Okay, so my Sister-in-Law’s baby shower is a month from today and I keep buying things. As I have said before, Boy and I aren’t ready to have kids for a while but I get really excited when other people do and often feel the need to shower them with gifts. So far, I’ve bought Smee a bunch of presents including
1) a “Congratulations, You’re Having A Baby!” present, which consisted of a mini aviator cap and a Robert Munsch book (which includes The Paper Bag Princess, one of my all-time favourite children’s stories ever).
2) a “Merry Christmas Baby!” present, which consisted of a Scaredy Squirrel book and plushie. (If you haven’t seen them, Melanie Watts’ books are amazing and adorable).
3) a “Happy Gender Identification Day!” present, which consisted of a pink blanket with a chocolate Eiffel Tower print (my in-laws are a little bit obsessed with Paris).
Originally, I was on the ball with my shower present and bought it on January 3rd, but then Threadless was brilliant and lost it*, so I had to start over, which I did a couple of weeks ago. I went to a great little kids store downtown and I bought a variety of things for my soon to be born niece, including a book I had a good chuckle over when I saw it in the store with my Brother-in-Law. The book in question?
*Turn back Erin if you’re reading this because SPOILERSPOILERSPOILER!*
For those of you not familiar with kids lit, this book is about a little crocodile named Achilles whose lifetime dream is, as per the title, to chomp down on the succulent flesh of a child. Now I think this book is really awesome and adorable, but above it all, I think it is funny because that is just the kind of person I am. I have a generally twisted sense of humour and I encourage others to be equally ridiculous with me. In fact, I downright expect it.
However, this morning while thinking about it, I had a flashback to another baby shower I attended many moons ago where my sense of humour got me into a bit of trouble with the mommy-to-be. To set the scene, this was the shower of a friend of Boy’s who I did not know very well at the time. I think I was invited more as a favour to him than a desire to involve me which was actually very nice of the host. Once I accepted the invite, I started looking for a gift. I try in present buying situations to pick things that are interesting and funny and nongeneric so that there are no duplicates from other party attendees. So, when I came across this little gem, I thought it was perfect . . .
Both Boy and I had a good chortle over it and spent a good five minutes using silly accents quoting A Cry In The Dark a la Elaine on Seinfeld about it. Much like Elaine, I take serious delight in making obscure cultural references.
After we were done goofing around, we both agreed it was a funny gift so I placed an order for the gift and didn’t think much about it again until the shower when she opened it. Upon opening it, she looked slightly confused, but she thanked me nonetheless and continued on with her presents. However, little did I know that she did not get the reference and when she got someone to explain it to her, that person also did not understand the Seinfeldian aspect of it and instead told her how it was a reference to possible post partum depression/baby death. Therefore instead of the gift being taken as the “Hey, I hope we can bond over how silly and pop culture related this is!” gesture I meant it to be, it was taken as a “Hey, I hope you lose your $h!t and murder your child!” gesture which freaked her out. So, so bad**.
Thankfully, I know my In-Laws much better than I knew this person at the time and I have since managed to buy her kids good presents that did not make me look like a lunatic, but there is part of me that wonders if maybe I should save it to give to my Sister-in-Law after the shower so that the invited guests don’t think I have a screw loose.
So people in blogland – share in my bad taste shame! Have you ever given someone a gift that they totally took the wrong way? What was the gift and what happened?
* Thankfully, I have since received a full refund.
**This was also not helped by the fact that Boy’s girlfriend before me once humourlessly announced to all and sundry that she hated babies, so I guess it wasn’t so far-fetched that I, his new girlfriend, would be equally child hating.
**The Dingo Snack is still available at here at Glarkware for anyone else who wants to test the limits of good taste.**