I never thought about things like bridal showers, mainly because I was too caught up in a good book and I missed out on that whole plan your wedding phase that is supposed to happen. Who ever came up with the idea that girls just sit around planning their weddings when they are growing up is full of sh*t because none of my friends ever once brought up the topic. And, unless we were some sort of anomaly (which I doubt), it can only be a fabrication perpetuated by the media.
Otherwise, it was from a generation, but not mine.
In either case, it was just not something that I was thinking about when reading the likes of Asimov, Atwood, or Le Guin.
Had you suggested it to me, I would have thought you were mad.
And that is why I am at the point where I am now.
Because, well, I still think people that suggest things like that are mad.
The Big Deal, To Me
When I was growing up my parent's encouraged me to be in-depended, to be self-reliant, and to not get caught up in what society things I should be doing.
In other words they raised a young feminist. And I couldn't be happier that they gave me that chance.
It was because of this that I was able to find a partner that really fits with who I am, and I would like to think that I fit just as well with him. But while he is more progressive that most men I have met, his mother is another story. She was brought up very traditionally. And while I can't blame her for that. She wants to make a big deal out of you impending wedding, and that includes throwing me a bridal shower. Something that I have a problem with. Though I am not the only one that thinks they have sexist vibe. And are more problematic, something that has traditionally been there to perpetuate those gender roles that, at my core, I am very much against.
It isn't that I can't appreciate the thought, she is going to be spending her time and money to host a party in my honor. And it will be a great opportunity to get to meet his side of the family. At least the female side. Since a co-ed shower, that is one that honors both the bride and the groom, is a null topic for her. Which is a pity, since that is one of the few things that I could actually see myself getting behind and even enjoying.
Which leaves me with a few details that I need to work out for myself.
One of them is to see how much bridal is, too much.
Find A Compromise
Since I actually like my future mother-in-law I would most pleased if we could find a compromise that we are both happy with. I plan to avoid drama at all costs over the course of the wedding. It is actually a little pact that my fiancee and I made with one another.
Keeping the peace is an important first step.
She emailed me a sample of invitations that she wanted to pick from. And while they could all be described as tastefully gendered though I will be honest, it could be worse. Most of the designs that she choose a number of common styles that would be seen by most as standard shower fare. And there is nothing in itself wrong with that.
Like with everything else, there is something for everyone and shower invites are definitely no exception, you just have to know what you want. Well I can't say that I know what I want. But I can say that none of the invitations that she chose were my taste.
I would choose something simple, yet fun.
This has all lead me to the very unique situation that I am now in. And it has left me short of ideas. Right now I am mulling over a couple of different options. But here are my top three.
- Alternative ways to do a "bridal shower"
- There are ways to do this. Ways that I might consider, but at the same time, they might either:
- Feel silly, as in just calling it something different, which would be changing the name but not the intent.
- Feel like I am trying to evade the celebration (really, I'm not) in my honor, though the thought behind the celebration is not what bothers me obviously.
- Or make it feel like the hostess is getting slighted. And this seriously is the problem that I have right now. Since I don't want to put my future mother-in-law out. Honestly, there isn't a lot of room here since she is really dead set on hosting some sort of party.
- Be honest, and just skip the bridal shower hubbub.
- I think that one of the best ways of avoiding hurt feelings (in most cases) is to be honest. In this case, I can't say that I wasn't dishonest. I never gave a lot of encouragement, and voice my opinion a number of times, stating that I was not comfortable with the idea. Alright, so that seemed to fall on deaf ears and I will most likely be "give" a bridal shower unless I would really put my foot down, which seems a bit harsh.
- Accept defeat and go ahead with the show, that is go all in for the bridal shower.
- This is probably what most people would do. And in all honesty, it seems to me like the best means to maintain the peace. And I will probably go this route in the end.
Look on the Bright Side Life
So, if I accept defeat, which I do very seldom, I might as well enjoy myself. Or at the very least try to. Or, and this is an all else fails sort of situation, pretend like I enjoyed myself.
In general there will be plenty of opportunities to enjoy myself. And in the event that I am not, the celebration is only supposed to last four hours. It is scheduled to start at 11AM and go until 3PM, with a light lunch (read finger food and tiny sandwiches) in the middle.
There will be a couple of games, which I still need to sign off on. And some other odds and ends that I "will just have to be surprised" with when they are unveiled. I am not expecting to be that surprised since my fiancee has already tipped me off on what they will be (most likely).
The Act of Hosting a Bridal Shower
One thing that I have always though, at least in part, about this type of thing is that it is all a bit of a show. Especially a lot of the ones I have been too in the last couple of years. Each one has to be bigger than the other. And if the women know one another they have to be categorically different from one another, else you run the risk of "copying." And that must be a major no-no. Even though most of them have copied what they found in magazines, or online.
But that is a topic for another post.
My future mother-in-law surely has her reasons for making such an effort to "make it a success," but when you start using expressions like that, I am sort of left scratching my head. Mainly, because I really do not know how that is possible. Maybe if the bride gets lots of gifts. But then how do you weigh that, by the price of the gifts, their size, or what?
It also seems like an odd place to have to win. But then there is always somebody that is trying to make everything into a competition, though I don't know who my MIL would be competing with. Maybe an acquaintance.
In the end, all I want is my SO and a happily everafter.