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For some people, babies are the most beautiful creatures in the world. Their teeny tiny fingers elicit joy. Their babbles and gurgles and giggles are true blessings. The itty bitty clothes, teensie shoes, and bless-your-heart hats make most women within a 5-mile radius cry out in bliss.
I, on the other hand, am not one of those people.
Now, before you grab your baby-sized pitchforks (aww, how cute!), let me say: I know not all women love babies. That’s a bad stereotype and blah blah blah. I also know that plenty of men think babies are the most precious things in the world as well. Calm down. The point is, lots of people love babies. They’re tiny humans, for Pete’s sake! What isn’t there to love? A lot, actually. But I’m not trying to get into a baby-hating piece right now. I just want to make it clear: I’m not a baby gal. So, when I was invited to my first ever (co-ed) baby shower, you better believe I had no idea what I was getting myself into.
Expectation: The Place Will Be Swarming With Infants
I mean, hello? It’s a party for a baby. It only makes sense that the guest list is filled with high-profile offspring.
Reality: It turns out, babies aren’t exactly born into a friend-group of other babies. They have to make pals just like the rest of us. At least, that’s what I’m led to believe after attending the party. Maybe it was because these are my first real friends to get knocked up, or maybe it’s because babies are just as petty as their adult counterparts and don’t actually like celebrating other peoples’ successes. Whatever it was, only one baby came to the party, and honestly? She just sat in the corner and side-eyed the shit out of us so..?
Expectation: I’ll Have To Hold A Baby
Few things scare me more than the idea of holding a baby. When I’m near one, I tend to sink down in my chair and pray to God the mother doesn’t ask me to interact with it. It’s not so much that I don’t want to (I don’t). It’s just, I don’t know how? I don’t know how to hold a baby, I don’t know how to want to hold a baby, and I don’t know why other people want to hold babies.
Reality: Considering that there was only one
bitchy baby in attendance, I got out of having to do the whole “how do I hold the head? Are you sure you don’t want it back? Does screaming mean it likes me?” song and dance. Praise be.
Expectation: There Won’t Be Alcohol
Even though the brains say moms-to-be can actually have like, a glass of alcohol once a week, most still don’t for fear of being ostracized/baby death. And a lot of times, if momma can’t drink, hubby ain’t drinking either. Which means that at an event they’re hosting, drinking would likely be a big no-no.
Reality: It turns out, my friends are having a baby, not losing all sense of decency. Beer flowed, jokes happened, and I still managed to end the day face-first in the toilet, reminding myself again that I am in no way ready to be a parent.
Expectation: No One Will Get Drunk
I mean, sober soon-to-be parents + no alcohol = hangover-free morning the next day, right?
Reality: Considering that the soon-to-be parents provided beer, and it was BYOB for the rest of the guests, it wasn’t the sober party I had envisioned. I mean, after downing four beers in the span of two hours while watching friends you used to do shots with in college open up diaper bags and onesies, drinking *has* to be a thing. And while no one got sloshed, I’d need at least two hands to count the number of people who had to give their keys to their annoyed SOs to drive.
Expectation: They’ll Read My Awkward Card Outloud
So, when I purchased the baby shower card, I immediately went to the discount section, grabbed the cutest cheap card, and called it a day. It wasn’t until I got home, threw away the receipt, and started writing on the inside that I realized the card was for a lesbian couple. Which is great, of course. I’m glad Texas is finally getting with the times. What wasn’t so great, however, is the fact that this couple did not consist of two women. So, I had to haphazardly cross out some stuff, get creative with a Sharpie, and hope to God they’d read the cards in the privacy of their own home after the event and just make fun of me behind my back.
Reality: Turns out, the whole point of baby showers is to laboriously open gifts in front of everyone. The card was read aloud, laughs were had at my expense, and another drink went down the hatch.
Expectation: The Small Talk Will Be Out Of Control
I mean, a whole bunch of folks from a wide variety of ages who don’t know each other are there to celebrate the almost-birth of an unborn child? Yeah, you’re going to be saying your elevator pitch more times than you would at a networking event.
Reality: Out of control would, in fact, be an understatement. Considering most of us were quasi-adults who had yet to take any sort of responsibility plunge, we really had nothing to talk about. I mean, what do strangers talk about in any given situation? Their jobs, until they get hammered and can get to the good stuff. So, until we got around to playing cliché shower games, painful small talk was the only language spoken.
Expectation: Some Sort Of Bodily Fluid Will Get On Me
From what I’ve gathered, babies are like little demons. I imagine them like something out of the 1973 version of The Exorcist. I figured there was no way I’d make it out of there without poop, piss, and vomit all over my blue (IT’S A BOY!!!!!) dress.
Reality: I did end up with vomit on my dress by the end of the day, but I can’t blame it on a baby.
Expectation: People Will Ask If I’m Next
If there’s one thing people like doing at milestone events, it’s turning to another couple in the room and asking them some sort of intrusive question. At a wedding? Turn to the guy who’s been dating his girlfriend for five years and has yet to give her a rock, and nudge him with the ol’ “you’re up, buddy” elbow. Baby showers are no different, except this time, they’re asking us when we plan to pull the goalie and start spending money on someone other than ourselves (and by “ourselves” I mean the university that takes $900 collectively from us per month).
Reality: People asked if I was next. They all asked if I was next. Those fuckers.
Expectation: I’ll Get Baby Fever
I honestly figured that as soon as I walked into the room and got handed a cup of blue punch, I’d immediately fall in love with babies. I mean, between the decorations, outfits, and chant-like lullabies, it’s fair to assume there’s some cult shit going on there. Maybe this is how babies make everyone love them. One day you’re just an infant hater, then you get invited to a shower you have to go to and bam! You’re suddenly deciding which type of tree you’re going to name your kid after.
Reality: Turns out, babes still suck! 10/10 would prefer a new dog over a newborn..