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Monday, May 08, 2006


Welcome to Alex's virtual baby shower!

Okay, it's not really a surprise, I mentioned to Alex I would be putting some links and book recommendations up for her on my blog, and to make sure she stops by to take a look, otherwise (ahem) she would probably never see them, and really, what else is there to shout out at the beginning of a party? "HELLO!"? "BABY SHOWER!"?

So, come on in, grab a cup of tea or coffee or a Bombay Sapphire martini and make yourself right at home...

First, introductions are in order:

Alex, let me introduce you to some of the wisest women I've had the pleasure to meet, and a few new friends too.

Everybody, this is Alex. Alex is one of the few flesh and blood female friend I have that's not related to me. We met years ago at a baby shower -- oh, the irony -- for the wife of a mutual friend. A friend her parents' secretly, or not so secretly, planned on her marrying. Let's all be thankful that never happened. Really. Anyway, I arrived late and slinked into a chair at a table in the back of the room and was instantly intrigued by my tablemates, a bespectacled, raven-haired Amazon in overalls and the lanky, silent goateed guy sitting beside her. She had never been to such a girly affair before and was unfamiliar with shower protocol. She figured a party was a party and invited her boyfriend Forrest to come along for the festivities. We clicked. There is nothing so enjoyable as going to a baby shower out of sheer obligation for a person you could never be anything more than a barely tolerable acquaintance of, and sitting next to the one other person in the room, or entire town perhaps, that is as cynical, sarcastic, and irreverent as you. If we looked alike, she would be my evil twin.

Alex's power over men is legendary, at least around these parts. Physically she is as powerful as a man, and not afraid to make a show of force if need be, and when the mood suits she is a Siren. Forrest was not her boyfriend's name, it was Charles, but Alex thought it too elegant a name for him and renamed him Forrest, as in Gump. It was at least a year before we ever knew his real name. Under her Svengali-like control, she even taught him how to properly administer a bikini wax. Most impressive. For a few years she was a fixture at our house, cooking gigantic protein-based meals for the Atkins dieters among us, and swilling gin with the rest, entertaining the kids, and initiating deep, intelligent, and sometimes very provocative conversations. Jorge even hired her as an 'Expediter', a position he totally made up, because she was equally capable negotiating permitting processes and digging ditches. She eventually moved away, picked out a new girlfriend for Forrest, and had a few more boyfriends, some she could dominate and some she could not. When she called me out of the blue at work one day, I guessed what was coming. She was pregnant. I knew eventually it would happen. Her boyfriends were often evaluated for their potential genetic contributions, but she never wanted a husband. I was right about the baby part; that she had married the guy floored me. Apparently he is one of the good ones, and she is feeling happy and secure.

We are expecting her daughter around July 22.

Raised by hippie parents (I've still never met them in person, but always envision them like Dharma's parents on Dharma and Greg, only more blue-collar and much edgier), Alex grew up to appreciate a healthy, commonsense, fiercely independent, natural lifestyle and is planning to raise her daughter with these same sensibilities only with her slightly more radical attitude. She doesn't understand people plopping their kids into strollers as if to avoid physical contact; she was always carried or walking. There will be no bassinet-to-crib-to-toddler bed-to-full sized bed nonsense for her. She wants a home birth, in a pool, and plans to breastfeed. Dare I say it? I think she might even homeschool...

Since she lives far away now and greatly disdains wasteful consumerism and ridiculous, frou frou gender specific clothing, I decided this would be my gift to her. Alex is a voracious reader and would greatly enjoy your book recommendations. Equally at home reading Shakespeare as she is hunting wild boar, she would relish your suggestions for can't-miss classical literature as much as dystopic future nonfiction. Please also feel free to leave any birth stories and child-rearing tips, as well as your most indispensable advice. Have any suggestions for a first time homebirthing mother? Embarrassing moments as a new mom? Helpful links? Must-have products? Well-wishes? Please, share. And feel free to spread the love.

Every shower requires some sort of goofy game: As you comment, begin your post with a baby-related word, in alphabetical order following the previous comment. I'll start with A, the next reply would start with B, etc. Let's see if we can get all the way to Z. And the number of times the word "baby" is mentioned will equal the number of gray hairs Alex gets.

Thank you so much for coming!

1 comment:

Heidicrafts said...

A is for applesauce.

Bloglines just gave me bunch of your back posts. How did the baby thing work out for Alex and hubby?

Book idea? I'm usually a nonfiction reader. Studying Japan and pirates right now. Not much overlap, though. And for myself, I'm reading Mary Poppins for the first time. Before I read it aloud for the kids.

But my husband is reading aloud "Wintersmith" by Terry Pratchett. The third of the Tiffany Aching series. Excellent, lots of little details. Funny as all get out.