In the last few days, I’ve been getting emails and text messages from friends, asking me what I want for my bridal shower. The truth is that I’ve never been in a situation of my own making (as in, a voluntary birthday party that either my family or I have thrown) where I would implicitly be asking for gifts and then have to open them up in front of everyone. As my mom used to say to me when I was growing up and would ask why all my friends had big birthday parties I could occasionally attend but I did not, we supposedly didn’t have enough money for that (now I know that it’s not true, but whatever — now we know it was just cheapness and lack of desire to organize). The one birthday party I ever really had was a surprise thrown for me by one of my best friends today, organized at the Olive Garden (then, it was nice, but now clearly as my tastes have changed, it would be funny). Now that my bridal shower is coming up this Saturday, I realize I again need to be in a room full of people who want me to open my gifts and get googly eyed with gratitude. I know I should be grateful; I’m lucky that I even have friends who would be willing to travel for me and be a part of my wedding festivities, and I’m also lucky I have family who are alive and healthy and can celebrate. But I am awkward with the idea of asking for gifts, so I have been giving non-answers.
One friend asked me if I wanted an object or cash or a gift card. Another friend straight up said, I know I’d personally prefer cash, so guess what? You are getting cash! And then a third friend said, I know you like to bake and cook, so can you go around your kitchen and see what you don’t have or would consider a “nice-to-have”? And I’m not being rude when I’m asking you to do this, am I? She is so cute and practical.
I’m really excited about the weekend. I’ve never had a weekend where it was a celebration all about me, and I feel all at once happy, excited, awkward, and emotional about it. It seems so self-indulgent, but I don’t care anymore as long as everyone is happy and has fun. I still can’t believe I managed to get 15 women in my life in the same room in the same city at the same time. Not everyone I’d like to be there will be there, unfortunately, but I guess that’s the way life is. You have to take what you can get and enjoy it for what it is…. Because soon, those amazing moments will be over and replaced with new and different events. For the ones who couldn’t make it, it’s really their loss and not mine. And I feel the same way for those who won’t be attending our wedding.