Posted on Tuesday, August 7, 2012
in Emotional, How To, Relational, Social, Spiritual, Values
This weekend my dear – and very pregnant – friend Angi had a baby shower.
“Pumpkin seed” is Angi’s first.
This was also my first baby shower.
I know husbands, boyfriends, significant others and the like who have attended baby showers, but I never had.
I was feeling a variety of feelings as the moment to leave for the party arrived:
– I felt blessed to celebrate with Angi & “Pumpkin Seed.”
– I felt nervous that I wouldn’t know the unwritten rules.
– I felt excited to have a new “cross-cultural” experience.
– I felt apprehensive because I didn’t know what I would experience.
– I felt guilty because we could only stay for an hour before we left for a wedding.
– I also felt grateful because I knew that a cake was specially prepared for my glutton & dairy-free wife.
We arrived to a roomful of women smiling, chatting, laughing and listening to one another. I knew, at first glance, almost no one. My guess is that this baby shower had gathered women (and children) from many spheres of Angi’s life including, family, friends, workmates, cubicle-chums, church-buddies, fans of Peeps, and grateful fans of her pizza-making fame.
As we sat, in the corner (in the two open seats) I had a great view of the festivities. I looked, lunched, and listened. Here are some of my observations.
Thoughtfulness Still Exists
I knew a couple of people had formal roles, but over and over I saw people live out the axiom, “Be kind and compassionate to one another.” 1
I loved and admired their mutual willingness to help make the party a success.
Strangers Still Feel Nervous
For me and and for you – you know who you are – here are a few suggestions that I’m trying to implement when I’m surrounded by strangers at parties.
Choose to be kind.
– Help prepare.
– Help cleanup.
Choose to share your experiences with one another.
– What are you excited about? Talk about it.
– Just as important, choose to patiently listen to others.
– Ignore your phone — maybe even turn it off for a while.
– Listen to, and learn about what the people you’re with care about.
Embattled People Can Still Be Gracious
I have a small family. Usually we get along. I know not every family is blessed with “usually we get along”, and usually is anything but “we get along.” To you I offer these time-tested tips:
Choose to respect people you don’t like.
– We can choose to tolerate your differences.
– We can choose to talk things out rather than stuff your annoyances.
Choose to bring happiness.
– If you hug people, offer everyone hugs.
– We can all choose to forget the drama.
– We can all choose to forgive the guilty.
Woman’s World Still Mystifies Me
Note – This may be exclusive subjective results based on a small sample-size, but they were mine.
Women can ignore the cries of a child – or many children – without a second thought.
Women can just as instantly recognize the cry of a genuinely distressed child.
Women can avoid eating for inexplicable reasons in some public settings.
Women can freely talk with their mouth-filled with food in others.
1 – Ephesians 4:32, NIV