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Bottoms Up Baby Shower

Just a little back story before we start. My friend *Lily was one of the first people I knew out of college that owned a house. She and her boyfriend lived in the house, but also rented a room out to her boyfriend’s friend, Tim. Tim had a girlfriend, and we’ll call her Tina. Tina had no job, and consistently did little or nothing to contribute to any of the house hold expenses and was in general, annoying. Not to mention she would parade around the house in a string bikini, and believe me, you did not want to see that. I digress…

So in a few months of knowing this lovely girl, Tim tells us Tina is pregnant. “Oh Joy” Lily and I think. Fast forward to about 3 months before the baby is due, and we get a verbal invite to her baby shower. When Lily and I arrive, we are asked what we would like to drink. We at first both say “Iced Tea” but then the host tells us she has “Sangria” which is a wine concoction. So, knowing that we might need a bit of booze to get through this baby shower we agree.  The host(Future Grandma) of the party writes down what we had to drink, and Lily and I just shrug it off.

As we settle down we notice that about half of the guests are having a form of alcoholic beverage. I’m not talking just beer and wine, I’m talking hard liquor. Half way through the shower most of the guests are sufficiently buzzed. We were a bit concerned for the guests over the age of 70, who we could not tell if they had mild dementia or were drunk. The host and all of her friends were doing shots of Jagermeister at the kitchen table, while Tina lamented that she could not participate. We then notice that there really isn’t a lot of food, just small deli sandwiches and a veggie tray.

Then the party games start. Most of them were normal, with the toilet paper around the belly and what not, but then the host and Tina start handing out colored sippy cups. Inside the sippy cups was whatever you ordered when you first arrived. Lily and I just stare at each other and look down at our sippy cup. The host announces “Whoever can chug the fastest wins this gift basket!” Our eyes wide, Lily and I contemplate how we are supposed to “chug” sangria. Too late, the game has already started! Bottoms up! Needless to say after that little game we were not going to be driving home anytime soon.

We weren’t expecting nice afternoon tea, but playing drinking games at a baby shower is just a little too trashy even for most alcohol friendly college girls.

Hope baby knows Grandma is a Booze Hound.    0812-10


Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Gabriele October 27, 2011, 5:00 am

    I was afraid you were going to say just before the party was over everyone would get a bill for what they’d had to drink with the money to go to the mother-to-be!
    No, I’ve never been to a party like that but after reading about some showers here it wouldn’t suprise me if someone did sometime.

  • Sarah Peart October 27, 2011, 5:25 am

    My first thought was that you would be presented with a bill! There again demanding money is not the only etiquette fail! However the story was relatively tame and I think it comes a no shock to anyone who reads this site that alcohol does not make things more classy! I do hope EtiquetteHell is not making me blasé about bad manners!

  • TheVapors October 27, 2011, 5:35 am

    I suppose I don’t really see what the LW’s big problem is.

    They had alcohol at a baby shower.

    Ok, so, I always sort of assumed that at baby showers there isn’t really a whole lot of hard drinking going on due to the guest of honor being a pregnant lady, but hey… everyone throws a party differently, right? But, even if this were such a problem to the LW, she and her friend -still- participated in the drinking and in the drinking game.

    So what’s she really complaining about? Not winning the gift basket?

    The LW goes from one subject to another without a real point or any glaringly awful etiquette problem: Tina didn’t contribute to the household… LW wasn’t a member of that household, so that’s not her issue nor does it have anything to do with the baby shower. Tina walked around in a string bikini… it’s Tina’s home, and she could walk around nekkid. If Tina’s roommates had a problem they should’ve brought it up to her… and again, has absolutely nothing to do with the baby shower.

    Then when the LW gets to the baby shower, she randomly mentions there’s little food to eat, and I’m not sure why it was bothered to note it.

    I’m left at the end of reading this thinking to myself “So?”

  • Green123 October 27, 2011, 5:43 am

    Trashy… but you still took part?

    This is a really judgemetal post from the OP. So what if Tina chose to wear a bikini round the house? So what if her friends and family got drunk at her baby shower? SHE DIDN’T, and that is important!

