Middle-age butch gets the baby shower blues

W and I were invited to a baby shower this Saturday.

I don’t do baby showers.

They make me uncomfortable.  They seem to embody everything that I’ve rejected over the years … skirts and dresses and lace and heels.  Conversation peppered with tidbits such as “I love your outfit” and “where did you get your shoes?”

And the baby is a girl.  So there will be all of that pink to deal with.  Pink?  It’s my cryptonite.  Quick, get me some flannel!

I agreed to go to this baby shower because it’s for W’s cousin’s wife.  I really like her, and she’s been very kind to me since we first met.

I asked W what I should wear.  She said I should wear my black pinstriped pants with a white button down shirt, a vest and a tie.  You know, standard Butch gets dressed up to go out gear.

I think I will stand out like, well, a butch at a baby shower.

Maybe I will wear a pink tie to counteract the pink of the shower wrappings and trimmings.

I’m hoping that there will be men folk hidden away in another room watching the game.  Drinking beer.  No one will notice if I slip away for just a few innings, just a few cold ones.


I don’t know why these don’t come in my size.

I did manage to pick out a few butch-inspired, gender-nonconforming shower gifts: A three-pack of Philadelphia Phillies onesies (please don’t let this kid turn into an Atlanta Braves fan); a baseball mitt and pack of toddler superhero underwear.  Because there’s a little bit of Amazon warrior in every baby girl.

* * *

What about you? Are there any celebrations or occasions that make you uncomfortable?

32 responses to “Middle-age butch gets the baby shower blues

  1. I think you made a good compromise considering what you are comfortable wearing. I usually have trouble with all celebrations and occasions because I have social anxiety!

    • I don’t have social anxiety, but I am so quiet that it borders on awkward. Standing out doesn’t help. But I’ll try to be a good sport. Sometimes we have to do the right thing and be there for others, even if it feels uncomfortable or just plain weird.

      • It will be over before you know it, and your gifts will be awesome and well received. 🙂

      • Thanks for your encouraging words. And, yes, it will all be over in a few hours. I will change into my flannel pjs and thermal shirt — my comfort clothes — as soon as I get home. I’ll let you know how it all goes.

      • Sounds like a good plan. I spend as much of my day as possible in sleep pants and a t-shirt (my comfort clothes) when I am home. Pac-Man is the design of choice right now!

  2. To answer your question: I don’t like baby showers, wedding showers, weddings, funerals, birthday parties… Basically if it involves relative-types gathering in one place and any sort of ceremony or exchange of gifts, I avoid it. Ick.

    • Hmmm. Not sure what that says about your family.

      I don’t mind birthday parties or even weddings for that matter. I just need someone to talk football/baseball with and a drink or two.

      • I think it’s more to do with a personal aversion to standing on ceremony in forced company. __________ is happening, therefore you *must* go, and wear __________, and have gift(s) in hand, and behave in a specific way.

        My family is tolerable, at best, under the best of circumstances. Those^^ are NOT the best of circumstances. Plus I am an introvert. One-on-one interactions and small group settings are energizing for me; large gatherings are… Draining.

        I love informal gatherings though, regardless of the number of people present, and whether they involve relative-types or not. My mother is fond of what she calls “Open Houses”, where there is a general drop-in type arrangement during a pre-set time (2-8pm for example), and people can come and go as they please. Not exactly a party, just casual time together.

        Sometimes her open houses are themed. At Christmas time, for instance, she invites everyone on my dad’s side to their place and they make home-made pizza. She provides the dough and sauce (from scratch), and everybody brings their own toppings. The oven is usually going continuously for several hours, and all of the in-laws (and outlaws) meander about, making and eating pizza, playing with the kids, and generally catching up. That kind of thing is much more my speed. 🙂

      • We introverts have to stick together. I’m like you in that I prefer small get-togethers. Hopefully, someone knows sports, and I can talk baseball or football. That is my comfort zone. I’m all over the pizza party, though. I’d bring the fixings for a cheesesteak pizza … chipped steak, mozzarella, mushrooms and onions.

  3. I am the exact same! Once I was dating a woman and we were invited to her fathers wedding. With her three sisters, the bride and the bride’s daughter all sitting around giggling, I had to run away! Eventually, I found my g/f’s brother in the garage watching netflix drinking beer! I had been saved!!
    Here’s hoping you are able to find just such a haven for you to enjoy!

