Ok, so I’m still on my All the Single Ladies kick from my last blog post. There was a chapter that I only vaguely connected to, in which an interviewee bemoaned that her 30s were spent attending weddings and baby showers and she didn’t understand why she had to shell out so much money for things that were never going to happen to her.
Well, at the age of 27, that doesn’t so much apply to me. The majority of my friends are unmarried and even fewer of them have children. Plus, living internationally, I’m not really expected to attend weddings, let alone baby showers.
And yet, having never attended a baby shower in the states, I’ve now attended two (to four) since arriving in Ghana. I say two to four because two were official “decorations, food, gift giving, and games” occasions, while the other two happened at school as mini-celebrations.
I have to admit, the two big celebrations left me uncomfortable and confused. And I’ve decided: Single women and married women without an interest in children shouldn’t have to attend these events. Why is it that men are given a free pass? Because society assumes this doesn’t apply to them? Well guess what? They are 50% of the equation. I’m the real person this doesn’t apply to.
I’m the one who (by the way rocks at this) has to attempt to unscramble baby related words, write baby in as many languages as I can think of, and (yikes, worst of all!) give advice to expecting mothers. THIS DOES NOT APPLY TO ME!
And yet, in a school where six teachers (so far!) have gotten pregnant this school year, this now feels like an area where a large portion of my time and energy is being spent. And I know, intellectually, that I’ve been in Accra for about 250 days and only 10 hours have been spent at these parties or in preparation for them, but this really hit home having just finished this book a few days ago.
The woman interviewed said she wouldn’t mind so much, but when were people going to spend time and money on her? Never married and with no desire for children, when was she going to get gifts and attention? And yes, if you want to point out my hypocrisy, I did get married. Only nine months ago in fact, and yes, people spent time and money on me.
But, if I can defend myself briefly, I’m hoping to get the time off to spend $1,800 to fly to the United States for about 72 hours to attend one of my closest friend’s weddings. So I guess my real grief (since I’m not a “single lady”) isn’t with weddings, but baby showers.
I don’t think onesies are cute. I think that babies look like wrinkled old men. I don’t for the life of me understand why I have to play baby related games. I want to opt out.
The interviewee and her best friend (who is married) ended up throwing themselves a huge, elaborate 40th birthday party. People flew in, food was catered, and gifts abounded. And she decided that must be what a wedding felt like. But I’ve had my wedding, and I loved it. You can keep your baby shower.