I have a friend who is expecting for the first time, and very much looking forward to the upcoming shower. She jokes that the easiest way to score some loot in this country is become impregnated, but it sounds like a lot of work to me — much as I love presents, I'm not about to commit the next 18 years of my life to raising a baby just for a few gift cards!
Why do we go out of our way to reward people for procreating, but never think to throw a shower for someone who decides to stay child-free? Parties are a great way to mark important events, but I find it odd that we choose to honor certain milestones and not others. Have you ever noticed that “showers” and “warmings” and other similarly celebratory affairs usually focus on acquisition — buying a house, earning a degree, bringing home a baby, taking on a spouse, etc. Even “less-traditional” observances are becoming common occasions for festivity (I know folks who have “welcome home” parties for new pets, I've been to commitment-ceremony showers for same-sex couples, and Matt and I even had an Airstream-warming when we decided to become full-time RVers.) But as a society, we aren't as interested in celebrating life-choices that involve “opting out.”
I say, any excuse for a party is a good one! So why aren't we throwing showers for folks when they sell a house they couldn't afford in the first place to get out of debt? Or divorce an abusive husband so they can live a happier life on their own? Or get a vasectomy because they're clear about their reasons for not wanting to have kids? These choices are just as valid as a decision to go into 30 years of debt for a piece of property, marry a guy that you know is wrong for you, or add to the world's over-population problem (some might say even more so!) It's backward — we should be celebrating ALL choices that involve knowing what you want out of life and following your heart, not just the limited few that support an outdated “American dream” involving a house in the suburbs and a nuclear family made up of husband, wife, and 1.5 children. I think it makes a lot more sense to have a shower for someone who makes a conscious decision not to have kids than a woman who “accidentally” gets pregnant, doesn't want the child, and shouldn't be a parent anyway — yet she gets cake and ice cream and I get squat!
On that note, I want some streamers, balloons, and a big banner that says, “Congrats On Your Non-Baby!” At my child-free shower, the menu will include only foods that kids hate (stinky cheeses, smoked salmon, lots of green vegetables) and all those gooey desserts you're not allowed to have as a child because they're “bad for you.” We'll stay up until way past bedtime and spend the evening engaged in activities that are inappropriate for minors — watching rated R movies, drinking copious amounts of red wine, playing innuendo-laden adult board games, discussing politics and religion, and using profane language. And the gift registry will be filled with items that would normally be shut away behind a child-proof lock (knives, power tools, toxic chemicals, prescription drugs, alcoholic beverages, and any novel that has been banned by a conservative school system!) Who's with me?
Ramona Creel is an award-winning 15-year veteran organizer and member of the National Association Of Professional Organizers. As well as having birthed “The A-To-Z Of Getting Organized,” Ramona is also the author of “The Professional Organizer’s Bible: A Slightly Irreverent And Completely Unorthodox Guide For Turning Clutter Into A Career”—and the creator of more than 200 “quick-start” business tools and templates for use by productivity professionals. She writes seven different blogs, has worked with hundreds of clients, and has delivered scores of presentations on getting organized. Ramona resides on the roads of America as a full-time RVer—living and working in a 29-foot Airstream with The Husbert and two fur-babies. Learn more at GettingOrganizedAToZ.com and RamonaCreel.com.
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