  4. I’ve never been to a baby shower, I wasn’t even there for our own son’s baby shower, I would have been the odd duck in the room for sure, sadly the only suit I have is my Sunday getting my ass dragged to church clothes (cut me a break we live in a small village of 500 people ,all dirt farmers) I really don’t go anyplace where I’d need a suit, cept church , I would guess I’d be mighty uncomfortable at a baby shower, I’m really uncomfortable at any gathering/ occasion that involves my in laws, I’ll leave it at that.

  5. I used to when I was younger, but eventually I realised that most of my ‘stuff’ was exactly that, mine. So, after a lot of blood, sweat, and angst, I adopted that wonderful gay anthem, (from the 80’s was it?) ‘I am who I am’, and I went to the family do’s (and sheesh, there are a lot of ’em. Mrs Widds comes from a huge family and they’re breeding all the time!)) and had a good time anyway.

  6. Good work by you on the Superhero underwear…
    I’d add a hip flask to any outfit that involves a baby shower.

  7. I think I’d want the superhero undies for myself as well! Those are pretty fabulous….(I must have been a gay man in a past life to just throw that out there).

    While I enjoy some social gatherings, I definitely standout at the more “feminine” types…and the wife and I often wonder why/how we both get invited to attend. Had we been a hetero couple, one of us definitely wouldn’t have been included. And since we’re not, it seems that we must be invited to all things together? And she, being the least butch, would be the one to prefer NOT going…we like to keep people guessing, for sure.

    Enjoy your blog! Thanks for writing!

    • Thanks for weighing in. Yes, the undies are AWESOME. And that’s the weird thing about lesbians and baby/bridal showers. I always feel like I am on a date because we are all dressed up and going out as a couple.

      Hope to hear more from you!

  8. partlycloudypessimist

    Both bridal and baby showers bother me. At the end of March I attended my best friend’s baby shower and it was so insanely awkward. Just a bunch of women sitting around cooing over the tiniest of skirts and dresses. Pink bunnies and bears adorned every bag or box.

    The men of the shower were sitting at a separate table cracking beers and chatting away. My friend and I, who had carefully chosen the last table in the room, far away from gift opening, lamented about how we wished we had beers. And how we felt we didn’t belong because we weren’t actively cooing over anything we saw.

    Also, I’m not one for forced small talk with acquaintances, so sitting at a table with a mixture of people I kind of know really wasn’t helping the celebratory vibe.

    However, I saw aforementioned best friend today and was able to coo, with her, over the outcome of her baby’s nursery and the arrangement and utility of the gifts. That was pleasant.

    • I see I am in good company on this one. I made the mistake of standing up at the shower during the gift opening and was promptly chastised for blocking the view. A beer would have been nice. Two even nicer. But I survived.

  9. Any and all types of celebrations that involve parties make me nervous. As ive gotten older ive become more thick skinned and more rebellious in terms of what I wear. So 25 years ago I was still trying to do the whole skirt suit thing and feeling VERY uncomfortable – in 2012 when we last went to a wedding I wore some chinos, a pair of brown and white brogues, a hand made white shirt (with red buttons..) and a handmade silk waistcoat – dark red. And I felt very comfortable. yes I got quite a few funny looks, but then we knew that was coming since we were the only same sex couple at the event. We thought we would spice it up a bit!

    I have to say ive never been invited to a baby shower – I don’t do babies – I like children just not fond of babies. But like you I would be terrified of all those dresses and all that conversation that I just don’t understand.

    Ive now come to realise that Im more myself and more comfortable if im wearing what I like wearing and not in any kind of gender ‘uniform’ and all of my friends know that – so if they invite me they know im not going to be wearing a dress – its just not me.

    Its a shame you could find a flannel romper suit – that would have been an ace shower present.

    • I wore black dress pants, a white dress shirt, a black vest and a tie. Standard butch formal attire. No one had a problem with it. They all seemed glad to see me. I sat in the back. When the heavy gifts were opened (strollers and such), I carried them to the back of the house. At least it gave me something to do. Yes, I should have looked for a flannel onesie. But the baseball onesies were a hit. Everyone knew they were from me.

      • perhaps when people know you they look past what we are wearing and are more interested in the fact that you are there. I like the idea of a baby in a baseball onesie – perhaps the 1 year birthday present will be a foam bat and glove?

      • I will make sure this little girl gets plenty of baseball gear.

  10. I have trouble with all herd-like behavior. Insistence on pink is an example. Profoundly corny!

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