Monday, September 15, 2008

People Please: Stop the Sadistic at Work “Surprise” Baby Showers!

Once again today at work I was asked to sneak into a dark conference room for a “surprise” baby shower. This event was preceded by hourly reminders sent with degree of efficiency otherwise unseen in this department to contribute to the present, to not tip off Baby Mama, and oh yeah, have you contributed to the present yet?

I am not debating the merits of having showers and other recognitions at work--I will save that for another post. But for the love of Jamie Lynn Spears can we stop making baby showers surprise events? Isn’t this the one party celebrating a major life event (until birthdays over the age of 80) that should never be a surprise?

Let me note that I have never been pregnant; the last pregnancy I was involved with produced me and a lifetime of therapy happiness. But if I were pregnant, gained 40 pounds and had some Bundle of Joy doing a Bend It Like Beckham number on my kidneys every 2 minutes, I would not want to attend a meeting ominously titled “Fiscal Year Budget 2009” only to enter a darkened conference room and have 12 female co-workers, Don from Accounting and all the gay guys jump out and yell “Surprise!”

Why do we have to dim the lights? Don’t budget meetings have lights ON? Sunshine Laws people, look it up! And have you ever sat in a dark room with Don from Accounting? Let’s just say I think he is unsure what side of the balance sheet his assets are on.

The Mother-to-Be always looks a little shell-shocked as she smooths down her now ill-fitting late stages of pregnancy maternity dress, purchased from an improbably named line like “Stork Sak”, “BellyDancers ” or “Petunia Pickle Bottom”. The tomato sauce stain on her breast that in her pre-preggo days would have dripped onto the napkin in her lap is the scarlet advertisement proclaiming to the world her dual afflictions of swelling feet and shrinking bladder.

Stammering her thanks she is then presented with piles of individually wrapped baby presents all that must be opened, passed around and scrutinized for estimated retail value while the ice cream melts and her back aches. The organizer of the event, who usually also does the shopping for the group gift will complain endlessly of her retail midwife martyrdom and the challenges of shopping at Baby R Us when the Mother-to-Be had thoughtlessly declined to disclose the sex of the baby to her co-workers.

“That's why everything I bought is yellow” she will say, giving a knowing look to Don from Accounting who no doubt was greeted on this earth with piles of yellow onesies.

I can only equate these sadistic showers to fraternity hazings, since most of the other women once had a traditional surprise shower thrown for them. Are they secretly enjoying hazing the new mothers? Can't we stop this sadistic ritual?

Try this:

“Mother-to-Be, a group of us want to have a little get together to help launch you into your joyous new phase of life. Can you join us in Conference Room E next Monday at 3:00. Don from Accounting will be making his famous Eight Layer Dip!”

Wouldn't that be a lot easier for everyone involved?

Please people, can we stop the sadistic at work surprise baby showers?

Unfortunate Joke #1

Do I have to have a baby shower?

Not if you change the baby’s diaper very quickly!

Unfortunate Joke #2

Whats the difference between a Pit Bull and the at work Baby Shower organizer?



Bob said...

OMG I can't stop laughing! I totes agree with you Herb!

Scenic Wheaton said...

Good one!