Your Baby Shower Gift Causes Botulism.

Baby shower invitation

Baby showers: It’s a thing people who are about to have babies do that involves them being showered with gifts for their new baby. I find them odd.

If anyone should love a baby shower, it’s me. I adore children and tiny children clothes and toys. I was a nanny for many years and absolutely loved my job. I think kids are wonderful, even when they are puking, pooping, crying, and ruining nice carpet. Logically, one might assume that someone who adores all things baby such as I do would also love baby showers. However, they would be all kinds of wrong.

I totally get the premise for a baby shower. I mean, baby stuff is crazy expensive and if it’s your first child then you need lots of it, hell even if it’s not your first child I still think you deserve all kinds of schwag for shoving a human being out of your vagina. I’m all for giving expectant Mamas and Papas lots of gifts in preparation for their little bundle of sleeplessness.  I just really hate pastel colors, ooh-ing, aah-ing, silly games, tiny food, and Mommy themed knickknacks.

 Pastel Colors– Ok, I don’t really hate pastel colors. In fact, I can pull off a nice blushy pink quite nicely. What I hate it how overused they are at baby showers. It’s like a pastel jungle filled with really tame squealing animals. And honestly, don’t you think your baby would much prefer a more jewel-toned color scheme?

Ooh-ing– It’s just so expected. And then when you try to say something original like “boomshakalaka” people do NOT appreciate it.

Aah-ing– Somehow worse than ooh-ing but I’m not sure why. It kind of sounds like a sigh of satisfaction, which doesn’t make sense if you aren’t the one receiving the gift. Again, I would like to submit “boomshakalaka” as a nice alternative.

Silly games– Listen, I don’t care if she is pregnant, no woman wants a room full of other women to judge how big her waist size is with frilly ribbon.  And does anyone enjoy tasting baby food and guessing what it is? I mean, I kind of do just because I’m really really good at it, but I still think it’s kind of ridiculous.

Tiny Food– Tiny sandwiches, tiny cakes, crudité, and dip? Are you kidding me? That baby may be small but I’m the one eating at this party and I have a grown-up appetite. Feed me.

Mommy Themed Knickknacks– I recently received a jar of honey at a baby shower that said “Mommy to bee”. I hate forced wordplay. Also, doesn’t honey cause botulism in babies?

You know what we’re going to do at my baby shower? We’re going to eat tacos and say “boomshakalaka” and maybe TP someone’s house.  Now, that’s a baby shower!

Carrie Bradshaw, I Demand An Apology!

You know what I hate, darling readers? Dating.

Dating totally sucks. It is, hands down, the worst part of being a twenty-something. This was a shocking realization for me. On television, dating looks so glamorous! Main characters run around in pretty shoes, laughing over pretty drinks, and canoodling pretty men. Well, I’m here to tell you: it is not so. We’ve been tricked. It’s not all cosmopolitans and artists whisking you off to Paris! In fact, nary an artist has whisked me anywhere. Not even to Paris, Texas.

Carrie Bradshaw did not properly prepare me for this.

In the real world, dates are awkward. There is no montage of pithy banter. Instead, we spend the first three dates asking how each other’s days went. There are only so many times I can say, “It was good!” without blurting out the truth: an ER patient totally threw up on me today, so it’s a really good thing we’re required to wear bodily fluid repellent footwear. Talk of bodily fluids is so frowned upon during dates. If it’s not mild, work-related chitchat, my date is telling me stories about people I don’t know. They always seem to end with: Oh, that Smitty. You just have to know him, I guess! The glaring truth is: I don’t know Smitty. I will never know Smitty, unless we get past that awkward dating small talk. Sometimes, I just want to scream Cue the montage!

Which means, in the real world my relationships don’t normally result from traditional dating. My boyfriends have mostly been friends, or mutual friends, who prove that proximity breeds intimacy. We’ll be friends, then we’ll be friends who flirt, then we’ll be friends who accidentally make-out after too many margaritas, then we’re friends who are dating. Not exactly the stuff of magical, grand romances. Carrie didn’t have to wait for Big to realize he liked her liked her. Sure, they had plenty of commitment issues, but at least they never had that horrid initial friend stage! The friend stage also sucks. All that will-they-won’t-they is much more entertaining when you’re not they. On TV, you at least knew Harry was perfect for Charlotte, even if Charlotte didn’t know it yet. Honestly, the only redeeming feature of being friends first is that there is minimal small talk.

