If I were the OP I too, would have a problem with a "shower" after 10 years, 3 kids and a house.
The purpose of a bridal shower is to help a couple trying to establish a household, not to help upgrade one. That why many look down on baby showers for a second or third child, the baby stuff has already been set up.
It feels like a gift grab because it is one.
So, showers are inappropriate for anyone who has lived in their own home? After all, they've already "established" their household, and anything new would merely be "upgrading" it.
What about someone who has lived on their own from 18 to 35. They've clearly 'established' their own household - no shower for them when they marry?
What if you've only lived on your own from 22 to 25? Is that enough time to 'establish' a household, such that you are no longer allowed to accept a shower someone else offers to throw you?
If you've lived in your own home for 10 years you really don't need a "shower" for crockpots. My friends that married in their 40s (none of whom had produced any children) had different sort of parties. A Christmas themed shower where everyone brought an ornament. A "stock the bar" party. the sense of upgrading just wasn't there.
I would have absolutely no interest in attending a bachelorette party for a couple that had cohabited and produced 3 kids either. In that case I'm sure the bride knew what to expect on her wedding night and had long said goodbye to "singlehood". I'd happily attend a girls only dinner though.
Just as second babies can politely have a "meet the baby party, but not a shower, a bride that is new to the title but not the functions of a wife can be feted, but it is more tasteful in a different form.
This sounds an awful lot like you're saying that Happy Couples who have slept together are not allowed the same kind of celebration as those who haven't.
Re Bachelorette Parties
A woman that has cohabitated for ten years and produced three children isn't my idea of a "single girl". I think a bachelorette party for anyone that cohabitated is kinda weird too. What's the point?
You cant have it two ways- if cohabitating couples are considered a "social unit" and unmarried couples proclaim that their partnership is just as important as a marriage, whats the big deal about getting married? Why do they want all they hoopla?
I think there is a big difference between a couple with 3 kids wanting multiple showers and just about anyone else? Slept together? I'm too polite to speculate about that. Live together? Don't upgrade, but parties are fine. Age of bride? I couldn't care less.
I don't know many people that say that their non-married partnership is 'just as important as a marriage'. I know a few, but most of them are people who are pretty opposed to the government institution of marriage.
I do, however, know a lot of people that are in non-married cohabiting relationships
who *will* likely get married - when it's the right time in that particular relationship
to take that step and make that commitment. Those people do *not* see themselves as married, or as exactly the same as married, and they *will* be treating getting married as a significant difference in their relationship
. Why do those people not deserve 'hoopla' just because there are some non-married people in relationships
don't think marriage is a big deal?
You can't stick all non-married, cohabiting relationships
in a box and make blanket statements about what all of them think, or feel, or believe about their own relationship
or the institution of marriage itself.
The question of who is a 'social unit' is a somewhat different question. Just because Miss Manners agrees that it's proper to invite cohabiting couples as a unit does not mean that cohabiting is precisely the same thing as marriage. As i said above, most cohabiting couples I know personally believe that it is not.