With the spring season also comes the season of bridal showers, and for me that typically means little more than an afternoon of fruit-flavored booze and a free meal. I’ve always thought that showers (both baby and bridal) were a silly tradition, a burden on us single women to not only throw down our hard earned cash for some nifty kitchen appliance we can’t afford to buy for ourselves but to also wrap it in a way that is worthy of being put on display for the regular three hour long “Ohhh and Ahhhh” ritual of opening each and every gift at the close of the event. Not even the fruit flavored booze can mask the embarrassment set forth from spotting my lazy attempt at gift presentation sitting front and center for all to see.
Of course, I’ve always assumed there was some sort of sexist history behind bridal showers, one of many events I imagined were designed to keep those mischievous females preoccupied throughout the Roaring Twenties, giving peace of mind to their husbands or just men in general. I assumed that the tradition of presenting each other with blenders and vacuums stemmed from society’s desire to keep our luscious curves out of trouble and instead left us riddled with bored in the kitchen where we were told we belonged. But I was very wrong.
After doing extensive research (or a quick Google search) I found several articles which not only disproved my assumptions but completely changed my perception of bridal showers. According to anyone who has ever written an article pertaining to this topic and was reliable enough to appear on the first page of my Google search, they originated in the late 1800’s as (in my opinion) a form of liberation. When women got married, they often received a dowry from their parents, which is a tradition we should seriously think about bringing back if you ask me. Maybe then I’d reconsider marriage before thirty.
When a woman’s father (because I guess her mother’s opinion didn’t matter) didn’t approve of the union and refused her a dowry, the woman’s friends would gather and present her with gifts to make up for the denied inheritance. This enabled women to marry whomever they wanted, gaining a sense of control over their lives and making strides in regards to women’s rights. And to that, I applaud these women.
It’s because of them I haven’t been unhappily married to the wealthiest pig farmer in town for over a decade, left to cry into my pillow each night out of frustration due to my husband’s incompetent foreplay while I spend my days hiding in a closet from our seven rotten children. These days he probably wouldn’t be a pig farmer. Maybe he’d be a dot-com billionaire or the founder of a successful startup. Regardless, we all deserve the right to choose.
So now instead of viewing these invitations as an unwelcome reminder of my continuous single status in life and on Facebook, I now see bridal showers as having been a tiny step forward for women and I certainly don’t have a problem with participating in that! Let the men sit at home while we indulge in a few too many mimosas, adorable pastries and rounds of Bridal Bingo.