Tuesday, June 07, 2011

I kind of hate bridal showers

So, Miss Janice asked me the other day who was getting married, and it occurred to me that I hadn't written about SisterCh's wedding since she announced she was engaged, last New Year's Eve. The reason for that is that it was, until about three months ago, a nebulous sort of thing - "We're getting married in 2012, so we'll be married before the world ends" or "We're getting married next year, when we've saved enough money" are both actual quotes regarding when the wedding would be happening. And then, suddenly, around April of this year, a near nervous-breakdown SisterCh came to the house one day and just let loose - Why weren't we helping her? Why didn't anybody care about the wedding? Why was she having to do everything all by herself? There was some other stuff, of course, because we are a family, and there's always other stuff, but this wedding stuff was mostly out of nowhere, for me, anyways. I told her that the reason nobody seemed to be helping with the wedding (even though I felt like I was doing what I could) was because it didn't seem like there was an actual wedding to plan yet: She had a sort-of date, but no real plans aside from that, and that I kept expecting her to change the date (for the third time) because they weren't ready financially. When she insisted that the wedding was happening this August 6th (as in less than two months from today) even if it meant courthouse steps and Little Debbie cakes, I let her know that I was totally on board to help out as best as I could.

So here we are, with a little under two months to go, and we just finished the invitations this weekend. And now, SisterJ (who has made miraculous and tentative peace with SisterCh, thank the lord) & I have to plan a bridal shower pretty much immediately. Ideas are easy - it's the follow through that's tough.

The other thing that makes it tough is that I find parties where grown-ups sit around watching another grown-up open presents for an hour or so boring, intimidating, and anxiety producing. I mean, I've never had a shower, but I've been to my fair share, and I know that no matter what, you're expected to open the gifts right there in front of people. Which brings us to Problem A and Problem B.

Problem A is not my problem so much as it is everybody else's, but they insist on making it my problem, which is annoying. I am a slow present unwrapper. On Christmas, I sit with my pile of presents and watch everybody else open theirs first, because I hate to miss anything. Then I start lifting the tape off of each end, and - without fail - at least one person will be complaining before I even finish that first present (sometimes before I even start opening that first present). When it's just my family, I figure "screw you" and do as I damn well please - unwrapping presents is almost as much fun as wrapping them, and why should I rush through it just to make you happy. Even so, I can't recall a Christmas where someone hasn't stepped in to 'help', and moved things along faster. But I think I'd be too self-conscious to take my time unwrapping in front of a larger group of people, who are all sitting there watching me, with no presents of their own to enjoy in the meantime. It would be wicked awkward.

Which brings us to Problem B, aka Why is everybody staring at me ? Seriously: at most parties, even birthday parties, there's a whole lot of mingling, a little bit of focused attention during cake cutting time (when it's dark, at least, while a roomful of people who can't really sing sing you a song as loudly as possible), and then more mingling and eating and then everybody goes home. Showers (baby or bridal, take your pick), are pretty much the opposite - a whole lot of undivided attention focused on that one person, broken up with occasional stupid games, nibbling of foods, or mingling with the people you're seated with. Too much eye of the storm for me, thank you very much.

And, thankfully, that is not a problem I have to deal with right now. Right now I have to figure out a date to have the thing, where to hold it, what to feed people, what to make them do while they're here. I have basically two ideas - a theme and perhaps the beginning of a family tradition? And I pretty much have to do all of that in the next three or four days, because there's very few weekends left between now and the actual wedding. So, I'm going to pin down SisterJ tonight, see if we can't get something started here.

Wish me luck.

And also feel free to comment on any non-boring bridal shower you've ever been to, because we could use all the help we could get.


Jennie said...

My friend's bridal shower was so great, even though I only knew three other people. There was a HUGE spread of appetizers, as well as what seemed like an endless supply of wine, which certainly helped. There were NO games (win!) and I know that we watched her open gifts, but I don't remember being bored. I think all the food and wine we had beforehand helped, and I think she might have taken breaks so everyone could talk.

I don't know. I think any bridal shower where you don't have to play games is OK in my book.

Never That Easy said...

Jennie -

I agree: I'd rather not have games, but the bride has expressly stated that she'd like them. So games it must be. I'm sure it'll be ok, but will definitely remember that food and drinks are more important.