years ago and it was for a dear friend of mine. I walked in, placed the gift on the table, and chatted for a few minutes. Ten minutes later I made my apologies to my friend and hostess that I had a previous engagement, made my apologies and left....I almost ran.

As I left, I breathed a huge sigh of relief and added to my mental checklist of 1) I don't do kids parties 2) I don't do bridal showers and 3) I don't do baby showers. I may sound awful, but I am not overly keen being around a lot of women and in today's world, every one of these parties has to be driven by some type of theme or so it seems in south Florida. Yuck!!
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Old 03-26-2013, 12:49 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh
22,342 posts, read 23,922,329 times
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I was just at a bridal shower this weekend. On the one hand, I totally agree that showers are a weird tradition that don't seem necessary, and put all the impetus of marriage (or parenthood) on the woman. On the other hand, I'm not averse to ladies' events, especially when there is cake. As a single, childless woman, I do wonder if there will ever be a time when I can shake down friends and relations for gifts, because there are a lot of people out there who owe me towels and small appliances.
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Old 03-26-2013, 12:51 PM
 
6,472 posts, read 9,867,353 times
Reputation: 10899
I hate them, too. They're simply a waste of an afternoon, evening, day, whatever. I hate the whole stupid game thing. These events are NOT fun. I don't do them at work, home, for friends, relatives, etc. They're right up there with tupperware parties. BORING! I'll send a gift with my regrets. And I SEND it... I don't deliver it myself. And if I send a shower gift, don't expect another when the 'big event' arrives.
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Old 03-26-2013, 01:01 PM
 
Location: Windham County, VT
10,615 posts, read 4,907,845 times
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Have never been to such a thing, I just see them depicted on tv shows (baby showers, bridal parties, stag & hen nights, etc.).
Yes, I'd like to have a group of friends in my life-but that's as far as my envy goes in such a matter.

The idea of these sorts of gatherings is utterly off-putting to me, it's just not my notion of fun ("a good time")-
all these ritualized obligations just make me feel all the more "not like the other people".
I don't want kids, I don't like them, and can't summon a jot of enthusiasm for people making more.
I'm not a hater, I wouldn't try to discourage anyone else who enjoys these parties & who wants to have kids-it's just not my scene.

Haven't a way to prove that my opinion isn't merely "sour grapes", but I'll try:
When I got married, I didn't have a wedding, we just signed paperwork at town office & went on our way.
I've no regrets about doing it that way, and (since I'm divorced) should I remarry, I would do it the same (no party, no frills, no announcements in paper).
I'm a practical & frugal person when it comes to this area-and I admit, I don't like parties at all.
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Old 03-26-2013, 01:17 PM
 
Location: Baltimore, MD
3,881 posts, read 7,272,691 times
Reputation: 5139
Quote:
Originally Posted by TracySam View Post
1. The registry.

So I don't have a problem with a bride or expected mother having a gift registry. Frankly, if I'm getting the person a gift anyway, I like knowing what they need and want. I just wonder why the rest of us never get a registry.
I actually agree with this. Myhusband and I both have a running "wish list" on Amazon.com and we use that link to give to friends and relatives for birthdays and Xmas. I think everyone should have them. It makes it easy to find gifts for people for any occasion.

Quote:
Then with regard to the wedding shower specifically, it's really sort of a way to get two gifts out of people. If I'm invited to a wedding, I'm usually giving a very generous monetary gift. So how come a few weeks before the wedding, I also have to go out and buy a registry-requested present for the person? If I'm giving you $200 for the wedding, why is it also necessary to buy you a bread-maker or microwave?
I can't say I've heard of this. I'd think if you put out money, that is you gift.

Quote:
1.A. The people who violate the registry.


That does suck. I usually include a gift reciept and let the recipient deal with it.

Quote:
1B. Babies-R-Us.
Quote:
Enough said there.
You can always skip it. I've found you can usually Google gift suggestions and find them elsewhere.

Quote:
2. Why the need for a women-only party?
Quote:
When someone is getting married, that usually means TWO people are getting married, right? Why do we have to have a stupid girly-girl party for the bride? why not have a party (with presents) for both the bride and groom? Why this female version of the "sausage fest"?
I didn't plan my bridal party but I thought this would be fun. HOwever, I am planning on my baby shower being coed with my hubbys friends as well.

Quote:
3. The required Add-On gifts.
Quote:
It's not enough to buy a nice gift from the registry, but you're usually required to bring a "wishing well gift" or "baby basinette gift" too. This is a smaller gift that you buy, toss into a big pile, and don't get credit for having bought.
Never heard of this one either and never did it.


Quote:
5. The lack of alcohol.

Now at my bridal shower, there was alcohol. We started at a restaurant, then hit the bars! We all got ice and drunk.

I'm not planning my baby shower but I wouldn't be opposed to alcohol. I normally drink and have no problem with others drinking in front of me.
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Old 03-26-2013, 01:22 PM
 
Location: Canada
5,655 posts, read 4,093,316 times
Reputation: 15175
I can't stand them either. They bore me to tears and I don't go unless it is for a VERY important person to me. I send a gift to the ones I don't attend.
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Old 03-26-2013, 01:29 PM
 
13,119 posts, read 20,646,458 times
Reputation: 35249
I can't say I've ever been thrilled to attend showers, but as the recipient of both, I won't complain about them either. I like the registry, at least when it's well maintained. I have an invitation to a wedding shower next month, and the registry has a lot of different price points on it.

I have never given both a wedding gift and a cash gift for the same occasion. Never even heard of it, and wouldn't feel obligated to do it either.

What does bother me though, is the engagement party. That seems to carry expectations of yet another gift these days.
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