How would you handle this?

scoobymamaJanuary 29, 2008

We have some friends that are expecting a baby and we are thrilled for them. We tried to be nice and offered to throw a baby shower. Now, we have thrown many showers and we have had showers thrown for us. We anticipated throwing a great shower (we always get loads of compliments on our parties), so I felt sure they would love what we would do for them. Plus, this is about celebrating a baby -- how can you not be happy when the celebration is about getting to bring a baby home to love on!!

So, now that we are into the shower planning, the couple suggested to me that we have the party catered by a pricey restaurant. I suggested that we make the food ourselves because of the large guest list, but this was ignored and they went to another hostess and had her make the suggestion for the catering...So, all of a sudden, they were expecting a steak fajita buffet catered, a keg, a margarita machine, a chocolate fountain among other things. This is not at all what I thought they would expect of us when I offered to throw a baby shower. I have never been in a situation where the couple made any requests (except for the invite list) -- much less requests of this nature. This is a baby shower!! I spoke up and said that we did not need a keg, but that we could buy some beer and the couple said not to worry -- It won't go to waste because the superbowl is the next day and they won't let it go to waste. Now, I skimped on my own child's birthday because of our budget and now I'm expected to shell out all this money for margs, a marg machine and a keg because they want a game day fiesta the day after their shower? I'm sooo in shock. I love these friends dearly, but I think they have lost the meaning of this shower...We are supposed to be celebrating the new life that they are bringing in to the world...I had no idea we'd be throwing a kegger. My word - -I felt so lucky to have a baby that I didn't have one request or complaint about anything done for me when showers were given for me.

I had to tell them "no" to the buffet being catered when it was pushed...So, we aren't doing that. But, they are insisting on the keg and asking for the margs...and even mentioned that they could use it the next day for the superbowl...I'm truly appalled by my friends behavior...And, I'm in an awkward situation because I cannot afford this right now.

They also mentioned registering for expensive things that they don't want so that they can take them back and get a lot more with the money...My heart sunk to hear this. If I splurged for something on their registration list because they registered for it and they didn't really want it, I would be so hurt.

Suggestions please??? And, remember, I really do care about these people --- I guess that is why it feels so bad to be taken advantage of in this way and why it feels so shocking. Please give me suggestions on how to handle this without causing a rift in our friendship.

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I would say, "Great! A margarita machine and a keg sound great! It's not in my budget right now, so I can't pay for it, and I don't have the extra time to arrange it, so you guys take care of that part. Go buy it or rent it or whatever, and we'll put it out along with the food I made".

    Bookmark   January 29, 2008 at 7:39PM
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Why do you care about these mercinary money grubbers?
I would say....sorry, we didn't know what you wanted when we offered to throw a baby shower for you. We will LOVE to give you a party to welcome your little one, but we won't be throwing a "pre Super Bowl" kegger.
Perhaps you will feel better finding someone else to do that?
But....we would still love to throw a shower for your new little one.
Why don't you just sit back and let us surprise you?

Years ago, it was the custom that a shower, baby or wedding was a surprise....then it got to eb "planned" with the honoree....I think surprise parties were better!!
Linda C

    Bookmark   January 29, 2008 at 7:41PM
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Oh, my gosh -- this is just awful. How dreadful that they are so rude and are taking such advantage of you like this, when you have been so generous. I am so sorry for you.

I know you love these friends, so I am not going to tell you to write them off. But, honestly, I don't think there is a thing you can say or do that is going to teach them anything. Just try your best to chalk it up to pre-baby derangement, and don't make any speeches about what it means to welcome a new baby into the world, etc. -- maybe they are thinking more in terms of a last bash BEFORE the baby comes along and changes everything! Not that that excuses their behavior -- I'm just staying that it's a non-starter to get into discussions of the proper attitude toward a shower, etc.

Anyway, I think the best you can do is to give as nice a party as you can, a la daisyinga's suggestion, enjoy it as much as you can, and try not to say anything you'll be sorry you said later (however true it would be).