  • Typo Tat October 27, 2011, 6:03 am

    Honestly? At the part of the story where drink orders were written down, I was sure a surprise bill would be presented at the end. But as the story turned out, it wasn’t that bad, and I’m saying this as a non-drinker. Nobody was forced to drink, the pregnant girl didn’t get trashed… so what’s the big deal?

  • Threepenny October 27, 2011, 6:26 am

    Wow. While “Tina” sounds like no prize, the OP certainly isn’t one, either. What a snarly post. It isn’t even the OP’s house, though the way she carries on, one would think it was. Talk about a nasty disposition – “believe me, you did not want to see that…”

    Frankly, I am surprised, Admin, that you did not admonish the poster for sheer nastiness, and am moreover shocked this post was deemed worthy for the “main page” when it is nothing more than a pile of insulting snarks, not to mention a rant. The shower certainly seems tacky, yes – but the OP certainly seems just as bad with her comments. Over 70 means possible mild dementia?

    Oh, and I note that the OP and “Lily”, for all their presumed refinedness, still participated in said drinking game, something they could easily have declined were they THAT offended.

  • Soph October 27, 2011, 6:59 am

    I don’t understand – you participated in a game that you are now condemning?

  • Ann October 27, 2011, 7:09 am

    Although I don’t think this shower and the game were in good taste, I don’t really see an etiquette violation. Also, if you don’t want to participate in a “game” that includes the consumption of alcohol, you can quietly decline to participate.

  • Laurita October 27, 2011, 7:29 am

    Drinking games at a bridal shower is tacky. Drinking games at a baby shower? That’s all kinds of wrong.

    Still the person wasn’t forced to participate. She is dismayed at the drinking game, wonders how one chugs sangria, but still goes ahead and takes part in the game. I don’t think it would be rude to politely decline with the excuse that you have to drive home.

  • Sarah Jane October 27, 2011, 7:54 am

    You may think it’s trashy, but it sounds like you participated…? And no, I hope Baby doesn’t know that about Grandma.

  • PhDeath October 27, 2011, 8:02 am

    While it’s certainly more hospitable to provide an array of drinks (i.e., some non-alcoholic, for the purposes of this story), I feel a guest always has a choice to avoid getting completely drunk, even if that choice is tap water.

    While this is far from my idea of a fun gathering, so long as the host allowed those who had too much to drink stay at the site until they could drive safely…ah, well.

    Off topic, I thought, when reading that their drinks were written down, that Future Grandma was opening secret “tabs” for guests, with the plan to extort money for the MTB at the end of the shower. “And let’s see: you owe $50!!”

  • Bint October 27, 2011, 8:35 am

    I’m glad everyone else thought the OP was being hypocritical. First she states she expected she “might need a bit of booze to get through this baby shower” (rude!) and drinks the sangria, and then she gets nippy when they down drinks, asking, “how we are supposed to “chug” sangria” and slating them all.

    The party sounds a bit chavvy with the Jagermeister shots but hey, the mother to be didn’t have any. If it’s not your scene, fair enough, but that’s all it is. The hostess is allowed to drinks shots at a party in her house if she wants to and the guest of honour clearly doesn’t mind. What’s your problem?

    Ironically, no mention of the real faux pas here – grandma hosting a non-family shower.

  • essie October 27, 2011, 8:52 am

    If LW and Lily don’t like Tina and thought “we might need a bit of booze to get through this baby shower”, why did they accept the verbal invitation to the baby shower in the first place?

    I also find it interesting that LW seems to be implying that Tina’s whole family is a bunch of alcoholics, yet she and Lily themselves felt the need of alcohol to help them “get through” this ordeal. Pot, meet kettle.

  • deadbody October 27, 2011, 8:58 am

    Like all the other posters, I really don’t see any problem with this. The letter writer seems pretty judgemental. If you don’t agree with drinking then don’t participate, but don’t demonize those that do partake. It is their bodies they are putting the booze into, not yours.

  • Anna October 27, 2011, 9:03 am

    “Then the party games start. Most of them were normal, with the toilet paper around the belly and what not…”

    If that’s an example of a ‘normal’ game, then I’m glad the baby (and bridal) showers haven’t really caught on in the UK.

