This baby shower has brought nothing but grief and drama so far. K and I are both ready to tell everyone to forget about it.
In the middle of the night, when I was up for my regularly scheduled second dose of sleeping meds, I noticed that K’s Aunt K, the one who generously offered to host the baby shower, had sent an email in reply to K sending the names and addresses for our guest list. I was immediately annoyed when I read her email, which partly read:
I do recognize that you are a non traditional couple, however I envisioned a fun girls only afternoon shower rather than a couples party. Please revise the list and we’ll keep planning a wonderfully exciting event 🙂
Can someone please explain to me how it’s even possible to have a “girls only” shower when the pregnant person doesn’t identify as a girl?! This aunt really should know better and I think that’s what upset me the most about her reaction.
Sometimes, when I’ve been thoroughly disturbed by something in the middle of the night, I wake K to process it, but with this situation, I knew he would be too stressed to go back to sleep if I did. I also knew that he would err on the side of accommodating his aunt, even if it meant that he felt awkward or made to feel invisible, and I didn’t even want that to be an option. Plus, I was feeling super mama-bear about the whole thing and really wanted to protect K as best I could.
Had any other in-law sent an email with this sentiment, I think I’d feel uncomfortable replying, but like I said, I hold this aunt to a higher standard and trust her to hear what I have to say on the matter. I took a deep breath and wrote as diplomatic and gracious of a reply as I could muster. Among some obligatory niceties, I said:
I think one of the challenges about a girls only shower is that we’d feel awkward about K being the only one there who, while pregnant, doesn’t identify as a girl. We tried to strike a balance with the guest list by inviting mostly female family members and a more diverse range of friends. I hope it’s ok with you if we have some of these folks there, too.We sure appreciate you throwing this shower! It is such a sweet and thoughtful thing to do, and makes us feel so loved!Love you bunches,C
K didn’t read the email exchange until the morning. He was, understandably, pretty disturbed and hurt by it. His immediate response to me was to say, “But don’t you think that, as the host of the party, she has the right to say who she wants there?” This was exactly the sort of selfless reaction I had hoped to avoid by setting wheels in motion when I replied before he could react. I said, “Of course she gets a say, but we also get to politely tell her if something makes us feel uncomfortable, which is why I responded how I did.”
As of this writing, Aunt K hasn’t yet replied, but K and I have discussed a few options if his aunt decides she wants a gender exclusive party.
Why do family matters have to be so damn sticky?!