We had a sort of comparable experience last year -- I think it's on a string about "your worst guest" or something -- someone really took advantage of us when we offered to give a party for them. It took a LONG time, but I'm so glad I got over it without giving him a piece of my mind. Life does go on -- right now his mom is dying, and I'm glad there is no bad blood between us.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2008 at 8:34PM
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I agree with daisey. Tell them you'll do the food, and they can get the keg on their own, then they'll have it for the next day. Make it clear you'll provide sodas, tea, whatever, but the keg & margaritas, are theirs to do.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2008 at 9:06PM
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Thanks so much for the input...I am still in shock that requests were made and I just wasn't prepared to handle this. I thought they knew that you sit back and let the people "shower you." (I actually mentioned that to them as well.)

LindaC -- Good question. I think I am still in shock at the "true colors" that just came out with all of this. (Returning expensive gifts that you registered for just to get more out of people? I'm sorry, but who does that?) I considered them to be such good friends and I never saw this coming...It's sad for me to see all of this in addition to feeling like they are taking advantage of us.

I wanted to give them a party that they would always cherish and remember...I guess they were looking for a party that they can't remember!

I don't want a lot of tension...I hate it that they put me in this awkward position.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2008 at 10:01PM
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Hi --

You asked "How would you handle this?" -- but your other statements indicate that you wouldn't want to hear my answer. :)

I'm just amazed about "their" requests (demands?), and assume it's both a male and female that you're talking about. They must intend it to be a "couples" party, given the food and drink that was requested, and it really does just sound like a superbowl pre-event.

Perhaps I lead a sheltered life, but the only baby showers I've ever been to consist of females only, no booze -- or maybe a spiked punch, the usual shower "games", some food, and opening of [genuine] baby-related gifts. Their version does sound like more fun. lol!

Good luck!

    Bookmark   January 30, 2008 at 12:13AM
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I said out loud as I read..are they kidding..hubby said I read him your OP..he said...SCAMMERS and that was before I got to the registry!

I have no other suggestions other than what the others added..
But me being me..I'd likely speak up and tell them what my intentions where when I made the offer...If that didn't work for them, they'd need to find another hostess..

Good luck!

    Bookmark   January 30, 2008 at 12:15AM
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You've got to be kidding - booze at a baby shower???? From a keg?

If they were great friends, I like to think I would set them down and say, I'm not prepared financially for what this has become. This is what I had planned: X Y Z. I have never attended a shower where there was a keg, and requests for catering, etc - I want to be part of your celebration, and would love to do what I can. Here is what I can do"

Then, you will know if THEY are as loyal as YOU are.

I've got crap for friends, so I understand - but remember you do have choices - they can't "make" you do anything.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2008 at 12:32AM
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wow , I thought I had heard of everything, your friends are something else.

You have to be strong and offer them what YOU want to do; according to your budget. If you let this get out of hand, you'll only have yourself to blame.

Personally, I would bow out of this completely; make a call and say, "you know what, I changed my mind and can't do this" sorry.

Let someone else shower them, or they should throw their own shower, (it's bad etiquette but obviously your friends have no clue)

I feel for your dilemma, you are well intentioned but are these really close friends of yours ?

    Bookmark   January 30, 2008 at 7:01AM
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Well, these were close friends of ours, but I do feel the tension building and I'm not sure where we'll go from here. I think they are just caught up in their excitement and they aren't thinking about anyone but themselves at this point. There are other hostesses involved here and I am the only one to speak up about the keg/etc. The mom-to-be even told me that she didn't care if the people working together to throw this shower hated each other by the end because we don't have to be friends with one another. I was in shock to hear it...So, the more I think about it, the more I see that they really aren't thinking about other people's feelings.

Believe me, if I felt like I could bow out gracefully, I would do so. The problem is that the shower is this weekend and I don't feel right backing out at this point. (However, all of this just came to a head over the last couple of days -- I had no idea that things would turn out this way!) I have already spent a good bit of money on stuff that I've had personalized for the party (and can't take back). Now, I have to admit, I feel like a fool for putting my money into things that I thought would be perfect for a baby shower, when their intention was to have a keg party with enough beer left for a super bowl party.

I have to say, this is like salt in my wounds...I don't go to baby showers anymore since my baby died (she never made it home from the hospital.) It's very hard on me to do these things and they are very aware of this. I prayed and prayed that I could put my own emotional issues aside to be able to throw them a wonderful baby shower...So, for things to turn out this way when I was trying to be "brave" and unselfish is just -- well, it's stunning.

