Girls are the cleverest creatures around

I’m at the point in my life where I’m starting to learn a lot of things about women. Many of my friends are newlyweds, and quite a few are new or expecting parents. If there is one thing I’ve learned about women it’s this… they are manipulative clever.

It’s possible I was completely naive to the ways of the world, but I honestly had no clue women were so sly. They can take just about any life experience and scheme a way to get gifts out of it.

Take for example a wedding. Pretty big deal right? After all, it is the day most women have dreamed about since their child hood. I’m totally in support of letting the bride have the wedding of her dreams. But it wasn’t until recently that I learned women have found a way to milk their pending marriage for all it’s worth. One bridal shower isn’t enough, they often have two (personal and registry), and sometimes three or more, showers. Seems like a pretty clever way to get gifts if you ask me. Oh and don’t forget the groom is typically expected to provide another gift (typically jewelery) on the day of the wedding. Huh, isn’t that convenient?

You’d think a few bridal showers, the wedding, a gift from future hubby, and a honeymoon would be enough to hold the bride-to-be over right? Not quite. Do you know what a trousseau is? Yeah, I didn’t either. It’s the possessions, such as clothing and linens, that a bride assembles for her marriage, but more specifically the honeymoon. That’s right boys. This trousseau thingy is really an excuse for the girl to go buy ANOTHER bathing suit, ANOTHER dress, ANOTHER purse, ANOTHER blah blah blah, that she doesn’t really need (and will probably never use again).

Now that we’ve knocked weddings out of the way, let’s move on to babies. Have you ever heard of a newborn referred to as “the perfect gift”? I have. Sadly, women don’t really mean it. When they say “I’m so glad I’m pregnant”, what they really mean is “I’m so glad I’m pregnant…. cause now I can buy new clothes and have more showers.”

That’s right, women get pregnant just so they can go shopping!!! Even before future mom starts to show, she stops by the store to pick up a few new pairs of Hudson jeans, because “She felt fat in her other jeans”. Umm excuse me, you’ve been pregnant for 4 weeks, I think you’ve actually lost weight from all the vomiting you’ve been doing in the morning (lol for morning sickness). You don’t need no stinkin’ jeans.

Just like the wedding, the mom-to-be will usually have at least one baby shower thrown for her, so she can get all sorts of crappy clothes she wont actually want to put her child in. Like this outfit….

But here comes the real kicker. Did you know there is such a thing as a babymoon? The babymoon is when the woman demands asks her husband to take her on a vacation so they can have “one last romantic getaway” before kids enter the picture. Excuse me woman, I paid a lot of money for this here house and bedroom set, and now you are telling me we have to travel to Hawaii just so we can be “romantic”… I’m on to your clever tricks! But okay, Hawaii it is. You win this round.

I don’t know how you do it ladies, but I have to give credit where credit is due… you are one sly creature. Do guys have any equivalent parties/showers? I’ve heard of a tool shower (grooms version of bridal shower) and of diaper showers (husbands version of baby shower), but I’m pretty sure those are pretty rare occurrences. What other aspects of a woman’s cleverness (is that the right word?) am I leaving out? I wouldn’t be surprised if there are a million more reasons they “deserve” gifts and parties.

p.s. I want it to be clear these are not things Girl Ninja has had, requested, or even mentioned. The following are just a few things I’ve noticed in various relationships.

p.p.s. I also want to note this article is written tongue in cheek. I know I’ve exaggerated the expectations of many future brides/moms. Don’t get mad, get even πŸ™‚

45 thoughts on “Girls are the cleverest creatures around

  1. I once went to a "Trousseau Tea" and was shocked that I didn't have to bring a present. On the contrary, the women ate little sandwiches and drank tea and looked at all the presents the bride already got.

    Speaking of presents, don't forget the "push present" for the mom after the baby is born…

  2. Don't forget the 'push' present. Yup, a gift for 'pushing' the baby out. My friend got herself a pretty nice diamond necklace for that one;) My push present was another baby coming out 8 minutes later.
    Also, I know it wasn't asked of me but, I just finished reading through all of your archives. Hilarious! Like your fleeting HG obsession, I go a bit ocd when I find something new. So if your blog stats were stating that there was some lunatic spending an hour on your site everyday…that was me;)
    Go Cougs!

