It was beautiful outside this past weekend. You know, those rare winter days when the sun is shining for the first time in weeks – like really shining. One of those days where you don’t feel the need to wear a jacket because it’s so deceivingly beautiful out. The best part of this type of day is that you can smell spring attempting to creep around the corner. I for one, am ready to bid adieu to winter. I’m tired of the boots, the 4 layers of shirts, and especially the slippery, icy walkways that I seem to fall on every other day. I’m ready for summer — Dresses, flip-flops, ice cream runs, and bonfire nights.
The major problem(s) with spring are the showers. And I’m not talking about the precipitation. I’m talking about bridal and baby shower season.
I remember a time when the worst thing I was receiving in the mail were bills – – Not anymore, sister. Now, around March, April, and May, my mailbox becomes a breeding ground for baby shower invites and wedding “Save-the-dates”. Before this posting really gets rolling, I need to first make a disclaimer.
DISCLAIMER: I, the author of the content of this blog, can assure you, the reader, that while the following may depict a side of myself that loathes the very thought of attending a bridal/baby shower, my feelings will still be extremely hurt if I am not invited as result of this posting. I may bring my snarky attitude but I also bring awesome gifts. The choice is yours.
Back to business.
Time. Food. Pressure.
These three elements blend together to form the trifecta of my perfect storm known as shower season.
My first bone to pick with shower season is time. Obviously you can’t expect someone to hold a shower on a weekday because who would come then? So yes, it makes sense that 99% of showers are held on the weekend. However, this is basically telling me: “Hey, I know the weather is finally looking nice and you may want to use a free weekend to, oh I don’t know, get crazy and just walk around outside or stay at home and just relax – – But now, you have to spend your entire day at a shower!” Show me someone who says that a shower doesn’t last all day and I’ll show you a liar.
A shower could start at 11am, 1pm, or 3pm (all standard starting times for a shower) and I promise that your whole day is fucked. Also, I truly believe there is a special place in hell reserved for people who hold their showers on a Saturday. These events should be made to ruin my Sundays and only my Sundays.
Here’s a birds-eye-view example:
Sunday: Shower @ 1pm
8am: Roll out of bed. Shower. Pretend to eat breakfast but just end up having a Diet Coke. Get caught up in a Lifetime movie… You know the one, usually the flick where DJ from Full House plays a teenage girl who is dating the star football player and everything is daisies. Then we find out he’s an abusive boyfriend (GASP!) The remainder of the film is her trying to get out of the relationship but always “trusting him again” and she turns on all of her friends until she hits complete rock bottom. That one always sucks me in.
10am: I’ve finally removed myself from the couch (DJ got away from the loser boyfriend and he was arrested, phew). Time to get dressed and out the door.
11am: Finally leaving the house. Yes, it took me an hour to get dressed. It’s not easy to pick out an outfit when you’re staring at your closet with the following thoughts going through your head:
A: I can’t wear this because I wear this to the bar and my mom will undoubtedly make a comment. (Mom decoder: “Gee, that’s awfully short…” = “You should change your clothes.”)
B: I can’t wear this because I’m not 70 years old — Where did I even buy this?
C: What will give off the vibe: “I am no where near getting married and the thought of having a baby happens to scare the shit out of me but I’m doing great, THANKS.”
D: DON’T I OWN ANYTHING NICE!?
It is incredibly difficult to get a move on and out the door when you can’t dress yourself. As usual, after everything that was hanging in my closet is now in one huge heap on the floor, I will be leaving the house in a blouse and my classic black pencil skirt. I’m so typical.
11:30am: I’ve arrived at either A: Bed, Bath, and Beyond or B: Babies R’ Us. Yes, I waited until the absolute last minute to pick up a gift… doesn’t everyone? Anyway, I make my way over to the gift registry area, on my way I realize that I chose the wrong shoes to wear – – I’ve been on my feet for all of what, two minutes? I can already feel blisters trying to kill me from within. Ugh. I am greeted at the registry by some teeny-bopper who rolls her eyes while I attempt to remember how to spell the last name of the said person I am there for. After what seems like an eternity, that sweet angel of an employee hands me the printed registry list and the real horror sets in.
Great, every single decent thing on this registry has been bought. That’s what you get for waiting until AN HOUR before the event. Oooooh, I could buy the one set of hand towels that is left OR the $599.99 mixer (in Mint Julep). Decisions, decisions. This is about the time I decide to go rogue and this is also when I get in even bigger trouble.
12:15pm: YES, IT’S NOW 12:15. I’M STILL AT THE STORE.
12:30pm: I’ve made a decision. Usually some sort of china set/piece or a vase that is really nice and hopefully can actually be useful. I hope.
12:45pm: I’m screaming at my iPhone because I am now lost and cannot find the quaint clubhouse/hall/restaurant/house/WHATEVER. This is when I usually call one of my allies that will be at the said event and beg them to give me turn-by-turn directions. I’m also trying to sign the card at each red light I am stopped at.
