By now I'm sure many of you know about the absolute plague of weddings and babies going around my circle of friends. The news of such events has slowed briefly, but the save the dates and invitations and color scheme updates has not. **Married/engaged/etc friends: See disclaimer below.
I'm not here to criticize marriage. Again. I mean, don't get me wrong--my feelings there have NOT changed. But my point today is something altogether different.
Bridal showers. Let's talk about those for a minute. For guys reading this, unless you're married you probably have very limited knowledge of this ritual. (Also, I'm not sure how this works in other countries or cultures--anyone know?) Let me break it down for you:
The bridesmaids or the bride's mother or an aunt decide to throw a bridal shower. All the female friends and female cousins and aunts and the future spouse's female family members get invitations that are usually covered in flowers and maybe a poem about celebrating the bride. So you get a gift from the registry and you go to the shower, probably on a Sunday afternoon. It is at someone's house or maybe a restaurant. You put your delicately wrapped gift (because these things matter--"ohhh you wrapped it in our wedding colors!!!!!") on a table full of other fairy princess gifts. You mingle with the other ladies, meeting the bride's coworkers and her childhood best friends and her grandmother. You compliment the floral arrangements on the tables. You flip through an album of the happy couple's engagement photos, wondering how often they find themselves prancing around a sunflower field, really. You drink punch and play some games about guessing how the couple met, then you quiz the bride about her spouse's favorite color and preferred cut of underwear. You wish you had slipped a flask in your purse. You eat salad and tiny food and make small talk. You might fill out a Bridal Shower Bingo card, guessing what gifts the bride will open. You fill out a whole row with things you and another friend brought because even though the prize will likely be that floral arrangement, you play to win. You listen to the married women reminisce about their own bridal showers. You debate whether live tweeting a bridal shower is rude. You turn your chairs to watch the bride open all her gifts. She acts surprised over each one, despite the fact that most of them are straight off her registry and come on, that's like being surprised at what's in your grocery bags when you get them home. She is gracious, though, and all the guests fawn over each gift. You wonder if anyone is buying your "oh look bath towels!" face. You make a bet with yourself about how often she will use that creme brulee torch. The bridesmaids dutifully write down each gift and collect each card. One ferries presents from the table to the bride's perch. Another steadfastly makes a bouquet from all the ribbons--her rehearsal bouquet. Someone appears with black trash bags for all the wrapping paper and the bridesmaids continue to work their magic. You take a picture of the bride holding up your gift because it's the thing to do. Once the wreckage has been cleared, you eat cake. It's the highlight of the party. The groom shows up and probably the fathers. They pose for a few pictures with the bride before carrying all the gifts to the car--their main job today. The bridesmaids pose with the bride for a few pictures, her ribbon bouquet in hand. You take a picture with the bride. You pick up your floral arrangement, find the end table where you stashed your purse, say your goodbyes, and make your escape. There goes 2-3 hours of your life.
You want to know my big problem with bridal showers? (And right now you're thinking, well, all of the above was fairly illuminating. Did you hold any feelings back, there? And yes, I did.) It's the huge gender gap involved! I mean, I get it--it's a whole ladies' tea party vibe. Fine. But you can't go to a bridal shower without a present! That's right--it's a financial injustice. Men don't get invited to these! If they do it's like, the groom and his dad. Seriously. That's it. I'm buying one more present than all the male friends!
It ends here, readers. If I ever get married...haha...can you imagine?...haha...ok, let's focus...there WILL be two showers. One for ladies, one for dudes. We can call it something more...masculine, if that would help. Wedding tsunami? Nuptial hurricane? I'm open to suggestions there. But that's it. That poor sucker is having a party. And his groomsmen can invite his coworkers and friends and my dude friends and my dad can go and my brother and they can have lunch somewhere and play games and open gifts. I'll show up at the end to take a couple pictures and...eat a piece of cake or have a beer or whatever and then peace out. Let's bring some gender equality to wedding traditions! Who's with me?
(Guys, I'll teach you how to find a wedding registry. And then we'll talk Wedding Gift Bingo strategy. You'll get your centerpiece.)
**(FRIENDS WHO ARE MARRIED/ENGAGED/WILL BE MARRIED ONE DAY: I'm not offended that I bought you a shower gift. I did that because I think you're awesome. And for cake. I'm offended that the men didn't have to! I'm offended that I stood in Bed, Bath, and Beyond looking for your wine glasses while they screwed around.)