Showered With Needs

I got married on June 16th. In the months leading up to “the big day,” our family and friends threw ten showers for us. Yes, that's a lot. We've been truly blessed.

One would think that people would run out of ideas or themes by this point. Not us. No way.

If you're one who's planning for your big day (or have somebody close who's doing so), check out the creative ideas we used so that we'd get things we needed, still get the things we wanted, and in the end, save some money.

Christmas Shower
At first, we weren't sure what to think of this when we heard the idea. Then people asked us:

Do you want to have to buy Christmas decorations? Lights? Stockings? Reindeer Ears or Santa Hats?

Short answer: Nope. We sure don't. As a first year married couple, we will be dealing with enough to just supply Christmas gifts to our loved ones, not to mention trying to make our house into a Christmas wonderland. (We love Christmas.)

Now, the dollars that we would've had to pay for those things can be put toward gifts to our friends and family. And this idea just doesn't have to be limited to Christmas. You can try to have a “Holiday” shower where people get you things for Easter, St. Patty's Day, or Valentine's Day. While not everyone celebrates overtly with every holiday, wouldn't you want to have that excitement for when you have kids at least? Or maybe for parties with friends and family?

This shower served a great purpose for us: We were able to get things that we know we would want, but now no longer need to budget for it later. The only discussion we'll have to have now is whether to buy a real or fake tree? But that's a discussion for another post and another time.

Tool Time Shower
No, no. This isn't an occasion to invite your friends who are most like Pauly D and The Situation from Jersey Shore. But as guys, we very rarely have a “party” or “event” where it's just us, outside of the bachelor party.

But the last thing you want to have to run to the store for is to buy a screwdriver, a hammer, or bigger items like a lawnmower or power drill. So a “sure fire” way to become the Tool Man (minus your Al Borland) is to have a tool shower thrown for you. It's a pretty fun set up as well. All you need is a location, burgers and hot dogs, require a tool or garden utensil as entry fee, and you've got yourself a nice little party for your afternoon.

This type of shower will accomplish two things for you:

  • It saves you money from having to buy these things you will eventually need.
  • It makes you look like a manly man. Which as a new husband, we need all the confidence we can find, right?

Gift Card Shower
Our gift card shower was one of the last ones we received before we got married. We received the “Kitchen Shower,” “Linen Shower,” and many other usual themed showers. People were beginning to run out of ideas, so we came up with the idea for having a “Gift Card” Shower. People could save the time of having to go pick something out and leave that chore to us while still getting us something we definitely want.

After we accrued nearly $200 in Lowe's gift cards and almost $100 in Target gift cards just to name a few, the shower was a tremendous success. So, after we've filled our house with the things we wanted, we have a way to repair household problems when these situations arise:

  • Broken light bulb
  • Ran out of laundry detergent
  • Need groceries
  • Cleaning products

You can use your plethora of gift cards and take care of those needs and save money for the other events in your life.

Conclusion
Using those three showers I've listed, let's look at this example:

It's Christmas time. You're looking to set up your first set of stockings over the fireplace except…you have no stockings. You want them to be special, so you try to look at some on Amazon and find a vintage pack of three that costs about $30 with shipping.

You also need three nails (you might as well buy a pack of them), so that can run about $5.

And as you buy the nails, you remember you don't have a hammer, so head on over and pick up one that can run up to $20.

After all the spending, hammering, and I'm sure re-hammering, you have roughly spent about $50 to set up this momentous occasion with your loved one. And the thing is, you've just gotten started. What could you use $50 for?

There are a lot of ways to curb costs and get some great things in celebration of your big day. What showers have you tried or attended that worked out well?

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CNM
CNM
8 years ago

I didn’t understand the point of this post. Get Rich Slowly by having people give you things? What?

Amanda
Amanda
8 years ago
Reply to  CNM

This article belongs on the Knot (in a greatly expanded form, mind you), not GRS.

Holly@ClubThrifty.com
8 years ago
Reply to  CNM

I totally agree. I do not get the point. Having a ridiculous amount of wedding showers does amount to getting rich slowly.

margot
margot
8 years ago
Reply to  CNM

Wedding culture in the U.S. is tacky and insane, and this article confirms that it’s getting worse than I even imagined possible. There’s no excuse for 10 showers. And, by the way, it’s an etiquette breach to have family throw a shower. Read Miss Manners or any etiquette guide. Your friends and family do enough by getting their butts to your wedding and presumably giving you a wedding gift. Do you really need to extort them for more gifts in the name of a “shower”?? Or multiple showers?? What a bitter taste you must have left in so many people’s… Read more »

Herah
Herah
8 years ago
Reply to  margot

I still have a bitter taste in my mouth from multiple showers thrown for my girlfriends sister. Going to a wedding is a gift grab that rubs me the wrong way. When her fiancé purchased a house, we threw him a housewarming party. 2 months later, she moved into his house. There was another housewarming party because she now lived there as well. Then there was the bridal shower. Then there was the bachellorette party, with gifts and a specific outfit required so we all matched at the bar that night (what??) A second bridal shower thrown by friends, same… Read more »

Marsha
Marsha
8 years ago

This post left a bad taste in my mouth. Getting married is not about getting stuff. Be adults and finance your own lives. TEN showers! Are you kidding me?

