It was baby shower time at work yesterday.
And it wasn’t just for the yummy Thai food that I enjoyed every minute of it.
The truth is I enjoy many of the corny rituals that some people disdain as hopelessly passé or silly—the office birthday cakes, the wedding and baby showers replete with games, and gag gifts and silly hats for the honoree.
And yes, I know these rituals can be awkward, sometimes downright cringe-worthy. More than once I have rolled my eyes and desperately tried to think cool thoughts as they unfolded. But regardless, I continue to believe that they are important, imperative even.
In a weird way I feel it is a testament to the human spirit that we force ourselves to push through the embarrassment and self-consciousness that accompanies these attempts, however lame, to acknowledge the milestones in the lives of our fellow human beings.
Because I think we need rituals. I know I need them and I would go as far as to say that the human race needs them and has needed them throughout the ages. Today more than ever, we need to celebrate together, even when we aren’t quite sure how and therefore fall back on traditions that seem old fashioned and anachronistic.
We need to even though it feels safer and easier to affect boredom and wrap ourselves in jaded hipster irony, which boiled down, is really just an excuse for distance.
I’ll deal with the cheese because it is inevitably served with care and concern. I will forever remember both my wedding preparations and my pregnancy as some of the best times of my life. I never got seriously irritated with people touching my belly or offering me advice or even asking questions that bordered on inappropriate. I felt connected to my fellow (wo)man like never before. I felt like people noticed me; that they cared about me. That they cared about my unborn child.
One of my very favorite posts ever was about this co-worker’s pregnancy and how it has taken me back to my own journey two years ago. In the fall of 2005, I was blessed with three wonderful baby showers. There were cousins and doting aunts and childhood neighbors at one, co-workers with silly smiles hiding their packages from me at another and my best girlfriends at the third one where I was forced to wear a feather boa and a princess hat in a public restaurant.
And when I am old and grey, I will count those celebrations among my very fondest memories.
Even if a princess hat and a feather boa really isn’t my best look.
Photo courtesy of Don Mills Diva