Thank you for responding -- I have been feeling like the bad guy here who doesn't want to give them what they want during this special time in their lives. I do feel better knowing that I'm not alone in thinking that it is crazy that these things have been demanded for a baby shower. I won't put myself in this type of situation again...I have learned a lesson for sure.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2008 at 10:19AM
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I'm so very sorry about your baby girl. Of course that dynamic makes this all the more difficult -

You have a few choices here - you have decided to follow through with your obligations, which is fine. Once the event is over, you can choose to disappear from the relationship, or you can act as though nothing is wrong, or you can take a risk and take the relationship to a higher level by sharing with them how you feel - they will either help resolve those feelings or they will react negatively - at least you'll have been real and will know where the relationship truly stands.

If it were me, I'd disappear from the relationship and just be polite. But I'd no longer persue the friendship.

(If I were to get out of my lakehouse deal, that's what I'd do. Some friendships aren't worth the efforts to repair and heal.)

    Bookmark   January 30, 2008 at 11:56AM
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I'm bit confused. " So, now that we are into the shower planning, the couple suggested to me that we have the party catered by a pricey restaurant....." .Seems very late to be planning a shower just a few days from now.

None the less I agree with the others, tell them if they want those other things they will have to pay for those things themselves.

If I were you I would also put my head down on the pillow tonight and ask myself why I cherish the friendship of people who don't share my values and with whom I cannot have an honest discussion with...sounds like family not friends!!

By the way , when did baby showers go coed !?! Shows you how old I am!!! LOL

    Bookmark   January 30, 2008 at 2:19PM
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Scooby, I am so very sorry about your own loss. That has to make this even harder.

I really admire you for your acknowledgment that your friends are just swept up in it all and aren't thinking of anyone but themselves. It's rude, it's selfish, it's inconsiderate. But it is not unusual, is it? People who are ordinarily kind and considerate sometimes become self-absorbed and inconsiderate before their weddings and babies. How many bridezillas recognize that that's how they are behaving? How many people who pride themselves on NOT being that way unwittingly do it, at least a little, anyway? I think one of the reasons people act badly at these times is that, joyful as pregnancies and marriages are, they can also be stressful and scary.

So, in my opinion, you are doing the right thing all the way around. It's kind of late to change plans, certainly to change them to an entirely different kind of party. And there are other hosts involved -- maybe they like this idea.

Most important, these are your friends. You are cutting them some slack at one of those times in life when they aren't at their best. Perhaps they have done or will do the same for you or others you know. I'm not saying that you should be a chump and simply absorb year after year of whatever someone dishes out without ever engaging in good actions that balance it out some. But to wait out an obnoxious period is really not all that different from hanging in there during illness or crisis.

That is what real friends do for each other. And it sounds like that is what you are!

    Bookmark   January 30, 2008 at 2:42PM
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Amyfiddler -- you are right...I will not pretend this was's just not within my abilities these days to pull that off. I am not going to confront them because my husband tried to no avail.

Well, we knipped the pricey restaurant thing in the bud a few weeks ago (although we were stunned by the request and how they went around us by telling someone else when I mentioned that we could take care of the food ourselves). But, we have had to wait on RSVPs to determine the amount of food/drinks that we would need. So, the whole keg (so that they can use it for the superbowl the next day too) threw me for a loop when it is clearly not necessary...Then, came the marg machine and so forth. I thought that when we told them that we couldn't pay for a wedding reception that they understood that we thought we were planning a baby shower...So, it wasn't until just a couple of days ago that it became known that they thought they could put a keg to good-use for game day!!

I am questioning many things at the moment...You all have made very good points and I know this is not how I have behaved when friends have offered anything for me and my family. I will try to tackle this party as gracefully as I can and then I will not put myself in this position again :( I have to say though -- because I did cherish these friends, I am more upset about this than I would like to be. If these were people that I thought absolutely nothing of, this would not be so bothersome...

