Etiquette Hell

General Etiquette => Family and Children => Topic started by: oopsie on January 14, 2013, 03:15:45 PM

Title: Expectant couple throwing their own baby shower?
Post by: oopsie on January 14, 2013, 03:15:45 PM
I literally just got my invitation in the mail. It was sent from DH's cousin and his wife who are having a baby. It was phrased "Please join our celebration on day, month, year, address, etc.

Then at the bottom of the invitation they stated that the expectant mother is registered at Babies "R" Us.

This feels very tacky. Am I wrong?

BTW, I'm still waiting for my thank you card from expectant mother from the gift I gave for her wedding shower two years ago. I was unable to attend so I sent her a card and a cheque in the mail. She messaged me on Facebook to let me know that she couldn't cash it as I had made the cheque out to her nickname not her legal name. So I sent her another cheque in her legal name and it was cashed but I'm still waiting for that elusive thank you...
Title: Re: Expectant couple throwing their own baby shower?
Post by: Shoo on January 14, 2013, 03:21:59 PM
I literally just got my invitation in the mail. It was sent from DH's cousin and his wife who are having a baby. It was phrased "Please join our celebration on day, month, year, address, etc.

Then at the bottom of the invitation they stated that the expectant mother is registered at Babies "R" Us.

This feels very tacky. Am I wrong?

BTW, I'm still waiting for my thank you card from expectant mother from the gift I gave for her wedding shower two years ago. I was unable to attend so I sent her a card and a cheque in the mail. She messaged me on Facebook to let me know that she couldn't cash it as I had made the cheque out to her nickname not her legal name. So I sent her another cheque in her legal name and it was cashed but I'm still waiting for that elusive thank you...

It feels tacky because it IS tacky.

I have a policy that if I don't get a thank you for the wedding gift I sent, you're not getting a baby shower gift from me.

Title: Re: Expectant couple throwing their own baby shower?
Post by: yokozbornak on January 14, 2013, 03:23:40 PM
It is tacky.  I would send my regrets to the shower, and then send a nice card congratulation the new parents after the baby is born.
Title: Re: Expectant couple throwing their own baby shower?
Post by: Redwing on January 14, 2013, 03:33:15 PM
My sister got an invitation to a shower from a guy she works with.  He and his wife were throwing it themselves.  Later, she got another invitation to a shower from another guy she works with.  Mom and dad were throwing their own shower in the afternoon and "diaper party"/barbecue in the evening.  She did not attend any of these events.
Title: Re: Expectant couple throwing their own baby shower?
Post by: lowspark on January 14, 2013, 03:43:20 PM
I literally just got my invitation in the mail. It was sent from DH's cousin and his wife who are having a baby. It was phrased "Please join our celebration on day, month, year, address, etc.

Then at the bottom of the invitation they stated that the expectant mother is registered at Babies "R" Us.

This feels very tacky. Am I wrong?

BTW, I'm still waiting for my thank you card from expectant mother from the gift I gave for her wedding shower two years ago. I was unable to attend so I sent her a card and a cheque in the mail. She messaged me on Facebook to let me know that she couldn't cash it as I had made the cheque out to her nickname not her legal name. So I sent her another cheque in her legal name and it was cashed but I'm still waiting for that elusive thank you...

It feels tacky because it IS tacky.

I have a policy that if I don't get a thank you for the wedding gift I sent any kind of gift for which a thank you note is appropriate, you're not getting a baby shower gift any more gifts from me.

POD.
I edited the sentence above because in one case it happened in the reverse order. Baby shower gift (plus gift at the hospital plus gift when I visited the new mother at home) and no TY note for any of it. Subsequently I was invited to the wedding, which I attended, sans gift.

And yes, throwing your own shower is tacky.
Title: Re: Expectant couple throwing their own baby shower?
Post by: blarg314 on January 14, 2013, 06:36:27 PM

Baby shower hosted by the parents, with registry information in the invitation? Could go through the effort of emailing you to make sure she could get a cheque she could cash, but couldn't go through the effort of sending a thank-you email?

Very, very tacky.

I'd be tempted to send regrets and nothing else.
Title: Re: Expectant couple throwing their own baby shower?
Post by: turnip on January 14, 2013, 07:07:29 PM
You know - I know it's 'tacky' according to traditional etiquette, but frankly I wouldn't mind if this became the new norm.    I mean - it's a shower for the expectant couple, why _shouldn't_ they just be the ones to plan and host it?   I can see that in an alternate universe it would be considered incredibly tacky to expect someone _else_ to throw you a party.  ( "Oh great, so now I'm supposed to be so excited that my BFF is having a baby that _I_ need to spend all _my_ extra time planning a party for _her_?")

And if the couple has no interest in having a baby shower they don't need to come up with ways to politely refuse kind offers.

I don't see much of a downside.   There's a general idea that 'it's conceited to throw a party in honor of yourself' but I'd rather we all just got over that - we don't expect others to plan our weddings, after all, or even, for the most part, our birthday parties.   

