Sunday, July 18, 2004


I attended a baby shower at work on Friday afternoon.  It was for a lady who is having twins, so she received double of everything in pink and blue.  Everyone has been twin crazy since she announced her pregnancy back in February.  Her doctor told her at 30 weeks that she was measuring at 42 weeks, so everyone thought that was a hoot.  But as I was sitting there, it occured to me how much work twins would be.  She is going to quit work to stay home with her daughter and the twins, because day care for all of them would be too expensive.  All of the rose-colored twin glasses suddenly wore off for me as she unwrapped her tandem stroller.  She began crying.  She said, "I was so worried that we wouldn't get one of these!"  Throughout the rest of the shower, she glanced over to the stroller in relief.  I found myself wondering if she had enough diapers, and whether she would just have to give up sleeping for a few months and... how do you breastfeed twins?  I spent a few moments staring at my own breasts wondering at the logistics of it all.
Showers, wedding or baby, are strange events for me.  I am not, by nature, a group person.  In fact, I avoid large gatherings of people.  I just don't feel like myself, and everyone is so happy and smiley.  I can fake it fairly well, but I am usually counting down the minutes until the last present is unwrapped and I can leave.  Most showers are pretty much the same--lame shower games that nobody really wants to play,  pleasantly boring chit-chat, the standard cake, punch and nuts and prim ladies trying to sit ladylike while balancing the aforementioned cake, punch and nuts on their knees.
Even my own wedding showers were odd for me.  I don't like being on center stage, all eyes on me.  When you unwrap that butt ugly useless knickknack that you certainly didn't register for, it takes a great deal of energy to summon the "Ohhhh!  How lovely!" neccessary for feelings not to be hurt. 
Don't get me wrong.  I was extremely grateful for my wedding showers (especially my lingerie shower, yowsers).  In fact, that was what made it even more difficult for me.  I remember sitting in Mrs. B's living room, surrounded by old family friends that I hadn't seen (or made any effort to stay in touch with) for years, and feeling how much I didn't deserve it.   Every toaster I unwrapped produced an overwhelming wave of humility in me.  To be honest, even the ugly knick-knacks.  Because I knew that I could never repay them.  I just had to sit there and be showered in gifts that I did nothing to earn. 
I guess that is kind of how grace works.  You can't earn it, you don't deserve it and you can't pay it back.  It's uncomfortable, but it's good.


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