1:10pm: I arrive. Only 10 minutes late (even in my hypothetical blog scenario, I’m late).
2:00pm: I’m still wondering why events haven’t happened. Why aren’t we at least eating?! THE FOOD IS RIGHT THERE. Literally, right there. I could grab it with my hand if I reached out my arm. But no, we have to wait. Wait and mingle. Mingling is the worst. Here is where the two final components of the shower season trifecta come into play.
Food: I have many problems with the food aspect of a shower. First, you never know what to expect. At some showers the “spread” simply includes chips and pop (cheapskates) and at other showers there are full meals served (trying a little hard?). There’s no consistency. How can a girl plan? Of course, it never fails that when I hedge my bets and eat before the shower, I’ll arrive and it will be a sit down meal. When I don’t eat beforehand, I’ll be rationing those fluffy pastel mints for the remainder of the shower. My other problem with the food aspect are the food choices. When did chicken salad croissants become the go-to shower food? I enjoy chicken salad but can’t we spice it up, people? Get creative. Another offender: Watermelon, hollowed out and filled up with a variety of different fruits. Ugh. I would be delighted to show up at a shower and they were like SURPRISE! We’re having mac n’ cheese and DOUBLE SURPRISE, you can take it to-go, because this shower is over! Am I in heaven?
During this awkward mingle time, the last part of the trifecta comes up.
Pressure: On a daily basis I don’t feel much pressure about being single. I have amazing friends, family, an incredible education, and a job that I actually like getting up and going to every morning. Things for me… are pretty good. Of course there are certain times or days when I think that having that “special someone” in my life would be nice, but most days, I’m pretty content. One situation that causes me to feel “the pressure” is shower season.
The first part of the pressure that comes is from myself. When my mailbox is full of “Save the dates” and I’m running out of magnets because my fridge is covered with ultrasound-baby-shower-invites, I can’t help but think I’m missing something. I usually equate it to this: It’s like watching all your friends move on to junior high, while you’re being held back in fifth grade, still trying to master times tables. It makes me feel behind the curve and wonder, “Well fuck. Why am I single?”
At showers, two things will happen if you’re single: “hypothetical talk” and “dodge ball”. When I say “hypothetical talk” I’m describing the comments like, “Well, someday for your shower….” or “I’ll have to remember this for you one day”. While I play along with this, I’m always thinking… “Will there be a shower for me??” I can’t even predict what the next week of my life will look like, let alone fathom the idea that I will forrrrr sure get married and have a baby (fingers crossed in that order).
The second part, “dodge ball”, also happens during mingling. This is when I swerve, avoid, duck, and obviously, dodge, questions about my single status. There is always a friend, or mother of a friend, etc., who for whatever reason needs to know why I am single and what I am doing to counteract this. “You’re so accomplished and beautiful… But your mother must really be hankering for some grandkids! You better start trying a little harder missy!” I would love to respond, “Um, that started as a compliment, right…? Did you just say ‘hankering’…? Are my reproductive choices any of your damn business…? By the way, I hate you.” But instead, I choose the much higher road – – Avoidance, or “dodge ball” as I’ve coined it.
Back to the schedule…
2:30pm: We are now an hour and a half in… and we are released to eat. Chicken salad – – surprise, surprise.
2:50pm: The games. Ugh, with a double side of ugh. Does anyone like the games? That was a trick question – – No one likes the games. No one wants to play the games, but it’s just what you do. It’s tradition. And plus, I’m super competitive and sure, I’d like to walk away with some free antibacterial soap from Bath & Body Works… Hopefully an apple scent.
3:30pm: The presents are still not opened. I repeat, the presents are still not opened. Everyone knows that it would be extremely rude to leave before presents are opened. And you can’t just duck out. I may be sarcastic and snarky, but I’m not rude. Once I’ve committed, I’m committed. In my dream world, when the bride/expectant mother opened my gift she would look to the crowd and see a very adorable, thin, cardboard cutout of myself giving them the thumbs-up sign. Meanwhile, I’d be at home, catching up on my DVR.
4:00pm: We are now in hour three. Presents are being opened. I’ve already used my allotted 37 “oooohs” and 42 “ahhhhhhs” and I even hit quota with 25 “Howwwww cuuuuuuuute”. It’s time to go.
4:45pm: I’m helping clean up. Because I love my friends. And obviously hate myself.
5:15pm: Saying my good-byes. Somehow, I get caught up in a conversation with some friends I don’t see nearly enough and before I know it, there’s a dinner plan in the making. For tonight.
5:30pm: I’m riding shotgun in my college roommate’s car and we’re off to “dollar taco” night with a bunch of my old sorority sisters.
Like I said, showers take up the ENTIRE day.
Happy Shower Season to you all.