Sticking Out

I went to a baby shower yesterday. I know. I was not looking forward to this shower at all. First of all, it was being held in South Oak Bay, and even though we lived in Oak Bay for over 3 years, we weren’t exactly the OB type. I suspected that this shower would be the real OB deal, so I dreaded living up to the high class expectations. Secondly, it was being held on a Friday in the middle of the afternoon, which could only mean one thing: nobody in attendance would have a regular office job. I did some simple math in my head and made the assumption that I would be the only non-mother, non-‘my husband is a doctor/business executive/lawyer/high ranking military official’ at the party. Yes, I stereotyped, and yes, my generalizations made me dread this shower even more.

I knit a really cute baby hat as a gift. Then I panicked and worried that a simple, handknit item was not enough to bring to an Oak Bay baby shower, so I stopped off at the Bay and added some onesies and such. Ugh.

On my way to the shower, I tried to convince myself that I was just being overdramatic and that the shower wouldn’t be nearly as horrible as I was making it out to be in my head. But then… I knew I was in trouble when I rode my bike up to this giant mansion and had to look for a space to lock up my bicycle amidst several BMWs and Mercedes Benzes. It got even worse when I stepped inside, clad in my jeans and cutesy top, and noticed that I must not have received the ‘wear a light coloured sundress with strappy summer sandals’ memo. I was the only person who even took off my shoes to be in the house. Every other lady there just remained sipping lemonade on the white accent rug in their delicate ballet slippers or metallic flats.

There were cupcakes, too. Handmade cupcakes with painstakingly handmade fondant crowns on top. Who has time for THAT?!

I sat through painful episodes of rich mom talk.

Rich Mom #1: Since we moved from London to Singapore, we have had to switch maids. The one we have now makes really good waffles– the kids are starting to demand them in the mornings.

Rich Mom #2: We went to Shawnigan Lake yesterday for Canada Day, and it was so cold! I don’t know why we even own that cottage on the lake. We should just buy a cabin in the Okanagan instead and call it a day.

Rich Mom-In-Law: We had the children over at our house yesterday. It was pretty hectic with them running around our tiny, three-bedroom home.

Me: [silence. painful silence.]

Did I mention the cupcakes? This one was squished a bit on the bike ride back to the harbour, so you can't really see it in all of its delicate, elaborate, edible-metallic sheen glory.

If I could have magically beamed myself out of the house, I would have. If I could have excused myself ASAP without being rude, I would have. If I could have borrowed a few thousand dollars of bling and adorned myself with it nonchalantly so I could at least fit in for two hours– ‘oh, this old diamond-encrusted thing? Puh-leaze! My husband promised he would get me a new one next month’– I just might have, as well. I know. It felt so horrible being the one who was so awkwardly, obviously, painfully different from everyone else.

The worst part of the whole afternoon was when we had to play “Mommy Pictionary”. All of the words were mother-related, and not just easy ones like stroller or diaper. Guess which word I had to draw when it was my turn? Let down. For real!! Being the only non-mom there, I didn’t even know that ‘let down’ is the term used to describe when the milk flows into the ducts in preparation for breastfeeding. Instead, I was wondering how the hell (and why god, why?!) I was going to have to draw somebody letting somebody else down.

After I started drawing some horrid stick figures that had my team guessing ‘drop the baby!’ and ‘baby toss!’, the host of the party had to take me into another room and tell me what ‘let down’ meant. My first thought? ‘Excellent. Now I will have to draw milky breasts for these women. My day just keeps getting better and better!’

(For the record: they only guessed the word after I drew an ear for ‘sounds like’ and then drew a clown. So. Very. Painful!!)

After the new mom opened my gift (which had been buried amidst oversized Baby Calvin Klein and elaborate Baby Ralph Lauren bags), I dashed out of there as quickly as I could. I’ll admit that I cried a few teenage-angst tears as I rode my bike back to the harbour. It’s not like I want a lifestyle like that, I just didn’t want to feel so left out and different.

One more cupcake shot for good measure. Now imagine a whole, three-tiered silver serving platter full of them. Each fondant crown was unique! Aw...

13 responses

  1. I too would have shed tears but I’m snobbier than you so some of them would have been “why are there people in the world who live like this?” flavoured.

    Nothing like feeling alone in a room full of people.

  2. Woah. I so feel your pain. First of all baby showers are extremely painful. Secondly – I, like you would have had NO IDEA what let down meant either.
    Thirdly – my number one question – who did you know in that group of women to be invited?
    Fourthly (I could go on and on) don’t feel bad. You wouldn’t want that lifestyle. I always think that people who have that much are filling their lives with ‘stuff’ to replace something more important in their lives that’s missing.

    • For real. The only thing that got me through the event was thinking ‘wow- this will be awesome for my blog. I couldn’t MAKE this shit up!!’

      And I was invited because I know the new mother. She’s the wife of an old friend of Marty’s. At least she seemed to appreciate my handknit toque. The rest of the moms were like ‘oh, how quaint. She makes crafts!’ Bah.

      • Uh, I feel your pain. Most days I’m all “I don’t like to be like everyone else.” Or, “It’s so much cooler to be different!” However, awkward social situations like that drive me bonkers.

        Though I’m sure if (and hopefully not anytime soon or ever), we have our own baby showers, we will instead be complaining about the lack of knitting time there is left in our days. 🙂

  3. That toque will be the only thing going for that kid- it’ll be like a pillar of loving good energy in the landscape of that house.

  4. that sounds horrific!!! there’s nothing worse than being made to feel inadequate when you know there’s absolutely nothing inadequate about your life. i hope to never be like that (and if I start going down that road, I hope my friends slap me silly!)

    p.s. i love the pics of the cupcakes! Any pics of the toque you knitted?

    • That’s the silly part– no photos of the toque!! It is a brown toque with a light green ribbed rim and a cute little leaf knit to a wee i-cord on the top. It was made from bamboo and silk, so it is super soft! Alas, I was doing the final weaving-in-of-ends about 4 minutes before I had to leave for the shower, so I didn’t get a chance to take a photo of the cuteness.

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