This is a story about how I inadvertently found myself on the path to Etiquette Hell.
I was pregnant with my son, and well into my second trimester when my mother-in-law decided I should have a baby shower. Now, I am not a fan of showers of any kind. I did not have one for my first child (from a previous relationship), and I certainly had no intention of having one for my second. MIL insisted that relatives had been asking her when the shower would be, and that since my other child was older and a different gender a shower was perfectly fine. She said she would take care of everything and all I had to do was show up, and it would be a great way to see some of the relatives I wouldn’t otherwise get to visit. I should have listened to that little voice telling me this was a horrible idea.
Over the next few weeks my MIL was in contact, asking me who I wanted on the guest list. I gave her some names, but truthfully, I was hesitant to put any of my friends through such an afternoon. Then came the requests for game ideas. I had no idea, but I looked up some different games online that I thought might be fun, and sent them along to MIL. Next she wanted to know what would be good to have for food. Once we settled on that, she asked if I could call and order the sandwiches and cake since she lived several hours outside of town and it would be easier for me to order the food and pick it up.
It was through one of my invited friends that I learned that the shower was being held at my house. I called MIL and asked her what was going on. She said that she couldn’t find a suitable location for a reasonable cost, and since everyone already knew where I lived, it was the best option. She didn’t ask or even tell me that this was the arrangement!
I’m sure you see where this is going by now.
By the time the day of the event finally arrived, I had put together a guest list, researched games, ordered and picked up the food, and had my house commandeered as the location. I had spent hours cleaning and preparing my house for guests. MIL didn’t come to my town until the evening before the shower. She dropped a bag of decorations at my door and said she had to run and do some last minute things, and that she would be by in the morning to set things up.
The next morning came and I got up early to be ready when MIL arrived. By 11:30 am there was still no word from her, so I started in putting up the decorations and setting out the chairs. Hubby was taking our older child to a movie but he helped until it was time to go. I set out the food and got the music ready. By this time a few of the guests had arrived. Still no MIL. She finally rushed through the door, saying that she overslept and then had to pick up some last minute items. She poured a couple of bags of chips into bowls and that was her contribution to the set-up.
When it was time to play games, MIL insisted that I take over as host and give the directions. I wasn’t comfortable with this at all, but she refused to do it saying she didn’t know anything about the games, and I knew more people here than she did.
So when the baby shower was finally done, I had taken care of the guest list, games, food, and prepared and run the whole event. I basically became host of a party for myself that I didn’t even want in the first place. I cringe to think of how many etiquette rules I violated with this one event! 0407-14
The Accidental Hostess
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