Wednesday, 28 November 2012


“Let’s be honest. Sometimes there is nothing harder in life than being happy for somebody else. Like lottery winners, or extremely successful people who are twenty-seven. Then there’s that hell on earth that only your closest friends can inflict on you. The Baby Shower” Carrie Bradshaw's narration opens one of my all time favourite episodes of Sex and the City. “The Baby Shower” aired near the end of the first season. This episode masterfully captured the way many women feel about attending baby showers, many women’s conflicting feelings about embracing motherhood while fearing they are loosing their own identity, and an unusual take on a childhood fairytale. Miranda: “Maybe it’s the wisdom of age, but the witch in Hansel and Gretel is very misunderstood. I mean, the woman builds her dream house in the forest and these brats come by and start eating it..."

I’ve never been a fan of bridal or baby showers. When I got married 6 years ago the feminist in me was outraged at the idea of putting together a registry. I was a successful thirty year old woman with her own furnished apartment. Why was I now eligible for a toaster or blender just because I was getting married? We asked for contributions to our honeymoon in Australia instead. While we did have a fabulous trip Down Under, I now look at the fact that I still have the same pots and pans that I used when I was in college, and sometimes wish that I registered for a few upgrades. I refused to have a bridal shower and even if I do ever get pregnant, I have no intention of letting anyone plan a baby shower. As noted above, I don’t want to subject anyone to that hell, most especially, myself. I do understand that for women who have planned, hosted and attended many bridal or baby showers, they’ve been looking forward to that time when it’s their turn to be the guest of honour. It's viewed as a quid-pro-quo.

Myrtle was one of those women. However, one of the disadvantages of marrying at and older age, is that many friends are too busy with their small children to be able to host a shower. She was fretting that she had no one local to her that she could ask to host a shower. I knew it was important to Myrtle to have this event, so I offered to plan it for her –from the other side of the country. One of her college friends offered to hold the shower at her sizable house. I had to coordinate the invites, games, guest book and favours. In all honesty, I was happy to do this for her, and I do confess I was hoping it would earn me some karma points, even though I know that was pretty ridiculous. I had to plan the shower around our England trip, so I argued to have it before I left, when Myrtle was only 32 weeks pregnant and would still feel fairly comfortable. I received an odd response from her mother “I don’t think it matters if we do it later, Myrtle is only going to get chubbier” Um, who refers to a pregnant woman as being chubby? Chubby is someone who indulged too much around the holidays. Chubby happens when you let your gym membership lapse. The girl who goes off to college and gains the ‘Freshman 15’ gets called chubby, not a pregnant woman! I can only hope that she didn’t say this comment directly to the pre-pregnancy self conscious Myrtle. I made a note never to let Myrtle’s mother see me if I ever get pregnant. No one is ever going to refer to me as ‘chubby’.

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