I have two MILs as my DH's parents are divorced. One is cool, and the other is not. Let's just say that my SILs fall into the not cool category. DH and I are expecting our first child at the end of this year. During a particularly difficult weekend visit from the SILs, cool MIL found out that not cool MIL and SILs were planning a surprise baby shower for me. It seems nice on the surface except that my not cool MIL and SILs are not cool due to their total lack of etiquette and extreme lack of tact. They also wanted to have it at not cool MIL's house, five hours away from where cool MIL and I live. As attractive as driving five hours in a pregnant state (cramping and back pains in spades) to spend time with not cool people seems, I requested that cool MIL to tactfully decline their charming offer on my behalf since I was not supposed to know about it. Thank the Lord, cool MIL sent a note right away indicating that a shower did not seem to be something in which I would be interested. In an ironic twist, one not cool SIL is now throwing the other not cool SIL a wedding shower, even though not cool SIL #2 has lived with fiancee for over two years and on her own for several years prior to that. I'll be checking the "I'm afraid that won't be possible" box on that invitation as soon as they send it.
Sigh.... I am all for celebrating special occassions with a good party, but why do so many people need gifts to celebrate occassions?