Yesterday was the date I was given for my baby shower. I was told by the BFF that they weren't going to tell me any details but that it wouldn't be a surprise because Gumbo was worried about trying to surprise me. It's not easy to do, for one thing. For another, she was worried I'd show up under-dressed and crabby. Gumbo would know; she was part of my surprise proposal that I almost ruined by - you guessed it! - being super crabby.
But of course, my baby shower wasn't yesterday. It was a couple of weeks ago, And I was about 95% surprised.
Here's how they did it:
The BFF asked me to do a presentation for the Girl Scout service unit. It was for girls entering middle school. She created a flier for it and everything. I made a PowerPoint. She suggested I invite Mini-Hope, who was the same age as the girls attending the event. She roped my coworker into doing the presentation with me.
There was absolutely zero reason for me to question any of this. And I didn't...until we were in the car, on the way to the event itself. Basically, I got a call from my former Girl Scout co-leader asking me to bring a fan because the church was hot. I told her we'd just left the house. She said to go back and get it anyway - that the BFF would rather I be late and have the fan than on-time and miserable.
And like a flash I thought, "Are they stalling me?" I turned to Mr. Hope and said, "There's really a Girl Scout event, right? This isn't, like, a surprise shower?"
"Not that I know of," he replied. "Why would you think that?"
I told him I thought the fan thing felt like a diversionary tactic. Even so, when we pulled into the parking lot, I still wasn't sure what I was walking into.
The event itself was lovely but went so so so fast. The BFF and Gumbo planned brisk activities, per my request, so that people didn't have to sit and watch me open presents for two hours. We had food, we had games, and yes, we had present-opening. But it was on such a tight agenda that I didn't even get to see everything before it was over and we were breaking down the room.
And honestly? It was really overwhelming. To be in a room full of women who loved and supported me, who were there to celebrate this baby that I spent so many years wishing for... It was a lot to take in. And of course, I missed my mom. I cried a couple of times. Pretty much what I'd expected.
Looking back at all of the little details, I'm beyond impressed by what my friends pulled off. But during the shower itself it was almost like an out of body experience. I was there but not entirely there. I was watching myself open gifts instead of being fully present.
I'd put a good number of coworkers on my shower list, so I wasn't really expecting a work shower. But on Thursday - the day of the actual Girl Scout event that was used to lure me to my shower - I was surprised a second time.
Here's how they pulled it off:
I got invited to a meeting with my boss and Glam Coworker. It was an odd meeting request, supposedly to talk about aligning objectives across departments. I messaged Glam the minute I got the invite was was all, "Do you know what this is about?" I bristled, wondering what it was that I wasn't aligning properly. The day of, I asked her if she thought our boss would mind if I ate my lunch, since the meeting was called for 12-1. "Who schedules a meeting for lunch like that?" I asked her.
And then, of course, it wasn't a meeting. It was the work shower. And that time, I was 100% surprised.
But I was also overwhelmed (again). I'm not comfortable being in the center of things. I'm always flabbergasted when people do nice stuff for me. Yes, I'm kind of a weirdo like that.
In the wake of the first shower, I was stressing about thank you notes. My mom raised me to send hand-written ones, but my carpal tunnel has been so bad I knew I wouldn't be able to do it. My options were to send emailed thank yous or wait until after the baby came and I got my hands back. The BFF presented a third option: I would type the thank yous to her and she would hand write them for me.
The BFF is a saint, if you couldn't tell.
So, my thank yous are coming. She's just finished transcribing them all - I just need to get them from her to stamp and send. P.S. I bought her an hour-long massage as a thank you. I figured she needed it!