There are those of us men who are crafty enough to avoid the fabled baby shower. Some of the less experienced men have found themselves further down the chain of natural selection. Unfortunately, I would fall in the latter of the two as I recently fell victim to not only one but two of these showers.
BUT I HAVE SURVIVED!
I believe I have been spared not only that I may divulge the secrets of this often misunderstood world of women to the rest of my brethren, but that I may also share how one might endure and even come to enjoy a baby shower.
The first thing to do if you find yourself in the midst of said event is to remember and accept that you are now in a woman’s world. This is key to your survival. It is not being in a hostile environment that kills a man, it is believing he is impregnable to the elements. Your first moments in this estrogen saturated environment are critical. You must observe and learn from each lady folk member of this unique form of society. If necessary you may need to behave similarly or use the members’ overwhelming amounts of generosity and hospitality to your advantage. A baby shower is indeed an unfamiliar world, but not one that must be feared.
Taking advantage of their generosity
Upon arrival I learned quickly of the lady folks’ acceptance of my presence. There was an element of surprise; a tactical advantage I had gained though not by any masculine merit of my own. What I originally feared would be mistaken as an effeminate dependence on their kind for survival was instead interpreted as a brazen act of masculine confidence. Their response? Complete and total adoration. Within minutes I was showered with compliments and embraced by each member of their society. The elderly adorned me with kisses on my cheek and brow. The matriarch of the home gave me the center chair of their inner circle, where they laid gifts at my feet and brought me the first servings of their finest food and drink. Each word from my mouth was met with their approving ears. Just by showing up as a man in a woman’s world I found their attentiveness enough to sustain my immediate needs. Take their food for example. My plate never went empty. Where there is an ample supply of food, a man can remain reasonably happy for a long span of time. The ladies at both of the baby showers I attended made sure I was well fed- like I said, use their generosity and hospitality to your advantage.
Behave like the locals
No man can stand in the limelight for too long. Remember, as the minority in this environment you naturally will have the locals’ attention. You must divert their attention elsewhere before it is too late. The first warning sides of estrogen overdose is when you find yourself envisioning your unborn child using the gifts you are receiving rather than concentrating on the food. This is not concerning, just a warning sign. Though counter-intuitive, this is the time you should start behaving like one of the lady-folk so that you may bring their attention elsewhere. If you begin to notice a raise of pitch in your voice, an uncontrollable desire to use words like cute and precious then you are too late. Here are some things you may do to avoid passing the estrogen threshold.
2. Pick out one of the gifts and hold it up to your wife and say, “Well she will just love this!” This will help bring attention to your wife instead of you. Just make sure whatever item you use here is believable. You don’t want to hold up a pacifier; or worse yet, make sure it is appropriate and not something like a breast pump.
The main idea here is to get the lady folk talking. They may not even need any help achieving this, just make sure it isn’t about you. Just be sure to know your own tolerance and act quick before the estrogen takes you.
Another bit of useful advice I can depart is to try to muster any male support available. Most are canny enough to avoid such business, but the younger generations seem susceptible to being tricked into attending. This was the case with my wife’s cousin, Ben. Ben, a college student, was eager to hangout so we invited him out of town. He rode with Andrea’s mom so that he didn’t have a getaway vehicle. Once he arrived to the baby shower there was no escape for him, he had to stay with me. Having another male at the shower greatly increases your chance of survival.
All kidding aside, it was wonderful a experience spending brunch with these ladies. I hope they all know I meant this all in jest. Their kindness and generosity blessed Andrea and I. Knowing we will able to raise our son in the company of these women and their families brings peace of mind when considering all of the uncertainties ahead of us. A deep and sincere thank you to all of the ladies who attended the Chattanooga and Sparta showers and our sisters, aunts, cousins and mothers that made it happen. You are all very much loved and appreciated.
Of course one of the main reasons why I went was to support my wife. One of the showers featured women from my home town, many of whom my wife did not know well. She wanted me around to point to each individual as we received their gifts. It made it less awkward than if she had opened a gift and did not know who it was from. I was there to turn to each lady and give them the thanks they deserved. I know this allowed Andrea to enjoy herself more. Like I have said before guys, don’t miss out for an opportunity bless your wife.
For those of you guys that find yourself in a similar situation, don’t despair. It is a wonderful blessing to witness love and support outside of family assembling for your child. It may not be for every guy, but it won’t kill you to go. I may just visit another baby shower so I can relive the experience.