A couple of readers have said they disagree (thanks for writing, ngarner29 and ynwa098) with my opinion that it’s perfectly fine to throw your own party to celebrate your wedding or new baby:
ynwa098: I am simply stunned by your statement in the April issue of Real Simple that it’s appropriate to throw your own shower. This is NEVER appropriate, and is not the same as throwing a birthday party. While an adult birthday party can happen without gifts, the point of a shower is to shower the honoree with gifts, so to throw your own is to ask people to buy you things, which is rude. I am deeply troubled that any reader may have trusted your advice, and therefore been thought extremely rude when actually trying to do the right thing. I do hope May’s issue includes a retraction.
ngarner29: Michelle, I was extremely disappointed when reading April 2012’s manners section to read that you deemed it appropriate to host your own shower. No. No no no. How sad to have wrong information given out to society. This is the oldest manner in the book. I am always embarrassed for friends who think this is OK. I hope readers do not follow your advice. Most of your comments I can agree with, but you really lost a lot of validity and respect for this one. Try again.
And this follow-up, from ngarner29: Also with regards to my previous comment about throwing your own shower–it’s really sad that classic manners are going down the drain with the rest of society’s morals.
Again, thanks for writing, ynwa098 and ngarner29, but you haven’t persuaded me to change my mind. While I know some people think it’s wrong to throw your own party, the stance puzzles me. I can’t imagine why anyone would want to deny a person an opportunity to celebrate a happy rite of passage simply because it didn’t occur to someone else to mark it by hosting the event. Who wouldn’t want to attend, to toast one of life’s happiest milestones? These days, many of us live far away from relatives or our oldest friends—the two categories of people most likely to throw a shower. If someone invited me to a shower she was throwing for herself, my first thought wouldn’t be that she’s rude—it would be that her close friends and family were either unable or too clueless to offer to host the party.
That said, I agree with you, ynwa098, that it’s not polite to ask people to buy you gifts. If you throw your own party, remind guests (when you invite them) that you care more about sharing your joy than about getting a lot of loot. You also can call it a party rather than a shower to let people know you aren’t trying to strong-arm presents. But please, don’t forego an opportunity to celebrate.
Would you throw your own shower? Or would you think someone who did was rude?
(image via Real Simple.com)