Assuming the shower does not have booze, or sometimes even if it does, some form of entertainment needs to fill the otherwise silent gathering, because even if you ooo and aaaah over every freakin onesie mommy-to-be unwraps, this still only takes 45 minutes. What do you do with the rest of the time? BABY SHOWER GAMES!!! You might be asking 'Why the hell would grown women sit in a circle and do cross word puzzles, or list diaper brands?' Well let me tell you why. We are, all of us, starved for conversation. Co-workers are wondering which side of the family the hillbillies are from, college roommates are wishing it's still ten years ago and you're celebrating finals with tequila, Great Aunt Mildred is wondering when skirts got so short and girls stopped being ladies, and the future grandmothers are both wondering who the favorite is going to be and who's going to get left out of baby's first Christmas. The whole thing is one overextended silent moment from blowing up and it makes us all so desperate to keep the conversation going that we are willing to play a game called "Lick the Melted Chocolate Bar That Looks Like Baby Poo and Guess Which Brand It Is".
The problem with the games is that all they do for me is remind me how little I have in common with present company and how not ready I am to enter that stage of my life. Take my most recent experience. At the last shower I attended we played "Finish the nursery rhyme". Out of 25 I think I knew 4. One of the answers I got right was Simple Simon. The line goes:
Simple Simon met a pieman going to the fair
Now I seem to remember this being maybe number 19 or so down the list. And up to this point all the ladies are recalling stories they told to their children or were told to them as children and oh aren't these sweet memories. Do you know how I know the Simple Simon rhyme? It's in the movie Die Hard with a Vengeance. My connection to this situation is a terrorist wreaking havoc on Manhattan. I'm no expert but I doubt this bodes well for any future in motherhood. It certainly didn't help to connect with the other ladies in the room.
Who knows, maybe the former roommates and the moms and Mildred have that same out-of-place feeling I do. Maybe we're all suffering through the activities with the same sense of unease. If that's the case, maybe we should start a new tradition. No more baby showers. If a woman you know and love gets knocked up you make plans to meet over a meal where you congratulate her, write her a check for Baby X and wish her the best of luck. No tea, no awkward moments, and no candy bar poo.
And just for the record, there is one baby shower game I love to play. It's called "guess which gifts mommy's going to return". I don't have hard evidence, but I'm pretty sure I win every time.