The baby shower nightmare
Dunno if I told this story before, but flea's post on the Those Moms syndrome, or whatever you want to call it, reminded me of it. It's the sort of thing that you are afraid will happen to a friend who becomes pregnant. Luckily, my friends who are parents have been spared and are quite capable of carrying on an adult conversation.
Last year, this woman I know got pregnant and everyone in the little social circle that I know her through got all confused. Should we throw a baby shower or not? I was shamefully unhelpful, but fortunately some other friends of hers went ahead and planned one. Unfortunately, they invited those of us who aren't really members of the baby shower circuit. I refused to go, though I offered to send a present along.
Ah, but then I was informed that men were invited, too. I thought, well, they might ply a bunch of trapped women with punch and cookies, but if they are planning to invite men there will probably be beer and good food. I looked forward to the new man-friendly era of baby showers. Surely they won't subject the mom-to-be to a bunch of humiliating party games in front of men, I thought.
Wrong. Punch, cookies and a game where you had to guess exactly how big the mom-to-be's belly was around were all part of the afternoon's activities. It was exactly the sort of thing that haunts the dreams of anti-feminists--that the new, co-ed era meant that men would have to be subject to the the feminized tortures that women have had to endure for centuries.
The hostess handed out a bunch of blank bingo cards to the party, and we were instructed to fill in each space with common baby shower gifts. As the mom-to-be opened each gift, we would cross out our items until someone won. Luckily, my mom and sister had prepped me that something like this might occur, and I had a headful of baby gifts that I had never considered before, like washclothes. I diligently filled out my card, weirdly pleased that I came prepared. The gift-opening began and everyone quietly crossed out their squares and oohed and awed over the stream of diaper bags and whatnot. Then my boyfriend leaned over and said to me in an unduly worried tone, "I don't think I'm gonna win."
He passed his card and the squares are filled in with things like, "gimp mask," "motor oil," "44 magnum," "wheelbarrow," and the like. I stifled a laugh and then passed it to my friend next to me. She started to laugh, but stifled it and passed it to a friend next to her. He tried not to laugh, but we had reached critical capacity and couldn't hold it in any longer. So, like the bad kids in class, we had to hand over the bingo card to the hostess so she could show it to everyone. Of course, they just laugh at it even harder. The hostess was a little irritated, but the mom-to-be loved it. She kept the phony bingo card for the baby book.