- Jun 2003
- Dec 2003 Archive
- Jun 2004 Archive
The baby shower in question was held for one of my
co-workers. She was a first time Mom and fairly popular, so everyone was
eager to participate in her baby shower.
To give the tale a little background: We work in a
manufacturing facility with both salaried and hourly workers. Generally
the hourly workers get off at 3:30pm while the salaried get off at 4:00pm.
People from both groups were invited. In order to accommodate the
differing schedules, the baby shower hostesses decided that they would
hold the shower at 4:00 on a Thursday in a conference room. They expected
about 20-30 people to come with invitations sent out about two weeks in
On the day of the party, the hostesses had gone into the
conference room and decorated it very nicely. Many of the workers
(including myself) had taken their gifts into the conference room a little
early to avoid everyone dragging their presents in at the same time.
Here comes the part that blew me away. I get down to the
baby shower a couple of minutes after 4:00pm expecting to find people
talking and greeting the mother-to-be. Several other salaried people are
going down at that same time. What do we find?
The refreshments were almost gone, the presents had been
unwrapped and the mother to be was in the process of loading her gifts
onto a cart to haul them out to her car.
Why? Apparently the hourly workers did not want to wait
around till 4:00 for the rest of us to show up, so they talked the
mother-to-be into proceeding. So between 3:30 and 4:00 they had the games,
refreshments and gift-opening, without half the guests.
The mother-to-be couldn't understand why some of us were
a little upset...and to top it off we all received a nice impersonal
preprinted thank you note that didn't mention our names or our gifts. What
A few years ago, I worked at an accounting firm as the
receptionist. For a little background, the office was staffed with a healthy
mix of young to middle age adults. They all thought however that the
receptionist was the lowest man (or woman) on the food chain.
So as it goes, one of our accountants was expecting. She
didn't tell anyone about it and I had people from all over the floor
asking me if she was. (Again me who was low woman in the food chain, I
never even ranked major inter-company memo's or emails.) I also try to
never give in to office gossip, for obvious reasons. Well alas, finally
someone else confronts her. (Which if she didn't want to tell us, it
wasn't a big deal, it really was none of our business, only the partners
really needed to know.)
So the other ladies in the office decided to give her a
baby shower. Great. Now I am caught in this Catch- 22 of, I don't really
have the money and I know she doesn't really like me and if I don't go, it
will be the topic of the office gossip wheel. So I bite the bullet and go.
No registry, fine...I like to buy books for the new
babies anyway. I should mention at this point that I am barely making my
rent each month and have my credit card company calling to
"remind" me to make my payment. But I stop at the store one day
after work and pick up the book "Chicka Chicka Boom Boom". I
have given this book to both my sisters' children and I LOVE reading it to
the kids I babysit for, all the kids loved to have it for their bedtime
story, so I know it is a great book and kids love it.
We get to the day of the shower. We all crowd in to the
conf room with the mommy to be and everyone starts on pizza and cake. (I
declined, remember v. poor) Then the gifts start getting opened. Of course
all these people could afford to by wonderful little things for the baby.
Everyone ohhhhed and ahhhhed over the nice little trinkets. Of course my
gift was last...no one else had gotten any books for the baby, so I
thought, good, she will really appreciate this. Um, no. She opened the
book (hard covered too) kinda looked at the front then the back, sort of
smiled, okay not really, just my wishful thinking and put it down. Since
it was the last gift it was the "note" on which the party was
ended. Boy did I feel stupid.
Thank you note did follow, sent to my home, which was
nice...but was generic and made no reference to the gift I had given.
A few years ago I attended a baby shower for a 18
year-old-girl, "Amy", who was one of my friend's younger sister.
"Amy" spends most of the shower outside smoking with her High
School friends while her baby is being passed around to all her mothers
friends. (Who of course don't really know Amy but all brought nice gifts).
"Amy" manages to remove a cancer stick from her lips long enough
to come into the shower to open all the gifts. As she does this she
continues chatting with her friends and occasionally looks up to mumble
thank-you upon opening a present.
Now for the best part... at the end of the shower we are
directed to pick up our "favor" as we leave. The
"favor" is a rolled up paper tied with a pink ribbon. Upon
opening it I discover that the "Favor" is a computer printed
poem. Since I garbaged it shortly after reading it I don't remember
exactly how the poem went, however the gist of the poem was how happy the
mother is with her new baby and how busy she will be. So thanks for coming
to meet her baby and bringing a gift but that she would be way to busy to
send a Thank-you card to everyone so consider this it.!!
Could it be worse you ask? YES!! Amy and her mother BOTH
signed this "Thank-you", and I found out later that not only did
her mother sign her name to this idea, It was HER Idea!! I am happy to say
however that Amy's brother (my friend that connected me to this party) was
so upset by his sister and mothers "Thank-You" notes that he
apologized to me for their behavior.
Seems like baby showers bring up more faux pas than any
other kind of event ...
So here's mine. A friend, "Kay," whom I have
known since we were little girls, was having her second baby. Her other
child was, at the time, a teenager and Kay is married to her second
husband. We hadn't been staying in touch regularly though things were
friendly enough when we bumped into each other somewhere.
