Southern Mom came to visit this weekend, and as we ate breakfast before church yesterday, we watched re-runs of “Sex and the City”. (I’m sure there’s something totally wrong with that statement.) One episode in particular stood out. I don’t recall the name but it guest starred Tatum O’Neal as a married friend of Carrie’s with kids that had a baby shower (I think). Guests are asked to remove their shoes upon entry. After all of the fun is had, Carrie is set to leave, only to find out that her Manolos are missing. After some hemming and hawing, the friend reluctantly replaces Carrie’s $485 shoes. And while the friend complains about Carrie’s wasteful spending of her money, Carrie has some complaints of her own. She points out that single gals have to “pay” for the come-uppance of their friends- bridal showers, weddings, baby showers, etc. So why shouldn’t her friend have to replace her shoes? As Carrie pointed out, she didn’t ask to take her shoes off and leave them at the door.
This conversation led to the discussion that I had with my mom regarding how much time and money is spent on celebrating milestones in my friends’ lives. Not only did I go to school out of state, but I don’t live in my hometown. And most of my closest friends don’t live in my hometown or the District. So, not only do I have to spend money on travel, but a hotel as well. And a gift. God forbid I’m actually IN the wedding. (Thankfully, a very close friend of mine is only having her sister as her Maid of Honor, so all I have to do is show up at the wedding next August.)
Let’s not forget my friends who decide to expand their families. I can’t count how many baby showers (and now kids’ birthday parties) I’ve been invited/gone to. I absolutely LOVE kids, and a little part of me gets excited when my friends’ kids recognize me and yell “Miss Elle!!!” or run and give me a hug when they see me. But let’s be real-I have absolutely NO business being at a 2 year old’s birthday party. I’m single, childless, and not family. Can’t I just mail a gift???
Lest we not forget co-workers. After spending 5 years with my company in Florida, I can’t tell you how many wedding showers and baby showers I’ve contributed to and/or helped coordinate. And although I’ve been at my current company for about 6 months, we’ve had 2 baby showers and a wedding shower/luncheon.
I don’t want my friends or reading audience to take this the wrong way. I’m not complaining (well maybe venting a little). Because truth be told, if I didn’t want to do these things, I wouldn’t do them. I’m extremely happy for my friends, and if I am financially and physically able, I will always be there to support them. But when I sit down and think about it, it’s a little eye opening to consider the time and money spent on someone else’s happiness. I just hope when the shoe is on the other foot that my friends won’t disappear. Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city!
I know exactly how you feel. I’ve been in and to countless weddings and had to buy and contribute to countless bridal showers, bachelorette parties, and baby showers over the years. I actually joked with a friend not too long ago that I was going to make up a registry just to recoup some of the money I’ve spent over the years on things I want such as clothing, cookware and stuff for my home.
At this point, it’s kind of like Christmas in that you have to think of it as it’s the thought that counts and hope one day the favor will be returned.
Why are you shaking your head? These are not things that men have to really think about. You rent your tux (if you’re actually in the wedding) and throw a bachelor party. You don’t get invites to bridal showers OR baby showers. I also doubt you get invited to kids’ birthday parties, unless you have your own children.
I had a baby shower and my 30th Birthday within 6 months. I did feel some type of way asking all of my friends, who just bought AWESOME baby shower gifts, to come back and buy me a birthday gift. So, instead of having a huge party, I had a small intimate dinner. I think it was best 🙂
I watched that episode. Spoiler alert: At the end, Carrie registered for the shoes at manolo blahnik and sends her friend an announcement that she is marrying herself. My take away: celebrate myself more, make my own milestones, and commit to my own happiness. Nice article, Elle.
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