Ladies and Effeminate Men of America,
We’ve gone crazy, and I’m not talking about the election. No, we’ve gone Pinterest-detail-perfection crazy, and I can’t take it anymore. On Sunday, I attended a baby shower for a close family friend. It was four hours long, on a Sunday… Sunday, a day of rest. Sunday, the day for carbs and regrets. Upon walking into a room that was shockingly pink and accented with gold glitter, I was almost blinded. But one thing was really clear – all of us guests at the party were actually being held hostage in a multiple hostess war of “Who Did It Better?” It was life imitating the art of Things Girls Do After Graduation. A day meant to celebrate a soon-to-be tiny human and her mother had become a Pinterest dick-swinging contest between two of the cousins. Each hostess was trying to prove who did it better with her added piece to the baby shower; whose decoration, game, gift, was bigger, glitzier, more ostentatious, more handmade, more vintage.
The baby shower wasn’t an isolated event. Instead, it’s part of a campy and schmaltzy cycle that starts with birthday weeks and moves on to engagement parties. Then on to bridal showers, bachelorette parties, and weddings. Then a family begins and it’s gender reveal parties (don’t get me started), and of course, baby showers. Then the cycle starts all over again as childhood birthday parties roll on into adulthood, and now the kid is having a birthday week. These celebrations are all about who can out-do who, who makes the best and biggest cake they saw online, who just happens to be able to throw together the best table centerpieces. And aren’t we tired of it? When does it fucking end? Should I log on to Pinterest to check out funeral party ideas? I mean, my Nana is practically on her last leg, and God forbid my bitch of a cousin has a better picture collage idea than I do. Yeah, no shit that was grim. But do you finally understand? I’ve had enough.
Okay, back to Sunday. Over 75 women were waiting to shower the Mom-To-Be and baby. When I walked in, the word “lavish” immediately popped into my brain and rolled around in my mouth. Meanwhile, I just wanted to roll up in a ball and rock in a corner because the scene was way too overwhelming. There was a chair, decorated as a throne, in the front of the room for the Mom-To-Be. (Come to think of it, it could have been an actual throne.) A gold leaf family tree was created and set up with pictures on pictures on pictures of the family. The table of gifts wrapped around the front of the room, and down the side wall, right by my assigned table.
I made my way to my table to set down my things, and I made polite conversation with the other women at my table, all the while trying to keep my jaw from slamming on the floor. The center pieces on the ten-plus tables were three-tier diaper cakes, wrapped in various ribbons, with balloons coming out of the top; glitter confetti and chocolates also adorned the table. I just wanted to settle down with a Bloody Mary, but every time I tried to discreetly make my way to the bar, one of the Mom-To-Be’s cousins or aunts were there telling me there something to go “check out!” or something to do. It was really clear that two of the cousins were duking it out to be “the cousin” who would be responsible for the fantastic shower and fabulous games.
Oh! Of course, there were games and activities! There always have to be games and activities! We were ushered to guess the number of pink M&Ms in a giant baby bottle; match a baby photo to the family member, and there was a station to make the baby a headband. When we were finally allowed to head back to the tables, the waiters approached us. I was so eager to get a drink, but instead, the waiter came around with plates of green, orange, purple shit on numbered spoons. It was time for “Guess the Baby Food,” in which I was expected to sample baby food and try to determine if it was squash, peas, or some other type of mush-like substance. Next was “Guess The Belly” size, the game that everyone tried not to be offensive, but for Christ’s sake, the Mom has a tiny human growing inside of her – naturally, she’s fucking huge, and don’t side eye me for thinking that. Last, we were given a blank BINGO board, to fill in with gifts that would be opened, and we were to mark the boards when the Mom-To-Be opened gifts. I’ve never felt so dumb. I scribbled in “Sacajawea sling thingy,” diapers, bottle, and socks in every other BINGO box. The BINGO markers? Baby-carriage shaped stamps… Can you hear my eyes rolling from there?
Of course, for every game, there were prizes, each more extravagant than the next. I was fully expecting Oprah to burst into the room and offer up keys to a BRAND! NEW! CAR! All throughout these games, the ladies that I was sitting with were commenting, “Oooh, we played this at Brandy’s shower, but I like this version better,” and “Oh, my, God, look at these little advice books, amazing, I love the original calligraphy on here.” And that’s what’s the real problem is here – all of these parties are not a true celebration. How can you share in the joy and happiness of a day when you’re too busy thinking about how “at least Sarah had gluten-free cake pops at her shower” or you’re too busy fixating on the mason jar favors? Barely anything is an original idea anymore – we’re taking the same ideas and trying to make them better. Everything now is a constant competition with hosts just trying to one-up the previous person; who can do it bigger, better, and with more mason jars.
I’m calling for an end to this. Get off Pinterest and get back into the real world. Buy some crepe paper and call it a day. Find the perfect gift, throw it in a bag, and focus all of your energy on sending good vibes and thoughts to the person who is being celebrated. After all, that’s what really matters. Now, excuse me, I have to go start spending my hundred dollars in Starbucks gift cards from winning baby shower BINGO. .
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