She sent my mother and me a joint invitation to the baby
shower she was throwing for herself. While I tend to think showers for
second babies are a bit greedy, in this case with the older daughter a
teen, I figured all of that child's baby stuff was long gone or worn out,
so okay. No harm, no foul. But throwing oneself a shower is still a bit
tacky. That wasn't the worst part, though.
Included in the invitation was a list of things she
"needs," complete with brand names, prices, and stores where the
items in question are available (including one that informed us the item
was on sale the week the invitation arrived). Almost none of these things
were baby needs. I mean, it wasn't diapers or bottles or crib blankets or
clothes. It was toys. Expensive toys. And the kicker was, at the end of
the list, she'd written "what I need most is CASH." We declined
very formally and since then, Kay hasn't had much use for either of us.
Now when we bump into her in the store or somewhere, she's quite cool to
And I am sure you are just devastated at
My mother and my sister gave my sister a baby shower, as
she is pregnant with her first child. My mom and my pregnant sister both
work at a department store, and mom's inviting lots of co-workers to the
shower, which is supposed to be secret. Well one of her co-workers decides
that she should be told about the surprise. It seems that this co-worker
was supposed to have her own surprise baby shower, and her niece ruined
the surprise for her. (You'll notice I didn't say that my sister ruined
the surprise for her!) So for some reason she had to make my sister's
party all about her disappointment. We never did find out who ruined the
surprise, but sister had a nice shower anyway.
Well folks I'm in a dilemma right now!!!! I am 25, and
expecting my first baby. Me and my fiancé have been together for almost 6
years, and are well on our way of starting a good life together. We have a
lot of friends and a lot of family members with both families combined. My
mother has taken on the duty of throwing me a shower, not because she
wants to, but because I guess she feels the need. At dinner the other
night she asked me to email her names and addresses of people that I
wanted to come. On Monday morning I emailed her one name of a friend and
said that I would get back to her later in the week with addresses of my
fiancé's family. I also told her that I registered at Babies R Us. She
emailed me back and said who were you expecting from (fiancé's) family to
come??? Just so your not disappointed, this will be a very small family
get together. As soon as I mentioned my fiancé's family coming it was a
different story. When I asked her if it would be a problem, she said she
didn't know, to email her the names and addresses and she would pick who
she would invite. She also pointed out that I shouldn't even be assuming
she's having a shower for me (even though she's the one who asked me for
names and addresses) and also made it clear that if she was planning
something she would do what she wanted to do. I don't know about you, but
every shower I have ever participated in, been invited to, etc., the
person whom the shower is for is taken into consideration. Especially a
baby shower. The baby's father's family is always included, friends,
coworkers......so I've come to the decision that my mom can have her small
family get together or whatever she was planning and I'm going to have my
own get together at my house with my fiancé's family, my friends, and co
An ex-best friend of mine, Gerdy (get it? "Greedy"?), was
having her third (boy) child. Since this baby's father, Butch, had
recently been awarded a $90,000 workman's comp settlement it
didn't compute, in my mind, as to how a shower was necessary.
However, Gerdy considered his small-town family "hillbilly
rich", thus hinted and hinted then insisted a baby shower be thrown
by them in their honor.
Because this "well-off" family wasn't entirely
convinced as to the paternity (or so I was told) they informed Gerdy
and Butch that they were going to wait until the birth to see
"who he looked like" before planning a thing.
Though I shall never divulge the real truth let's just say Butch's
family acquiesced on the matter and, weeks later, a shower was set in
motion. They rented out the local VFW/Rod & Gun Club facility,
one of his aunts spent the afternoon making a ton of homemade food back in
the kitchen, paper tablecloths, decorations, balloons, and other such
items were set out, and there was a table literally bowing under the
weight of so many sweet gifts from every member of Butch's side.
It wouldn't be an exaggeration to guess about 50 people showed up, and not
one of them was empty-handed.
After the celebration, I helped haul the baby booty
to Butch and Gerdy's home. Once every last present was brought
in they immediately proceeded to siphon what they considered to be
the tacky, cheap gifts from the "hopefully returnable" ones ...
right in front of me. And I quote: "baby bottles with 'ugly
prints'; "obviously 'dollar store' purchased rattles"; and
"clothes our son would not be caught dead in!"). Apparently
these two bastions of fine taste wasted everyone's time and money on a
completely unappreciated shower. I guess it
shouldn't come as a surprise that thank-you notes were never
sent to all those genuinely kind-hearted people (or to me).
Do you wonder why I refer to her as my "ex-best friend"?
Many years ago I was acquainted with a woman and her
husband by being their neighbors in an apartment complex. They were
notorious for beating the crap out of each other and having the police
come a calling on a regular basis, so I tended to keep my distance.
After two years or so, I bought a house and moved. Out of the blue
one day, the woman calls me, explains she is pregnant and says she is
inviting me to her baby shower. Appalled as I was, number one, to
even hear from her, and number two, that she would have the gall to have
her own freakin' baby shower, I listened politely, told her I would
be busy that day and hung up.
