Monday, April 6, 2009

In the Singlehood: Bridesmaid revisited

In 2001, I was a bridesmaid in my friend P's wedding. (Initials have been changed for privacy protection.)

When she asked me to be a bridesmaid, I was thrilled. She and her fiance had been together for so long, it was not a question of if, but when, he would propose. I had never been in a wedding before, so I was looking forward to the experience.

First came the dress shopping. Then came choosing the place for the reception. Then there were the honeymoon plans.

And then came the bridal shower.

Oh, how I hate bridal showers.

And I especially had a hard time with this one.

Here's a little bit of backstory: At the time of the bridal shower, in April of 2001, I was working in a full-time temporary position, in grad school full-time, and looking for a full-time, permanent position. In short, I had no money. P offered to pay for some of my bridesmaid expenses, like the shoes for my dress. I gratefully accepted.

But that's not the point.

Here's the real point:

It came at the bridal shower. As P opened up her fourth toaster oven, it suddenly hit me: She's getting all of her appliances for free. She has this registry where people can go buy her table settings and goblets and they just give them to her. All because she's getting married and moving out of her parents' house and into a new apartment.

One week after the wedding, I too, moved out of my parents' house and into a new apartment.

But I had to pay for my toaster. And my sofa. And my silverware.

Mama and Papa Cat helped me out, since I was a poor grad student with no money, but I was still feeling somewhat bitter.

Why can't there be single person showers? We have showers for women who are marrying or having babies, where they're getting a fresh start in life, and so we give 'em presents, sometimes useful, other times useless crap, so that they can have a strong beginning to marriage/motherhood.

Well, what about the people who are moving into new homes who are moving in alone? Or those who decide to adopt a child by themselves?

Do we give these people showers? No, we don't, and that is incredibly unfair.

Why do singles still get the short shrift in society when it comes to things like this? We are not worthless! We still deserve showers! Yeah, some of us are greedy bitches and bastards who want the loot, but others really need it.

Others such as the newly single divorcee, about to move into her first home by herself.

Or the freshly minted college grad, working at an entry level position, making her debut in the debutante ball known as "The Real World."

Or the woman who has never married and has decided to adopt a child of her own, with no co-parent.

Maybe I should start a business..."Single Showers by Kitten." Hmmm...

I just loathe going to bridal showers. I especially dislike shower games. Some of the shower games can be really cheesy, like shower bingo. But I like the ones that have a little twist to them. I went to one shower where we had to make bridal dresses out of rolls of toilet paper. That was a lot of fun, and quirky. And you know me, I'm all about the quirk.

But I digress.

I look back at my experience of being a bridesmaid and realize that I could have been a little more sensitive to what my friend was going through at the time. We were both in our own little worlds, I guess. She was focused on starting a new life with her husband-to-be and I was focused on launching a career and breaking free of the Cat Family homestead. I'd love to have a chat with her about what happened, but we haven't spoken in several years; we eventually drifted apart.

But I still think we should have single-person showers.


GinSpaghetti said...

Oooh girl, I am SO with you on this one!!!! SOOOOO much so!
I think if you're 35 and single, it's time to register. Didn't characters on a show do this? Evening comedy? I could be making it up, Sex and the City maybe? Hmm...

Grand Pooba said...

LOL! This post reminds me of the sex and the city episode where Carrie sends out a non-wedding announcement so her friend would buy her shoes!

Vickie said...

There was an episode of Sex and The City similar to this topic.

emmm, I like shower bingo:)

Improbable Joe said...

On a related note: why don't guys get gifts? Why is it strippers or nothing?

Just A Mom (Call me JAM for short) said...

Great idea. "Single-person showers". It's only fair!

Stop by if you get a chance, I've got my first giveaway going on!

Bud Weiser, WTIT said...

They do. The are called houewarming parties. It's never too late. Send us all invites...

(Terrific post, BTW!)

drollgirl said...

SING IT SISTER!!! i have spent thousands on gifts for house warmings, baby showers, weddings, etc. i am single and childless and i RENT, so i get bupkiss. it kind of sucks.

Aileigh said...

I totally agree! I mean, why should we wait for the wedding shower, if it ever comes! By the time I got married, I had already been out on my own for some time. I had all the necessities and I really just felt like I was upgrading. How embarassing it is to open presents of what you already have, but just newer. Suxs, really. I would have been down with the "Moving on with your life" shower instead! :)

Jenners said...

I totally agree with you ... there should be "housewarming" showers for those just starting out in life ... regardless of marital status! And adoption showers! And second kid showers (it doesn't get easier). And I agree with you on the cheesy games. Love this series.

Celia said...

I was so sick of being everyone's Barbie- ok Midge, that I eloped and told everyone we did not need anything. One of my future goals is figuring out how to avoid a baby shower. Because I don't care if the stuff is free. I would rather spend an entire day at the DMV than even an hour at a shower.

Yuck. I hate weddings- they are so boring.

Vickie said...

Hi! I am back. I tagged you in a handwriting tag. Check it out when you have time.

The Blonde Duck said...

My friend actually registered for one!

Popped in from SITS!