How about if you want a party, you throw one.  If you want me there, invite me.  If I want to come, I'll accept.  All these 'proxy' party plans seem to cause more problems than they solve.
Title: Re: Expectant couple throwing their own baby shower?
Post by: Shoo on January 14, 2013, 07:18:13 PM
The reason it's tacky is because it's self-serving.  The purpose of a shower is to receive gifts.  So the couple who throws their own shower is basically telling their friends and family they want them to give them a present.  A birthday party for anyone over a certain age (like 12 or 13) does not require all the guests to bring a gift.

Title: Re: Expectant couple throwing their own baby shower?
Post by: LifeOnPluto on January 14, 2013, 08:34:54 PM
If it was just a celebration, hosted by the expecting parents, I wouldn't have a problem with it.

But having a gift registry turns it into a shower, and that's quite tacky.
Title: Re: Expectant couple throwing their own baby shower?
Post by: turnip on January 15, 2013, 11:44:39 AM
The reason it's tacky is because it's self-serving.  The purpose of a shower is to receive gifts.  So the couple who throws their own shower is basically telling their friends and family they want them to give them a present.  A birthday party for anyone over a certain age (like 12 or 13) does not require all the guests to bring a gift.

I really just can't get caught up in this anymore.   What is the problem with people who don't wish to buy presents declining, and people who do wish to buy presents accepting?   Why is it so much better to say "I want you to buy my best friend a present" than "I want you to buy me a present"?    Why is it OK to say "I want you to throw me a party"?

Like I said - I think we're at the point where it creates more problems than it solves.  The party 'planner' plans a party to the complete distaste of the 'guest of honor', or creates hard feelings by inviting the wrong person or not inviting the right person, or something else goes wrong.  The whole scenario creates complications that could be eased by just having the person who the party is for planning the party.
Title: Re: Expectant couple throwing their own baby shower?
Post by: Bexx27 on January 15, 2013, 11:49:04 AM
The point is that no one is entitled to a shower. It's rude to throw one for yourself and it's rude to ask a friend to throw one for you; if no one offers to do so, you just don't have a shower.
Title: Re: Expectant couple throwing their own baby shower?
Post by: TurtleDove on January 15, 2013, 11:50:22 AM
turnip, I like the cut of your jib.  POD.
Title: Re: Expectant couple throwing their own baby shower?
Post by: VltGrantham on January 15, 2013, 11:56:21 AM
Quote
The party 'planner' plans a party to the complete distaste of the 'guest of honor', or creates hard feelings by inviting the wrong person or not inviting the right person, or something else goes wrong.  The whole scenario creates complications that could be eased by just having the person who the party is for planning the party.

This is why it is wise for the planner to consult with and solicit the appropriate information from the guest of honor, rather than just guessing.

I've thrown several showers and have never had a fiasco with any of them--excluding one.  And that one wasn't because the shower wasn't nice enough or that I didn't take the guest of honor's wishes into account, but because her Mother and sisters had an issue with the fact that I did not solicit gifts through the invitations or choose, in my opinion, tacky games for them to play during the party.  However, those were the wishes of the MTB, so that's all I cared about.

Maybe it's behind the times and I'm old fashioned or a fuddy duddy or all--but I think throwing your own shower is in extremely poor taste.

ETA:  You could just as easily solve the problem by throwing an open house when ready to receive visitors after the baby is born, but not billing it as a shower.  Most people are willing to bring a gift to congratulate the new parents and welcome the addition to the family.  But at least it doesn't scream "come to my home and give me gifts" the way a shower does.

And OP, I wouldn't go either.  I'd send a "congratulations" after the baby was born and let it go.
Title: Re: Expectant couple throwing their own baby shower?
Post by: Cat-Fu on January 15, 2013, 12:01:41 PM
I don't think it's appropriate to say "I want you to throw me a party," either, turnip. I mean, if you're such a jerk that no one wants to throw you a party, then that's your own fault. (All yous general)
Title: Re: Expectant couple throwing their own baby shower?
Post by: learningtofly on January 15, 2013, 12:29:21 PM
The point is that no one is entitled to a shower. It's rude to throw one for yourself and it's rude to ask a friend to throw one for you; if no one offers to do so, you just don't have a shower.

POD.  I didn't want a shower.  My MIL offerred and I didn't want one.  I was superstitious and it wasn't up for discussion.  A lot of presents showed up after DD was born whether through the mail or through relatives.  If people want to buy the baby a present it will find it's way to the baby eventually.  Parties not required.
Title: Re: Expectant couple throwing their own baby shower?
Post by: BabylonSister on January 15, 2013, 01:39:16 PM
The reason it's tacky is because it's self-serving.  The purpose of a shower is to receive gifts.  So the couple who throws their own shower is basically telling their friends and family they want them to give them a present.  A birthday party for anyone over a certain age (like 12 or 13) does not require all the guests to bring a gift.

