I stepped out of blaring noise of the wedding into the cool night air of the suburbs. Though presumably still in New York State, I wasn’t the one who drove, and couldn’t have sworn to my location. My ride told us to stay put while he got the car, so I was trying to spot the Big Dipper in the sky – impossible with the country club’s outdoor lighting – when I heard someone right behind me say that she had to thank me.
“I’ve been wanting to thank you for the last hour,” she gushed.
I smiled, sure she’d confused me for someone else. She picked up on my hesitation.
“You were the first to take off her shoes!” she exclaimed. “I just can’t be the first to do that, and no one else was doing that. Then I saw that you weren’t wearing shoes and could finally take mine off.”
“You’re welcome,” I said, and looked down at the topic of our discussion. The square-toed pumps may have been a little out of date, but remained a classy choice – and I complimented her on them.
“Oh, those are the problem,” she said. “They were my husband’s grandmother’s.”
“I’m so sorry,” I said.
“She’s fine!” my new friend replied. “She gave them to me last time we visited, and while they’re a nice option, they pinch my toes. And the insides are shredding.”
“In that case,” I informed her, “next time, tell me you’re waiting and I’ll take off my shoes before the first dance.”
A classic case of precedence:
Rock crushes scissors.
Scissors cuts paper.
Paper cover rock.
Not a classic case of precedence:
What to do? Follow me.
Deal Breaker: Weddings.
Weddings trump shower, as active participation rather than mailable gifts is the reason for your presence. Also, weddings are the perfect excuse. Those who invited you to the bridal shower would unquestionably prefer that you attend their wedding than someone else’s bridal shower; presumably those pregnant have the same fond hope and/or recollection of their own nuptials.
Now the point of contention – the showers. Baby shower beats bridal shower. This is when external factors come into play: when your invitation was received, with whom you share more friends, which might miss your presence, who will need you to create the illusion of a large and vibrant crowd. Most importantly, which is more fun.
Rule of thumb: baby showers are fun, and filled with people who don’t know a thing about child care. These are people who need your help. Once they and their friends have had a few kids, the parties tapper off – in the meanwhile enjoy the goofy gifts from others and make sure the first-time mom has a starter kit of diapers and pacifiers.
Alternatively, there is a solution which involves no thought at all – close the blinds, lock the door, and stay home.