Sometimes when people ask me why I run, or why I never run with music, or what I think about while running, I’m never sure how to answer. I like to tell people that I solve the problems of the world and then immediately forget them, or my mind is a black hole where I can zone out and just relax for a few miles. (Honestly, those second runs are the best – it’s like savasana in yoga, but I’m running.) Many times, I have conversations with people in my head, whether it’s a difficult conversation that I’m not looking forward to having or just randomly talking to people. Often, I have to remind myself that those conversations didn’t happen in real life!
It’s finally (well, still too soon for my liking!) getting cold in New York, so having a racing mind helps to keep my thoughts off of how cold my ears are. (Note to self: Find out where I packed my hats…) While I was running this past week, I had my mind on buying some baby shower gifts for an upcoming shower I have. Although I’ve been involved in a few wedding parties, having pregnant friends is new territory for me. What do people want the most off their registry? Do I buy them what I think would be cool/nice to have (although I don’t have children, so who knows what my opinion is worth anyway…)? Automatically buy whatever has elephants on it? So many ideas.
One of Eric’s friend’s wife is pregnant, and I keep mentioning to him that we should send them something. On my run, I thought about what we should get both couples – and it got me thinking about these showers and gifts in general. As a bridesmaid, I’ve planned bridal showers for my friends (for all the women in their life to attend!), and I’m invited to a baby shower. Eric’s friend’s wife had her baby shower while we were in Nashville – obviously the men were in Nashville, and as far as my limited knowledge tells me, baby showers tend to be female oriented.
I’m getting to the point here, I promise. As I was running, I spent a couple miles wondering why wedding and baby showers tend to be female-filled events. As much as people complain about wedding showers/baby showers/etc, it is nice to be involved in these events and I’m honored that my friends consider me close enough to include me in such things. But why is it (mainly) women only? Let’s be honest – a big part of the shower is to give gifts for the couple or couple and baby, in addition to the “yay this is so exciting!” part. Aren’t these gifts for both people? Isn’t the life event exciting for both people?
Apparently if you google this online, people will say things like, “Men find these parties boring!” (I never said a wedding shower was the most fascinating thing ever, but we’re all adults, right? It’s not a trip to the dentist.) or “It’s time for women to talk about women things!” (Because people are really good about keeping their opinions to themselves these days? Ha.) Somewhat valid points, I guess. Maybe. (Emphasis on the indecision there.)
In a world where women are fighting to equality, this seems to be a tradition that doesn’t seem to be going away. Should it be? I don’t know – I’ve never had one myself, so I don’t know what I would prefer…I just started thinking about it one day! Is this a day for the ladies to celebrate? Or should the men also be included? (And how are these different for wedding/baby showers for gay people? SO MANY THOUGHTS.)
I know this is a little diversion from my normal running talk, but it was something that I thought about on my run…so it’s pertinent, right? (In case you were wondering, I ran 6.21 miles in 50:17, avg pace of 8:06, hoooooray.)
Anyone have thoughts or insight into this matter? Why are these showers just for women? Should they be, or should the men be involved? If you’ve had these showers, were men included? (Or do you not care and I should only stick to talking about running?)
And if you’re interested, I once wrote about my opinions on women-only races…obviously the gender divide is on my mind sometimes! Just wait for the post where I plead with running companies that not all women love pink and purple…