Showered – Baby or Not

If one of your friends is having a baby, or if one of your relos is with child, or if you’re simply a polite co-worker that finds it hard to say no; chances are you’re headed down a one-way street to Shower Town.

For some years now, baby showers have been hosted under a cloud of bad PR and even confirmed as lame by our fall-back trend captains, Carrie and the girls:

Carrie: “That hell on earth only your closest friends can inflict on you.”
Samantha: “... using a child to validate her existence.”
Miranda: “If I see another crepe paper stork I’m going to rip its cardboard beak off.”

But, the truth is baby showers are a little like going to the dentist – the actual experience is rarely as traumatic as the anticipatory dread and they usually don’t suck as much as we think they will.

For instance, I think my sister was actually the only sober person at her shower. That was fun (from what I can remember)!

For mine, although I specifically requested gifts be contained to small, domestic items like baby wipes and bibs, everyone ignored me and I totally cleaned up. Well, my then unborn son cleaned up, but I also did well with fabulous MOR skin products, massage vouchers and Sex & the City DVDs.

Having given it some thought, I know why I did so well in the present department. It’s the same reason why I believe we’ve got to rethink filing away showers as Compulsory but Boring ... We’re chicks! We like pretty things, sparkly things, nice smelling things and colourful, digital things.

As Lily Allen so eloquently verbalised, “I am a weapon of mass consumption. It’s not my fault; it’s how I’m programmed to function.”

When you get down to it, WTF exactly is our problem with a party where we spend an afternoon with likeminded lovelies drinking champagne (and/or orange juice), munching on canapés and paying games with pegs and pieces of string? What else could be more worthy or our time or money?

But, here’s the problem: showers as we know them are only reserved for the Pregnant or the Engaged. Therein lies the (back) rub.

It’s hardly fair or ideal that the only ones getting showered by consumerism are those that follow traditional female life choices.

I for one would like to see an expansion of our concept of Showers. We should be throwing a Finally-Got-Rid-of-that-Loser Shower; Have-a-Great-Trip-to-Kenya Shower; or Got-the-Job-of-Her-Dreams Shower.

I can see it now: girls in new dresses wrap gifts with blue satin sashes, cosmetics that improve one’s nose and eye-lashes, digital items with musical rings.... You could play games like pin the tail on the loser; household item Swiss Army Knife; or blind-folded climb the career ladder ... the possibilities are endless.

So, let’s embrace The Shower. Why bag something silly and indulgent that deservedly rewards us and celebrates reaching life’s little milestones?

What do you reckon? What kind of Showers would you like to turn on?

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