Umbrella Alert: Selective Showers Ahead! July 28, 2012Posted by Onely in As If!, Heteronormativity.
Tags: amatonormative, annoying showers, baby shower, bridal shower, marriage myth, singles blog, unmarried discrimination, wedding shower
At least, this is what an extraterrestrial would think if it landed; after all, we humans (or large percentages of us) almost automatically have Showers to celebrate coupling and breeding, but not to celebrate other large life occurrences, such as post-tragedy-home-building or hours-in-front-of-a-computer-for-the-sake-of-progressive-literature.
Such social conventions favor certain personal choices over others. I can’t get a month off with benefits to do something important to me, like take an intensive Arabic course in Morocco. But the woman one cubicle over can take two months of leave, and never lose her health insurance, just because her important thing is having a baby. (To my annoyance, here I have to preempt some myopic commenters by saying Relax–I am not dissing maternity/paternity leave; in fact, I’m saying it’s so awesome that even baby-free people should get that kind of time off).
Wedding and baby showers follow the same amatonormative (normalizing and preferring pairing) principles as baby leave, but at least they only represent one day of couple-privileging, versus weeks or months. Note: Baby showers are amatonormative because our cultures still mostly consider babies to ideally be the offspring/culmination of a (usually hetero) couple.
So, enough with the social commentary and on with the fun-making.
At a dinner party the other night I made the ill-advised, perhaps judgy-sounding comment: “No more wine, thanks. Early tomorrow I’m going to a baby shower. Those things should be outlawed. Showers, I mean, not babies.”
Another dinner guest, who had recently been showing off pictures of her new twin boys, said,
Oh, but one must have a shower, to get all the stuff one needs!
Indeed. I would like a shower, to get all the stuff I need to support my personal choices. To that end, I have included some helpful descriptions of items that will look great wrapped and stacked on the coffee tables of my happy hosting friends. Yes, it’s ridiculous. But how much more ridiculous is it, really, than the things brides and mothers (and it’s significant that I don’t also say ‘grooms and fathers’) have unwrapped and squealed over at the showers you, Copious Readers, have attended (and financed)?
Come Celebrate! It’s a Graduate School Shower!
512 MB 16″ Ultralite Foldable Waterproof Laptop by Cybertonic:
Built-in microphone records the tiniest mutter of your professor from across the lecture hall. Dual-faced camera shoots both behind and in front of the screen, so you can capture the structure of 2,4-Toluenedisulphonic acid from the whiteboard and also your facial expression as you see it lose its first hydrogen. 4 GB hard drive lets you preserve those precious memories forever, or at least through exam week. Waterproof to three feet and 140 degrees Fahrenheit, this laptop is perfect for those late-night cram sessions in the hot tub with the basketball team. $1,099.99
LifelongLearner™ Coffee Mug:
Padded handles minimize grip slippage during the caffeine shakes. Comes in Moonless Black for your favorite night owl, Glaring Gold for shiny morning people, and Panicky Pink for procrastinators. $24.99
Svelt form minimizes drag during sprints to the cafeteria for last-minute donuts but expands to fit your astrophysics texts (padded straps absorb book bounce). Available emblazoned with hand-stitched crosseyed glasses logo for science majors and french fry emblem for humanities students. Mace pocket! $55.99
.5lb Silk-cotton Blend Thesis Paper
Regular pack $20.99; Frequent Printer Jam Pack $35.99; Annoyingly Prolific Pack $99.99
WARNING. The Brilliant Beige version of this product has been recalled due to potential toxic effects of the gloss but other colors should be fine.
“Brain On Board” sign (yellow and black)
The world is full of drivers who are considering rear-ending your graduate student’s car! But with this sign displayed in the back window, those drivers will change their minds!
Regular $5.99; SUV edition $2.99 (smaller brain)
WriterBee™ Recliner with Adjustable Laptop and Snack Tray
You’ll wonder how you ever wrote and snacked at a regular table. With the easy-attach vacuum nozzle at hand, you or your favorite grad student will never have to worry about grandma’s oatmeal cookie crumbs jamming up the keyboard. Built-in scale with easy-view digital readout in right armrest. Programmable; adorable drunken Hemingway face pops up if you’ve gained more than five pounds since your last writing session. $2279.99 (Optional remote control footrest $399.00) (Goes great with the Ultralite Foldable Waterproof Laptop by Cybertonic, $1099.99) (Quite a bit of assembly required)
96-inch I-Mac Desktop Computer
Yes, the writer in your life probably already has a perfectly suitable computer (like the Ultralite Foldable Waterproof Laptop by Cybertonic, $1099.99). Suitable for writing, that is. But not for playing DanceDanceDance! Give your sedentary student a leg up, literally. $2,080.99
Come Hither Reading Glasses
For when your grad student begins his or her job search. Also worn by Paris Hilton and Sarah Palin, these frames come with non-prescription lenses for those who just want to look smart. $15.99
LifelongDrone™ Coffee Mug.
Comes complete with a slot in the handle to store paperclips and a notepad that doubles as a coaster. Is the grad student a burgeoning writer or an artist? They’ll laugh at this gift that says, “Your day job is forever!” Caution: Use with vodka may cause blocked students to swallow small parts. $12.69
Thank you all for your kind contributions to my Graduate School Shower! I will be sending out thank-you cards shortly, along with details about my next major life endeavors. I hope to see you at my Living-in-Sin Shower, my Two New Kittens Shower, and especially my Pilgrimage to Palau Shower. Due to baggage restrictions, I prefer checks or cash.
Photo credit: Laughing in the Rain, by Greything