With all the pitfalls of modern dating, it’s no wonder our generation is known for its hook-up culture. Sometimes, you’d just rather randomly kiss someone than spend three days analyzing your current flame’s Facebook comment. (What does “See you there!” really mean!?) In real life, Carrie and Big never would have made it. That epic story of instant connection and poor timing would fizzle, in the face of sexting and Twitter updates. It’s not so easy to rationalize someone’s questionable dating habits, when he just tweeted a picture of himself and pretty redhead at a Death Cab concert. Carrie would have followed her own spin-off book’s advice and decided he was just not that into her.

Maybe things were different a decade ago. Maybe that glittery world of dating really did exist, for a brief moment, in the lives of rich ’00s Manhattanites. I’m starting to doubt it. Carrie, my dear, you are a lying liar from Liarville. Dating is not glamorous, cosmos taste like pink intestinal gas, and – fun fact! – Manolo Blahniks do not repel bodily fluids. Where is the sitcom about tea drinkers who wear Clarks and hate chitchat? There’s a show I could believe in.

–  Grace

Lions, and Tigers, and Break-Ups! Oh, My!

Did I mention I’ve been dating someone for a couple of months?  It hasn’t been anything super serious and I wouldn’t even go so far as to call us boyfriend and girlfriend, but it’s definitely been something.  However.

You know that first spark?  The one where they’re interesting and you have so much fun and you want to see them and blah, blah, blah?  Well whatever flame had been burning has been slowly flickering out and I haven’t known what to make of it.  This is always the case.  Something isn’t quite right so it stresses me out, then I retreat unto myself, I don’t want to hang out with the other person, I don’t act in an affectionate way (tho, to be honest, PDA-friendly I am not), and I go into excuse mode.  Well maybe it’s because I’m stressed at work…  Or maybe it’s because I’m just bad at dating…  Or maybe it really is us but it’s because we only go out to eat and don’t do other things so we don’t give ourselves the right opportunity… Or whatever.

Kate the Cowardly Lion

It all amounts to this: I am the Cowardly Lion of break-ups.

Rather than owning up to the fact that I’m just not into him, I hide and I make my excuses and feel sorry for myself and ultimately end up sabotaging things to the point where we’re miserable almost 100% of the time.  Cowardly Kate, right there.  The cruddiest part of it?  I date really fantastic guys.  I know, don’t hate me.  But I do. With the exception of one guy, my boyfriends have been really great people.  They’ve treated me well, they’ve been thoughtful, and when I was suddenly pulling away, coming up with my excuses, they were there trying to be understanding about it.  Cue massive guilt.

But I do think that’s part of it.  I’ve never wanted to own up to what’s really going on because I dread that conversation and the potential to hurt someone who is so kind-hearted.  When they’ve been so good to you, how do you tell them they’re just not right for you?  Yah, yah, you just tell them.  So you say.  It was never easy and so I never did it.

Until yesterday.  Call it maturity, but I finally realized how unfair it was to the guy and to me to go on in this state.  The conversation weighed on me all weekend (longer than that, if I’m honest) and I finally brought up my concerns, fully expecting it to The Break-Up Moment.  And yah know, a funny thing happened.  Not only was it not as bad as I imagined, but he reacted in a way that I hadn’t anticipated.  He said he really liked me and wished I’d given him feedback earlier so we could work on the issues which he viewed as easily fixable.  Huh.  I won’t go into the gory details.  In fact, I don’t remember the gory details.  (Really, who does?  Do you?  Because my own explanation of The State of Things became so convoluted that I could have talked about eating SpaghettiOs at the top of the Eiffel Tower, for all I know)  Suffice it to say, we are “taking a break.”  Yes, we cringed too.  But it’s not a bad plan.  We’re giving ourselves two weeks and then we’ll see.

Spinster friends, in a matter of hours “taking a break” changed my entire outlook.  Unsurprisingly, the weight has been lifted off my shoulders and I look forward to our next outing.  I know, don’t you just want to reach through the computer screen, shake me, and go, “SEE?!?!?!  When you talk to someone about your feelings, good things can happen.”

Right.  Yah.  For all my ranting about dating and such, I know I’m not even close to being perfect on that front.  My cowardly and non-confrontational way of addressing relationship issues is right there at the top of Things Kate Must Address if She Wants to Find Her Mr. Darcy.  So I can’t give much advice on this, but if you’re waffling about your man or lady friend dilemma and whether to say something, make like Nike and JUST DO IT.

-Kate