As a long standing rule, I don't typically attend baby showers or birthday parties for children. The only exception is if I am somehow responsible for that kid coming into this world. For example, my friends D&K can blame me for buying them shots at a bar party -- that I may or may not have been the person who won it by dropping a business card into the ole fishbowl -- which led to them hooking up and eventually getting married and spawning offspring. So I felt obligated to show up to their shower, and the kid's first birthday party.*
But otherwise, unless you expect me to delivery your baby or God forbid you have conclusive DNA evidence that I am the urchin's papa, don't look for me at the baby shower. Of course, being older and 1.765348% wiser than I was when I made that rule, I was wondering if it isn't time to reconsider. Especially in light of an invitation to a nontraditional baby shower that came my way recently.
First came the invitation via snail mail. I thought it was a thank you card for a wedding present I had finally got around to sending. But no, it turned out to be an invitation to a the shower. I did what any guy would do, put the invite on my desk and completely forgot about it almost immediately.
A few days later came an email for the same event. I'm sure there's a fancy french word for "person who puts on a baby shower on behalf of the expecting mother who will act like she didn't know this was being planned yet was the source of providing addresses for potential guests -- let's call her the Shower CoOrdinator. The SO sent an email apologizing for the short notice and seeking a headcount so there could be enough food.
Now I was still pretty certain I wasn't gonna attend but was impressed by her owning up to sending out the invites late. I'm sure that was meant for others; guys really don't care if we get 100 days or 100 seconds notice to a shower -- to avoid it, we'll puncture a lung.
But as I mentioned, this wasn't your typical run-of-the-mill baby shower. It was for a fellow runner friend whom I've known for the better part of the decade. We've traveled together to exotic lands to run marathons, like Paris and Cincinnati. I was kinda feeling a little runner loyalty.
Then came the emails from fellow friends who are also guests asking if I was going to this magnificent event. Those emails morphed from gentle inquiry to full out lobbying to get me to go. Pushing the angle that it was more of a backyard barbecue than a shower, even though neither the snail mail invite or the email from the SO made any mention of BBQ.
Reading between the lines, it didn't take long to figure out that they have husbands they want to drag along to the event as well. It seems I had become the domino that could empower a bunch of wives to make their husbands attend an event with them.
So after checking with SigOther, I RSVP'd -- which is French for Please Let Us know what the F you are doing -- that we would be attending.
Stay tuned for a follow-up post of the actual event.
* Fortunately, they have blown off enough of my parties that I now have a "get-out-of pretty much anything they invite me to" card.