Couples showers are generally awkward and uncomfortable. And if you’re planning a couples baby shower, please don’t. I’m pretty sure the person who invented this event was a girl much like myself, who simply wanted to drink more while watching her pregnant friends open gift after gift and acting pleasantly surprised by the fact that people followed directions and bought the stroller and onesies and Boudreax Butt Paste for which she registered. Except, the inventor of such a ridiculous event, clearly hated her boyfriend.
I say this because attending baby showers Sunday after Sunday after Sunday while your significant other does fun, lounge-y, Sunday-type activities on the sacred last day of the weekend, gets really old. So, at some point, some girl decided she was going to drag the guys into the fete so they could share in the misery that is The Baby Shower. Oh, and maybe so there could be beer instead of tea and mimosas. For that, I raise my glass!
Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE my friends dearly, and I’m thrilled that they’ve decided to procreate, so this isn’t some weird, jealous thing. (If I wanted a Diaper Genie with a bow on it, I could get one.) I love kids. I could have been knocked up and married 10 years ago, but I chose to wisely and adventurously take a different path. Apparently, that’s the path of watching my friends open gifts they signed up to receive in exchange for hanging out and drinking mimosas with my friends’ moms for 3 hours on Sunday afternoon. Hmmmmm…perhaps I’m not so wise…
So, back to the whole gift thing; it’s funny to me that from our 1st to about 11th birthdays, our mothers invite our friends over to eat cake, maybe play some games, and then everyone watches us open gifts. Then there’s a span of, say, 15 years or so, where this is socially unacceptable behavior. But then we start doing it again. Only now we’re not celebrating our birth, but the fact that we A) found our “soulmate” and need to furnish our new dwelling with countless Crate & Barrel knickknacks and kitchen appliances that match our paint swatches; B) are having a baby and need all kinds of little useful (and adorably useless) little bitty baby things; or C) both A and B– surprise! Now that’s a shower I want to attend: “Stock the Bar and Fill the Crib, ‘Cause Daddy’s Gonna Need Some Drinks! We’re Registered at Babies r Us and Beverage World.”
The couples baby shower is also a way for women to clarify where they stand in a relationship. If it’s a fairly new dating situation, the couples shower is something a guy will say yes to, and feign excitement when the girl immediately follows the invitation with, “It’ll be fun! I can’t wait for you to meet Soandso’s husband – you’ll looooove him.” She’s trying to intertwine you in her world. Consciously or subconsciously she thinks that the more people you know through the “couple” world, the more invested you are in her future. It’s true. This is how [crazy] women think. (She has also, most likely, chosen your babies’ names, just so you know.)
Now, if the couple has been dating for a long time, this is a negotiable attendance situation. If the girl REALLY wants her guy to go, there’s some discussion and possible bribery upfront, and she should fully expect this. If she doesn’t care and doesn’t want to argue about it, he’s off the hook. This is the best case scenario, because she’s likely to come home pretty tipsy and lookin’ for some late-sunday-afternoon action; however, this could also work against the guy, as she’s been drinking Champagne and watching her friends open piles of gifts all afternoon. You might hear the screeching, “When are WE going to get married? I want to have kids by the time I’m 30! I’m so drunk. All the other guys were there and I was all alone. I hate you.” Really, if this happens, just run. Run far, far away from this woman.
However it all unfolds, the bottom line is, men do not belong at baby showers. Period. Just let them be. This is one of those girly things we have to endure and we should keep attendees to women only. And to the baby shower hostesses, nobody wants to play shower games where we pass around jars of baby food and guess what flavor it is. Except maybe some of the grandmothers, but, let’s just sit around and watch the Babies R Us paper fly. The rest of us just want to drink our mimosas in peace and are counting the ribbons until the last Diaper Genie is unwrapped and we can go back to Sunday Funday.