Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Showers: Not the wet kind

I have a small vent about showers and I'm not talking about the wet kind. I'm talking about the kind that involve gifts, for weddings or babies.

I like showers. I had two when I was married, and three when I was pregnant. I've thrown several, and will be throwing one again this summer. I understand that showers are traditionally gift giving occasions. They are for "showering" the bride or new mother with gifts. What I DO NOT understand is the sense of entitlement that has been taking over the new generation of brides and mothers-to-be.

I attended two showers this past weekend. One was a couples shower honoring my cousin and her soon-to-be-husband. They both reside in Florida, but the shower (and wedding) are in Wisconsin. They also had a shower in the groom's home state of Michigan. This created a problem for them. How would they get their gifts home to Florida?

Do you think they made this their guests problem? No, they did not. They handled it with class, graciously accepting the gifts they were given and creating a solution themselves. Several shower attendees (myself included) shipped their gifts to Florida but many did not. Did they complain? No.

The second shower was on sunday for my set-cousin's soon-to-be-wife. I have to admit that I was a little surprised that I was even invited to this shower. I had never met the bride before, and I really have had little to no contact with my step cousin for several years. I feel that showers are for those closest to the bride, but perhaps my family did not want to leave me out.

The groom resides in Washington State, and the bride will be joining him their shortly after their wedding. Because of this, the shower hostesses felt it was appropriate to include a note in the invites requesting CASH gifts for the bride. In fact, the couple did not register simply because they preferred cash over physical gifts.

I find this absolutely appalling. I understand the practicality of this, but it was approached in completely the wrong way. I feel strongly that showers are for gifts, not cash. If they did not want to receive gifts to move, they should have refused a shower, or had a bridal tea and told people they preferred not to get gifts.

In the bride's defense, I'm not sure the note was her idea. She very graciously accepted my gift. I think it may have gone over much better if this had been spread by word of mouth, and if anyone wishing to give an actual gift was not put down and told they were rude (as I was). The experience just contrasted so much with the shower I had attended the previous day that I was completely baffled that anyone would act that way.

The other thing I despise about showers are mothers-to-be that feel that their shower guests are there to outfit them with everything they need for their child. Troy's cousin had a baby shower this past weekend , and my mother in law told me that she was unhappy because "all she got were small items like bottles and bibs. No one bought their big items and they need those!" (My mother in law did not agree with this, she was simply the messenger)

When did parents forget that having a baby is THEIR responsibility? When did it become the responsibility of their family and friends to provide for their child? We received many lovely gifts for our showers before I had Annelise. We had several large items that were NOT purchased. To be honest, I did not expect them to be! They were expensive and the only reason I had them on my registry was because I know my family members somethings like to go in on gifts.

Troy and I fully expected to purchase anything and everything we needed for Annelise ourselves. That is our JOB as her parents, to provide for her needs. We were pleasantly surprised that our family and friends were so generous.

Where did this sense of entitlement come from? When did people start placing more value in their "wants" than in manners? Am I the only one that sees a problem with this? Or am I just a snob?


Erin Nevicosi said...

I hear that! I have no idea where that kind of sense of entitlement comes from, but it's unacceptable!

Thanks for stopping by my blog, and congrats on launching yours!

Elizabeth said...

Hey JC! I totally agree with you... and you're definitely not a snob. The thing that drives me crazy about people like this is that they give everyone in our generation a bad name. I get so tired of reading journal articles and news reports about how spoiled this generation is. It really gets on my nerves.

Nice blog! :)

Sara said...

I found you!

This post irritated me. Distance is not an excuse. I specifically drove the 500 miles to my shower because I knew I'd likely be bringing home more than I could take on a plane. Was it FUN driving almost 9 hours by myself? No. But I was appreciative, and refused to be rude when guests were, literally, showering me with gifts.
UGH! Sorry, I could go on and on about this. But - just wanted to say I found your blog :)

Anonymous said...

They actually told you you were rude for bringing a gift? WTF?