  3. In defense of women, most of the time, the presents are not for their sole enjoyment. You will surely benefit from whatever gifts GN receives at her various showers (and might I add, you don't have to play the stupid games that inevitably occur at these things!) and if you get a romantic getaway out of deal too, perhaps you are the sly one!

    However, I personally don't get the "push present" thing. Perhaps this was invented by marketers, just like the diamond engagement ring.

  4. hmm, I have alot of married friends and I don't remember any of them having more than 1 wedding shower (some didn't have any). I must hang with the wrong crowd.

    • I've heard two is pretty common, a registry shower with family and family friends for gifts off the registry (kitchen/home stuff) and then a personal shower with close friends for things like lingerie. I guess women don't want to get sexy underwear with their mom present.

  5. This article made me mad. No, not because it was making fun of the slyness of women. Because I didn't get any of the things mentioned at all! LOL.

    Seriously though, I hadn't even heard of anything mentioned above except for the wedding shower and baby shower. My husband and I had a joint wedding shower and have no plans for kids, so that was that.

    As for women being manipulative…um, duh. Sometimes it's just too easy to pass up. I use this power for good (like paying off the car loan and house much faster than scheduled), but it would be easy to go to the dark side (LOL). Luckily, my husband and I are very similar and were best friends before we got married…we both know the other one's little tricks and can call BS without having a fight. πŸ™‚

    PS I LOVED the picture for this post!

    • I'm with Crystal… with two adopted daughters, no push present for me… Despite spending 30 days in a third-world country, getting attacked by a dog while in said third-world-country, getting treated for rabies while there (ew), and coming home from an orphanage with a fungal infection all over my face (gross!). Ladies, i don't mean to mock childbirth, but for most of you it lasts less than two days… no push present for me folks..I got to come home and nurse another 3 weeks worth of jet-lag to bring my baby home. πŸ˜‰

  6. Can I just say BACHELOR PARTY! Maybe us women want to get ifts from other people (so YOU have less to buy for us) but you men spend the night before your wedding checking naked chicks that women spend 20 years worried that they don't look like!!! (Yes, I know you won't do that to girl ninja, just as my hubby didn't do that to me… thank you!)

    Oh, and by the way, the trousseau gifts – we may open them, but they are really for our husbands. You'll find out soon enough πŸ™‚

  7. I have never even heard of a push present – silly me I thought that that was the baby! πŸ™‚ I know we deserve lots and lots of presents and parties because we're awesome, but have we really tapped out all of our good ideas that we really need to resort to using one occasion/life event as an excuse for that many parties and gifts?

  8. Wow, I've never even heard of any of this stuff.

    Guess that is what I get for being nearly 30 and completely out of the loop when it comes to "being a woman" and "getting married" and "having kids".

    • did you read the p.p.s. statement at the end of the article. no one else seems to be offended and another FEMALE commenter actually said she "LOVED" the picture for today's post.

      • You've had a few articles over the past couple months which have hinted at some male chauvinism. Am I only one who's noticed? Maybe that goes hand in hand with being brought up more "traditionally." :p

  9. I've always been kind of appalled at how willing we all are to bilk people out of presents. Some brides have multiple bridal showers (to be fair, at least one is often thrown by the mom, but then you're just making your mom's friends give you gifts and that's weird too). Then there's the bachelorette party (which may involve more presents) and the actual wedding presents. Sheesh.

    And, uh, for the person who talked about bachelor parties… Soooo not the same thing as having five or six parties that center around making people give you gifts.

    Also, what guy is actually dumb enough to have his bachelor party the day before his wedding? We had our parties a week beforehand so we wouldn't be hungover. (And yeah my guy went to a strip club. I was all for it. I told him it was his last chance to see a not-me naked woman while still single. It was a running joke.)

