Oh baby, did I just blow it?
September 21, 2009 11:33 AM Subscribe
Are baby showers, by default, supposed to be surprises?
posted by shiu mai baby to Human Relations (38 answers total)
A few weeks ago a few friends threw a lovely baby shower for me. It was supposed to be a surprise, but several out-of-town family members ruined the surprise for me. I was fairly peeved by their unintentional thoughtlessness until I found out that the organizers didn't actually specify that it was supposed to be a surprise. At the time, I just wrote it off to an oversight on the part of the planners, but now I'm not so sure.
Why? Because just now I was discussing baby showers with a pregnant friend of mine (one of the organizers of my party, btw), explaining that I might or might not be able to make hers, because I was totally going to try but that it's also just a few days after I'm supposed to have this kid, but I'm still going to do my very best to be there for her. She was perfectly gracious about it, but then she was like, "don't let anyone know you said anything to me!!"
Again: the shower invite said nothing about the party being a surprise, so I had no reason to keep mum about it, but somehow I feel like I've just committed a faux pas.
So: should one always assume that baby showers are surprises? Is this some sort of east coast/pennsylvania-area tradition? I consider myself fairly well-versed in all things etiquette, but in my mind if you're throwing a surprise party for a person, whether we're talking showers or birthdays or anniversaries or whatevers, YOU SAY EXPLICITLY ON THE INVITE THAT IT IS A SURPRISE. Am I wrong? Have I just completely stepped in it, or is it a simple case of regional culture clash?