By the way, my husband did try to have an honest discussion -- it pretty much went nowhere :(

At some point maybe they will realize what the party was supposed to be about...who knows.
Thank you for sharing all your comments and thoughts.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2008 at 2:48PM
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Ah Scooby, so sorry to read of your baby's passing. You would think that the mom-to-be would be more sensitive. Clods, the lot of them!
I agree with the rest of the posters. Don't provide the keg, Margarita machine, or the rest. caters. Let them know that is on them. I'm sure what you have already done is great. Provide the food that you had already planned. Don't be forced into doing what you can not afford or don't think is right to do. And I'll add my own 2 cents. Since when did guys start going to baby showers! Does sound like all they want to do is get the leftover fixin's to supplement a football party. Good luck to you! NancyLouise

    Bookmark   January 30, 2008 at 2:50PM
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ah... scoobymama said: "I thought that when we told them that we couldn't pay for a wedding reception that they understood that we thought we were planning a baby shower..."

I believe what you're saying is that they will be getting married on Saturday -- or have just recently married and never had the usual celebration? You wanted to do a small 'baby shower' (probably much more important to you because of your loss) and they want a blast of a wedding reception/party. Now I understand the "requests" for food, booze, couples... for them, it's not a baby shower at all.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2008 at 4:15PM
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Oh, no...they had a huge fancy wedding a few years ago. But, we were saying that with the things that they were expecting, that it would be more like a wedding reception!! Or, at least a rehearsal dinner...nothing like a baby shower. So, my husband tried to bring them back down to earth and remind them that this was a baby shower and we don't have thousands to spend on it. (It was going to be in the thousands with the requested catering and all.)

Sorry to have been confusing!! But, yes, this was an offer to do a baby shower to celebrate the new life...That was superbowl party, etc. (Although, I see why they specifically asked for the party to be the night before now!)

All in all, they have been good friends (a bit clueless at times when they tossed us into situations that we weren't comfortable with after our loss), but they have been good friends. So, I am going to stick this out as best I can and try to make things nice for them. But, I have seen some true colors and what is important to them...It does make it hard when we have a totally different set of values.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2008 at 4:38PM
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Good friends do not use you.

And you are being completely used.

Run away, Forget this shower and forget these losers.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2008 at 4:50PM
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Let your gift to them be your contribution to the shower, and let it go at that.

You mentioned they registered for expensive gifts so they can return them for cash. When my son married a few years ago, his new MIL told the bride and groom not to worry about the gifts while on their honeymoon. When they returned, EVERY gift from a shower and all the wedding gifts had been returned to the stores of purchase. MIL took the cash and used it to replace the wedding and shower gifts with similar things from garage stores and thrift shops, maybe even craigslist, and presented the newlyweds with a wad of cash and the "new" used items! Son was horrified, new DIL was very embarrased, her mom was quite proud of herself. I must say, she was very orderly about it - kept a list so the newlyweds could write thank you notes as if they had the givers items in their possession! Some people don't seem to have consciences.

BTW, my DIL is a lovely woman who has learned how to keep peace with her mom.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2008 at 9:19PM
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Since when do pregnant women drink beer and Margeritas? The only baby showers I have been to were women only showers. I would just flat out tell her/them you are not providing booze at a baby shower! Usually baby showers are a suprise anyways.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2008 at 10:16PM
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It's just a side issue, but for what it's worth -- only one baby shower I have ever been to was a surprise, and coed baby showers aren't a new thing -- I see both ways. I know we gave one about 24 years ago, and I don't recall it seeming novel then, either.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2008 at 11:26PM
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I don't object to the co-ed's are taking a lot of responsibility these days for child care and it's best they discover the joys of emptying the diaper Genie sooner than later.
I also don't opject to margaritas and a keg at a shower.
What I object to is that it was their idea and not your's.
That they want to use the leftovers for another party the next day, and the thought that they would "register" for baby gifts!!!
What do the other hosts say about this?
I'd be having beer from a bottle, and you can divide up any extra among the hosts, and margaritas from a bottle of Chi-Chi's ....and the hosts take the leftovers.
Who's house will this party be at? Seems to me if they are using your home, you should get to call the shots.
Linda C

    Bookmark   January 31, 2008 at 2:23PM
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How would I handle this?
At this point, I'd give the baby shower as I'd originally planned without keg or marg machine or any of those crazy extras. You offered to give a party, that's the party you should give. You've tried to reason with them, that didn't work. What can they do once they arrive at the party and there's no keg? Nothing.

