Obligatory Social Customs

Just got back from “The Kiln”, one of those paint your own pottery and have them fire it kind of places. It was girls’ night for my roommate, Michelle and I. We had limited time. I walked in feeling overwhelmed with all the possibilities of cool things to make. After I pinpointed it to a person I wanted to make something for, it became much easier. Because of the time, I forced myself to do something cutesy and whimsical (not my usual style). I could have probably driven myself (and friend) nuts if I went with my usual detailed, realistic style. Can’t wait to see the results. If you’ve ever done any of this pottery painting, you know that the colors don’t look right until they’re fired. A white can look pale green; a cobalt can look powder blue; a red can look like dirt. But when you get that finished piece, complete with glossy coat and vivid colors, it’s a true surprise. Maybe I’ll post the results when I get them in a few days.

Speaking of roommates, you’re probably thinking, “I didn’t know Tawnya had a roommate”. I don’t normally, but my friend Michelle from my days at York College is here for the summer. It’s an interesting (and long) story about how that all happened, and I think I’ll save that for another day.

Sunday, we had the baby shower for my sister. Less than a month away! If you’re like me, you’ve gone to tons of showers and the sight of pastel baby colors is enough to induce the doldrums. I was determined that this was not going to be a traditional baby shower. Abbey and I went shopping for decorations and decided on a theme that wasn’t even in the baby section. We saw all the Hollywood stuff and decided to go with “A Star is Born”. The colors were black and gold. We rolled out a red carpet and sprinkled gold stars around for decoration. Ben’s mom made a star cake, mom made some star-shaped chocolate mints and I made some champagne colored punch and chocolate dipped strawberries. They looked so good, but I didn’t even try one since I hate strawberries. We played a game of match the celebrity with their baby picture. We had the guests decorate diapers with slogans and had Tracy judge them for originality.

When all was said and done, I was pooped, and decided non-traditional or not, showers are strange rituals (not that I’m against anyone throwing one for me when my time comes….I’ve definitely put in my time at other peoples’ showers). I do understand the practical aspect of gift registries, but at the same time, it does seem strange to make a list of what you want people to buy you and then act surprised when you open the items on your list. (Incidentally I almost never buy from the list. That’s too predictable. It’s much more fun to give people the kind of stuff they didn’t know they really wanted.)

The other thing I wonder about…..do people really enjoy going to showers or is it one of those things (like Mary Kay parties and Pampered Chef demonstrations) you do because you’re a faithful friend? Does anyone actually look forward to a rousing game of baby bingo or the endless display of onesies and baby paraphanalia? Yes the punch may be a different color and flavor at each shower; the colors may be of a different shade of pastel; the baby stories being told may be slightly different but overall a shower is a shower is a shower. ….. Now I’m not knocking all you shower-goers out there (after all I’m one of them). I guess it’s just one of those loyal ways we women encourage and support one another. Here’s to all the women out there who go to these things no matter how busy they are, no matter how well they know the guest of honor, and no matter how much they dread this strange social custom.

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve come to the point that I don’t do as many things out of obligation. I do go to showers for friends, but not for barely acquaintances. I do not buy things from door to door salesmen (as often as I used to). And I do not go to those home parties anymore unless I truly have an interest in the product. Once you’ve gone to one Party Lite party and learned all about the beauty of candles…how to hug them to help them keep their shape and how to trim the wicks so they last the longest, I do believe you’ve learned enough about candles to sufficiently pass the rest of your days on this earth.

~ by tawnyamarie on June 13, 2007.

3 Responses to “Obligatory Social Customs”

  1. Cute baby shower idea! I might steal it…Chad’s sister Emily, his sister-in-law Julie, our good friend Jamie, and my best friend Cindy are all pregnant right now.

    I’m living vicariously through your road trip pictures…wow! You’ve traveled more this summer than I have in five years! (lucky!)


  2. Hey, I didn’t know your sister was expecting. Abbie had her baby June 6th. Carson Wayne, two weeks early and 5lbs 14.5oz. I have had fun reading your blog!

  3. Gail: Congrats on baby Carson! I was talking to Anita about coming down for a visit soon….maybe in the next few weekends. Hope you all are doing well!

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