  • B October 27, 2011, 9:06 am

    Add me to the list of people who don’t see anything wrong with having alcohol at a baby shower. I’ve been to very nice couples showers and there was *gasp* a drinking game involving drinking about an ounce of beer out of a baby bottle. It’s a know your crowd thing and it can be done well. There seem to be worse offenses than just alcohol at the event.

  • MellowedOne October 27, 2011, 9:09 am

    The OP does seem to fly from one insignificant detail to the next. However, the prevailing theme..as shown in the title..was the consumption of alcohol at a baby shower. Or rather, in this case, the overconsumption.

    Why in the world would Grandma, the hostess, and the guests, the brides friends use the baby shower as another opportunity to get stinking drunk? Let’s face it, we’re not talking about having a light drink or two over the course of an entire afternoon. Yes, it is extremely trashy to get stinking drunk at a baby shower..or anyplace else for that matter. Rich or poor, young or old, the effect is the same.

    On a more serious note, it would also be a kindness not to tempt the guest of honor with items that she would normally want, but can’t have because of safety concerns to the baby. Why not just have an alcohol-free event, out of respect for the guest of honor? Or is that too much to ask?

  • Hemi Halliwell October 27, 2011, 9:10 am

    I did think they were going to get a bill for the drinks but since they didn’t, I do not see what the issue is.
    OP and Lily seem to dislike Tina but went to her shower and participated in the drinking games anyway.

  • SHOEGAL October 27, 2011, 9:15 am

    Frankly, most baby showers I’ve attended have not included alcohol but I think I would have enjoyed a cocktail to help get through the ordeal.

    Playing drinking games is pretty tacky – but certainly not a etiquette violation.

  • Just Laura October 27, 2011, 9:20 am

    I’m going to agree with TheVapors here.

    I drink beer and wine. I love them both. I do not do shots, nor chug alcohol. Never have. If OP didn’t want to do this, then she didn’t have to do this.

    Yes, people may say, “Why aren’t you participating? You’re no fun.” I always respond with “Oh, but I’m driving” or “Chugging makes me ill, and that would be less fun for all.” I support offering alcohol at parties, but I also support making one’s own decisions, and if a person refrains from consuming alcohol for any reason, that’s fine too.

  • Paige October 27, 2011, 9:28 am

    Excluding the chugging of alcohol and doing shots, I think this is pretty funny and not a big deal. In my opinion alcohol should be the norm at baby showers. I personally would have much more fun if it was…

  • Twik October 27, 2011, 9:36 am

    I think asking/telling guests to “chug” alcohol is in poor taste, and dangerous. Yes, the OP could have refused, but many people feel very embarrassed at “making a scene” at such festivities.

    No good host *ever* encourages guests to drink more than they intend to, particularly at events where people may not have realized they need to arrange for designated drivers.

  • Jay October 27, 2011, 9:52 am

    Choose not to drink, if you don’t want to drink.

    Certainly an odd baby shower, but I’m not sure it’s much of an EHell thing, except perhaps for the implied pressure to over-consume alcohol, especially for a bunch of people who drove to the party.

  • Javin October 27, 2011, 10:04 am

    Normally I’m strongly against the “attack the OP” comments, but I’ve gotta agree with a lot of the posters here. Seems like the OP was just making a bunch of snarky comments about a girl she didn’t like. I’d be interested in hearing the story from “Tina’s” side, as I’m sure we’d get an earful about the OP.

  • Reboot October 27, 2011, 10:05 am

    Regardless of her other behaviour, what a person wears in her own home is not an etiquette violation. Don’t like looking at her in a bikini? Nobody’s making you stay.

    It does seem a bit unwise to not have more food at a party where alcohol is being served, to help soak up the booze if nothing else, but again, I wouldn’t call that an etiquette violation so much as an oversight.

  • Serenity S October 27, 2011, 10:35 am

    I agree with other posters that serving alcohol was a little tacky but not rude. Also I think it is quite common for deli sandwhiches and veggie trays to be served at a baby shower. This post does seem a bit snarky to me. OP if you were offended by the drinking games you should not have participated. Also, if the roomates had a problem with Tina they should have brought it up to her rather than gossiping about her behind her back.

  • Katie October 27, 2011, 10:38 am

    I too thought you were going to be presented with a bar tab at the end!

