Why You Should Throw a Friend Shower

What if showers weren’t just for weddings and new babies?

By Sarah Williams

Jun 01 2022 at 8 a.m.

Sarah Williams
Photo by Brandon AlmsSarah Williams brings a fresh take on everything from parenting to wedding and baby showers. She speaks the truth in a way that manages to bring both encouragement and laughter. Purchase Photo

To celebrate my 17th wedding anniversary this year, I did the most romantic thing. I told my husband he was buying me a set of fancy pots and pans. I loathe cooking dinner. If I am tasked with this for the remainder of my life, the least I could do is upgrade from my clearance Home Goods pans. 

My new cookware is beautiful and sturdy and comes with a lifetime warranty. Which coincidentally is how my dad described me to my husband when he married me. But I digress. 

As I cooked dinner last night, I thought about how bridal showers are wasted on the young. Who let my 22-year-old self register for the DVD of Dirty Dancing 2 and 76 picture frames when what I really needed was pots that would outlive my grandchildren?! 

I am all about celebrating new brides. But they’re so pretty and well rested and have enough money to DoorDash dinner. What we need in our culture is to normalize showering our friends with gifts when life isn’t so exciting and when you’ve been married long enough to know what you actually need to function as an adult. It turns out my amazing DVD collection didn’t age so well.

Here’s a guide to underrated life events that are worthy of gift showers. These can include, but are not limited to:

1. Having a child in middle school. If ever a woman needs an emotional support Amazon wish list, it’s middle school. So many emotions and such underdeveloped brains to handle them. Going through middle school was tough. Doing it all over again as a parent?! That calls for reinforcements. Send chocolate and a therapist! 

2. The day you find your first gray hair. Or chin hair. Or when your mustache fills in. Whatever comes first. Gifts must double in value if you are still getting pimples when this happens. Looking simultaneously like your pubescent teen and your aging mother is a unique joy in life. 

3. A professional home cleaning the day your little cherub is completely potty trained. You know there is pee on every surface of that house, and we need our village to pay for the sanitation we need but can’t afford because we just finished buying 3000 diapers. 

4. Similar but opposite to a baby shower, an “I am no longer having any more babies” shower. You get bras that actually fit and jeans in the size you are instead of the size you wish you were. And you ceremonially burn nursing bras and maternity jeans, lest you be tempted to wear them on a date night. 

5. An “I survived (fill the blank with any activity) season” of sitting through rainy games and freezing practices and driving a million miles. I am thinking massages and facials to undo the stress and sun damage. 

There are a hundred more reasons to honor all you do on the most ordinary days. From being a beautiful young bride to a wise woman who’s earned her every wrinkle, you are worthy of celebrating!