I also agree that I wouldn't add an additional baby gift on top of this party.

In the end, though, I think it's the right thing to take the high road as far as keeping your views and opinions about all this quiet. Whether you choose to continue the friendship after this is something you'll want to seriously consider.

I'm very sorry to hear of your loss, and think you are extremely gracious to give this party. Good luck, and please check in next week to let us know how it went.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2008 at 6:01PM
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Well, here's what happened...

My son had an illness a couple of weeks ago (according to our dr and all the research he is no longer contagious and hasn't been for weeks at this point). The mom-to-be said that her husband freaked out and that their dr said that we could not bring him to the shower. Well, we don't have a lot of family around and we don't just leave him with any sitter because he is high maintenance and he will "frazzle" people with his crying. Being that we've already lost one child, we just don't take risks with our babies knowing that he his high maintenance and he is very sensitive. So, we were told that we could not bring him. We also felt that if they felt he was a threat that we could not go either because he slobbers all over me every day and we hold him constantly. We ended up dropping the stuff off at her friend's house the night before. I had forgotten to mention...Our friends insisted that the shower be thrown at their own house so that they could show off the nursery that they worked hard on (this was convenient to have the keg for superbowl sunday as well, but I didn't know this at the time.) I thought this was odd when I was told where the shower had to be, but was willing to look past it and I knew that they were proud of the work they had done on the nursery.

They ended up getting a keg, I made Sangria (compromise from the marg machine), and then they used the rest of the stuff that I had done for the shower. But, I didn't attend. The dad-to-be told my husband that he should still attend because it was basically just a keg party that happened to have a few baby gifts (in other words, he could attend a baby shower without the wife and still be manly)...WOW. He said he had been telling all of his buddies that they would have a keg. Okay, in my silly mind, you can have a keg party anytime...You cannot have a baby shower any time. Why downplay the baby part to be cool?? So, I was putting my all effort and money into things to make this a special baby shower when this wasn't about the baby at all. (I didn't know this at the time that I was hard at work and spending $$.) So, that sort of explains it...they wanted to be cool and have the baby shower with the keg. (As if a baby itself wasn't reason enough for friends to come celebrate!! And, I had no problem supplying some beer/wine -- just not excessive amounts!! I didn't think the majority of the $$ or focus should be on that when there were far more special and meaningful things that can be done for this occassion.) As a parent, I lost the need to feel cool and instead totally focused on the special opportunity to be a parent...and that was way before I lost a child. (Not to mention I know etiquette far better than to have any requirements/demands when someone offers to throw a party in our honor! For my showers, I had not one complaint or thought except that I loved everything that was done for me and felt so blessed that people wanted to shower us with love and celebrate our baby!) I thought these friends would be excited that they are getting to have a baby because the pregnancy didn't come as soon as they had hoped and that whatever we did would be so appreciated because of what we were celebrating. I have to add that we have always been known to throw top-notch parties for our friends' celebrations...nobody has ever made requests/demands before and they have always been thrilled with the outcome.

I already received an email from the mom-to-be thanking me for all my work while emphasizing that the alcohol "made" the party (something to that effect) and that the guys were insisting on floating the keg, so they stayed up most of the night and they ALMOST floated it. (Making this point to me because I said a keg was not necessary for the # of people coming and I had told her friends that she was too tired to go out to eat at 7pm recently, so I truly didn't think she would be up for an all night kegger --- I was trying to be considerate of her. She let me know that she stayed up until 2 am...Yes, yes, I was wrong on so many things.)

Anyway, I spent a lot on the shower (not including my gifts to them that had been purchased before the shower issues came up) so that they could have a keg party. I guess that I should be glad that I was spared having to attend, but that was sort of crappy too. It makes me sick that I bought my 1 year old a $12 present for his birthday in order to save our money for this shower. I can't have my baby's 1 year birthday back and I didn't get to celebrate my last baby's bday...This was a huge sacrifice for me considering the sadness we encounter every day. I was trying to be unselfish by trying to do special things to celebrate their new baby...How stupid am I? (please don't answer that -- I feel very stupid at this point.)