    I think the shower sounds fun – as long as the mother-to-be wasn’t drinking and didn’t mind that her guests were – who cares if alcohol was involved? Sounds like the OP was drinking along with everyone else in any event!

  • Cat October 27, 2011, 10:45 am

    Since I don’t drink alcohol, I would have had water. I can chug water! I would have won! Too bad I was not invited.

  • Kate October 27, 2011, 10:49 am

    Wait, what? You claim you were “worried” the older ladies in attendance might have had dementia? Good to know according to you I better stop drinking in a few years- apparently once the hair goes grey it’s apple juice for me.

    And really why do people think “trashy” is acceptable? People aren’t trash, even if they drink. Even if they charge admission to a wedding. They may be rude (although I think you’re the only rude one in this story) they may make different choices, but who are you to decide they are trash?

  • Tyler October 27, 2011, 10:59 am

    No one was treated rudely, and you got free alcohol. Problem?

  • Virg October 27, 2011, 11:02 am

    Add me to the group who has trouble finding the etiquette violation here. Even if one considers drinking games to be in poor taste (I take a “different strokes” approach to that) nobody held down the LW or her friend and forced them to join in. Moreover, I agree with Threepenny that the LW sounds extremely snarky and petty about the whole thing. Were the sandwiches insufficient to feed the guests? Is Tina’s attire in the house any of her business? Does commenting on whether she’s attractive enough to wear said bikini add anything to the story? Is there any proof other than this one party that grandma is a “booze hound” and is calling her such really necessary?

    Hope Tina knows her roommate and friend are judgemental.


  • Chrysla October 27, 2011, 11:04 am

    I met my husband at a bar/tavern that serves 25 different kinds of Scotch and fabulous food. We went on most of our dates there. We got engaged there. We had our rehearsal dinner there – venison and shark anyone? When we conceived our first child (thankfully that happened at home and not at the bar!) the owner and workers offered to throw us a baby shower. I was hesitant at first – who has a baby shower in a bar??? However, he offered to have it on Sunday as a brunch. The place was officially closed and they did not open the bar area. Most of my guests were bemused to find themselves invited to a bar but left being fed some wonderful food – eggs Benedict, grits, beef tips, etc… Most of the guests said it was the best baby shower ever. There are ways to make things classy, even at a bar. I certainly wouldn’t have minded some alcohol being served, maybe something like a champagne brunch, but the owner chose not to go there. I guess the point I’m trying to make is that there is a time and place for guzzling, but a baby shower really isn’t one of those. Wow, I am really rambling.

  • gramma dishes October 27, 2011, 11:16 am

    As someone beginning my 70th year of life, I take offense at the OP’s attitude that anyone my age must surely be exhibiting signs of dementia. (Not sure whether I want to put a smiley face here or not.)

  • Kitty Lizard October 27, 2011, 11:22 am

    Hey, at least the mom-to-be didn’t participate-that’s something.

  • Pers October 27, 2011, 11:43 am

    Sounds like a darned good baby shower. Those showers are boring at the best of times…add a little fun!

  • Shannon October 27, 2011, 12:11 pm

    You know what? Showers are slow creeping death by boredom. Stupid games, idiotic oohing and aahing for an hour while the guest of honor unwraps gifts…it’s all so self-indulgent and boring that I’d welcome a chance to catch a buzz. If the party isn’t the OP’s cup of tea, that’s fine…but bashing the hostess and her family is out of line.

    And, no, I don’t usually attend showers, and I didn’t have one for my wedding.

  • LiLi October 27, 2011, 12:18 pm

    Count me in among those who don’t quite understand the etiquette issue at hand. I get that it’s not common for there to be alcohol served at a baby shower, and even less common for drinking games, if the mom-to-be has no problem with it, isn’t getting drunk herself, and didn’t charge her guests for them, the worst that could be said is that the party was unusual. OP posts no particular or egregious drunk behavior.

    I also find the comment about the ladies over 70 to be rude on the part of the OP. Are the elderly not allowed to drink and have a little fun? My West Iandian grandma loved her rum and would often tell some great jokes and stories when she got a teeny buzz (and I miss her terribly).

  • Lily G October 27, 2011, 12:44 pm

    Wow. Way to celebrate the miracle of new life and the impending role of motherhood. Ok, I’ll take my admonishment for snarkiness now.

