Yo Ho Ho, A Bottle of Rum and a Baby Shower
I attended the sock monkey-themed baby shower of a friend this past weekend. She’s an older new mom like me, and her baby boy is due next month. Her shower was adorable and very dignified. It was a far cry from my shower for Mr. Man in January.
I had thirteen shower hostesses, the majority of whom I’d graduated high school with. As adults, we’d reconnected and formed a close-knit group that got together frequently for crafting. At least, that’s what we told our husbands. What we mainly did was drink wine and tell bawdy stories. Now that I think about it, Mr. Man may have been conceived after one of our “crafting” parties, but I digress.
My hostesses had outdone themselves preparing my shower. The pirate theme matched Mr. Man’s nursery. The decorations were gorgeous, with a giant pirate ship mast as a centerpiece. There were beautiful hand-decorated pirate cake pops, sandwiches, a vegetable tray and a giant vat of ocean-colored punch in which pirate rubber duckies floated merrily. And watching over it all was a life-sized Captain Jack Sparrow from Pirates of the Caribbean. It was enough to make a heavily-pregnant woman drool.
Each guest was given a stack of gold coins and an eye patch. Anyone who said the word “baby” would have their coins confiscated. At the end of the shower whoever plundered the most gold coins would be proclaimed Head Pirate.
Well, it was MY shower and I wanted to be Head Pirate. I became razor sharp, listening in to any conversation and demanding the coins of anyone who slipped up and said the “B” word with an outstretched palm and snapping of fingers. I was totally in the zone, which was probably why I didn’t notice my hostesses were getting drunk.
Awareness of their inebriation was slow to dawn on my competitive brain. Even as we sat down to open baby gifts, I remained focused on anyone who might say the forbidden “B” word. Kelly, my best friend from Dallas, was assigned to record the baby gifts to make thank you notes easier (not a random assignment, since she was one of only two hostesses who do not imbibe). She was also one of two hostessess who didn’t have any children and she amused me endlessly by asking what each item was for. My favorite exchange happened as I opened a baby grooming kit.
Kelly: What is that?
Kenja: A grooming kit.
Kelly: You have to groom a baby? What is that bulby-thing?
Kenja: A baby snot sucker.
Kelly: Oh my God. I think I’m going to be sick.
So you can understand why it took me so long to notice the slow disappearance of the majority of my hostesses. I think the howling laughter coming from the kitchen was my first clue that something was amiss.
It got louder with each gift I opened. I became distracted and said the “B” word three different times, losing all my gold coins. I quickly finished opening the gifts. Guests adjourned to the dining room to partake of the food offerings and I made a beeline for the kitchen.
“What in the world is going on in here?” I demanded, surprising my friends who looked at me guiltily. I noticed Karissa slowly hiding a bottle behind her.
“Is that Malibu rum?” They were drinking my favorite drink. At my shower. Knowing I couldn’t.
I found out later that the howling laughter was my tipsy friends taking pictures of themselves doing unwholesome things to the Captain Jack Sparrow cut-out while I opened gifts.
They felt so guilty that each donated their pile of gold coins to me. I won Head Pirate by a landslide.
So a normal and dignified baby shower it was not. Still, it was a perfect reflection of a group of long-time friends who don’t take life too seriously. Looking back, I wouldn’t have had it any other way.