A Loco Viewpoint
Jack & Jill Baby Shower
I will probably get a lot of hate mail over this column, and most of it will come from my wife, Cupcake, but it’s time to make a stand. As politically incorrect as my feelings on this issue are, I believe it would be a failure on my part as a member of the fourth estate (fifth? sixth? I can never remember…) if I did not issue alarums regarding this particularly painful form of oppression that faces Modern Man. Providing this warning is my duty, however, because, sadly, up until now, most victims simply suffered in silence. Although a fairly new form of oppression, the heinous practice is becoming more wide-spread, yearly. The oppression is called a “Jack and Jill Baby Shower” or JJBS for short. To men, it’s less JJ and more BS.
For those of you unfamiliar with the term, a JJBS is exactly the same as a regular baby-ogling hen party; the only difference being that husbands are expected to attend. To me, it makes about as much sense as co-ed scrapbooking or inviting your wife to a power tool party. There are just some gender twains that should never meet and baby showers are definitely one.
I had the opportunity to witness the plight of the JJBS afflicted last weekend. Our youthful friends, Kelsey and Darren, had been blessed with their first child a month ago; a beautiful baby boy named Spencer. As is traditional in small town culture, a party was arranged so the proud parents could introduce the product of their combined efforts to the community and score enough baby swag to help the first-time Mommy and Daddy get a good start in their new adventure in parenting. To the consternation of vast majority of the males in our social circle, it was decided it would be one of these new-fangled JJBS.
“Gee, I’d love to go,” lied my neighbor Cam. “But, darn it, I have this nasty flu I’m trying to shake.”He coughed weakly a couple times to make the point.
“Yeah, you wouldn’t want to give a serious illness to the baby,” I said agreeably. “I, too, am just getting over a cold (cough cough).”
“Nice try,” grunted Cupcake. “If you’re well enough to hang out with your buddy in his garage, you’re well enough to go to the party.” “I’ll wait here for you,” Cam volunteered. The smirk on his face was unmistakable.
The JJBS was being held at a local hall. The tables that had been set up were teeming with women of various ages and at the very back, huddled together for protection, was a clutch men looking gloomier than a moonless, foggy night. On the other side of the hall were tables laden with baked goods and baby presents. The intervening floor space was a mob of wee tykes who were enjoying their time as energetically and loudly as they possibly could. Their mothers’ intermittent screams to “QUIETEN DOWN!” could not penetrate the din but did add to it a great deal.
I made for the gloomy end of the room. The small platoon of fellas were all related to the baby, one way or another, and thus, could not have escaped attendance without having a blot on their “record” that would have dogged them for an eternity. I suddenly felt a wave of new bitterness towards Cam’s smirk.
“So, how long do we have to stay, you think?” asked new Grampa, Don. “You can tell women planned this. They didn’t even stock the bar. What kind of weird baby shower is this, anyway?”
“Your first baby shower?” I surmised.
“Yeah,” frowned Don. “How did you guess?”
“I’d say booze at baby showers are the exception, not the rule,” I sighed sadly. “Wait… here comes the new Mom. Act like we’re having fun.”
Suddenly, a one month old life was plopped gently into my arms. Cupcake gazed at me with a strange look on her face I can only describe as “melty”. I was relieved the responsibility to provide grandchildren was not mine. The pressure to produce some would be unrelenting. I felt a twinge of sympathy for my sons.
I eyed the infant closely. For all the “he’s got his Dad’s nose” sorts of comments, wee Spencer appeared to just look like… well… a baby to me. A cute baby, admittedly, but then, all babies are cute. Apparently we humans are hardwired to find them cute so we don’t kill them for being so inconvenient. It obviously works because drinking in the beauty of this tiny, fragile person did make “Grandpa envy” stir mightily in my own heart.
“Always remember, wee one,” I whispered. “You matter. You are important, not just to your folks but to the world.”
Then he was gone. Another lap had beckoned and tiny Spencer was whisked away to meet another party guest. He was a hot ticket. By the end of the party I’d have guessed he would have been on more laps than Paris Hilton at a Hollywood bash. I can’t be sure since I didn’t actually stay until the end of the party. I knew, since the photos of me holding Spencer had already been posted on Facebook, my attendance had been chronicled and I was free to go.
After arriving back at Cam’s man cave, he handed me a beer. Grandpa Don along with Spencer’s many uncles soon followed. Over the course of the afternoon, the rest of the male contingent trickled in, including Grandpa Jerry and great-grandpa Malcolm. There were beers all around. It was generally agreed that this was the right way to hold a baby shower.
“To Spencer!” we toasted, confidant we had done our bit.
other articlesTrue Community Theatre
It’s A Wonderful Play
The Beaker Report
Halloween is Sweet
Just Call me “Tubby”
Shaggy Dog Tale
Encounter at a Funeral
It’s a Wonderful Life
Living Among Zombies
A Story about George
Pushing Mom Around
Sleeping was in Tents
A Luau To Remember
Zucchini Gang Rides Again