I don't know how to react to the email that rubbed in that they almost floated the keg and that the alcohol was the best part of the party. I want to explain that I had focused so much of my money/effort on trying to make their shower special and baby-oriented and that keg parties can be had anytime. People will be happy to come drink from the keg anytime!! My own sense of etiquette will not allow me to tell them how much I spent on the shower and how I did so little for my own child for this party; although, I know they haven't a clue. I don't know where this will leave the friendship -- they are good people, but we definitely have different ideas about what is right -- and the comment about "I don't care if the hostesses end up hating each other, they don't have to be friends" is still hard for me to stomach. I can't see myself ever thinking that about people that I care about who were working together to put together a shower for me or my family. I think I would care more about their feelings knowing that they were working so hard to do something special for me. I had hoped that we could recover from this and that I could chalk it up to youth and inexperience...I'm still stumped and frustrated, but glad it's over. I just need to get my stuff from the party back and figure out whether or not to respond to the email that discussed that the alcohol was the best part of the party (this was obviously a dig on me since I said it was not necessary and I couldnt' afford it with everything else I had addition to the mom-to-be not being able to stay up late and party!) I am trying very hard to let this go and move on...I don't want any more drama or disappointment (let's hope they never stumble across this thread because I don't need the drama at this point. I have shed too many tears and have had so much stress over this stupidity...something I didn't need in my life in addition to grief.)

I am really sad at how my friends handled this...But, it happens and I will recover and know that in my heart I had the best of intentions in throwing them a memorable and special shower. I don't think they will ever understand, so I'm thinking that I will just leave it alone and thank my lucky stars that it is over. Easier said than done when I feel like I've been made into the bad guy although I put so much love and energy into the shower. This whole thing makes me sad :(

Live and learn...I learned a lot from this experience. I won't put myself in this situation again.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2008 at 11:08PM
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Gesh Scooby, nice "friends". It's tough being used by people you thought you knew. But you are being gracious and above it all by putting it past you and by learning not to make the same mistake again. Good for you. I would have probably sent the mom to be back an e-mail stating that baby showers are about the BABY not about the BOOZING! But that is just me. So sorry to hear your efforts were not appreciated. NancyLouise

    Bookmark   February 5, 2008 at 6:37AM
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Thanks Nancy...Believe me, it has taken everything I have to not email her back to tell her that the party was suppposed to be about celebrating a baby...the fact that a baby is on the way is beyond enough to "make" the party. I wanted to tell her not to sell herself short -- that people were there to celebrate her, her husband and the new life and they weren't there because of the alcohol. (I've written a response and just didn't send it!) I figure that I will end up more stressed if I do give my thoughts at this point. Thank goodness I vented to you guys!! (Thanks for listening.)

    Bookmark   February 5, 2008 at 10:32AM
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It's been awhile since I've been to a party with a keg (our crowd long ago moved on to wine, mixed drinks and micro-brew in bottles), so out of curiosity I looked up how much a keg holds. A keg is 15.5 gallons and serves 55 people three 12-oz. servings each. In other words, it is the equivalent of 165 cans/bottles of beer, almost 7 cases.

I personally think that a keg, margarita machine, ice luge, etc., is completely inappropriate for a BABY SHOWER. Can't these people display even a modicum of maturity when they are having a baby? Not knowing the ages of these "parents" makes it difficult to assess how far off the rails they really are. I hope they are young and will gain some maturity. If they are already 30+ and are still acting like this I feel sorry for their child.

And I feel sorry for the OP. She clearly wanted to host a baby shower, especially generous considering her own loss. The recipients clearly couldn't care less about a baby shower, they wanted a frat party.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2008 at 11:32AM
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Scooby, I'm sorry your good intentions and sacrifices weren't appreciated and that the party wasn't what you envisioned. You worked hard and spent a lot. I think your friends did not behave well. I'm guessing that the frat-party theme was because the husband felt strange about participating in a baby shower -- not to suggest anything about his security in his masculinity or anything ... !

What does "floating" a keg mean, anyway?

But I think you are going to be very, very glad that you handled it the way you did. You are upset, and that's understandable, but later you will feel different -- not 180 degrees different, just a different perspective. These are your friends -- I'm sure they didn't intend for you to spend less on your own child's gift; it's not fair to hold that against them. I agree with you about baby showers not being keggers and other things you wrote -- but part of being generous is giving people what suits THEIR tastes, not what we think they SHOULD prefer, and certainly part of being a good host is avoiding insulting the honorees' tastes or values. It doesn't mean that you have to spend more than you can afford, of course -- just that the idea is to please the guests of honor, not fulfill our own picture of the perfect event.

