Monday, March 3, 2008

The Last Baby Shower

Oh, I can only hope.

I remember back to my first grown-up baby shower when my friend Matt's wife was pregnant with their first child. Several of the women at that shower were mothers or pregnant and they were talking about incompetent cervixes and double-barrelled, over-the-shoulder, mechanised breast pumps.

"Please," I whimpered, "someone say something about basketball."

Matt's mom graciously accommodated my plea and spoke for several minutes about the Nuggets-Rockets game from the previous night. It was the estrogenal§ equivalent of talking me off a ledge.

[SUMMARY: Just because you have the equipment doesn't necessarily mean you want to talk specs.]

Fast-forward to Sunday.

I was in a room with seven women who had kids. Four of the seven were pregnant. Three of the seven had babies under a year old.#

Then there was me.

And Cora, who is about twelve.††

They talked about birthing stools and birthing centres and birthing pools and doulas‡‡ and birthing classes§§...

And cervixes.

And never basketball.

I figure it would be like attending a party with nothing but astronauts or insurance adjusters: I might be interested in the concept en macro, but the reality of the micro would leave me counting ceiling tiles, trying not to make eye contact and clock-watching until I could leave.

And I just can't take that for very long. Sunday there weren't any other non-mother types to bail me out. I couldn't even plead for a reprieve. In fact, a couple of times when someone mentioned something where I could segueway into a slightly different line of conversation, I was interrupted and ignored.¶¶

[SUMMARY: The day was so very not about me. I get that now, Universe.]

It was miserable.

I kinda feel the same way about our book club these days. It used to be half singles, half marrieds, a handful of mothers. Now it's all babies all the time. I love the women. I like kids. I can't be involved in the conversation.

At least at book club, they don't expect me to play stupid games.

Oh, don't get me started on the stupid games. From the very beginning, I've refused to participate in anything that involves simulated shit## or eating baby food.

I'm not being contrary, O Throwers of Showers -- it makes me gag. Literally. I believe it is better to party poop than hurl poop, however artificial.

[SUMMARY: I am a *good* party guest.]

So if I can get away with it, I'm never attending another baby shower. Nothing personal to you or your baby. I'm sure we can have a perfectly lovely one-on-one relationship, but the less I know about your cervix, the more comfortable our relationship will be.

I'll send a baby present. Please don't make me talk about your cervix over cupcakes and finger sandwiches.

[SUMMARY: The sooner you buy my bitter, childless woman position, the more comfortable our relationship will be.]

Or maybe I can stay down in the rec room and watch basketball with your husband.

FOOTNOTE (crossed): 1) A condition which requires a pregnant woman's cervix be SEWN SHUT, a horrifying idea, but I always thought "Ask Me About My Incompetent Cervix" would make a groovy t-shirt. 2) Cervices? Cerveces?

FOOTNOTE (double-crossed): "Like a milking machine?" I said.

§FOOTNOTE (swerved): I'm pretty sure that's a word.

FOOTNOTE (paragraphed): And by "you," I mean "I."

#FOOTNOTE (pounded): Including two of the pregnant women.

††FOOTNOTE (ddouble-ccrossed): And had no interest in talking to me about basketball. Or anything. Heck, I'd've talked Hannah Montana or the Spice Girls or whatever the hell twelve year old girls are into these days. As long as it wasn't cervixes.

‡‡FOOTNOTE (doubble-crossssed): ♪One of these things is not like the other; one of these things just doesn't belong...♪♪

§§FOOTNOTE (is that DNA?): I would have made the crack that I believe the politically correct term is now "Birthing American," but nobody really wanted to hear from me.

¶¶FOOTNOTE (storks!): Mary started talking about the expensive shops near us ('cause she lives pretty close to me), including Real Baby (a baby store, in case you didn't catch that), and I asked, "Have you seen the new card shop that opened where Studio Bead used to be?" I did plough my way through the entire sentence, but they'd already started in on some other baby store some other place, so mostly I ended up muttering darkly to myself like some social inept.

##FOOTNOTE (pounded like a 39-week* cervix): Seriously. Four diapers filled with melted candy bars, guess the candy bar. For some reason, the same women who don't think fart jokes or discussions about bodily functions are funny when men do it think fake baby shit is "cute."

*FOOTNOTE WITHIN A FOOTNOTE (asterisked): And what's with the week-speak? I can always tell someone is a mother when they spout week-speak as easily as they can recite their own address.

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