There are many points on which I feel like I’ve never lined up with what a “normal girl” should like: I thought planning my wedding was basically no fun at all, I like my steaks super bloody (almost rare) and of the extra-large variety, and I put off shopping for new shoes as long as possible.
One of the biggest “girl” things I hated growing up though?
Going to bridal and baby showers.
Basically, unless I was personally related to the person or was close friends with her, I avoided bridal and baby showers like they were a particularly nasty strain of swine flu. In fact, when my first sister got married, I snuck out of her bridal shower after about an hour to go play Dr. Mario with my best friend, so even that point didn’t always make me stick around.
The reasons were many for my dislike: the topics were often uncomfortable, there were almost always a lot of people I didn’t know, and it just made me fearful for the day when I, too, would be forced to be the center of attention in front of all these people I barely knew and was expected to nod at and smile to and make polite conversation with.
Yeah, I was an odd duck growing up.
The nice thing about growing up is that you learn to take the social conventions in stride—things that used to set me off before (like the in-depth horror stories of the pre-marriage ob/gyn appointment or graphic details of each woman’s birth) no longer ruffle my feathers quite as much.
(Although I will admit that the labor and pregnancy details make me very, very glad I’m not in that boat quite yet.)
All that aside, I think the mature part of me is finally winning out most of the time, and I’ve discovered that more often than not, I actually even ENJOY the showers I get invited to, as long as they follow my rule of being for someone I know well, of course (and as long they serve me scrumptious food, which this shower definitely delivered up).
Last weekend, I went to the baby shower of Mara, a girl I’ve grown up with and known since we were toddlers. We’ve seen it all together—first periods, first dates, first boyfriends, marriage, and now I got to go to the shower for her first baby.
(Side note: I think the only thing weirder than growing up yourself is to watch all your friends grow up all around you. Some of my friends already have 3 kids! It’s crazy how “adult” we all got all of a sudden.)
There’s something beautiful about being even a small part of the milestones in your friends’ lives though—something beautiful about the fact that even though you can’t be as much a part of each other’s lives as you once were, you still get to partake in the joys and triumphs of their big moments.
And that’s why, in the end, my heart has been changed (for the most part) when it comes to the American tradition of “the shower”—maybe I’ll not always feel comfortable with all the juicy girl talk or the fact that I actually have to try and be social, but I DO appreciate much more the excuse to get together with the people I love, to wish them luck on the next exciting stage of their life.
And we all can use a little more of that.
Best of luck with your upcoming delivery and life with your new little sweetheart, Mara!
Are you a fan of showers?