I really just can't get caught up in this anymore.   What is the problem with people who don't wish to buy presents declining, and people who do wish to buy presents accepting?   Why is it so much better to say "I want you to buy my best friend a present" than "I want you to buy me a present"?    Why is it OK to say "I want you to throw me a party"?

Like I said - I think we're at the point where it creates more problems than it solves.  The party 'planner' plans a party to the complete distaste of the 'guest of honor', or creates hard feelings by inviting the wrong person or not inviting the right person, or something else goes wrong.  The whole scenario creates complications that could be eased by just having the person who the party is for planning the party.
 


You neither throw your own shower, nor demand or even request one.  You wait for one to be offered.


And yes, guests can decline but they shouldn't be put in that position in the first place.  It's very greedy to throw for yourself a gift-based party.
Title: Re: Expectant couple throwing their own baby shower?
Post by: Twik on January 15, 2013, 02:51:55 PM
The reason it's tacky is because it's self-serving.  The purpose of a shower is to receive gifts.  So the couple who throws their own shower is basically telling their friends and family they want them to give them a present.  A birthday party for anyone over a certain age (like 12 or 13) does not require all the guests to bring a gift.

I really just can't get caught up in this anymore.   What is the problem with people who don't wish to buy presents declining, and people who do wish to buy presents accepting?   Why is it so much better to say "I want you to buy my best friend a present" than "I want you to buy me a present"?    Why is it OK to say "I want you to throw me a party"?

Like I said - I think we're at the point where it creates more problems than it solves.  The party 'planner' plans a party to the complete distaste of the 'guest of honor', or creates hard feelings by inviting the wrong person or not inviting the right person, or something else goes wrong.  The whole scenario creates complications that could be eased by just having the person who the party is for planning the party.

Or, if it's that complicated, you could just skip the shower entirely.

It's simply not permitted, under common etiquette, to throw a "GIVE ME PRESENTS!!!1!" party for yourself. If your friends cannot be trusted to (1) come up with the idea themselves, and (2) put it together so that it isn't a complete disaster, then yes, you are going to have to skip having a shower.
Title: Re: Expectant couple throwing their own baby shower?
Post by: WillyNilly on January 15, 2013, 03:08:33 PM
There is nothing wrong with throwing a party to celebrate something in your life.  That's pretty much exactly what parties are. Sometimes the "thing" in your life you are celebrating is happening to someone else, sometimes its happening to you, either way, its a perfectly etiquette-following, acceptable, polite thing to do.  Its never ok to request, or even really imply, guests must give you a gift though. You can ask they give a gift to someone else, but you can't ask they give a gift to you.

So for expectant parents to throw a party celebrating "whoo-hoo we're super excited to be pregnant and want to share our joy with friends & family by having a party" that's totally cool, gracious in fact.  But once they slap on the word shower - party speak for you must bring a gift to shower the guest(s) of honor - its stops being ok, and is greedy.  Because it means it's not about "whoo-hoo we're super excited to be pregnant and want to share our joy with friends & family" but rather "whoo-hoo we're super excited we're pregnant, now what can we get in gifts?"
Title: Re: Expectant couple throwing their own baby shower?
Post by: Eeep! on January 15, 2013, 03:14:16 PM
There is nothing wrong with throwing a party to celebrate something in your life.  That's pretty much exactly what parties are. Sometimes the "thing" in your life you are celebrating is happening to someone else, sometimes its happening to you, either way, its a perfectly etiquette-following, acceptable, polite thing to do.  Its never ok to request, or even really imply, guests must give you a gift though. You can ask they give a gift to someone else, but you can't ask they give a gift to you.

So for expectant parents to throw a party celebrating "whoo-hoo we're super excited to be pregnant and want to share our joy with friends & family by having a party" that's totally cool, gracious in fact.  But once they slap on the word shower - party speak for you must bring a gift to shower the guest(s) of honor - its stops being ok, and is greedy.  Because it means it's not about "whoo-hoo we're super excited to be pregnant and want to share our joy with friends & family" but rather "whoo-hoo we're super excited we're pregnant, now what can we get in gifts?"

My thoughts exactly. 
Title: Re: Expectant couple throwing their own baby shower?
Post by: TurtleDove on January 15, 2013, 03:19:01 PM
There is nothing wrong with throwing a party to celebrate something in your life.  That's pretty much exactly what parties are. Sometimes the "thing" in your life you are celebrating is happening to someone else, sometimes its happening to you, either way, its a perfectly etiquette-following, acceptable, polite thing to do.  Its never ok to request, or even really imply, guests must give you a gift though. You can ask they give a gift to someone else, but you can't ask they give a gift to you.

So for expectant parents to throw a party celebrating "whoo-hoo we're super excited to be pregnant and want to share our joy with friends & family by having a party" that's totally cool, gracious in fact.  But once they slap on the word shower - party speak for you must bring a gift to shower the guest(s) of honor - its stops being ok, and is greedy.  Because it means it's not about "whoo-hoo we're super excited to be pregnant and want to share our joy with friends & family" but rather "whoo-hoo we're super excited we're pregnant, now what can we get in gifts?"