    But seriously, men get other men a lap dance or two for a bachelor party. Plus some drinks. If you're female, you'll be shelling out for a shower gift (or multiple ones if you're invited to more than one and yes that happens!), drinks at the bachelorette party and maybe going in on a stripper (my friends were told explicitly no stripper), plus in some cases an engagement gift (?) and, if you're truly a close friend you might also have to shell out hundreds for a bridesmaid's dress.

    It's insane!

    • You make an excellent point here Abigail. Not only do the women receive more gifts, women have to buy a heck of a lot more gifts for all their friends who get married, have babies etc. Men are not expected to do these things. Reciprocity my friend!

  10. Does GN read your blog? If I was her, I would give you a swift kick.

    You know what kind of present would be great for moms-to-be? Their spouse having to pass a kidney stone. Then they might have an idea of what childbirth feels like. In other words, you're damn right women should receive every gift under the sun for having to undergo that hell.

    • Yeah because women (and men) all HATE children and the child is actually a danged curse that comes after the pain, not a reward.

      What the heck? In this country the majority of Moms to be (still, so don't attack me feminists) are staying at home while their husbands work 40+ hours a week and shoulder the responsibility of feeding your demanding self and keeping a roof over your head. And all you want is MORE because you went through 4-24 hours of intense and excruciating pain? Gee, that sound proportional, you are right. [/sarcastic]

      This is coming from a very happily married man. My wife was more irritated at your post than I was.

      • If I am ever a mom-to-be, post-giving birth, I will continue to work 40+ hours to contribute to my family's well-being. I intend to enjoy my career. I would be more than happy for my husband/boyfriend to stay at home and take care of our child. So shut your face.

        Ninja was discussing parties/gifts surrounding motherhood. And yes, I absolutely think a mom-to-be deserves every one of those gifts. Nowhere in my post did I imply that "all women hate children." You're obviously an idiot. Women, ESPECIALLY stay-at-home moms go through a hell of a lot more than "just" excruciating pain. Child-rearing for stay-at-home moms, so I've heard, can be incredibly isolating.

        • Sunflowers, calm down already! You're normally not like this, and you're taking Ninja's post way too seriously. Andrew's response was out of line, but you don't need to reciprocate. I know this because I actually read and comment on your blog, so this seems very out of place for you.

          And, IMO, mom's don't "deserve" anything. They choose to have children, knowing the pain it involves, and that's a choice. It's a choice that many women don't make, for whatever reason they choose. You don't deserve anything just because you made an opposite decision.

    • I am a male who has had 5 kidney stones in the last 6 years since I was 18 but no one ever got me a present for it. =(

      Maybe I'm doing it wrong though, I'll throw a party next time I get one.

  11. This made me laugh. I hadn't heard of half of these things but now I'm excited that I can possibly get more presents. HA!

  12. Never heard the "trousseau" one. We deserve all of these things because we'll be picking up after and caring for you YOU MEN for the rest of our lives! πŸ˜‰

    Also, I know the post is tongue-in-cheek, but perhaps the woman is the one buying the house and the furniture? Or at least is an equal income partner!

  13. This all sounds like a royal pain in the @$$ to me. I have a wedding upcoming at some point, too. Seriously I'd rather just elope and avoid dealing with all the hooplah and parties and b/s that goes along with it. If there's events thrown, someone else is throwing them and I'll suffer on thru. I'm sure many other women would (or have), too.

    And hey, not only guys get a sweet party AKA bachelor party complete with strippers and booze, women can have a bachelorette party complete with dudes in banana hammocks and martinis…or whatever. Presents and cake at a bachelorette party? HAHAHAHAHA lame…

    Trousseau is just a fancy way of saying it's a bride's excuse to purchase skank lingerie and swimwear. Yeah, I said it.

  14. Most women don't have ALL of the types of parties you mentioned. A trousseau historically was the hope chest of stuff a bride brought to her new home (including her clothing), considered part of her dowry and provided by the bride's parents – the bridal registry/wedding gifts of today. You do not have a "trousseau" party and a shower, as it's essentially the same thing.

    A bridal shower developed when bride's parents' didn't approve of the marriage and therefore did not provide her with a dowry/household items – so the friends of the bride would get together and step in to "shower" the bride. Typically today when there is more than one shower, it's because it's for different groups. I, for example, had two – one with friends and family and then a second, small shower with my co-workers. It's not as if the same people are giving gifts at all of these parties.