  • Ashley October 27, 2011, 12:53 pm

    I am another one of the folks who thought that you were going to be presented with a bill as well…but anyway…you are discussing how weird/wrong it is to have drinking games at a baby shower, but then you participated anyway, so who is REALLY in the wrong here? Everyone parties a bit differently, and the pregnant woman wasn’t drinking, and it didn’t seem like anyone was FORCING you to drink, you could have put that sippy cup down at any point…

    Sorry, but I really don’t see what your problem is. If you didn’t like the drinking games or had some issue here, you shouldn’t have participated

  • Xtina October 27, 2011, 12:55 pm

    It’s a weird twist on a baby shower to add a drinking game–ugh, yes it was tacky. I guess hosts are free to do what they want, but I personally don’t think alcohol at a baby shower is a good idea, even if the MTB isn’t drinking–it just seems like you’re taunting the MTB, haha.

    At any rate, OP, why was this e-Hell-worthy? You participated in both the shower for someone you apparently didn’t like, as well as the “tacky” drinking part. Tina may have been no prize to live with, but she doesn’t sound any worse than you and Lily if you are normally this snide.

  • Debra October 27, 2011, 1:16 pm

    …alright. Honestly, the whole post comes off very Judgey McJudgerson.

  • Calliope October 27, 2011, 1:34 pm

    I’m so glad I wasn’t alone in thinking this was mean-spirited and petty. The comments about Tina’s appearance, “dementia” in the older guests, and grandma being a “boozehound” are rude. Drinking games at a baby shower aren’t rude; they’re certainly not for everyone, but they’re not rude.

  • Alexis October 27, 2011, 1:38 pm

    So a bunch of 22-year-olds acted like…..22-year olds, including the OP. Well, except for the part about all the snarky comments directed at a person she clearly dislikes, that sounds more like the behavior of a 12-year-old. So WHO’S tacky here?!?

  • Kali Ravel October 27, 2011, 1:45 pm

    It does seem insensitive to hold a baby shower around alcohol, when the guest of honour is choosing to abstain.

    However, I’d agree that the poster’s judgemental attitude is far more of a problem.

  • Kat October 27, 2011, 1:52 pm

    Kate – AMEN. I hate it when people call other people “trashy.”

  • ItGirl October 27, 2011, 2:10 pm

    I see nothing wrong with serving alcohol at a baby shower, or any other event for that matter, with the possible exception of an AA meeting.

  • --E October 27, 2011, 2:55 pm

    There’s a difference between “trashy” and “bad manners.” The only bad manners I count here are:

    1. Tina doesn’t contribute to the household (presumably while enjoying the benefits of it)
    2. Your hosts strongarmed you into an alcoholic beverage instead of complying with your request for iced tea.

    I’m curious if Lily continued to rent a room to Tim and Tina after the baby came along.

  • Amber October 27, 2011, 3:22 pm

    You know, I went to a shower thrown by a co-worker for another co-worker where the booze flowed freely for all but the mom to be. And when the baby was born, another party was thrown with the baby in attendance where, according to the Germans throwing the bash, the whole point was to get as crazy drunk as possible — something about welcoming the baby to the world with drunken blessings.

    I don’t see a problem with alcohol at an event for new parents. Of course, I also see a recent trend in all but bubble-wrapping children and infantilizing new parents (especially moms) until their lives are about nothing but their children and anything adult is verboten. Maybe the OP’s disapproval is a result of this new trend?

  • GroceryGirl October 27, 2011, 3:29 pm

    “Hope baby knows Grandma is a Booze Hound” I agree with everyone else, the OP has a nasty attitude. Maybe Grandma was trying to throw a party she thought college girls would appreciate. Maybe the party was a unusual but there doesn’t seem to be any glaring errors of etiquette. I’ll take a slightly tacky party over this girls snarky attitude

  • Twik October 27, 2011, 3:50 pm

    I don’t think there’s an etiquette problem until the chugging game began. That strikes me as similar to the problem with the “chubby bunny” game – it amuses people until someone gets hurt. No one should be encouraged at a shower to do things that may be hazardous to their safety. Even if they *can* refuse, many people want to be “good sports”, and do things that really aren’t great ideas.