My thoughts exactly.

I don't disagree.  I just think the focus on gifts is not present, at least not for me or my friends or family.  None of us needs anything from anyone else to support our children, and I am trying to remember if the word shower was used for my celebration when I had DD, but the focus was never, ever about the gifts.  It was about celebrating with the people who would be and are a part of DD's life.  None of us through our own parties, but again, while I am pretty certain everyone did bring gifts, I doubt any of us would have noticed if they didn't.
Title: Re: Expectant couple throwing their own baby shower?
Post by: WillyNilly on January 15, 2013, 03:45:55 PM
There is nothing wrong with throwing a party to celebrate something in your life.  That's pretty much exactly what parties are. Sometimes the "thing" in your life you are celebrating is happening to someone else, sometimes its happening to you, either way, its a perfectly etiquette-following, acceptable, polite thing to do.  Its never ok to request, or even really imply, guests must give you a gift though. You can ask they give a gift to someone else, but you can't ask they give a gift to you.

So for expectant parents to throw a party celebrating "whoo-hoo we're super excited to be pregnant and want to share our joy with friends & family by having a party" that's totally cool, gracious in fact.  But once they slap on the word shower - party speak for you must bring a gift to shower the guest(s) of honor - its stops being ok, and is greedy.  Because it means it's not about "whoo-hoo we're super excited to be pregnant and want to share our joy with friends & family" but rather "whoo-hoo we're super excited we're pregnant, now what can we get in gifts?"

My thoughts exactly.

I don't disagree.  I just think the focus on gifts is not present, at least not for me or my friends or family.  None of us needs anything from anyone else to support our children, and I am trying to remember if the word shower was used for my celebration when I had DD, but the focus was never, ever about the gifts.  It was about celebrating with the people who would be and are a part of DD's life.  None of us through our own parties, but again, while I am pretty certain everyone did bring gifts, I doubt any of us would have noticed if they didn't.

The problem is the word "shower" though.  Its not an arbitrary word, it means something, and in reference to a party it means "bring a gift".  So maybe your family doesn't think that way, but that doesn't change the larger population's definition and understanding of the word (and quite frankly it shouldn't). So guests who don't know your 'not the real definition of shower just the definition we like to use' and take the word at face value, they will feel directed to bring a gift. And there will always be a few of those guests - co-workers or neighbors, or someone recently married into the family or a new friend - so really the only reasonable thing is to play to the common usage of the word.  If its just a "hey lets celebrate" party, bill it as such, and contrastingly if you bill it as a "shower" know you are asking for gifts.
Title: Re: Expectant couple throwing their own baby shower?
Post by: yokozbornak on January 15, 2013, 04:12:20 PM
I think the registry information at the bottom is a dead giveaway that this is a gift grab. 

I don't think anyone has an issue with a party hosted by the parents so everyone can meet the baby.  I actually think it's delightful thing to do.  If the party is truly about celebrating and meeting the new baby, though, there should not be a mention of a gift registry.
Title: Re: Expectant couple throwing their own baby shower?
Post by: oopsie on January 15, 2013, 04:38:23 PM
The expectant mother also created a Facebook invitation. It was funny to read the notification "Expectant Mother invited you to her event Expectant Mother's Baby Shower."

 ::)

I have RSVPd my regrets but with my congratulations.
Title: Re: Expectant couple throwing their own baby shower?
Post by: TootsNYC on January 15, 2013, 05:21:04 PM
The reason it's tacky is because it's self-serving.  The purpose of a shower is to receive gifts.  So the couple who throws their own shower is basically telling their friends and family they want them to give them a present.  A birthday party for anyone over a certain age (like 12 or 13) does not require all the guests to bring a gift.

I really just can't get caught up in this anymore.   What is the problem with people who don't wish to buy presents declining, and people who do wish to buy presents accepting?   Why is it so much better to say "I want you to buy my best friend a present" than "I want you to buy me a present"?    Why is it OK to say "I want you to throw me a party"?


The problem is because most people feel obligated to accept a social invitation. In fact, the only *socially acceptable* reason to give when you  turn down an invitation is because you have "previous plans." Because anything else comes across as "I don't want to spend time with you."

I suppose if we just all regarded showers as fund-raisers, it might help--but even w/ flat-out, blatant fundraising, it's not polite to confuse that with a social obligation.
Title: Re: Expectant couple throwing their own baby shower?
Post by: Ceallach on January 15, 2013, 05:29:53 PM
I'm 39 weeks pregnant and nobody has thrown me a shower, despite that it wouldn't occur to me to throw myself one.    Will DH and I throw some kind of celebration?   For sure, if we're up to it!   But a shower inherently implies gifts, and that to me is an incredibly tacky event to initiate in your own honour.    People may say it's semantics, but it's not.  It's about expectations.  Sometimes a subtle detail *is* the difference between polite vs. impolite.  For example, any verbal request can be worded in a way that's rude, or a way that's polite.   The overall outcome might be the same, but 1 is rude, 1 is not.  An invitation is the same.  Yes, it's still an event and people will still most likely bring gifts, but 1 is appropriate, 1 is not. 