    The origin of a bachelorette party is pretty clear – women had enough of men getting one last crazy night out! Gifts are not the point of a bachelorette party, but often brides will get some sexy or joke adult gifts at a bachelorette.

    Wedding presents are not typically one sided – the groom does not just get the bride a gift. The bride gets the groom one too! Typically these gifts are something to wear on the wedding day – when I got married, I gave my husband jewelry (wow that sounds unmanly)…many brides give their grooms a watch or something similar.

    Baby showers are also a way that the older generation would help out the younger one – help them get set up for the first baby. Showers for subsequent babies have only become socially acceptable in recent years, and a lot depends on the circumstances. As for push presents…that's mostly a new thing too (though kings typically gave their queens gifts on the production of an heir), more from the jewelry industry than anything else, but I kinda think a woman does deserve a little something sparkly after all that mess!

    I know you clearly said you were exaggerating – but I think it'd help you out to understand the historical significance and the reason some of these parties developed. I like you, debt ninja, but I think you're gonna get a lot of flak on this one! Duck and cover on those pregnant jeans comments – many women are pretty bloated in the beginning and need extra room!

  15. When I got married, one of my husband’s friends told me I was hosting a wedding for the presents. Really? Have you crunched the numbers? If I added up all the value of the gifts I received it might add up to about 15% of the cost of the wedding. Don’t get me wrong – I loved my wedding – but as a clever “business plan,” it’s not going to get me far.

    As for showers, did you notice that – men – you’re not invited? It’s not like we’re tricking men into buying us presents. Really, we’re showing other women that we care about them and want to help them start a new chapter in their lives. I read recently that 55% of women are making half or more of the household income in the US, so it’s quite a stretch to say women are cleverly tricking men out of money. We’re making it, spending it and doing so unselfishly.

    • Ha! I love this comment! My mom goes on and on about how we need to have a BIG wedding with LOTS of people invited because it means more presents. I'm like, "Really, Mom? You think those presents are going to add up to the cost of the wedding? Mmmm, no!" πŸ™‚

  16. Ugh–all the stuff you mention is my nightmare and I feel it is hard, as a woman, to wriggle out of it. I was dead set against a bridal shower when we got married. I said, NO, Hell no! My husband and I had been living together for years, had all we needed and were intending to leave the country in a few years . . .uh, no presents necessary. So my mom and my friend planned a 'surprise shower' for me. Um–I couldn't quite go the rude route of running everyone out who showed up. What can you do ? My husband got to go off and drink beers and play darts at the pub while I had to play weird, silly games and eat pink cake. He was kind of afraid of what my reaction would be, but I kept my cool. . .and have finally re-gifted most of the stuff that I got from the bridal shower.

    And I'm already nervous about having kids for similar reasons. People get all crazy and emotional and buy all this stuff in relation–it's hard to say no. Baby showers freak me out.

    • Simple, you stole the words from my lips! It's very hard to get out of wedding showers if you happen to be a bride who doesn't want them!

  17. I wish I was one of the "clever" women who enjoy all those parties! Since we're planning our wedding on such short notice – and because I want no clutter coming into this apartment – we're skipping all of the showers. We'll both have bachelor and bachelorette parties, though we're just keeping it simple. I had never even heard of a "trousseau." That's a little crazy!

    Seriously though, most of the time we choose to have babies (Well, really, 100% of the time…) so it's not like you should get a "push" present because you went through this excruciating thing. You chose the pain! πŸ™‚

    And I can understand all of the showers if you're just moving out on your own when you get married. But if you're like most newly weds these days, you've lived on your own for a while and have enough stuff that, combined with your spouse, you won't need much else. That's why D and I are just asking for cash instead of registering for things we don't need. πŸ™‚

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  19. I just got hit up on the "babymoon" one! Who'd a thunk it? We're expecting our first child in a couple of months and my wife has now planned and booked our "one last getaway before the baby comes" trip. After all, our lives are over after we have a baby, right?

    Gotta go pack for my babymoon now.

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