If you’re going to invite babyless friends to your baby shower, there should be booze, advises Women24 sex columnist Dorothy Black
So, the other day, I get a call from my mate Gaby.
She: Oh. My. God. Dot.
Me: What? She: Baby shower.
Me: I’m so sorry.
She: We have to wear pigtails and wear bibs.
Me: *blink*. Maybe it’s to wipe up your vomit?
I’m not great at condolences. Gaby and I are both babyless women. Babyless women surrounded by baby-making friends. And the time has come for me to ask all you happy mums and mums-to-be out there: Seriously. What IS it with the baby shower?
Why do you make us coo and caw at every eensy bootie that emerges from the mountain of wrapping paper?
Don’t get me wrong, I love the fact that you’re having a baby. I’m endlessly thrilled that you’re fulfilling your biological function and/or have created another being as an expression of your love for your partner etc. Awesome. I get it.
What I don’t get is: why you plan to celebrate this miracle of life by making all the women in your life – the women you’ve laughed and cried with, the women you love apparently – sit around a coffee table of finger foods and drinking juice while we watch the mind-numbing, endlessly dull process of you unwrapping dummies. Why do you make us coo and caw at every eensy bootie that emerges from the mountain of wrapping paper?
And that’s if it’s simple.
Some of you make us dress up in ridiculous outfits, do stupid things and force us to make chit chat with 99-year-old Grams who’s busy gumming in the corner. It’s only fun if she’s drinking scotch and mumbling about the prohibition era.
We love you. And we’re happy for you. But do you have to get sucked into the same painful scenario spawned by the baby boomers? Can’t we reinvent the shpeel? I mean, I don’t know how this all works. But can’t it be more like a celebration and a little less like a painful exercise in overusing exclamation. (Oh my gooooddd?!?! That’s soooooo cuuuute!?!?!? Who knew anything could be so smaaallll?!?!? X 1023.)
Can’t we just celebrate you around dinner, say, or lunch, and talk about shit before your ability to string a coherent sentence together is lost in brain fuzz?
Why can’t you do a separate thing with the aunties and grannies and cousins-twice-removed who require tea and crustless cucumber sandwiches and who smile but don’t talk, who plant their bottoms in the couch and don’t budge, eagerly waiting for you to get to their oh-so-useful, practical piece of baby Tupperware?
The kid’ll be around in no time and when the naming rituals start then we can celebrate the awesomeness that is a new human. But until that human’s around, can’t we, your mates, just celebrate you who are still a woman even though you’re going to be a mother? And can’t we just celebrate you around dinner, say, or lunch, and talk about shit before your ability to string a coherent sentence together is lost in brain fuzz? We’ll still bring pressies for the baby. Promise.
I’m whining here, I know. Call it practise. Look, it might be asking much to do something off-beat like run naked and whooping around a fire howling at the full moon or whatever it is those inimitable party peeps, the pagans, did to ritualise the coming of a new life, but could you at least, please, please (please) supply us – the unbabied heathens – with some booze?