Most everybody loves an excuse to attend a good party. But these days, there seems to be more and more invites to the self-absorbed and self-indulgent kind, which lack the aforementioned "good" part. Before you make it to your girlfriend's wedding you will have most likely attended her engagement party, bridal shower, and bachelorette party. Including the wedding that's three gifts expected plus the cost of attending the bachelorette party and paying for your friend, not to mention a total of four parties dedicated to "celebrating her."
Although the party and gift-giving traditions for weddings is a rant-worthy blog itself, we're actually here to discuss the latest trend in an even more annoying party category: the ones involving babies. In an effort to come up with yet another way to indulge one's narcissism and the need for attention, trend-abiding couples have started throwing gender reveal parties.
In case you have missed this obnoxious trend (if you have, you are a lucky bastard, although you probably have no friends, so maybe not), it's been around for a few years now. Thanks to Facebook, Pinterest, and Etsy, the idea for such a party was able to spread quickly, like a virus, and now it seems as if every pregnant woman is doing something gender-revealish, whether it's a party or a photo shoot.
It's hard to pick a starting point on where to begin in explaining our disdain for gender-reveal parties, but the name itself seems like a good one, in the fact that it's a complete misnomer. You are not revealing the gender of your baby; you are revealing the sex. So if you're going to throw one, then please at least refer to its proper name. You are having a sex-reveal party.
And another thing: Why do we have to go to a baby shower and a sex-reveal party for your baby? It's not even born yet and it gets two parties? More importantly, it gets two days' worth of our impossible-to-find free time? Hardly seems reasonable.
Baby showers are annoying enough with horrendous guess-the-melted-candy-bar-in-the-diaper-game, or the guess-the-size-of-the-baby-bump using toilet paper. The latter definitely won't upset your expectant friend with how ginormous you think she looks. Don't get us started on the oohing and aahing while she opens every single stupid onesie, sock, and bib and passes it around. Baby showers are the worst, and the only consolation in having to attend them lies in another trend: the co-ed baby shower. Make it an equal-opportunity torture party, we say.
So not only do we have to be subjected to cringe-inducing baby shower games and pretending to care that you got the best whatchamacallit on the market from so-and-so, we also have to come to a sex-reveal party where you tell us what you're having.
But it's not that simple. It would be too easy to attend a party where you just happened to announce the sex of your baby. You might require that we dress in blue or pink, depending on whether we think it's a he or she, hold up sticks with cardboard cutouts glued to them in the shape of lips or mustaches to our mouths (lips for a girl, mustache for a boy, obviously), beat a piñata that will break apart and reveal blue or pink pieces of candy or paper, or play cheesy games involving placing bets on team pink or team blue.
Some parents choose to find out the sex before their party, and the reveal is for their friends and family, but many find out with their guests. For example, the parents could have the ultrasound tech write the sex down and put it in an envelope. Then they give the envelope to a baker, for instance, who makes an informative cake that is unveiled at the sex-reveal party. Call us old-fashioned, but isn't that a little personal and private? The moment you find out the sex of your child will now belong to not just you and your spouse, but a bunch of other people you're hoping bought you cool stuff.
Our society has turned into obnoxious over-sharers. Social media has perpetuated this culture shift as well, and it's not really a good thing. Thanks to it we get to see what our friends are eating, what temperature it is in their car, photos of their dogs, latest toys and weird selfies all day long whenever they desire to post them (often), and we think that perhaps there are still some things in life that aren't meant to be shared -- or at least shared so immediately. Remember when it was only possible to find out the sex of your child after you gave birth to it? Would you have a sex-reveal party in the deliver room? Probably not.
Sex-reveal parties are just taking the whole celebrate-your-impending-child thing a little too far. We have become far too self-absorbed and narcissistic in our endeavors to constantly have people pay attention to us, or "celebrate" us. Social media has furthered our narcissism and self-absorption, and gives us a medium to showcase them. Pregnancy is just the next step after marriage in the celebrate-me-party overload.
We get that you're excited for the arrival of your new baby, and we get that finding out what you're having (if you choose to do so) is super exciting. And as your friend, we are excited for you and can't wait to welcome the baby once he or she arrives. Chances are we will spoil it rotten with all the cute shit that's out there for babies. We just don't like being forced (if we didn't go to these parties you'd be offended and we'd look like jerks) to attend parties where we're expected to bring gifts and give up our free time to play obnoxious, cutesy games that aren't fun for anybody.
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We don't want to play games to guess what sex you're having, bite into a cupcake filled with a blue or pink gumball, cut into a cake to see which color frosting it has, or see you open a box that releases a bunch of pink or blue balloons to find out.
Do us a favor and only invite us to one party for your expected one. If you insist on having a sex-reveal party then make it part of your baby shower. And don't make us play any more games to find out what it is. We don't think that's asking too much.
Oh, and if you choose to go the sex-reveal photo shoot route, don't send us a scratch off card that tells us the sex, 'cause we're not scratching anything, and definitely don't send us a picture like this. Save your money and give us an old-fashioned ring on the phone, or at least just announce it on Facebook, the new old-fashioned way.