And no matter how right you are (which, in my opinion, you are) it doesn't mean it would have been a good idea to send them an e-mail lecturing them about values. Where on earth would that get you? It would surely end your friendship, and you would be sorry later. As for the comment about alcohol in her e-mail, it sounds to me like maybe she feels a little uneasy about it, too, so she is trying to make it okay. I would just ignore it when you respond; just tell them you're glad they enjoyed the party and you're sorry you couldn't be there.

Congratulations on being the bigger person! I know it isn't easy. But won't you be glad when that cute baby comes?

    Bookmark   February 5, 2008 at 12:49PM
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You need to really sit back and evaluate your "friendship" and your motivation for wanting these people as friends. You keep saying they are nice people, clearly they are not. They are selfish, immature and rude. Why on earth would you pick people like this a friends?

If you really think that these folk are people that you need to be friends with, then you need to accept their behaviors as OK.

You need to be in charge of your world not a victim of it.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2008 at 1:29PM
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Gellcom -- Thank you. Although, I do feel a little guilty about complaining here!! I do want to point out that I said I was incredibly stupid for making the choice to spend so little on my own child and spending it on the shower. That was my choice and I cannot hold it against them, you are right about that. But it does make me sick that I made that choice and as I said -- I feel stupid for that. However, had things turned out differently, I would have felt better about making that sacrifice -- make sense? But no, I cannot blame them.

If they would have been upfront and said "We're really looking for a kegger and not at all a baby shower and by the way, we'd like to enjoy extra beer for the superbowl too." Then, I would have had a better idea of what I was getting into and would have made better choices...It's not that I didn't want to give them what they wanted, it's that what they wanted was over and beyond what I had signed up for and I didn't realize this until it was too late. Then they insisted despite us explaining that we didn't have the money for this...Well, it's a bit different than trying to force what I think they should want on them, don't you think? (I know you were agreeing with most of what I said...So, I'm not feeling attacked...Just explaining the situation as I see it.) And, the only reason that I wanted to explain things to the parents-to-be was because I've been made to look like the "bad guy" that didn't want to give them their keg and marg machine. So, there is that part of me that would like to explain where my heart was in all of this. But, I won't...I did that here instead!!

Chase -- I agree. It's just never easy when you really value people in your life and then you are shocked by their behavior. I am not the perfect friend by any means -- I am flawed and have a great deal of baggage, so I always try to cut my friends some slack. I don't know how I will feel about this later, but I know that I have lost a great deal of respect...not just because of the keg that they could not live without, but because of the issue with not caring about the hostesses, the gift return scheme, etc.

I definitely have some re-evaluating to do in terms of the friendship and as upset as this has made me, I think it might be a matter of self-preservation to just remain cordial. We'll see what happens...After feeling the need to email me about how important the alcohol was, they may not want to be friends with me at all!!

    Bookmark   February 5, 2008 at 3:25PM
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You were used....
They didn't in any way want you to host a baby shower....they wanted a beer bust and they wanted you to pay for it. They wanted some money and were willing to trade baby gifts for $$$.
They sound like low lifes to me.

I have been used by "friends" before....but only once. Everafter any friend ship is on my terms. Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice shame on me.

A keg has a tap...a spigot. You pump the keg with a sort of bicycle pump, and that creates pressure, and when you push the thumb trigger on the spigot, beer comes out. That keg is kept in a vat of ice and water to keep it cold. That's called icing the keg. When you have replaced most of the beer with air, the keg bobs around in the ice water. Those with experience in such matters (;-)) ) can judge how much is left in the keg by the resistance it has to being pushed down in the vat of ice water.
The cry is "The keg's's over".

Sounds to me they wanted to see just how drunk they could get on someone else's money....I got over that when I was about 19.
Linda C

    Bookmark   February 5, 2008 at 7:31PM
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I admire your honesty for posting here, before and after, thanks for that;
I think you've learned your lesson and will make better decisions in the future.

I don't think you'll ever put yourself in this position anymore; it took this bad experience to make you realize that.

