I often wonder what alien species would think if they attended a baby shower.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m all for fertility and dessert buffets. I even happen to like how everything at baby showers is so small and cute. Mini-quiches. Onesies. Booties. Adorable!
But what I’m not insanely thrilled with are the rituals surrounding baby showers. They have a cult-like vibe to them (only women allowed ... is this a Bring Your Own Burqua event?). And the invitations: Why do so many feature a stork carrying a baby in a diaper? I think we’ve all established where babies come from and long-billed birds with webbed feet have nothing to do with it.
I often wonder why some hostesses insist on trying to keep the shower a surprise. They swear guests to secrecy, as if you’re going to divulge key troop movements in Iraq. Here’s the deal. Any pregnant woman with an IQ higher than a gnat's knows if she’s invited out by a friend on a Saturday afternoon, sometime between conception and delivery, odds are someone’s throwing a baby shower for her. Forcing a late-term mother to feign surprise could lead to her water breaking. Don’t go there!
Also: Who decided blue was for boys, pink was for girls, and shower decorations had to strictly adhere to the approved colors? Why not chartreuse for boys and vermilion for girls, huh? Maybe ‘cause nobody but the French know what colors those are?
And for goodness sake, if women have to give up a gorgeous Saturday afternoon in July to eat deviled eggs and swap tales about their mucous plugs, why don’t men? If guys threw each other showers, they’d involve stuff guys actually enjoy. Like lap dances. Tequila shots. Buffalo wings. Meanwhile, women wind up cornered by somebody’s Great Aunt Edna, who recites every last ingredient in her Chippety Doodahs dip with brain-numbing detail.
Oh, and let’s not forget the games. Suddenly, women with MBAs and law degrees are forced to don blindfolds to “Guess the Baby Food” (there’s a reason babies spit this stuff up, people)! What’s more, I can’t speak for all women, but I suspect most mothers closing in on their due dates aren’t wildly excited by the “Guess Mommy’s Tummy Girth Game” either (“Whoa, Kelly! You’re bigger than Shamu!”), unless it’s followed by tying the ribbon around the guest with the biggest butt in the room. That would at least level the humiliation playing field.
Finally. Just from a civilization-comparing standpoint. Compare and contrast: The ancient Egyptians built the Pyramids; the modern American shower hostess builds Diaper Cakes.
Somewhere in space, the aliens are shaking their heads.