Thursday, September 24, 2009

No Shower without Thunder

When mankind plunges into amnesia just because they all bumped their heads on the same rock, I would want them to regain their entire memory only to have forgotten one thing- baby showers! Yes, that would make me very happy.

I went to one baby-shower during those days when my thinking was confined and my exposure limited. Hoping to see a naked pregnant lady getting into a shower while guests looked on, I was in for a rude shock and am still paying shit loads of money in therapy. What confronted me was a fully clothed glowy type pregnant person who seemed quite smug and hassled at the same time, ’Thanks guys! So sweet of you to do this for me.’

I had already done the congrats bit before and since I had to say something, I lied,’ You look great.’ In fact in reality she looked like a python that swallowed an auto-rickshaw.

After settling that awkward bit, I just about sit down to eat the nipple shaped cookies when the hostess (a friend of hormonal pregnant lady, equally hormonal and obsessive about making sure everyone has a terrible time) decides to kill whatever little joy by announcing games. Right under our noses, are 6 diapers that are disgustingly soiled to depict various stages of stomach malfunction. In fact, the hostess proudly informs us that it’s not human excreta, but different chocolates melted to look like the real deal. ‘Look at the various poop in the diapers on this tray and please write down what chocolate you think the baby had for dinner. You are allowed to smell and taste.’ This is a sure shot way of keeping all the other women in the room very prompt with their birth control pills.

Melted on a diaper with little raisins and peanuts peeping from the shapeless brown mass, however much you want to believe it is chocolate, you end up swallowing some of your puke. If this makes Guantanamo Bay sound like a massage parlor, wait till you hear more torture that I had to endure.

Then there is a game where you have to guess the correct circumference of the mommy-to-be’s stomach. ‘Diameter of the earth’ was the wrong answer and so was ‘I’m not sure’. More appalling is how some women will try to cheat by asking me, ‘Would she be at least 6 times my size?’

Then there is the dreaded gift unwrapping at which point there is the mandatory ‘Awwwww’ for each gift from us onlookers. I also have a problem with this word ‘Awwww’, but not so much that I would write a whole post on it. [It would suffice to say, I grew up on Shakti Kapoor going 'Awww' at every nubile damsel he wanted to rape on the silver screen.]
‘Awww, it’s a cute little toy train. You must have missed my gift-registry that was typed twice in the invite,’ she croons while shooting murderous looks at me. ‘Well, I just wanted to get rid of this dumb train that you gave me for my wedding.’ I said while creating more wrinkles in the fabric of the event.

After that terrible experience, I had a huge success rate of avoiding baby showers all together. I fell terribly ill, ran away to New York, had out of town guests visiting…and somehow managed to stay out of the excitement of digging my nails into my skull while playing ‘baby shower’ games.

This time my luck wore out and I got invited to a shower where my friend knows only three people and the person throwing the shower postponed, preponed etc, just to accommodate those three people, including poor me. At that point, after 15 emails, I threw my hands up and said with resignation, ‘Alright, show me the well.’

The hostess in all zeal sent us ideas for games. ‘Who wants to volunteer for conducting the games? I went to this baby shower where they had the measure the belly game. Or this other game with baby diapers, its gross…but we can do it…’ My faculties started failing me instantly and I hated myself for being surrounded by pregnant people. It isn’t their fault, I know…but they are the root of this misery. What probbaly started off as a well meaning congregation of experienced women teaching a few things about raising a child to the expectant mother and giving nice gifts, has now turned into a nightmarish ritual of cheesy d├ęcor, terrible games and a very awkward atmosphere which expects single women, never-been moms and men to attend. Why in the name of Lord do we Indians have to do this? Our traditional bangle ceremony is so cool...some little prayer, bangles, loads of good food and no games! West, please look at the East in this aspect.

So I am big time trapped and dreading this upcoming baby shower. I have volunteered to help with the games with the intention of making it bearable for me. I am seriously considering strip poker. Worry not, pregnant lady will be excluded from game!