Hostesses With The Mostest > Entertaining and Hospitality

Baby Shower Derailed

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lastnightsdream:
Hello everyone,

I'm having a problem and it may be too late to sort out but I'm still uneasy about where things went wrong, and why. Not looking to 'point the finger' but this mess could get worse before this is over..any advice or insight is appreciated.

I have a group of child hood best girlfriends. All of us very close, each others MOH's, etc. One of us, let's call her A, is PG with her first.

The rest of the group got very excited about throwing her a baby shower. There had been some drama between us and her sister when A got married and as a result none of us were part of her bridal party (we weren't asked - but dutifully attended, and I even made a speech), so we were all very excited to throw her a baby shower.

The shower is this month. For the past five months, we've been asking for a guest list and a date. That's all A was asked to provide, but between life being busy and being PG she didn't really get around to it.

She did however, get around to letting us know she was having trouble 'giving up control' of the baby shower and insisted on several occasions that we include her sister as much as possible. I sent her sister a few texts asking her for input, keeping her in the loop, and never heard back from her.

I had a phone call with A that was awkward to say the least. Un benoun to A, I had purchased invitations and was waiting for the addresses to send them out. Well, A informed me she had personalized baby bump photos she'd like us to have made and sent out for the invites. As well she'd like the guests to be informed instead of cards, to bring a book with an inscription for the baby (in addition to the gift). She also said she'd made some posts on 'pin terest' with pictures of what she envisions as her decorations. I said okay what does that look like and she snapped at me that she was busy eating ice cream and couldn't tell me everything on the spot. When I said look A...we're doing this shower for you. Why not just let us throw you a nice shower and you just show up and enjoy? She was quiet and then said 'yea...no. I have a vision.' The call pretty much sucked.

Finally, friend B got a call from A's sister. A's sister informed B that she 'heard' we had told A that family shouldn't throw a baby shower and thus she was very sad, didn't really want to participate as she wasn't wanted, and that we had sucked all the fun out of her doing this for here sister.

After what happened at A's wedding, B basically freaked out and didn't want more problems with A's family. So she told A's sister basically, okay then. You go ahead and host, and we'll  bring food day off (shower is also happening at B's home in the amenity room in the building complex - so nothing much to clean or anything in advance). The sister seemed happy with this change of plans but said 'oh we can all do it together.'

At this point, B was just angry. Three of us had spent months making plans, had no communication from the sister, and had everything ready. Then A started in with not 'wanting to give up control' and her 'vision' for the baby shower. THEN her sister started in with drama about 'not being wanted'. B has three kids under the age of six and is...busy! So she basically threw her hands in the air and told the sister 'fine. You guys go ahead.'

 As it turns out I had to travel for work and would be unable to attend. But I did tell her as soon as I found out, and she was very understanding. Until, three weeks out to the baby shower date, A calls me clearly upsest, if slightly hostile.

She wants to know why all of this is suddenly on her sister, why I'm not helping more, and why the other girls are basically now just 'bringing food.' I explained about what happened between her sister and B, but she didn't seem to accept that and lamented that her sister was 'really busy' and didn't have time for this and besides, her sister was throwing her a shower AFTER the baby was born. So I said look, just do the shower after then, we'll forget about this one. But she said she wanted this one to be the BIG shower, and the one after to just be family and a few close friends. She then called B and blamed her sister for being 'emotional' and causing problems. But she was the one who wound her sister up by telling her she wasn't wanted!

I HAD said yea, family shouldn't throw baby showers, which I believe, but we've known each other going on 20 years, and most of the time she tells me she'll do what she wants, so not sure why THIS time it turned into a big issue.

So at this point, I won't be there, our other friends just plan on bringing food, A and her sister sent out 'E-vites' because they never got addresses together for the invites. And its unclear how many people will actually show up. A's sister and B spoke one time and the 'vision' now seems to have turned into 'minimalist' decorations......

Part of me feels bad for A that her big baby shower has turned into a 'minimalist' party. Part of me thinks she got what she asked for...

Zizi-K:
A's reaction to the news that her friends were throwing her a shower was not normal and not within the bounds of etiquette. The mom-to-be's job is to provide input on the guest list and addresses, and the date - and that's about it. Decorations, food, etc is a gift - and one does not art-direct a gift. It sounds to me like you and your group of friends got into trouble by responding to her decoration demands and by giving in to the sister when she made her little ultimatums. The better responses would have been, "thanks, I'll look at the pinterest page" (with no further commitment) and to the sister: "we're really sorry to hear that, we hope you'll change your mind and attend."  Your friend sounds very difficult, and you are correct that difficult people do end up losing out when they make it hard for people to do nice things for them. It would be very hard for me not to write this person off completely.

lastnightsdream:
I'm trying to give her a free pass as she's PG, and has spent the last couple decades being, mostly, a very good friend. But this, to me, is just ridiculous.

I feel like when your friends tell you they're throwing you a party, you say THANK YOU and show up. End of story. I think you're spot on with your reply.

We did handle this poorly. And so did they. At this point I'm not sure there's anything that can be done. The girls and I are going to ensure there is a venue with plentiful food there, otherwise we're leaving it up to the sister.

I won't even be there, but in case A brings this up to me in future, part of me wants to tell her this is her fault for refusing to give up control and stirring her sister up to think we didn't want her. (The other issue here as well is the sister is broke, and disorganized. So we sort of suspect she is low on funds as well as being able to organize something of the magnitute that we are all used to doing for each other.)

WillyNilly:
To be honest when Amy (sorry letter's are confusing for me) didn't give you the info you needed, then asked you let her sister host, and further tried to reject your offer and dictate her own, she was telling you "thanks but no thanks, I don't want what you are offering" and you all should have stepped down. Its nice to offer and host a shower, but if the MTB doesn't want what you are offering, its rude to force it on her. You offered a particular shower, she declined the shower you offered, end of story.

whatsanenigma:

--- Quote from: Zizi-K on April 05, 2013, 03:18:51 PM ---A's reaction to the news that her friends were throwing her a shower was not normal and not within the bounds of etiquette. The mom-to-be's job is to provide input on the guest list and addresses, and the date - and that's about it. Decorations, food, etc is a gift - and one does not art-direct a gift.
--- End quote ---


I would disagree just a little bit and say that any physical or dietary problems that might be an issue are fair game to bring up when someone says they will throw you a shower.  Such as, if you can't climb stairs, for them to remember not to have the party in a place only accessible by stairs.  Or if you are allergic to strawberries, you can ask that the cake not be strawberry.  In the case of a baby shower, it might even be something like a food you normally really like now turns your stomach.

One would, of course, hope that if someone is close enough to be throwing you a shower, they would already know about anything like this regarding you, but people do forget.  And of course you wouldn't want that to be your first response to the offer.  You would gratefully accept and then have a polite, private word with the hostess later.

But otherwise, I totally agree.  Throwing a shower is a very nice thing to do for a person and the recipiant of the shower should accept what is offered, barring any potential problems as I mentioned above.

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