Thursday, November 29, 2007

Pure cheese, with a side of love

It was baby shower time at work yesterday.

And it wasn’t just for the yummy Thai food that I enjoyed every minute of it.

The truth is I enjoy many of the corny rituals that some people disdain as hopelessly pass̩ or silly Рthe office birthday cakes, the wedding and baby showers replete with games and gag gifts and silly hats for the honoree.

And yes, I know these rituals can be awkward, sometimes downright cringe-worthy. More than once I have rolled my eyes and desperately tried to think cool thoughts as they unfolded. But regardless, I continue to believe that they are important, imperative even.

In a weird way I feel it is a testament to the human spirit that we force ourselves to push through the embarrassment and self-consciousness that accompanies these attempts, however lame, to acknowledge the milestones in the lives of our fellow human beings.

Because I think we need rituals. I know I need them and I would go as far as to say that the human race needs them and has needed them throughout the ages. Today more than ever, we need to celebrate together, even when we aren’t quite sure how and therefore fall back on traditions that seem old fashioned and anachronistic.

We need to even though it feels safer and easier to affect boredom and wrap ourselves in jaded hipster irony, which boiled down, is really just an excuse for distance.

I’ll deal with the cheese because it is inevitably served with care and concern. I will forever remember both my wedding preparations and my pregnancy as some of the best times of my life. I never got seriously irritated with people touching my belly or offering me advice or even asking questions that bordered on inappropriate. I felt connected to my fellow (wo)man like never before. I felt like people noticed me; that they cared about me. That they cared about my child.

One of my very favorite posts ever was about this co-worker’s pregnancy and how it has taken me back to my own journey two years ago. In the fall of 2005 I was blessed with three wonderful baby showers. There were cousins and doting aunts and childhood neighbors at one, co-workers with silly smiles hiding their packages from me at another and my best girlfriends at the third one where I was forced to wear a feather boa and a princess hat in a public restaurant.

And when I am old and grey, I will count those celebrations among my very fondest memories.

Even if a princess hat and a feather boa really isn’t my best look.


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12 comments:

crazymumma said...

Here Here to ritual.

I love it!

crazymumma said...

ahem (I meant hear hear).

damn senior moments....

Mac and Cheese said...

I'm the first to scoff at cheese, but I miss it when it's not there. I was at an baby shower this past year where no family members of the expectant mother were invited, there were no silly hats, no party sandwiches, practically no presents, AND NO CAKE!!!!! It made me sad.

Kristen said...

Cheesy is all good:) I adore that photo, so flippin' cute!

Badness Jones said...

You're right! And the older I get, the harder it is to be cool...and the more I need the ritual and enjoy providing it for my littles. Great post.

Family Adventure said...

Lovely post! You are right -- we do need traditions. Christmas is like that -- sometimes awkward, sometimes over the top, but necessary nevertheless.

Heidi

Dayna said...

Okay, I obviously have issues. I read your post, and didn't comment on the traditions part of it - rather I just had to say - DAMN GIRL you looked good pregnant. I looked like a big fat cow. You, my friend looked like someone put a basketball under your shirt!

Thursday said...

I agree, we all need rituals to punctuate our lives with pinpointed memories when we're old and grey.

Kellan said...

I loved this post and I totally believe in the rituals we practice as societies, groups, families, nations ... they are what bring us together - make us care about each other - unite people. Great post. Have a great weekend. Kellan

Secret Agent Mama said...

Rituals are great, as long as they don't involve drinking blood. That's kinda gross. LOL

I love that picture you included. You were glowing!

newduck said...

This is the best picture ever. I absolutely love it. And more power to you for having patience with the inappropriate pregnancy questions - heaven knows I don't!

Jen said...

Ritual is very important, I agree. I think we all get a little sad when a holiday or big event goes by and there's no ritual to mark its passing. Deep down in our souls, we're all three year olds who need a little help through the big transitions in life, even if it's just the passing of the seasons.