Even if you have family and friends who wanted to do this, you should have told them no more showers after the first one or two.

Matt
Matt
8 years ago
Reply to  Marsha

Completely agree. This is “Get Rich Slowly”, not “Mooch Free Stuff.” I thought after Human Capital there was no downhill for this author. Clearly, I was mistaken.

JD, I can’t say this in strong enough terms. If you select Will, you will lose me as a reader.

Will, sorry – your ideas are interesting and your writing is fine. I just don’t think it belongs on GRS.

Eileen
Eileen
8 years ago

When people were saying “I am running out of ideas for a gift for you,” what they really meant was “another freaking shower?!?”

I really don’t want to read advice from someone who advocates mooching off of others.

Holly@ClubThrifty.com
8 years ago
Reply to  Eileen

This post reminds me of when my sister-in-law had a baby shower for her fourth, fifth, and sixth child. Really, don’t you have all the baby stuff you need yet? Her excuse was that other people were throwing them so she felt she needed to humor them. The point of this story is that it is totally ridiculous to have ten wedding showers…just as ridiculous as having a baby shower for your sixth child. Yes, well meaning people are voluntarily throwing them for you but that doesn’t mean that going along with it is right…or even normal. Who in the… Read more »

Amanda
Amanda
8 years ago

I am REALLY hoping it went something like–

Her family
Her friends
Her workplace
His family
His friends
His workplace
Their church
Their…bowling league?

Shit, ran out of possible shower-throwers at 8.

Jen
Jen
8 years ago
Reply to  Amanda

I think maybe you divvy up friends into “that I grew up with” and “that I went to college with”? Ummm, if they have two jobs? I will admit that when we had our first kid, we’d just moved to a new city where we knew virtually no one. Husband started a new job fresh out of grad school and I (also fresh out of grad school, but with far less lucrative prospects) was deciding what I’d do after the baby and got a job in a fabric store until I figured it out (years later, I’m still figuring it… Read more »

Ro
Ro
8 years ago
Reply to  Amanda

Yes, as I was reading this, I was hoping that different people are invited to each shower, but it does seem likely that many were invited to multiple showers…ick. I can maybe see two at the most, or possibly three if you do one that is co-ed. But ten…no.

Emily
Emily
8 years ago

Eek! Sounds a little over-the-top! 10 showers? That’s a lot of things to accumulate. Agree with comment above about this post leaving a bad taste.

Brandy
Brandy
8 years ago

This is really interesting! I would like to know what other showers you had!

Robert
Robert
8 years ago

I have to say I thought this was pretty ridiculous. This person must be from some crazy rich family and social circles – 10 showers! The people I know think it’s bad enough that people have a wedding and baby shower! I couldn’t imagine asking people to buy me tools or decorations for holidays for ‘tool’ showers or ‘christmas’ showers – they would laugh in my face.

Doter
Doter
8 years ago

I’m sharing the same ambivalent feeling about this article as the previous commentators.

While showers are a helpful way to set you off in your newly married life, they aren’t meant to subsidize that life.

If your family wanted to throw ten — ten! — showers for you and your fiancee, I think that’s generous and lovely; but to offer that experience as advice to newly engaged couples as a way to save money seems selfish.

Bren
Bren
8 years ago

If you love Christmas so much, wouldn’t you have owned Christmas decorations already? Same with tools. I would expect an adult to at least own a screwdriver and a hammer. This post makes it sound like you weren’t alive before you got married.

Also, I have to agree with the above commenters; marriage isn’t all about ‘getting stuff’, and really, it would have been the polite thing to do to ask you friends and family for no more showers after the first two or so.

Jim
Jim
8 years ago

“While not everyone celebrates overtly with every holiday, wouldn’t you want to have that excitement for when you have kids at least?”

^That is the single most ridiculous sentence I’ve ever seen on this website. Not only does it show your own level of consumerism, but it shows that you think it’s a positive thing that should be passed on to children. Hopefully they don’t learn that lesson.

Bren
Bren
8 years ago
Reply to  Jim

I completely agree with you, Jim. Will seems to be saying: “OK, so you don’t celebrate every single holiday there is. Well, you should, for your future kids’ sake. So have a shower right now so your friends can buy you all the necessary decorations (you better have a big house to store all that stuff), and then once you have kids, celebrate all those holidays which you never used to give a rat’s ass about with them.”

