Jason and I have been taking stock of our relationship as many couples do, by posing the question, “What could make our happiness more complete?” The answer came nearly immediately, and after we filled out some paperwork, I am now well on my way toward getting my tubes tied, as neither one of us would be thrilled if the other came home from the store with a six-pack of babies, squealing “They were on sale!” Oftentimes as we’re out and about, a nearby child will devolve into a blubbering, screeching, snot-covered mass of tantrum, and I will turn to Jason and enthuse “I want fifty babies. Right now. But since I don’t have fifty childbearing years left, we’re going to have to have multiples at a time and you’re going to have to help.” He ponders. “I suppose I could help with that. Giving birth to my babies would be like the end of the Shawshank Redemption, where they’re crawling through a tunnel of filth toward freedom. After they escape, they’ll rip off their umbilical cords in a rainstorm, move to Mexico, and build boats to help fund our retirement.” Other times, when we’re watching TV or perhaps having a tender moment, I will thrust a hand out from between my legs and growl in a Gollum-like voice “Teach me how to play Magic: The Gathering, Daddy!” I’m certain it’s easy to imagine how quickly he jumped on board with the tube-tying train just for the potential end of the crotch hand puppet baby.
But what is a major life event without a party to celebrate its passing? A baby-free forever shower, of sorts? I had to forge my own path on this one, as a cursory search for “anti-baby shower” only delivered results for pregnant women who dislike traditional baby showers–not exactly the case here. Ideas for food and games were brainstormed, and while some were vetoed as too vile (“All I’m saying is, Melissa, I’m uncomfortable with the idea of a bunch of people rooting around up to their elbows in a giant effigy of your vagina to perform a home abortion.”) the others were constructed without too much difficulty, aside from an awkward moment at a thrift store when I came to the register loaded down with babydolls and baby magazines, wherein both the checker and myself worked steadily at avoiding eye contact. That, and having to wrestle one of my paper mache ovaries out of the mouth of the dog, who was doing his best to crunch it in half. Come the day of the party, we had four games ready to go: Baby Toss, Pin the Clamp on the Uterus, Nightmare Spawn Collage, and a Uterus Piñata, stuffed with crybabies, sour patch kids, sugar babies, baby ruth bars, and tiny plastic babies. The prize for the winners of Baby Toss and Nightmare Spawn Collage was a “romantic non-procreational evening”–a bottle of wine, a bar of dark chocolate, and a condom. For themed food, we had Baby Punch, a cake with a horrifying exorcist-like marzipan baby on top, cupcakes arranged to look like a uterus, and a meatloaf baby with a bacon diaper. Several people suggested that we register for gifts, but I was uncomfortable with that idea–after all, people who are having babies have a legitimate need for things, whereas we’re just jerks who are celebrating a surgical procedure, so I suggested that if people must bring gifts, to please bring something that we couldn’t have laying around the house if we were to have kids, or to consider making a donation to Planned Parenthood in order to help make every pregnancy a wanted pregnancy.
More terrifying before or after baking? You decide!
As people ate, they worked on their Nightmare Spawn Collages–their answers to the question of “If Melissa and Jason DID have a baby, what would it look like?” with piles of baby magazines and National Geographics, after which we hustled everyone outside to play a rousing round of Baby Toss. As I wasn’t about to buy a bunch of brand-new dolls to play this game, I bought whatever was available at the thrift store (causing the aforementioned awkward moment), numbered them 1 through 5, and had the participants draw numbers from a cup to determine which team received which baby, as they were all quite differently shaped and weighted–some were soft-bodied, some were hard-bodied, and one had its head, hands, and feet all made of porcelain. The game operated similarly to the familiar team water balloon toss game–partners stood a few feet apart and tossed the baby back and forth, backing up with each successful toss, and their team is eliminated once they drop their baby. The porcelain baby didn’t stand a chance, and the game ended as one might expect, cleaning shattered baby face off of my driveway. The rest of the baby was then turned into an art installation on the kitchen table.
Since we were now all outside, we felt it was a good time to tackle the Uterus Piñata, which we hung from a low-hanging tree branch in the front yard. Participants were blindfolded and armed with a hanger with which to beat the uterus. Though I’d made the walls of the pinata decently thick, it was taken down by the second participant, who sliced the wire of the hanger straight through it like some sort of organ-maiming ninja.
Jason and I then judged the winner of the Nightmare Spawn Collage contest, which was exceedingly difficult as there were so many awesome entries:
And our winner:
When we were finished passing all of the entries around, we went back inside to play Pin the Clamp on the Uterus. Originally, I’d designed the game so that there were only a few clamps in the bowl, and if the blindfolded participants picked something other than a clamp, even if it was properly placed, they wouldn’t win a prize. This was because I was under the impression that since I’d painted the wall poster, it would be tactile enough for people to figure out where everything was, and the tubes were fairly large targets. This turned out not to be the case, and the rules were revised on the fly so that if you managed to pin ANYTHING onto the tubes, you were a winner.
Once the prizes were exhausted, we opened our inappropriate gifts, which involved a fair amount of booze, sharp objects, and hilarious cards–we also ended up raising quite a bit of money for Planned Parenthood, so it was a success all around!
During the next day’s cleanup, we discovered plastic babies glued into inappropriate positions, and the dolls we’d abandoned in a pile in the front yard making their way up the stairs toward the house.
Lord knows what the neighbors thought.