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Bridal shower or bath?

A little over a week ago, I got an email invitation from my sister-in-law (hubby’s oldest sister) to a wedding shower at her home the end of March.  It’s for her (& hubby’s) niece who is getting married the end of May.  Just hearing about such things makes me my skin crawl. The best way to describe me is non-traditional.  I don’t enjoy bridal showers of any kind. EVER.  I know I’m in the minority.  I just don’t see the point!  It’s not that I don’t like the person they’re for or that I don’t believe they have reason to celebrate.  I do.  I’ve just never liked doing things simply because it was expected.  I don’t like to hurt anyone’s feelings by not going but I’m to the point now where it’s not worth it to me to go and pretend I’m having a good time.  People who really know me, know I can’t stand them and I’d like to think they wouldn’t put me through it.
 
Hubby’s family is HUGE and I’ve gotten tons of invitations to these shindigs over the years.  In the beginning, I did go to a few when I still cared if I made a good impression.  They used to want me to bring my mom along and I obliged but she doesn’t like them anymore than I do.  After a few, she refused to go to anymore.  We both felt so ill at ease and out of place.  You have to sit around and make nice, play silly games and open presents.  We had a really bad experience at my sister-in-law’s (hubby’s younger sister) bridal shower.  It said “personal” on the invite but we didn’t have a clue what that meant.  Mom & I got her a beautiful gold woven wire basket and put a bunch of money (bills) through all the holes of the basket.  We thought it looked really neat and everybody can use money.  Ours was one of the first she opened (it was hard to wrap) and she seemed just horrified.  So did everyone else.  We both wished we could crawl into a hole.  She was passing all the gifts around for everyone to see but she grabbed it and said she wasn’t about to pass the “Money Basket” around.  I’ve always wondered why.  Did she think someone would help themselves?
 
People are always gracious enough but there is only so much small talk to be had.  Most of the showers I’ve been invited to were for hubby’s cousins’ fiances who I’d never even met.  Awkward.  I guess they’re just trying to be nice by inviting everyone.  It doesn’t help that now that we live in IL, it’s a 90 mile drive each way to attend.
 
So I’ve sent my regrets saying that personally, I prefer baths. 😉  I’ll be wrapping up a gift to be given to her at the shower so my absence won’t even be noticed.
 
This was one of about a million reasons I didn’t want to have a big wedding.  I didn’t want anyone to throw me a bridal shower.  My idea of a good time is a couples engagement party where it’s not all women sitting around playing party games but a lot of alcohol flowing and dance music.  I’m an odd duck and I kind of like being one.  I just don’t like feeling like I’m a freak because I don’t embrace traditions.
 
I’d love to hear who else out there likes or dislikes bridal showers!  Did you have one?  Was it awesome?  Have you thrown any?  I wonder if it makes a difference if you were raised going to such things or not?

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