Shelby and I are both naturally extroverts. We like being out and experiencing things. We enjoy spending time with others, talking, laughing, dancing our super ridiculous white people dances. But the thing is, once we found each other, the need to do those things disappeared. It could be psychological conditioning; we found our mate so there is no need to hit the bars or whatever. It could just be financial. We’re not destitute by any means but if the choice is to spend money or not, we often choose not. Perhaps it’s social fatigue? Over the course of our courtship, we have spent so much time at work and rehearsal and performances that when we aren’t, all we want is to relax together. It could be that no one will be as funny or interesting or comfortable to us as each other. And so gradually we have introverted.
We still go out. Particularly now that Shelby is running the theatre (must keep up appearances in the artistic community if you want the artistic community to pay for your services). We mostly go to plays, or to see bands that have theatre people in them, or people that have helped the theatre. Often we have to gear up for it, start talking ourselves into it a few days in advance, plan for it, rest up for it, remind ourselves it’s happening. We are going to be social, let’s do this. We always have a good time.
This is not a complaint. We have an active local network of what I would classify as acquaintances. People who know us and like us. Not quite co-workers, but not people I would ask for help. People who will invite us out after seeing us, add us to the guest list for parties, a few that might invite us over for dinner or a movie, but not people we would ask to house-sit or feed the cat when she was alive.
The true friendships we have were forged in the past. In the active days of hosting parties and celebrating life wildly and passionately. Spontaneous adventures without calculating expenses, personal leave time, and vehicle mileage. The people we would let live on our couch and would probably let us live on theirs. Naturally, these were the people who wanted to throw us a baby shower.
Naturally, time has spread these people to the far corners of the country.
Naturally, they came anyway.
We got a lot of gifts. And a lot of food was prepared for this little brunch gathering. But the most impressive and humbling thing were the people themselves and the distance they traveled just to spend a few hours with us. Apart from a friend or two 30 minutes away, the shortest distance traveled was 4 hours. I don’t even want to think about the distance it took my sisters to get here, both taking flights and driving several hours one way or the other with my parents. And my parents, driving 8+ hours one way just to spend a maximum total of 36 hours within the same 30 mile radius. It is truly amazing the amount of love this little fetus has already spread over the country.
Not to skim right by the gifts and food. Cuz YUM! and CUTE! If there’s one thing our people like to do, it’s eat. And with a generous respect for food, most of those people also know how to cook. It’s no surprise that the times we get together are usually celebrated with food; Thanksgiving, 4th of July, Birthdays…so when we arrived at the shower (a few minutes late because you may remember the dampening of our closet [though not our spirits]) and could smell the bacon sizzling, we knew we were in for a treat. Fruit and veggies and finger sandwiches and a cake pan full of omelet bake and mimosas and woodland themed snacks (owl pretzels, hedgehog donut holes, acorns) and so much more! We spent a good chunk of time milling about, socializing and nibbling.
While that was going on, very adorable arts and crafts time was happening in the dining room. The hosts had acquired a bunch of plain white onsies and fabric markers. The room had a “clothesline” pulled along the length of the center of the room. The blank canvases were “clothes-pinned” with barrettes which we also got to keep. Our very talented friends and family diligently designed and created their own works of art for our little girl to
barf on wear. There are so many great choices, and from what I’m told, there will be plenty of opportunities for her to demolish all of them.
Then we all gathered in the living room for a game of shower Bingo. Basically, the guests got to fill out their own Bingo cards with items that COULD be given to an expectant couple and then got to mark off their cards as we opened prezzies. Fun for everyone! The Bingo winner got a little gift of their own as well. We got some items off our registry, some very useful reusable items from friends and family with toddlers, and some unexpected treasures. Lots of books, lots of clothes, a diaper bag (hot dawg!), a handmade quilt, and of course, some diaper essentials. There is more I’m sure. Everything got boxed up at the shower and then put into the closet with the rest of the baby gear to be moved to the new house. We still have to sit and write our thank yous.
And then it was over. Shelby stayed to do a little more socializing. I took my family back to our place. We gathered one sister and drove her to the airport while cookies were baked and AC units were fixed. A little China Buffet for dinner, and the weekend was over. Everyone headed back to their far corners of the country. But for those few Sunday afternoon hours, our little family definitely felt showered.