Posted by Anonymous.
What is it that is so hard about sending out and responding to baby shower invitations?
We moved out of the suburbs and into the Big City so that my husband wouldn't have to commute to work. It was the best decision for our family, but... and isn't there always a but... we may as well have moved to Mars. It's been a rough transition, and the loneliness is killing me.
The good news is, I now live within a few miles of several extended family members. Family members who I don't really know because our parents only met once a year for Christmas dinner, if that. It's a chance to get connected to them, if they'll have me.
The bad news is, my friends have always been my extended family, and now they're just out of reach. Just far enough away that I'm not part of their weekly routine anymore. For the most part, they haven't called, or emailed to ask how the move was... which is fine, that's life sometimes. But it hurts that they're not answering my efforts to go visit them, "Oh, HI! I got your messages, I /meant/ to call you back."
It *is* a lot of work to drive all the way out here to visit me and grab a cup of coffee. I am just out of reach. I've spent the last few lonely months thinking "maybe they'd come visit if there was something big like a party." People like babies, right? A family member offered to throw me a baby shower. It was so gracious of her. I can't express how grateful I am that she's making an effort to do something sweet for a relative she barely knows.
But, she invited my mother. And where my mother goes, so does all of my mother's drama. My father doesn't know about the last three months of drama. My mother lives for excuses to visit my father. I insisted that this party be women-only, because this should be about me, and not about my parent's failed marriage. My mother fought me on it, and tried to go behind my back to get our relatives to override me, because she wants an excuse to get my father to come visit her.
My husband is such a guy. When I started freaking about about the invitation list, he says "It's your party, invite who you want, don't invite who you don't want." HA! Ever the fix-it-man, he's even offered to rent me a place to throw a separate Girls Night, so I can see who I want.
Since this has become my mother's party, I couldn't invite my step mom, my dad's best friend (who helped raise me), or anyone else from my dad's town, the town where I grew up. Word travels fast in a small town. If my dad were to find out that I invited her, or her, or her or her, but not my step-mom, my dad would be livid. So none of those people who are part of my world were invited.
My father has already caught on that there is a shower that my step-mom wasn't invited to. He called and dropped some not-subtle hints to find out what was going on. I wasn't /really/ lying when I passed it off as "/Mom's Family /is throwing me a shower," even thought that's not how it was meant to turn out. He seemed to accept that. Or, at least he dropped the subject.
To make it worse, my mother can't attend a party without her sister and her sister's Ten Person Party Posse. I put my foot down about not inviting my father, and not making the party coed, so I had to concede to The Posse. The Party Posse is just that, an instant party: just add a buffet table. But it's not my party. It's a posse of distant relatives I see once a year, and have nothing in common with. The Party Posse is my mother's idea of a good time. Fine, whatever. Except that The Party Posse is so huge that there's no room in the house to invite *my posse.*
A month ago the shower invitations went out, to a dozen members of The Party Posse, and a few of my friends. My friends haven't responded, or have apologized when I've asked if they could come. Three weeks ago, my mother's sister found out about an unequally divided inheritance, and started pushing my mother to share the wealth. Of course, there was a huge phone-war that isn't resolved yet. The first time they will see each other is today, at my shower. I'm alternately bracing for a fight, and wondering if anyone from the Posse will even show up. I'm worried and embarrassed because my cousin ordered and paid for a huge pile of catered food that may go wasted. Either way, I feel empty and drained, and now I don't want to go to the shower.
There are ten people who I cling to, ten people who I've been desperate to see, and to share this pregnancy with. Ten people who would have /loved /to be invited to my first baby shower. Ten people who I trust to give me sound advice about having my first baby. Ten people who I've been desperately lonely for. Ten people who have been just out of reach. Ten people who know me well enough to understand how lonely I am, and how my mother and The Posse effect me. Ten people who I couldn't invite because my mother and The Party Posse, my father and the inheritance have taken over. I feel alone, even though I'll be surrounded by people today.
My husband said, "It's your party, invite who you want, don't invite who you don't want." Part of me wonders if I should have invited everyone except my mother. If that would have had more or less fall out.
This is my baby shower for my first baby. This was supposed to be the last thing /about me/ before life starts revolving around the baby. I feel robbed. Today, I'll be faking it, pretending not to miss my posse, keeping up appearances for everyone else's benefit. Again. Anything less would be ungracious.