As an amateur doucheologist I study communication and interaction phenomena. My special area of research is conversation inhibitors like interrupting and the inability to listen. I have a special penchant for that sort of thing and I dare say I’m an expert at study of same. Throw in some basic human pushiness for good measure and you’ve got yourself a real humdinger trifecta!
The occasion? A baby shower for my wife’s boss. I’m going to call her Marjoram. She been “trying” for five years and this is her first so this is a pretty big deal, or so I’m told.
Somewhere it is written that a social function known as a “baby shower” must be held to commemorate the event. So let the games begin!
After the idea germinates, the initial free-for-all is a melee battle to determine who will be in charge of said event. Several of the people my wife works with feigned disinterest in such a leadership position. It eventually fell on my wife who is quite the little party planner and stuff.
Reluctantly in this role, my wife tackled the situation with her usual aplomb. And here’s the weird part. She actually tried to find out what the guest of honor wanted as far as the proceedings were concerned. I know! What could she possibly be thinking? Make the event fun for the person by taking their wishes and preferences into account? Horrors!
My wife has quite viciously described Marjoram as being similar to me in some respects. She’s not exactly the most social person. So it was decided that the baby shower would a small, fairly private affair.
This apparently ruffled the feathers of the women who had previously pretended they didn’t want to help plan the event. Suddenly they were all atwitter about the planning underway.
Where would the event be held? If it was at work, the invitees would be difficult (nay impossible) to control. The boss is well liked by most in the company. People would break in. Others who weren’t invited would find out and then their feelings would be hurt. The boss would want a friend from one department invited, but no one else from that department, and that’s hard to pull off in the workplace setting. If they held it in the break room this would be tantamount to inviting the whole damn company. Some of these women were even talking about a couple of men. Therefore it was decided by some unknown force that the shower would be held in my house.
Even at this early stage, it was clear there was one thing missing in the efforts of most of these so-called party planners. Namely the wishes of the guest of honor. Of course! Whatever she wants can be damned. We have gots to be planning and shiznit! More importantly, we apparently know more about what Marjoram wants than she does. We know better!
My wife, who perhaps knows what Marjoram actually wants more than anyone, tried to be a stabilizing force. She tried to steer planning toward outcomes that wouldn’t piss off and horrify the person who, ostensibly, this event was supposed to be for.
“She wants it to be small,” my wife said as the guest list exploded. Some pushy busybody even tried to invite men. My wife had to exert herself a bit. “She won’t like that at all.”
It was clear that the voice of reason couldn’t and/or wouldn’t be heard. Wow. What a surprise. No one is listening.
Next was discussion of the cake. What would it be? My wife cleared it up right at the beginning. “This is what Marjoram wants,” she explained. “She wants a plain chocolate cake with chocolate frosting.”
Naturally someone said, “I know! An apricot cake. Yeah, that will be wonderful!”
“Are you nuts?” my wife asked. “She wants chocolate. That’s it.”
“Okay,” the non-listener replied. “How about chocolate with raspberry layers?”
O. M. G.
What part of fucking plain chocolate cake do you not understand? How about this? You get pregnant and you can have any damn cake you want. Until then, shut that piehole in your face.
And so it went. On every major point regarding this event, there were two options. What Marjoram wanted and what the pushy people wanted. And it was a battle every single time. I have to admit, even I am stunned by the sheer scale and audacity of this. From my perspective, the whole damn thing has degraded into a “What I Want” festival. Marjoram (and her baby) be damned.
Have we degenerated so completely that we have reached the point where we are incapable of doing something nice for someone else without making it completely about ourselves?
I have decided to do some live microblogging of this blessed event. I’ll be miles away at the pub with my iPod documenting my beers. Since I’m essentially kicked out of the house I will be elsewhere doing what I want. And I’ll be tweeting about each baby beer as it showers my throat. Or something like that.
Once the shower is done, I want to hold my own event. I’m going to call it a “Welcome to Earth” party. It will consist of introducing the new life form to the people who tried to ruin the baby shower.
