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Having a drive-by event vs. the real thing

It’s not unusual to get asked to attend a baby shower.

But I have to say, I was surprised by the request I got in recent weeks.

It was for a drive-by one.

Huh?

A drive-by baby shower?

How the heck do you have a drive-by baby shower, I wondered to myself as I read and re-read the invitation from a kind-of distant relative to come to a kind of far-away place for something I’d never heard of before, much less experienced.

After all, the event was in Chagrin Falls, Ohio, so that meant a good two-hour-or-so drive one way just to get there, only to drive by the baby shower and then turn around and head back home for another leisurely two-hour-and-something drive.

Somehow, that didn’t sound like a wild, wonderful way to spend a good part of a Saturday, a premium day of the week.

I was a fish not biting on this bait.

Granted, I sent a card, a gift and my apologies.

And I confess — the what’s-in-it-for-me grinch surfaced on this particular invite.

No baby shower food?

No cake or cupcakes or potential for seconds?

No playing baby-related word scramble games or how well do you know mommy or what time will baby be born so I could win some coveted prize I don’t really need in the first place?

No watching gifts being opened and oohing and aahing over how cute and precious and adorable they all are?

No getting all blubbery and tearful remembering that it was such a long, long time ago that you were having a shower and opening presents and getting ready for family expansion?

I’m going to motor by all that tradition and toot the horn?

No way, baby.

But honestly I was curious how something like this went so I did do a little research and thought, well, more power to ’em, when I saw how such things can be pulled off with purpose and planning.

I ultimately saw all their Facebook posts and pictures documenting the event and was pretty impressed at how clever and creative it was, given we live in pandemic times and people are finding alternative ways to still make special occasions something special.

I get that.

But I’m a hugger and a talker and if I’m going to a baby shower, by golly, I want the deluxe, in-person version of it.

I want to rub the belly of the mother-to-be for good luck ( if I know her well enough, of course). I want to talk to relatives and friends. I want to mingle-dingle, eat too much, laugh and linger, and be the last one to leave — before I get asked to help clean up, mind you.

I hope things get under control here sometime real soon so life can return to some sort of normalcy.

I hate to think we’re going to be a masked-up, drive-by, drive-through, touchless, no-can-hug-or-shake-hands kind of world for very much longer.

I don’t want to drive by everything and look.

I want to get out of the car and live a little!

(Kiaski, a resident of Richmond, is a staff columnist and community editor for the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times. She can be contacted at jkiaski@heraldstaronline.com.)

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