Friday, January 22, 2010

Shower forecast

As I mentioned recently, my only sister is expecting her first child in the spring. I happily volunteered to host a baby shower, and the invitations have gone out: it's happening in a few weeks. Since my sister and brother-in-law have chosen not to find out if the baby is a boy or a girl, and since I know that, even if she did know, my sister wouldn't want to have a party that's all pink frills or blue trucks, I'm aiming for a gender-neutral celebration of new life.

With the help of my creative taller half, I settled on a bird theme, in part because I found this adorable card stock:

(Um, I thought I was being clever, using this for a baby shower. Apparently that's the intended purpose - which I discovered when I did this image search. Whatever. My grandma still thinks it's cute.)

Something my sister and I share is a tendency toward being not the girliest of girls. We're both life-long Girl Scouts. We enjoy hiking in the woods and working in dirt (though her thumb is much greener than mine) and all that stuff. We are tentatively planning to do a triathlon together (there's another post for another time). I tend to hang out with guy-friends. She works in a very male-dominated science field.

All this is to say that meditating on a traditional, all-female baby shower hosted by me for her feels a bit off. On one hand, I very much want to celebrate what my sis is doing, and I think she's going to be a terrific mom. On the other hand, baby showers can veer into the creepy with a quickness, and I do not want to do that.

One baby shower I attended last year was so exhaustingly weird that I had to spend a full day recovering from it afterward. Honestly, I felt like I had a mild case of the flu. The games were so... awful. We had to sniff disposable diapers that had been filled with melted candy bars to determine what the candy had been. This might have been tolerable if it hadn't been the FIFTH activity we were put through (Decorate a bib! Do an icebreaker! Do a forty-minute-long celebrity baby match game! Guess a name! Eat these color-coordinated cookies! Go! GO! GO!!).

It was terrible. Then, when the expectant mother cried at the end with what I perceived as genuine gratitude for all the gifts and support (and, hey, maybe exhaustion at the end of a four-hour long gamefest?), some of the women laughed at her and made a crack about hormones. Huh?

I know.

So... I want to limit this event to one or two games that can serve as icebreakers, with an emphasis on eating good food and cake and enjoying the gift-opening. I'm trying to figure out how to carry the bird theme through the prizes and favors (if those Robin's Eggs chocolates come out before this shower, I'm in business!), and I'm considering which games would work best for the crowd. There will, of course, be a mix of people ranging from my shower-wary self to the "OMG LET'S PLAY GAMES" high school friend of my sister, but if she's disappointed, it's not her shower, right?

If any of my 1.5 readers have ideas for shower games that are actually fun, or prizes I should seek out, please share! As long as I'm not snorting faux-feces, it's going to be better than at least one party... but I'd like to keep the standards a bit higher than that.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The return of the return, and suggestions of kisses

That was certainly a long break, wasn't it? So here's a short post to parallel my last:

I am still alive and am getting back into the patterns of work, school and life in general. This includes planning an upcoming baby shower for my impending niece or nephew, seeing the dim but strengthening light at the end of the graduate school tunnel, pondering possible moves of both career and geographical natures, and - fortunately - reading some good writing.

I finally subscribed to Roger Ebert's blog, after having read several excellent posts over there (I think blog-subscription is a commitment I take a bit too seriously sometimes). He posted again today, about the subject of making out, of all things.

Mr. Ebert writes "It is more erotic to wonder if you're about to be kissed than it is to be kissed." Upon reading that I recalled one of my heart-poundingest memories of high school, when I was riding in a car with a boy and he merely put his hand over mine. I recall becoming a bit dizzy from the least physical contact possible. Fantastic.

So if you require a good long post that will hopefully conjure up a few good memories of your own, head over here. If you find you haven't many memories of this sort of thing, it might time to go make out with someone, don't you think?

Happy new year!