“Look forward to a life of nothing but this,” I’ll wisely say. “But of course, it won’t take long until you is one, too. So enjoy.” (Yeah, I’ll relish slipping in a bit of bad grammar, too. It’s what I do.)
From what I’ve seen, the experience of dealing with all the people and their suggestions makes good people like Mrs. A say something like “never again”. Has it gotten there yet?
Mrs. Abyss hasn’t had time to get on here and correct my usage of poetic license on the story she regaled me with. Yet. Hopefully she will. And hopefully she’ll expound, too. I only scratched the surface.
Last night she heard one of the invitees talking with one of the persona non grata non-invitees. This is a person that the guest of honor doesn’t like and does not want at her baby shower. So, of course, the invitee was blabbing all about it and how it would be held at the Abyss household.
My wife is now estimating 20 women, but I guarantee that the self-inviters and other pushy people will at least double that number. With 40 women in my house I cannot be held responsible for the consequences.
Strange, but no matter how often stuff like this happens, the wife never says “never again.” There always turns out to be a next time. Weird.
I’m 100% with you and the wife but…
F it. It’s a baby shower. If people are bringing it themselves, let them. That’s what I say. If it’s MY dime, then I’ll be muttering to myself and tweeting like a mofo.
“F it” is my motto. My point is that they’re being rude. They’re letting their own selfishness preempt what the mom actually wants. So I may be there handing out cute decorative baby bottles laced with laxatives. It’s the tradition to drink from those things, right?
This is an excellent idea: for beverages, if you haven’t purchased yet, ask the mum and ONLY provide ONE beverage. If anybody asks, “do you have any diet coke?” you can say, “Since the party is for Mummy, I asked what she liked. That’s why we’re having it.”
AAAAARGH. This kills me. This just kills me. Since this is Throat-punch Thursday, those ladies are lucky they’re not in my vicinity.
Then again, there’s only so much even a few well aimed throat punches can do, you know? When the problem is so systemic, that’s like dealing with one-one millionth of a single symptom.
This “Throat-punch Thursday” thing sounds intriguing. Tell me more about that! 🙂
I’m a fan of the Thankful Thursday blog entries some of the folks I follow post, but there’s a small group of moms who opt (routinely or occasionally) to go for Throat-punch Thursday instead. Best I can tell, it began here. And I breathe a sigh of relief whenever I read a TPT post and know we really are all in it (by which I mean throat-punching jackassery) together. Unity by throat-punching!
One drink to rule them all.
I like it. I like it a lot.
I’m very excited to learn about Throat-punch Thursday. In fact, I feel a song coming on. Maybe on some upcoming Thursday I’ll let my hair down. Thanks for cluing me in!
reading this I’m actually amazed that you are married to a PURE optimist. How on earth did this weird union happen? But good luck to your wife and may you house be webcammed for us to enjoy the spectacle…
They say opposites attract. Or so I’ve heard. But on Star Trek they always seem to cancel each other out. Violently.
The web cam is a capital idea. I’m going to hide one in the diapers.
Yeah, this union will definitely end violently. As my dear friend reminds me…opposites attract and then they attack.
No real update on the Baby Shower Bitches. I did make note that one co-worker who volunteered for one and only one job has well….not done her job. She wanted to do the invites. They should have been done a week ago. Innocent me says, “Hey, my invite musta got lost, I never got one.” She says, “No, haven’t done them yet.” Me, “Oh, umm well do you need help?” Her, “You asking?” Me, “Well apparently I am now”. Her, “OK great, let’s stay after work one night and whip them out together.” Me…heavy sigh.
I applied for a new job this morning. Pray I get it. If so, I’m skipping out on this hellashish hen party, Marjoram be damned!
@mrs Abyss, you have my deepest understanding and it was just a shame that the murder of your husband didn’t go to plan on your fishing trip. 😉
But as for your hen party, it’s always a bad idea to organise something at work. And letting work colleagues of the female persuasion come together, it’s a recipe for destruction/gossip and plain old malice. I’m expecting at least 2 or 3 people will never talk to each other again but that’s me being optimistic 🙂