By: Revanche

Showering Together, Women of the Ages

June 20, 2011

Borrowed from a free Owly comic, one of the most expressive non-verbal books I’ve ever had the pleasure of “reading.”

My oldest friend, measured by years we’ve known each other, not by her age, was feted recently.  She’s expecting her first baby and we both traveled fair distances to meet each other for this event.  I can’t remember the last time we were able to spend time together.

That’s always been the story of our friendship, actually.

We met as children of primary school age, then separated by district lines until that same bureaucracy funneled us back into the same schools.  Through high school we remained good friends, despite sharing few classes.  We had little in common other than a drip of superficially similar background but we fit like two bits of puzzle without jostling, always kindred spirits, always loyal, no matter how long since last contact.  It’s the kind of relationship that doesn’t needa crisis or a reason to prove that it exists.

In the years following, her faith and our lives have taken dramatically different directions and yet neither of us have felt any distance grow between us.  No moss has overgrown our friendship; no differences diminish the value of our connection.

And so, with the coming of her baby ever-imminent, PiC and I headed down south so I could spend this joyful time with her.  Now typically, I’m a bit of a groaner when it comes to these things.  I hate them, to be honest, having been to so many bloodless affairs. Wedding and baby showers can tend to become gift grabs when all and sundry are invited, fancied up for the look of the thing, and frankly, I tired of it long ago.

But this shower was a labor of love by her other closest friend who hosts beautifully and thoughtfully.  The guest list was a small, curated mix of close family, family friends, and dear friends, and the mum-to-be was able to spend good quality time with most of the attendees such that everyone who traveled was able to share some wisdom and laughter.  The food was delicious – always important – and plentiful, and the guests all seemed relaxed and comfortable.

She and I saw the guests off and stayed well after to help clean up, spend time with the hostess and her family, and we later packed her gifts for her travel back.  Despite being quite far along, she was doing the dishes while I cleared the table, dried the dishes, and watched the kids. Clearly, my friend is not a brat and we’re still a good team.  We later spent a good half day together catching up and running other errands.

I spent $100 on the shower, for gifts on and off-registry, lunch, and gas (because she generously offered to be the driver during our post-shower bonding time), not counting travel costs to SoCal. We noticed that it’s a funny thing with babies that people can’t resist buying all kinds of things so you go off-registry so easily.  Guilty.

But, look, I’m not going to get to see my niece or nephew related by long-time friendship much so I have to start the nerding-by-osmosis early and often: books and bonds!  My favorite gift to the baby was a black and white Owly book. Mama-to-be says black and white is supposed to stimulate the baby’s brain.  Favorite gift for me was Mama-to-be assuring me that yes, if I *had* gotten her child superhero underpants, the baby would have worn them.  (Guess what I’m going to buy next?)

I also brought back a few offers to help with wedding planning from old friends I hadn’t seen in ages which was really generous and a possible line on other wedding related stuff.  It was one of my best trips back down south in a really long time.

8 Responses to “Showering Together, Women of the Ages”

  1. I just found out my best friend is pregnant this weekend and I cried (happy tears). I’m going to write about it. Your weekend sounds lovely.

  2. Annabelle says:

    Eeee, I luuurve Owly so much! When your friend’s baby is older, you can get her the Owly full-colour picture book, too! Sounds like a lovely shower.

  3. Daisy says:

    That sounds so nice! I’m with you – sometimes baby/wedding showers can be overwhelmingly greedy, but sometimes people just do them so gracefully 🙂

  4. Bonnie says:

    Love this post. I have a longtime friend, and our relationship is very much like yours with your friend. We have little in common but there is a bond there that goes beyond the length of time we’ve been friends (almost 20 years now). Months and months have gone by without contact and then one day, a letter arrives, or one calls the other, and it’s on again.
    No judgement for anything the other’s done, just deep understanding.

  5. Owly is awesome!

    Congrats to your friend!

  6. oilandgarlic says:

    I thought your post was about taking a shower together and I was really puzzled…anyway, good tip on Owly. I never heard of it til now. I’m very clueless about kid toys!

  7. I too thought this was going to be a romantic post!

  8. That is so sweet.

    Y’know, I think friends are sometimes closer and in significant ways more important than family (yeah, I know: sacrilege!). You get to choose your friends; you can’t choose family. Sometimes you have a friend who’s like a sister…or maybe even better than a sister. 😉

    {heh heh! Blogger let me back into Frugal Scholar’s site. Now let’s see if that applies across the board!}

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