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Friends want to boycott the baby shower after sister insists on extravagant affair

Carolyn Hax
gtrLIVhax

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Hi, Carolyn:

I’m in the middle of a silly dispute. I have a group of girlfriends I’ve known since college. We’re all very close and have supported each other through many milestones. A few months ago, “Jane” announced she was pregnant. Obviously we were all very excited and immediately offered to plan her baby shower. Jane suggested we ask her sister “Joan” to help with the planning and offset some of the cost. We all know Joan and like her. She contacted us and said she was excited to help with the planning.

Here is the problem: Jane and Joan are from a wealthy family, and they both have high-paying jobs. In the past, we have set the same budget for all baby showers within our group to ensure fairness. Joan, however, wants to go all out and throw an extremely extravagant party for her sister. She offered to cover the full cost of the party to make this happen.

While I am all for it, some of the girls are quite upset. They don’t feel it’s fair for Jane to have a much nicer baby shower than everyone else. We did pretty well with the other showers, but Joan wants to hire a professional event planner and cater a meal, versus our baked goods and low-key decorations.

Now the girls don’t want to be involved in the planning and are thinking about skipping it altogether in protest. Joan thinks they’re being petty and said her family is really excited for the first grandchild. I’m conflicted because I do understand both sides. I do think hiring an event planner for a baby shower is kind of pointless, but it’s her money and I know she can afford it. If I’m being honest, it would be great to save the money I would be spending on the baby shower.

As far as I know, Joan hasn’t said anything to her sister yet. I worry Jane will be upset and it will lead to a fight within the group when she hears about it. Any advice on how to proceed?

— Baby Shower Drama

Oh for fox’s sake. Let Joan hijack the party already and be done with it. Go and smile and don’t lift a finger except to eat high-end catered food.

For the record: Is Joan being a little tone deaf and self-centered here? Yes. She is. This isn’t all about her.

But it isn’t about “the girls [who] are thinking about skipping it altogether in protest,” either. It’s about Jane. “They don’t feel it’s fair for Jane to have a much nicer baby shower than everyone else”? You can’t possibly be serious. There’s no joy in good fortune unless all good fortune is enjoyed equally, down to the last bean? Then I’ll go for them. Bring me canapes and I’ll clap for every onesie Jane unwraps.

If I could tell them to get over themselves and just go to the stupid party, I would, but since you wrote then I’ll have to pass that baton to you. Enjoy.

Email Carolyn at [email protected], follow her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/carolyn.hax or chat with her online at noon Eastern time each Friday at www.washingtonpost.com.

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