I half expect if I got married or had a kid at this point I wouldn't end up getting a shower for either because I left it too late. Even if it was for firsts.
Or imagine - I get married for the first time in my 40's or 50's! I'd be lucky to get wedding presents (after all a woman in her 40's - doesn't she already have the nice china from when she married in her 20's like a normal person? Oh wait).
But I do think the 2nd shower thing is somewhat tacky. A friend did have a 2nd baby shower - but her 2nd baby was born 16 years after the first, so I didn't think it was so tacky in that case.
It's like wanting friends to help you move out of the university age. I spent much of my twenties always being willing to help my friends move.
My first move (from my parents to the apartment I was renting) had to happen during the day, and I hired a couple of guys with a truck since I didn't expect weekday help to be available.
My second move - 18 months later - I asked friends to help. Among my core group of friends only a few (two I had helped a few months previous and one whose moving culture was friends rather than professionals) helped. I had some people from my work who also helped. One of my "friends" said to me snottily that I should hire movers at this point because "we weren't in university any more". I explained to her, not at all politely, that I had spent much of my university and my early twenties helping friends move, and that I damn well had the right to expect them to return the favour _once_ without getting her pissy attitude about it.
But this was my big flaw. By not fitting into the stupid tiny boxes that the world provides, I was apparently not entitled to assume that courtesy and favours worked both ways occasionally.
If I moved again I would hire movers. I have more stuff. But I'm a "friends help move" dream. Last time I moved my ENTIRE apartment was packed in labelled boxes and ready to go. No last minute crap trying to trick my friends into packing frantically.
I never heard of the "one move per friend" rule or that helping people move was age-dated.
Generally, I have been moved by my family. I have helped people move, but usually close friends. I would still help someone move, even if they were in their 30's, 40's, 50's, etc.
Professional movers just mean that they get paid. I briefly worked with a woman who complained bitterly about how her movers broke her marble table. They were 2 guys. One of them was so young that she asked how old he was and why he wasn't in school. (He claimed to be 18 and said he dropped out because he had a kid on the way.) I think she scared a lot of people in to just sticking with family and friends who actually care about your stuff.
I think wedding presents are different than shower presents. If you have a wedding with reception then your guests bring a gift. Some older/second time couples register for gourmet stuff or wine or things like that.
Showers are extra, and generally more useful for young first time brides. Instead of a shower though, you could simply have an engagement party or two. Then it makes it a celebration of the couple rather than an opening of a toaster, and place mats, and the little things that the couple has two (one each) of.
Because I didn't know the gender of either of my children before birth, I decided to postpone having a party for the second child until after she was born. My husband and I had a "welcome to baby" party and invited relatives and friends-with spouses and kids. Since it was June, we had a bar-b-que and held it outside. We didn't expect gifts (except from relatives), but instead we were blessed with a lot of girl clothes-which was exactly what we needed.
Regarding a second marriage, I think a small shower or two is a good idea. I think it is good for the bride to receive new items, especially bed clothes, to make it clear to her and others that this is a NEW experience.
The bedding idea is nice. I like that one.
I don't see showers as "gift grabs". They are just a party. I have a birthday every year and so I have some sort of party every year. If you don't feel you want to take a gift, don't take one. I would never turn a person away from a party of any type, because they didn't bring a gift. We had a huge number of people who attended our wedding reception and didn't even bring a card. It was still a great party and I didn't feel the lack of loot!
Every special occasion is worth a party. Each individual can decide if it is worth a gift.
I think most dictionaries define showers as "gift giving parties" for the bride-to-be or mother-to-be. I would never ever think of a shower as being gift-optional.
Maybe people are meaning to have engagement parties or what an earlier poster called a "welcome to baby" party and calling them showers. That to me would be an entirely different thing. Like any party, you can then choose to take a gift or not.
Birthday parties can get tricky because people have differnt expectations. At children's parties, it is generally the rule that every guest brings a present. For adults, it differs amongst social groups or how well you know someone. Some people could expect presents. Others may treat it as an excuse to have a dinner and their only expectation is that the guests pay for their own meal. Some people even put "best wishes only" on party invites if they are in a position when they don't need more stuff.
The problem here might be one of expectations rather than invitations. Why not just contact the person throwing the party and see if gifts are expected?
I don't think presents are necessary in either case, but it can be nice to have a get-together to celebrate a momentous occasion in a friend's life.
I honestly don't know. I just wanted to see the answers :).
But seriously, for me, its a situational thing. It depends on show is involved and what the apparent motive seems to be.
not show involved, WHO is involved.
brain dead today :) (I know, how would anybody know if I wasn't :) )