Value yourself and your close ones first. Make your decisions based on that and you can't go wrong. It might seem selfish at times, but the energy wasted on feeling frustrated and used is not worth it.

Another lesson learned from what I read above, is that once you start feeling that a situation is turning sour, stop it immediately, don't let things evolve, trust your instinct.
I learned all this the hard way and I still make mistakes, much less than when I was younger though.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2008 at 7:00AM
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Scooby, don't feel guilty about anything, especially venting here. That is what this forum is for among other things. You did nothing wrong. You tried to do a very nice thing for your "friends". They did not appreciate it. Shame on them. Imo, they should not have had any say in making the baby shower to begin with. This was a gift you and others were giving to them. They over stepped their boundaries. NancyLouise

    Bookmark   February 6, 2008 at 8:39AM
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Scoobymama, congratulations on taking the 'high road' and trying to salvage a situation (baby shower/kegger) in spite of people who just don't get it. For what it's worth, you shouldn't beat yourself up over trying to celebrate a wonderful event; particularly given the personal pain that this all put you though.

I have to ask this question - is this pregnant mother-to-be an active participant in the kegger or was that for the benefit of the guys?


    Bookmark   February 6, 2008 at 7:01PM
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I'm so sorry to hear of the loss of your baby. It was truly brave for you to even agree to help host a baby shower given your circumstances.

And, I wouldn't spend another minute worrying about not spending that much on your own child's b-day. Kids that age usually have no clue what is going on; and I would bet your love means more to him than a million gifts ever could.

Sounds like you probably wanted to help host a nice classy shower and your friend, or maybe just her husband, didn't. Keep things in perspective, reagardless of what your friend says, I can't imagine many women not being embarrassed by guys trying to float a keg at their baby shower.

It did occur to me that maybe they did intend to pay for the keg all along, but I still don't think they should be calling the shots. Not only do they not sound overly nice to me, but they also sound very controlling. Don't know all the specifics of your past friendship with them; hopefully this was a one time thing ... or a hormonal thing on her part, but I'd think twice about remaining friends with them if they continue to act the way they have been.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2008 at 1:46PM
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Thanks Nancy...I needed to vent.

Carla, Nope -- unfortunately, they never offered to pay for the keg and had no intention. (remember the scheme about registering for expensive baby gifts?) We, along with the other hostesses, paid for it. I spent more than everyone else because of the things I was in charge of and it now appears that I probably won't get reimbursed...We will see. (We were supposed to add it all up and split the costs between us.) At this point, I don't have any "fight" left in me to try and get reimbursed. One of the other hostesses mentioned that she thought some of the decor was "my gift" even though I asked the other hostesses for their permission before doing it (I don't usually ask permission to buy gifts -- lol!) It just all added up with the alcohol, food, and everything. So, it looks like I will be helping to pay for the keg and then some!! They aren't seeming hip on paying since it ended up being a keg party and the stuff I bought seemed to be less important than the alcohol. (I bought personalized stuff in the beginning to make sure it would be here on time, so I could not return the items a few days before the big day when it became clear that they were wanting a kegger.)

The mom thought it was cool that they tried to float the keg...She was the one who insisted that they could use it the next day for the superbowl as well. But, I agree --- Most women might be embarrassed...Not this one, she thought it was ultra cool and bragged about it.

Interesting observation about controlling...I think you are right on. Definitely thinking twice here.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2008 at 6:42PM
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Scoobymama, you are far, far too nice a person to be associating with such insensitive people. I am sorry for the loss of your own child. That you would offer to help host a shower for this ... friend (I cringe at the word use), shows the kindness of your heart. You deserve to be treated much better. Much better! You have only so much time, energy, money and attention in this life. Don't waste any of it on these people. From the way you describe being treated not only by the expectant parents, but the other hosts as well, you need to gently, quietly pull back from this whole social scene, and concentrate on friends who can reciprocate your thoughtfulness. Friendships should nourish you, not drain you. Look what these people have put you through.

To answer your original question, how would you handle this, I would now send a polite response to her email, and hope you never have to deal with her again. If she initiates future contact, assume it will be to use you again. Give your talents and time to your family or charity before you do good for people like this. They do not deserve you.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2008 at 1:19AM
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