I don't understand this expectation that a shower is an entitlement of some kind.   I also didn't have a wedding shower, and I survived!   (And no, I'm not a social pariah,  :P I've just moved a lot ever since I was a teenager so my friends are spread far and wide). 
Title: Re: Expectant couple throwing their own baby shower?
Post by: peaches on January 15, 2013, 06:02:12 PM
There is nothing wrong with throwing a party to celebrate something in your life.  That's pretty much exactly what parties are. Sometimes the "thing" in your life you are celebrating is happening to someone else, sometimes its happening to you, either way, its a perfectly etiquette-following, acceptable, polite thing to do.  Its never ok to request, or even really imply, guests must give you a gift though. You can ask they give a gift to someone else, but you can't ask they give a gift to you.

So for expectant parents to throw a party celebrating "whoo-hoo we're super excited to be pregnant and want to share our joy with friends & family by having a party" that's totally cool, gracious in fact.  But once they slap on the word shower - party speak for you must bring a gift to shower the guest(s) of honor - its stops being ok, and is greedy.  Because it means it's not about "whoo-hoo we're super excited to be pregnant and want to share our joy with friends & family" but rather "whoo-hoo we're super excited we're pregnant, now what can we get in gifts?"

My thoughts exactly.

I don't disagree.  I just think the focus on gifts is not present, at least not for me or my friends or family.  None of us needs anything from anyone else to support our children, and I am trying to remember if the word shower was used for my celebration when I had DD, but the focus was never, ever about the gifts.  It was about celebrating with the people who would be and are a part of DD's life.  None of us through our own parties, but again, while I am pretty certain everyone did bring gifts, I doubt any of us would have noticed if they didn't.

I'm glad you value your guests for their friendship, but it remains a truism that showers are gift-giving parties.

That's why I shouldn't give my own shower.


Title: Re: Expectant couple throwing their own baby shower?
Post by: DottyG on January 15, 2013, 06:06:47 PM
I was going to agree with Shoo's comment.  But then I saw lowspark's edit.  I agree with this even more:

Quote
I have a policy that if I don't get a thank you for any kind of gift for which a thank you note is appropriate, you're not getting any more gifts from me.
Title: Re: Expectant couple throwing their own baby shower?
Post by: Mammavan3 on January 18, 2013, 06:53:18 PM
I must say I am somewhat taken aback by the idea that is somehow more efficient to throw one's own shower and thereby avoid having the wrong guests in attendance.

My experience has always been that the guest list is vetted or provided by the GOH. 

Throwing your own shower would be tantamount to a friend walking up to you and handing you a wish list of presents and asking you to purchase one for her.
Title: Re: Expectant couple throwing their own baby shower?
Post by: Emmy on January 19, 2013, 11:57:15 AM
I don't think it's appropriate to say "I want you to throw me a party," either, turnip. I mean, if you're such a jerk that no one wants to throw you a party, then that's your own fault. (All yous general)

I think that statement is quite unfair.  It may be true in some cases, but certainly not all.  I imagine there are some people who are givers and have always been the bridal/baby shower party planner yet everybody is 'busy' when it their turn to have a shower.  The squeaky wheel gets the grease, if the bride or mom to be never brings up a shower to their friends, people may figure somebody else is planning it and not bother to ask.  Among people I know, it was traditional that the bridesmaids throw the bridal shower.  I do agree that besides the bride informing the hosts of the guests to be invited, she should not make demands about the party.

If somebody doesn't have a shower thrown for them, I don't think they have to let the event go by without a celebration.  There are engagement parties, parties to introduce the baby to friends, and other parties to celebrate the event that the couple can throw for themselves.  I just think they should avoid a term like 'shower' where it implies that gifts are expected.

I think turnip has some good points.  It does seem ironic that is OK for a friend of the bride to ask for gifts on her behalf and yet it is not OK if a bride does it.  However, these are just social norms that are expected of people.  I think it is equally if not more rude to demand friends throw a fancy, expensive shower, with every detail dictated by the bride or mom-to-be than just throwing one yourself.  The bride or mom-to-be makes out in that deal, she gets the gifts, doesn't have to pay the cost of the shower, and doesn't look tacky because the shower was thrown for her.
Title: Re: Expectant couple throwing their own baby shower?
Post by: Cami on January 19, 2013, 03:49:00 PM
As time goes on, I am tending to turnip's viewpoint in re showers and celebratory parties. I really don't see much REAL difference between hosting your own gift grab or someone hosting it for you. In the end, a shower is a gift grab not matter who throws it and IMO it's nothing more than a very thin social pretense that confers dignity or honor upon the gift grab when ostensibly hosted by someone else.

