Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Revamping Perspective: 3 Steps to Keep a Shower from Sucking

For women in their 20's and 30's, nothing is more feared, more dreaded, more sigh-inducing, than that little pink envelope in the mail:

You're Invited to

If age were a television rating, the mid-20's to mid-30's would be primetime. Careers. Houses. Weddings. Babies. Each event sometimes prods two or three other events, all lumped into a span of only 5 or 10 years, and all including some sort of friendship-testing, obligatory action.

OOOOO I got a new job, buy me a drink.
OOOOO I got a new home, help me move and buy me wine.
OOOOO I'm getting married, buy me a crockpot.
OOOOO I'm having babies, buy me some diapers.
OOOOO my kid is turning one.... and two..... and three....

Over and over and over, the cycle can wear on a person, especially a person blessed enough to have a large group of family and friends.

Well never fear! I've developed a surefire plan to set my your perspective straight on showers.

1. Get over the registry.
There will always be some thing on the registry you can't understand.
How can she want a freaking melon baller!!
That bedding is more expensive than my house.
What kind of infant needs a tub with a mini shower??
I swear on my mother's grave she will never use all 24 "requested" chardonnay-colored napkins.
Why in the name of all that's holy does that bib cost $25??
I've asked each of these questions multiple times....but have you ever held one of those scanners in your hand? It's like the Trident of Poseidon...unyielding power to control the tides during what is likely to be a tumultuous time in your life. Save the judgments and just get what you can afford. After all, if she ends up regretting her choices later, you can always be that awesome friend who screams, "I KNEW IT! HAHA!"

2. Personalize, customize, and leave your mark.
Virtually all registries include household items. Cookware, towels, dining sets, blankets, bath items...each of these things are affordable, popular choices for both brides and moms-to-be. Getting the gift is wonderful, but putting that extra two seconds into your gift makes it memorable.

Kitchen items? Print off recipes.
Bedroom items? Embroidered names and initials can be pretty, especially for brides who are pumped about getting a new initial and moms who are crazy about their new baby's name.
Bathroom items? Toss is something special just for the bride or mama, like a lotion, bath salt, magazine, or candle.
Outdoor items? Include some applicable flower seeds (the bouquet flowers, or the baby's birth month flower)
D├ęcor? Make it yourself! Pinterest, people, Pinterest will show you the way.

Adding these very simple, personalized touches conveys how much you really care about her.....

But Jen! What if I'm too busy to get creative with my gift? What if I'm too worried about how much money I'm spending and how much time this will take out of my weekend? What if all I'm feeling is "uuuuugh!"???

Simple! You're acting just like me...and there's a very easy solution I've used time and time again when I get into Negative Shower Mode....

3. See past the present.
I had the pleasure of attending my dear friend Leigh's bridal shower this weekend. I went in on a gift with one of my girlfriends; we purchased her bread basket, ramekins, and martini glasses. I didn't give a rat's ass about the things I purchased. Nope. Not a drop of emotion toward those little white bowls. Those martini glasses? No love from me. And that bread bowl barely fit into the box I picked out, so that thing could screw off.

But I sure as crap wasn't going to let the bride hear that. This is my friend we're talking about here! She really wanted those things and I needed to get pumped up about giving them to her. Here's where I found my motivation:

I pictured her using them.

Those aren't just martini glasses, they're the glasses she and Nick will set out a few years from now, on New Years Eve....and never get to use because they pass out at 9PM, exhausted from their first few weeks as parents.

That isn't just a ramekin set, it's the warm blueberry cobbler she cups in her hands while the snow falls outside the window of her new home.

That bread bowl? It is used at Christmas, thirty years from now, while she hosts a house full of laughter to the gilded sounds of Frank Sinatra and Henry Mancini.

Those mental images motivated me to take my gift from this:

To this:

And then eventually this monstrosity:

I included recipes for her ramekins:

....and a martini glass full of specialty martini recipes:

From someone who despises showers, I can say with 100% sincerity... this was fun for me. I was giggling as I pictured her trying to make meringue while Nick reads the martini named "Moneypenny" over and over again like James Bond. 

THAT, my friends, is what it's all about. Not these things, but these moments. When you're invited to someone's shower, you're invited into the possibility of witnessing these incredible moments. It's hard to keep that in mind all the time...but at least try to remember it a few hours before the shower.

Congrats, Leigh and Nick! It is going to be a beautiful wedding :)


  1. Once again you are an amazing person. I know how busy your schedule is but you took your time to put your own little Jen spin on it. Your ideas are inspiration for me to make my gifts more personal. Thank you for this incredible spin on dreaded events!

  2. The wand does give you power!! Amazing what you think you must have. There is no thought of price or use. You think pretty must have. I have so many unused wedding gifts it is amazing. Maybe if the people had given me lovely drink ideas my martini glasses would get used. Great Idea!!