I Hate Baby Showers

Fact: I loathe baby showers.

No, really. Pretty much everything about them. From the horrible little games (The "Sniff the Diaper" Game, anyone?! I'm all for fecal humor, but to waste perfectly good chocolate like that?) to the endless "Awwww!"s faked by the entire party as the mom-to-be spends hours opening a sea of baby gifts. I find most of them excruciating.

Before you go slamming me about tradition, maintaining the continuity between generations, the practicality of one's community coming forward in love and support through the next phase of life (all perfectly good points that I accept), consider the reaction of most people when you tell them you're going to a baby shower: First comes The Look of Pity. Followed by a commiserating, slightly down-in-the-mouth "Oh." Don't deny it: We all know it's true. And what's the translation of that expression? Bummer, dude. That's what.

Perhaps I've just had a gaggle of bad baby shower experiences: I remember one co-ed baby shower in particular. There must have been more than 100 invitees, all hovering over a delectable appetizer table.

It was going swimmingly until the mom demanded an audience to open her baby gifts, clapping her hands for attention, a weird gleam in her eye. I jest you not - the ensuing gift opening orgy lasted for more than two and a half hours. I didn't drive, so there was no escape. I considered faking my own death to get an ambulance to take me out of there, but then I remembered my $75 health insurance deductible and figured it wasn't worth it. But frankly, it was touch-and-go for awhile.

Early on, perhaps before they were thinking straight, Deb and Jen called "dibs" on throwing the baby shower for The Varmint and me. At that point, I was still in denial about there really being a baby to shower, so I agreed.

Even then, however, it was only under the following conditions:

1) The party would be co-ed, and if someone wanted a beer, they could have it.

2) There'd be no ultra-girlie baby games. (Note sad picture of baby shower victim guy - aka The Varmint's Worst Nightmare - right. Bad enough it ever happened, but then I find this image posted on the Internet for all to see by his wife.)

3) None would be subjected to marathon gift-opening seshes.

They accepted.

This Sunday, seven months after the bargain was first struck, the day of reckoning arrives: Our baby shower. A day I NEVER thought I'd see. Ever. Not in my whole life.

I'm still icy-stomached with extreme discomfort at the thought of the shower. When my ma-in-law Pat and her best friend Lee offered to throw us a shower of their own before they knew the base had already been covered, I could barely speak to thank them for the offer. I just sat there and fidgeted and stammered, no doubt seeming ungrateful, paralyzed at the thought that shower time was already upon me. But now just a few days away from the big day, I'm torn.

Maybe it's because the conditions have been "mostly" respected in the party's planning - or so I'm told - so it's not going to be a traditional shower in the "Don't Cross Your Legs or I Get Your Clothespins!" sense.

TamPresents_May252006.jpgLots of people - even guys - have "yessed" the RSVP. I still don't want people to feel uncomfortable or obligated in any way. And I certainly don't want our friends to feel forced to feign interest in the event or to have to buy us crap. . .

But truthfully? I'm looking forward to it.

I can't wait to see everyone. Particularly because I know it may be awhile before we're able to see many of our friends again. I also can't believe Deb the Diva - who has so much stuff going on in her life at the moment - took on the burden of throwing this thing at her house and never once let me see her grumble about it. 

So, I've decided: I'm going to try to act like a grown-up, sit back and really enjoy this shindig. There are very few times in your life where you have a party thrown for you and your family by people you love and you're not allowed to do a damn thing to help it along. It's kind of nice, really.

Especially when you're eight months pregnant and have to hire a troupe of midgets to man your personal guidewires anytime you want to walk somewhere.


  1. Libby Coleman said on December 14, 2010 18:24

    I think female-only showers are stupid. Why can't men be there also? It takes two people to make a baby - a man and a woman. Why can't the father also celebrate? This is the worst double standard.

  2. hm24co said on January 16, 2014 13:56

    Thank you for posting this. I really hate baby showers too! I want to be sensitive to the ladies in my life who are still single or not going to have a baby, but maybe wanted to. I think the hubby & I may just throw our own shower and ask for gift cards or post baby wine bottles. Our place is so small & we're already collecting the major things we need. I loathe the whole gift opening spectacle. :(( glad to see other people who feel the same!


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I am a writer and lazy artist who loves travel, architecture and design. Right now, I'm into photography. My fabulous husband (a.k.a. The Varmint) and I are also the principals of a San Diego-based creative agency - and new parents to the divine Baby Mak. Read More >