So, no, I wouldn't look down on someone hosting their own shower any more than I look down on someone hosting their own birthday party. 

If someone wants to do the work, why shouldn't they have a party? I can attend or not as I so choose. Honestly, my attitude is life is too short to split hairs like this and if there's cake and/or alcohol, just tell me when and where and I'm happy to show up!

I also find the statement that one wouldn't have an offer to host a shower or party as proof of being a jerk to be quite an interesting assumption itself.
Title: Re: Expectant couple throwing their own baby shower?
Post by: Roe on January 19, 2013, 04:22:38 PM
I've never seen showers as gift grabs so that's probably why I wouldn't bat an eye.  Gifts, even for showers, have never, ever been obligatory.  In my culture, it's more of a party and celebration than a traditional shower anyway.

Title: Re: Expectant couple throwing their own baby shower?
Post by: Sharnita on January 19, 2013, 06:18:55 PM
I do think the assumption that a person who does not have somebody offer to throw a shower for them is incredibly judgemental. I actually find it astoundind that anybody would make that leap.
Title: Re: Expectant couple throwing their own baby shower?
Post by: TurtleDove on January 19, 2013, 06:26:07 PM
I've never seen showers as gift grabs so that's probably why I wouldn't bat an eye.  Gifts, even for showers, have never, ever been obligatory.  In my culture, it's more of a party and celebration than a traditional shower anyway.

POD.  In my circles, gifts are never the focus of any party, whether a child's birthday party, Christmas, or a shower.  It just is not an issue and most of us prefer no gifts but give gifts anyway.  The "gift grab"/"let's scam friends and family out of free stuff" is a concept I have never personally come across.  At my baby shower I am certain I must have opened gifts at some point, but like I said, it was not even among the main focuses of the party, let alone the ONLY focus of the party. 
Title: Re: Expectant couple throwing their own baby shower?
Post by: RooRoo on January 19, 2013, 06:45:40 PM
I believe somebody has already said this. Please allow me to repeat it.

In English, the word "shower" means a short, soft rain. When a party is called a "shower," it means that small gifts will be rained upon the guest of honor. That is why they are called showers. When one is invited to a shower, one is expected to bring a gift. And that is why one never throws oneself a shower. Someone saying "Let's get together and give Ms. Preggo a shower" is being generous. Someone saying "I'm throwing myself a shower" is different. It says, "You have to give me a present."

So if you are throwing a party where there is no expectation of gifts, call it something else. A "congratulations" party perhaps. But not a shower. Please?  :-\
Title: Re: Expectant couple throwing their own baby shower?
Post by: TurtleDove on January 19, 2013, 07:01:18 PM
So if you are throwing a party where there is no expectation of gifts, call it something else. A "congratulations" party perhaps. But not a shower. Please?  :-\

I guess for me, if I didn't want to give someone a gift, I wouldn't.  If I did, I would.  The label attached to a party isn't a part of the equation for me.  That said, I can't think of a single party that focused on gifts - even those labeled showers.  If I did not want to give a gift to someone who was having a baby, I wouldn't attend the "shower."  If someone I care about was having a baby, I would want to help her celebrate this and I certainly would not be smugly judging her for having a shower, labeling it as a gift grab.  I would be happy that she was excited about having a baby. I can't think of a single person in my life who would be focused on the gifts. 
Title: Re: Expectant couple throwing their own baby shower?
Post by: katycoo on January 19, 2013, 08:33:10 PM
Regional.  I don't have an issue with throwing one's own shower, because throwing your own party for all kinds of events is the norm in Australia.  Registries for Baby Showers aern't really common yet, but I'm ok with info being on the invitation too. After all, its a gift giving occasion.  AS long as I'm not bringing food/drinks/chairs whatever to HELP you throw the party without my ofering, I don't really mind.
Title: Re: Expectant couple throwing their own baby shower?
Post by: kareng57 on January 19, 2013, 09:10:53 PM
I do think the assumption that a person who does not have somebody offer to throw a shower for them is incredibly judgemental. I actually find it astoundind that anybody would make that leap.


I definitely agree with you on that point - that if anyone does not offer to host a shower for a particular person, it must be because she's some kind of jerk.

I've never been a big fan of showers anyway, and sometimes I wish we were more like the UK where they're pretty rare.
Title: Re: Expectant couple throwing their own baby shower?
Post by: Jocelyn on January 19, 2013, 10:16:00 PM
  Why is it so much better to say "I want you to buy my best friend a present" than "I want you to buy me a present"?   
I think the idea is that friends are saying, 'Oh, we all like Bride/Mamatobe, and we want to do something to celebrate her life transition. I'll host a party to celebrate, and the rest of you will do what you're already wanting to do, bring her a present for her to use in her new life.' The traditional assumption being that no one is invited to a shower who is not already planning on giving the guest of honor a gift.