Well lo and behold, on the day of the shower I get
another call from her, with her expressing surprise that I was
"home" and not able to attend her shower. But, that was
ok, she offered to just swing by and come pick up her "gift".
I told her I was on my way out the door. That was the same
excuse I used in subsequent calls down the road when she continually
called and offered to swing by and pick up her gift. She finally got
the picture and quit calling. I saw the couple in the
grocery store many years later when the kid was about three. I
looked like an idiot darting around end caps and hiding behind
displays to avoid them, but I was afraid she'd hit me up for
something since I had debit card in hard and was in a retail
establishment. I would not have put it past her.
Recently my cousin, "Trina" married her
boyfriend, "Mick" got married (she found out she was pregnant).
Well, apparently my Aunt M. C. decided to throw Trina a baby shower.
(First we'll ignore the rule that family never throws a shower for family,
since that's the least of her sins!). My mother, my sister, and I
were all sent invitations.
This little gem, right inside the card: "P.S. Trina
is registered at target.com and jcpenney.com. Target has a gift card
service. You can purchase gifts here in Pittsburgh and she can pick
them up at her Target in Madison. J C Penney will deliver
packages any where [sic] in the US."
And below is Trina's address. My mother and
I looked up her registry out of curiosity's sake-eighty some items at
Target alone! Two strollers, several baby seats, musical toys, the
works. Although Aunt M. C. has always been pretty greedy and money
grubbing, so it shouldn't come as a big surprise. And from past
experience, we know not to expect any thank you notes.
My mother feels obligated to go, although she really
doesn't want to, but my sister and I are definitely going to pass on this
P.S.-am I the only one who finds registries tacky?
Or am I a wee bit old-fashioned for my age (26)?
P.P.S-LOVE the website! I've been known to waste
countless hours reading the horror stories!
This story is from several years ago. I worked in a
company along with a lady I will call "Denise". In the small
company we worked in, we had a total of 16-18 women. Most of the women in
the office were on good terms and many friendships had sprung up.
The first etiquette faux pas comes while we were holding
a baby shower for another of our co-workers. In the middle of the
refreshments, Denise announces in a loud voice that she is getting married
in three months. Of course, the attentions shifts from the mother-to-be to
Denise. Luckily, the mother-to-be handles the situation with grace.
Fast forward a few weeks...the bridal shower is being
planned. In our office, if someone was getting married or having a baby,
some of her co-workers would usually get together and plan a small shower.
Most times it is cake and ice cream in a conference room with a few games
and the usual gift-giving.
That was not good enough for Denise. When she found out
was planning her shower, she cornered the person in question and began
grilling them on the plans. Cake and ice cream? NO...I want more than just
dessert. In the conference room? NO...I don't want it in no stinkin'
conference room. How about that expensive little bistro on the corner?
They serve gourmet food. Who are you inviting? NO...that person cannot
come...she won't give me anything expensive. Here is the list of people I
want invited...I don't care if they don't work here...What do you mean
they can't come in the office without the manager's approval??!! and on
and on and on. From what I understand, Denise basically took over the
planning for herself when the co-worker refused to plan something so out
of line with what we normally did.
By the time Denise got through with the planning for her
own shower, it had gone from a small casual 10-12 person gathering of
co-workers to an evening party with 35 people in the banquet room of a
local gourmet restaurant. Half of the people who were going to be invited
to the original shower were crossed off the guest list due to their habit
of giving practical gifts rather than expensive designer baby gifts. A
full 30 more were added from the bride-to-be's list including her female
relatives, bridal party and various friends.
When she got done with the planning, she then sent an
email around to everyone in the office and let them know what their share
of the bill was going to be. She expected everyone in the office to bear
the expense of her elaborate shower, while most of us were not even
Only one of our co-workers attended the gathering, and
the tale that came back was hideous. Denise arrived an hour late. Instead
of meeting and greeting everyone, she proceeds right to the gift table and
begins to unwrap presents. Her MOH then announces who its from and puts
them into one of two piles (later found out that is was the classic
keep/return piling). After this wonderful spectacle, the bride-to-be then
announces she is ready to eat. The waiters begin to serve gourmet dinners
to each guest. The food was dry and cold due to being served an hour after
the planned time. When everyone was done picking at their food, the
waiters took the plates away and then gave each guest their check.
Because we refused to foot the bill for her elaborate
party, her guests got to the foot the bill.
(And she never sent a thank you card to anyone).
This is foul, just foul.
The son and daughter-in-law of my boss are the kind of
people that have to have the best of everything. They are not rich and my
boss worries when they say that they are barely making their payments. But
she realizes that they are adult and keeps her mouth shut to them even if
it bothers her.
The daughter-in-law got pregnant and so they went out
and registered for ten thousand dollars worth of baby gear. That's right:
Ten thousand. They went online to plan the mother of all baby showers and
decided that gift-grab baby showers were tacky. (Has etiquette hell served
What did they do? They presented my boss with the
list and asked that she buy it all! Thank goodness she didn't. She's still
recovering financially from their wedding! (A whole other story
altogether.) And I thought MY family was tacky!
Page Last Updated May 15, 2007