Saturday, September 14, 2013

Forced Social Conventions

Today I realized why people get married and why they have babies.  It's primarily because A) it's a social convention and B) it means other people give them stuff.

Living overseas meant very few weddings, and even fewer baby showers . . .actually I attended none of either and was no worse for it.  In fact, I was better off.  Going to these events costs money, often quite a bit of it.  After buying something to wear, a gift, a card, wrapping paper and a bow, travel to the location, food before and/or after, you can easily end up hundreds of dollars in the hole, not to mention the bachelor/ette party and bridal shower. And for what?  It was an event you either didn't want to attend to begin with, or you'd have been happy with it being a third as long as it was.

I do realize that some people have fun at weddings.  The main difference is that they know many of the other people at that wedding, and there is an open bar. Weddings/showers, etc, in which the attendee (me) knows very few of the other attendees (the weirdos) are lots less fun, but lots more awkward to make up for it.

I patiently suffered through a baby shower.  My friend, the pregnant one, is great.  I like her very much, hence the reason she and I have kept in touch since high school, an unmatched feat.  The only folks there other than preggo, her mom, sis and hubby that I knew were people I'd met at her wedding last year. The vast majority of them are married and have kids.  It was a co-ed shower, about twenty adults, and about five infants/toddlers around.  I'm lucky to have escaped without the plague or vomit on me.

If you are unaware of the phenomena I'm about the explain it's either because you have kids that you had early, or you live outside the US.  When you've made it to your thirties and your aren't married and aren't dragging around any germ factories children, you are in a separate class from those of your age who are. I find I have little in common with people generally, and much less with the married mothers and fathers in the group.  How about 3 days at Bumbershoot? Oh, Jimmy is sick? Sorry about that.  I'll send you the photos.  I'm off to Spokane/Missoula/Nebraska/whoknowswhere for months for work. Oh, you can't move about because you have a mortgage and your kids are in school?  I'll send you a postcard.  See where I'm heading with this?

My mother asked me if my biological class was ticking loudly.  My reply, verbatim:  If you mean is it ticking down (the time) until I can leave, yes.  If you mean do I want one of those (babies), no.

I didn't know those people and being in the same room with them, some blue clothes pins, cupcakes and a pregnant woman was not going to change that.  I'd have loved to meet preggo, just the two of us, but schedules don't seems to be allowing for that.  I'd have much preferred to give her a gift then and actually have the opportunity to chat to her.  Instead, during the gift competition, I waved from across the room and had two minutes of talk as I said goodbye and peeled out after two and a half (long, dreadful, painful, excruciating) hours.

I treat myself to some beer on the way home at Powerhouse Brewery in Puyallup.  A growler full of their Scottish Ale is chilling in the fridge now.  Almost makes the whole thing worth it.

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