Recently Jezebel posted a picture of a wedding shower invitation that someone had posted up on Reddit. No big deal. I mean, a wedding shower invite is pretty typical, right? Wrong. Apparently, there’s this new ‘thing’ happening now called the ‘Silent Shower’. What’s a ‘Silent’ Shower’, you ask? Well, it’s basically the end of humanity as we know it.
All of you women out there who cringe every time a birthday party invite for one of your kids comes home with directions to ‘just give money’ or ‘gift cards only’, brace yourself. This is that times a million. In case you missed what this invite is saying, it’s saying ‘we aren’t throwing a party, we won’t rent a hall, we won’t even give you a drink for your troubles, but here’s a self addressed stamped envelope so you can send ALL THE MONEY!’ What in the effing effity hell is this nonsense?! (PS – I have a feeling the editors might cringe at my copious use of swear words, so if they replace them with non swears please know I am cursing up a storm right now.)(ED Note: HIGHLY edited)
I think it’s safe to say that I’m past the wedding stage of my life – at least as a guest of a friend getting married. I’ve been there and done that and hosted showers and attended showers and sometimes both for the same bride. The only person who really loves a wedding shower is the person who is getting feted, and even then that’s a stretch. Most of us bitch and moan about having to attend a shower, but while we’re there we actually enjoy seeing those we haven’t seen in a while. We eat fun shower food, have a cocktail or two and enjoy the fact that we’ve had a day out of the house without husbands or kids. We just gave the soon to be newlyweds something that will help them start their life together.
This ‘silent shower’ business is out of hand. Have we really reached a level of greediness and shamelessness that we have no problem asking our friends and family members to simply give us more money (in addition to the cost of a wedding gift, wedding outfit and possibly travelling for the wedding itself)? We’re not willing to Google a few silly shower games, make a few plates of cheese and crackers and throw out some wine spritzers? Have we become so bold that we have no problem standing there with our hand out telling you to give us money because we don’t trust that you’ll buy us something that we really want? ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! ARE WE REALLY THAT RUDE?!?!
Manners. That’s what it comes down to. Are we to assume with this invite that the Maid of Honour, or whomever was tasked with throwing the bridal shower, was just so completely over her wedding duties that she thought ‘Dude, I can just tell people to send money and all I have to do is collect it and wrap it up. I am the BEST MAID OF HONOUR EVER!’? Or are we to assume that the bride didn’t want to be bothered attending a party where people give up an entire afternoon of their life to sit in some too hot living room playing juvenile shower games all because they cared enough about her to spend an afternoon with her and wish her well before her wedding? Because there can’t be another option. No one thinks that people would rather just send the cash, they only think that they don’t want to be inconvenienced but they also don’t want your crappy gifts either.
This insanity has to stop. If someone who is getting married really needs a bridal shower then they can sit through the mindless, stupid shower games and watch their great Aunt Betty wrap up their soon to be mother in-law in a toilet paper wedding dress. At the end of the day though a bridal shower is also about tradition, respect, and forging alliances with new family members. It’s about bonding and happiness and seeing someone actually say ‘Thank you’ to your face for your thoughtfulness. I’m not saying that putting money in an envelope as a gift isn’t generous and thoughtful, but wouldn’t it be nice if you could actually see the face of the bride as she opens your gift and acknowledges you while she also provides you with lunch and some fancy drinks? Weddings are busy times, the bride and groom don’t often have the luxury of stopping to chat with each and every wedding guest over the course of their evening. A shower allows you to see the bride and the bride to see you. Showers are not cash grabs. I repeat, showers are not meant to be a means for you to fund your dream trip to Italy with your husband. If you want to go to Italy save YOUR MONEY, not mine!
It’s not like gift registries haven’t made the process of gift giving during a shower about as easy as it can get. You don’t even have to think of a gift for the newlyweds, you simply have to decide on your budget, print out the registry and select something that fits off the list. You can buy a shower gift in less time than it takes for me to pick my kid up from school. I don’t care if the bride and groom want the cash so they can spend it on some kind of European vacation instead of tea towels – I don’t need to buy that for you. The purpose of a wedding shower is to help the newlyweds prepare for life as a couple. If you don’t need that help, don’t have a shower, but don’t you dare ask me to just send you money. I’m more likely to send you a note telling you what day you need to pick up my kid than I am to send you an envelope of cash.
The silent shower is simply a reminder that we’ve reached a sickening level of greed and entitlement in our society. Are we really so busy with our lives that we can’t take a few hours out of a Sunday afternoon to bring a group of women together to celebrate one of our own? Are we so very self-centered that the very thought of spending time celebrating another is unfathomable? Finally, have we become so greedy that tradition and thought have no place in a wedding anymore?
I’m so very curious about your thoughts on this. Would you ever attend a silent shower if you were invited, or is this the epitome of tacky to you?