It becomes tacky when people are invited who are NOT close enough to be happy to celebrate the GOH's big event. I'm ambivalent about registries; on the one hand, they let you know the GOH's tastes. But then, I can't remember being invited to a shower where I wasn't planning on giving a gift anyway, nor can I remember a registry that didn't have $2 items on it as well as pricier items.
Title: Re: Expectant couple throwing their own baby shower?
Post by: Roe on January 19, 2013, 11:06:08 PM
The "gift grab"/"let's scam friends and family out of free stuff" is a concept I have never personally come across. 

Neither have I.  I first heard the term here on eHell.
Title: Re: Expectant couple throwing their own baby shower?
Post by: LilacRosey on January 20, 2013, 05:42:24 PM
These things never actually bother me but I do get that they are considered rude and I probably would think tfour times before doing it myself! I dont blame you!, LilacRosey
Title: Re: Expectant couple throwing their own baby shower?
Post by: kitkatswing on January 20, 2013, 05:56:49 PM
Regional.  I don't have an issue with throwing one's own shower, because throwing your own party for all kinds of events is the norm in Australia.  Registries for Baby Showers aern't really common yet, but I'm ok with info being on the invitation too. After all, its a gift giving occasion.  AS long as I'm not bringing food/drinks/chairs whatever to HELP you throw the party without my ofering, I don't really mind.

Im with Katycoo here, another fellow Aussie and we plan on having our own baby shower in a few months.. Its pretty normal here for people to throw their own parties..

Title: Re: Expectant couple throwing their own baby shower?
Post by: Sharnita on January 20, 2013, 06:45:00 PM
Actually, as a concept, I think of the couple where the MIL was telling relatives who hadn't been seen in forever that they were invited.  Kind of a "you know how mom was telling you how much fun we are all gonna have the last Saturday in June?  Welllll ..."
Title: Re: Expectant couple throwing their own baby shower?
Post by: blarg314 on January 20, 2013, 06:46:21 PM
I would say that if a couple is hosting their own shower, and the registry is listed in the invitation, gifts are a main focus of the party.

I wouldn't have too much of a problem with a 'meet the baby' party hosted by the parents that didn't include registry information, and who responded to questions with "Oh, just bring yourself".  In the same vein, I don't have a problem with someone who organizes a birthday get-together or going out for drinks before a wedding. The key is that you don't call it a shower (which obligates the guests to bring gifts) and it's either relatively low key (for going out somewhere, it is in line with the normal style of the social group) or the organizer pays for everything.

But when someone organizes their own party at which gifts are obligatory, or organizes their own party that requires people to shell out a lot of money or take vacation time, then that's going too far.

For what it's worth, I didn't have a wedding shower, because when I got married, I was living in a culture that doesn't do showers, and was a long way away from most of my friends and all my family. If I have kids, I won't get a baby shower, for similar reasons.
Title: Re: Expectant couple throwing their own baby shower?
Post by: peaches on January 20, 2013, 09:30:38 PM
A shower is given for you, not by you.

If youíre giving your own party, please donít call it a shower. And donít expect gifts.
Title: Re: Expectant couple throwing their own baby shower?
Post by: SpikeMichigan on January 21, 2013, 08:53:58 AM

 Showers do carry a strong implication of gifts.

 To be honest, I think showers are kind of inherently tacky, and I'm glad they're not a big thing in the UK. Though, as a dude, I'm not sure it really concerns me, as I doubt I'd ever be invited to any.

 I'm with those who think you could host yourself a party and just not call it a shower, and certainly not have registry information.

 That said, I have really never understood the ferocity I've seen on this site with regards to throwing a party for yourself. It seems frankly silly that you should have to wait for someone else to offer to, as in some groups, that just won't happen. A whole lot less of a stupid etiquette dance if you just host yourself a party (not a shower) when you want one.
Title: Re: Expectant couple throwing their own baby shower?
Post by: Twik on January 21, 2013, 09:07:15 AM
If you want to throw a party to celebrate your pregnancy, go ahead and do so. Just don't call it a shower. Calling it a shower is saying "give me presents". Some people may try to claim that's not what they mean - but then, why are they so determined to use the word "shower"? You cannot have your (shower) cake, and eat it too.
Title: Re: Expectant couple throwing their own baby shower?
Post by: cocacola35 on January 21, 2013, 09:48:10 AM

I'm with those who think you could host yourself a party and just not call it a shower, and certainly not have registry information.

 That said, I have really never understood the ferocity I've seen on this site with regards to throwing a party for yourself. It seems frankly silly that you should have to wait for someone else to offer to, as in some groups, that just won't happen. A whole lot less of a stupid etiquette dance if you just host yourself a party (not a shower) when you want one.

I think that most people on this site, myself included, agree with the bolded point.  I don't think there is anything wrong with throwing your own party to celebrate special events in life.  Life is short as it is and why only celebrate with friends/loved ones when someone else feels generous enough to throw the party for you?  The only time throwing your own party seems off is when you are asking guests to bring you gifts through a registry or calling the party a "shower". 



