Post # 1
So I really enjoy reading advice columns, and today someone wrote in complaining about the way his wife wanted to do something “creative” to share the news about their pregnancy.
Here’s the original letter: http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/carolyn-hax-a-wife-who-loves-to-orchestrate-her-big-news-makes-husband-uncomfortable/2014/02/02/2cc9244c-853e-11e3-9dd4-e7278db80d86_allComments.html?ctab=all_&
I spent a few minutes reading through reactions in the comments and was pretty surprised just how negative people were. I know commenters tend to run towards the negative, but wow. They basically called her silly, the gesture controlling, and some made comments about “women never growing up.” And a lot of people seemed to comment that she must be doing this for social media purposes.
I guess I’m in the camp of, “You baby/engagement/house purchase is a really big deal. If you want to tell your family and closest friends in a creative way, go for it!” You don’t know how they’ll react, and that’s on them. Creative announcements don’t always need to be a party or event, but some poeople are just more sentimental than others. It seems silly to rip someone apart for a “clever announcement” in the same way it seems silly to rip someone apart for “being cold” or “uncreative.”
So what do you think bees? What would you think if a family member/best friend told you about a life event in a creative way? Does your reaction change depending on the type of event, how? I’d love to get a general feel for what people think.
ETA: I’m not talking about large YouTube announcements for broad audiences or giant gender reveal parties. I’m specifically talking about in person announcements with close family and very best friends.
Post # 3
I love clever baby/engagement announcements!
Buying a house or graduating from college seem a little strange to send announcements for, but only because people generally know that you’re in college or buying a house.
Post # 4
@Mrs.LemonDrop: I’m all for family get together. Sharing news at an event is great but an event just to share news? I’m not exactly waiting with bated breath to discover a gender or wedding date. I think it’s a bit over the top to have an event dedicated to that. Using an existing event where everyone is already gathered is reasonable to me though.
ETA: I think I misunderstood the OP. I don’t think fancy announcements are needed for general life accomplishments that essentially everyone I know makes.
Post # 5
I love fun baby and engagement announcements. If I’m privileged enough to be in that small circle I’m going to love them! Now if they do it to a broader group, which ive gotten, then I’m going to think they’re being overly dramatic. Home buying, meh, I would find a big announcement strange. I understand the excitement of it, obviously, but a fancy announcement is just over the top, imo.
Post # 6
@Mrs.LemonDrop: Honestly, I find them attention-seeking and self-centred, and massively dislike them.
What, exactly, is wrong with just telling someone when you see them, or, if you don’t see them that often, picking up the telephone and telling them? Why does everything have to be ‘creative’? Why do you need some big ‘fun’ gesture?
You’re having a baby? Great! I don’t need you to tell me by sending me a ‘cute’ outfit. You’ve bought a house? Awesome! You can just tell me when you see me, I don’t need a key in a box.
These types of getsures make me cringe, and instantly make me think that the person in question is very attention-seeking. I am SO thankful that I don’t know anyone like this IRL.
Post # 7
I don’t mind things like a picture of a toddler with a “Big Brother” shirt posted on facebook or something…but the whole posed professional photography stuff for an announcement is a bit much for me.
Post # 8
@MrsPanda99: I’m with you on the special events thing. In my head, I read the the original article and had assumed the couple would already be over at their family’s house for dinner or something. I guess that could have been part of the discord.
At the moment, I’m living in an area where I see my family a lot for trivial stuff. So announcing after dinner or during a regular visit doesn’t seem crazy.
@barbie86: Fair, that’s valid. I *personally* don’t see token gifts as announcements (a mug that says World’s Best Grandpa, etc) as self centered. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with just telling people outright, but I don’t think there’s anything exactly wrong with doing the others.
@tksjewelry: Makes sense. I’ve always loved them and thought they were sweet if it was immediate family best friends. Not such a fan of huge over the top ones, but truthfully until I read the article it never occured that people that close to me could think a baby gift or something was really self-centered and jerky. Hence the poll so I have the opportunity to reconsider!
Post # 9
I’m ok with it as long as it’s a small, close group of people and not overused. One of the comments reminded me of my own experiences where I awkwardly tried to figure out something based on a present. The comment was talking about parents getting her brother a car. What if he guessed it was a Lexus or something and he got an old Ford? He would have been happier from the start if he just found out about the Ford. It can put an uncomfortable amount of pressure on the receiver.
Post # 10
@Mrs.LemonDrop: I’m with the husband and negative commenters.
All these grand gestures are so self-involved, attention seeking and narcissistic. Big news for you as a person or couple is just pleasant, ordinary news for everyone else. Yes, people are happy and excited for you but expecting them to treat the news of your pregnancy like it’s the second coming is a tad much. As is asking people to come stand around, pretending not to be bored and annoyed while you cut into a cake with a pink or blue interior and then fake gasps of utter amazement that you’re having either a boy or a girl – I mean, who sees that coming?
Post # 11
@Mrs.LemonDrop: I agree that creative gestures in front of other people put the expectation that you perform. I think the key gesture was cute if the parents knew they were looking for a house. Otherwise it is out of the blue and my parents would need to process the financial side first. Similarly, if it wasn’t known that babies were desired in the near future, the surprise might not get the reaction they wanted.
Post # 12
Sorry I find them rather attention seeking, look at me I am all a special snowflake because I can reproduce, get married deal. Millions of people get married and have babies all the time. Including myself on both.
Post # 13
@Mrs.LemonDrop: My FSIL and FBIL gave their parents all something related to being a grandparent – i.e. a mug, a bib, etc. when they announced their pregnancy. I think that is so fun and I would totally do the same thing! I think gender reveal parties are a bit over the top… but also kinda fun. I don’t really take offense to these things.
Post # 15
@Mrs.LemonDrop: I’m fine with it as long as the audience enjoys the experience. In the letter’s case, the audience (husband + her in laws) are uncomfortable, so she should avoid making anouncements that way to them, and her husband should be honest with her about their reactions. I would be horribly embarrassed if I had been working really hard to delight my in laws and it turns out I had been making them uncomfortable. Maybe she can focus her efforts on cute stuff for her own family or friends, or after the big news is told.