June 12, 2011 by Kat Richter
Yesterday I attended my very first bridal shower. It confirmed what many of you have suspected all along: I’m not ready to get married. Not by a long shot.
That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy it; the bride-to-be was my old babysitter/art teacher/next door neighbor and she looked so damn happy that I found myself thinking, “Hmmm… maybe there’s something to this whole marriage thing after all?”
I mean she was seriously glowing and her husband-to-be (who made a brief appearance at the beginning of the shower) seemed like a really sweet guy but in case you haven’t figured it out by now, the thought of actually settling down with someone scares me to death.
I’m sitting there picking at my appetizer when I notice that aside from my mom, the bride, the mother of the bride and a few old the bride’s older relatives, everyone is pregnant. Or holding a baby. Or both. Granted, my brother and I were the youngest kids on the block growing up so the majority of the bridal party has a few years on me but still…
I shudder and dive back into my pasta.
I don’t like babies.
I think toddlers are awesome and I think preschoolers are even better but babies? I’m still waiting for the “I want a baby” gene to kick in and with my 26 birthday just two months away, I’m starting to worry that maybe there’s something wrong with me. Maybe I’ll never want a baby. Maybe I’ll be one of those women who dies alone and surrounded by dogs, books and priceless antiques because she never had to baby-proof anything.
By the time the bride starts to open her gifts, I’m in total anthropologist mode. I’ve been invited to plenty of showers but this is the first one I’ve been able to attend and I’m fascinated—absolutely fascinated—by the sorts of gifts the bride is getting.
Cleaning supplies. Cutting boards. Cookbooks. Scrub brushes. Lingerie. More scrub brushes. More lingerie and finally, a crock pot.
From what I understand, this is pretty standard bridal shower fare, at least in the US, and I saw the bride’s gift registry beforehand so it’s not like I should be all that surprised but I can’t help myself— What do these things say about marriage? These are not fun gifts. In fact, judging by all of the boxes and baskets on the gift table, it would seem as though marriage boils down to three things: cleaning, cooking and sex.
What the hell?
At the end of the meal, the bride’s mom (who’s known me since I was five), gives me a big hug and says, “Well Kat, you’re next!”
I recoil in horror and my first instinct is to say “Perish the thought!” but then I remember that I’m at a bridal shower and it’s not my bridal shower. As such, today is not about me and even though I feel like a hot mess (happy, jealous, disappointed, confused, lonely, hopeful and hopeless all at the same time???) this really isn’t the time for an existential crisis. So I just laugh it off and say, “I don’t think so. But I’ll keep you posted!”
On the way out, I reach for my phone and text Date #7. He replies with something scandalous. This, for better or worse, is more my speed.