 
Title: Re: Expectant couple throwing their own baby shower?
Post by: White Lotus on January 21, 2013, 10:38:22 AM
Of course, here we hear about the "gimmes" and the "gift-grabs" because this is Etiquette Hell!  The well-mannered people who don't do those things -- and they are legion -- don't appear here! 
I am just superstitious enough -- and have been close enough to a couple of tragedies -- to dislike baby showers as a general rule.  I vastly prefer a "meet the baby" open house, maybe following a "faith dedication" by any name, if one belongs to a faith that does some sort of dedication ceremony for new members, including infants.  Presents of the small variety (onesies, diapers, etc.) are welcome and appreciated, of course, and family members or intimate friends often do something very special, like the classic silver cup, teething ring, or rattle, but none are needed or expected, and it isn't called a shower, which does carry the meaning of "showering" the GOH with an assortment of small gifts. 
The couple's mis-step is calling their party, pre- or post the actual arrival, a "shower."
Title: Re: Expectant couple throwing their own baby shower?
Post by: SpikeMichigan on January 21, 2013, 04:45:11 PM
Quote
Quote from: SpikeMichigan on Today at 09:53:58 AM

I'm with those who think you could host yourself a party and just not call it a shower, and certainly not have registry information.

 That said, I have really never understood the ferocity I've seen on this site with regards to throwing a party for yourself. It seems frankly silly that you should have to wait for someone else to offer to, as in some groups, that just won't happen. A whole lot less of a stupid etiquette dance if you just host yourself a party (not a shower) when you want one.

I think that most people on this site, myself included, agree with the bolded point.  I don't think there is anything wrong with throwing your own party to celebrate special events in life.  Life is short as it is and why only celebrate with friends/loved ones when someone else feels generous enough to throw the party for you?  The only time throwing your own party seems off is when you are asking guests to bring you gifts through a registry or calling the party a "shower". 


 

  I think we're all on the same page here. But there's definitely an attitude I've seen elsewhere that you can never ever host yourself a party, even if theres no gifts involved, because its RUDE,  and I just won't ever get on board with that thinking.
Title: Re: Expectant couple throwing their own baby shower?
Post by: Shoo on January 21, 2013, 05:10:41 PM
Quote
Quote from: SpikeMichigan on Today at 09:53:58 AM

I'm with those who think you could host yourself a party and just not call it a shower, and certainly not have registry information.

 That said, I have really never understood the ferocity I've seen on this site with regards to throwing a party for yourself. It seems frankly silly that you should have to wait for someone else to offer to, as in some groups, that just won't happen. A whole lot less of a stupid etiquette dance if you just host yourself a party (not a shower) when you want one.

I think that most people on this site, myself included, agree with the bolded point.  I don't think there is anything wrong with throwing your own party to celebrate special events in life.  Life is short as it is and why only celebrate with friends/loved ones when someone else feels generous enough to throw the party for you?  The only time throwing your own party seems off is when you are asking guests to bring you gifts through a registry or calling the party a "shower". 


 

  I think we're all on the same page here. But there's definitely an attitude I've seen elsewhere that you can never ever host yourself a party, even if theres no gifts involved, because its RUDE,  and I just won't ever get on board with that thinking.


Not on this site.  We are concerned with etiquette, which says you can't plan your own party where you expect your guests to bring you presents.  Other sites, well, we can't help the ignorance of others.
Title: Re: Expectant couple throwing their own baby shower?
Post by: Mikayla on January 21, 2013, 05:56:19 PM
It's always interesting to see regional variations (like the UK not being big on showers).

But in standard US etiquette, they are considered one of the few occasions where a gift is always mandatory.  I've been to many, and I would never consider it a gift grab if friends are hosting it.  It's just a long standing tradition and a fun way to celebrate.

But then, I've never known anyone who tried to throw their own shower. 
Title: Re: Expectant couple throwing their own baby shower?
Post by: Kiwichick on January 22, 2013, 03:01:47 PM
Quote
Quote from: SpikeMichigan on Today at 09:53:58 AM

I'm with those who think you could host yourself a party and just not call it a shower, and certainly not have registry information.

 That said, I have really never understood the ferocity I've seen on this site with regards to throwing a party for yourself. It seems frankly silly that you should have to wait for someone else to offer to, as in some groups, that just won't happen. A whole lot less of a stupid etiquette dance if you just host yourself a party (not a shower) when you want one.

I think that most people on this site, myself included, agree with the bolded point.  I don't think there is anything wrong with throwing your own party to celebrate special events in life.  Life is short as it is and why only celebrate with friends/loved ones when someone else feels generous enough to throw the party for you?  The only time throwing your own party seems off is when you are asking guests to bring you gifts through a registry or calling the party a "shower". 


 

  I think we're all on the same page here. But there's definitely an attitude I've seen elsewhere that you can never ever host yourself a party, even if theres no gifts involved, because its RUDE,  and I just won't ever get on board with that thinking.

Well of course you would be on the same page as yourself  ;)