Will, if you read this, is there ANY chance that this is not what you meant when you wrote that sentence?

H
H
8 years ago

This is probably one of the more bizarre GRS pieces, ok, the most bizarre. 10 showers is excessive!! The idea of a themed shower is great and I love the Christmas idea. But still… 10 showers????!!!!????

Nicole
Nicole
8 years ago

Congrats on your marriage. I did not find this post helpful. Actually, I found it kind of gross, because I do not think it fits the values that GRS encourages people to cultivate. I am getting married next year. I am not expecting ANY showers, at all. I literally can’t fathom how you managed to have TEN showers. Marriage should not be about getting a lot of gifts. It’s great that you found a way to get lots and lots of gifts that you could use, but I think this post completely misses the point. Getting Rich Slowly =/ accumulating… Read more »

csdx
csdx
8 years ago
Reply to  Nicole

We’re also getting married soon and to me, making a registry for the wedding itself already feels like a gift grab to me.

And really most of the ‘needs’ we’ve added to the list aren’t really at all. We’ve been living on our own for awhile now (as is the case with many couples these days), so it’s not as if we’re starting from scratch the way many previous generations would have.

amanda
amanda
8 years ago
Reply to  csdx

Maybe you should cancel your registry. Looking back I wish I never had one. I feel dirty 5 years later.

I didn’t really notice it until a former friend was SOO greedy at her baby shower and so sad about what she didn’t get that she barely focused on what she did get. I got her $200 worth of stuff off her registry. Now we’re not friends I wish I didn’t even do that.

Kyle
Kyle
8 years ago

I feel bad for the folks who had to think of 10 excuses to miss the showers.

Amanda
Amanda
8 years ago

Are you serious, Will?

Russ
Russ
8 years ago

The writers first article was ok but felt incomplete and his second didn’t provide any value. Based on his writing and the strength of the other auditioning writers so far, I don’t think he should be a staff writer.

Tom
Tom
8 years ago

One financial problem I have with showers, especially lots of them, is that you will end up being invited to lots of them for the other people. So you will be expected to purchase a lot of potentially useless or duplicate stuff for all those other people whose friends, in turn, will add you to THEIR list of shower-able people. Your group of shower people will grow and grow, until you have 30 punch bowls you don’t know what to do with – except to buy a bigger house to store them all, as well as have room to entertain… Read more »

babylens
babylens
8 years ago

Is this a joke?

K.B.
K.B.
8 years ago

I’m glad I’m not the only one! Showers were originally to help a couple set up their own household (presumably, they had been living at home up until the wedding), not gouging your family and friends so you could run out and buy a pack of nails without having to worry about the cost.

What’s next: making money through bank robbery?

Dave
Dave
8 years ago

There’s nothing wrong with asking people to get you useful things you actually want (that’s the point of a registry, stuff you actually want and no duplicates), but 10 showers seems like it’s just gift harvesting.

Lindsay
Lindsay
8 years ago
Reply to  Dave

Everyone is upset with the author for having 10 showers, but you don’t throw your own showers, they’re thrown for you, and in my experience are supposed to be a surprise, so I don’t see how it is the author’s fault that he had 10 showers. But while I can defend the author on that point, I’m then confused as to how you set up a theme for a shower that someone else is throwing for you. The good advice for any life event where you know people are going to buy you gifts, is to go ahead and set… Read more »

Emily
Emily
8 years ago

This article should be called “Showered With Wants.”

sarah
sarah
8 years ago
Reply to  Emily

Glad someone else already said that. I didn’t see any “needs” on this list; things like screwdrivers are a need but what adult doesn’t have that sort of thing? I can only imagine they got “nicer” screwdrivers, which is a want. I can’t even imagine what the other 7 showers were about if he cherry-picked these three to show “needs”.

Lindsay
Lindsay
8 years ago
Reply to  Emily

I think the post could have been better if it weren’t for the 10 showers. The number is ridiculous and everyone is focusing on that. It is good advice to tell people to put practical things that they actually will use on their registries. When my cousin got married and I went to her registry, I wondered if she was opening up a restaurant or something, there were so many kitchen and dining items on there, way more things than I think she would ever use. Some people, when it’s time to set up a registry, go a little nuts.… Read more »

jlf
jlf
8 years ago

I disliked everything about this post, and, while I am putting it all out there, I gotta say that I didn’t like the first one he wrote, either.

Amanda
Amanda
8 years ago
Reply to  jlf

I was just thinking about that piece this morning. I was thinking about how depending on human capital and expected finances is a bad idea. Honey, with her PhD and low income, is proof of that. (She had some comment about what she *expected* to make.) That whole post about human capital is really about counting chickens before they’ve hatched.

chacha1
chacha1
8 years ago

Not a fan. Maybe I am just cranky today, but I don’t think I can learn anything from someone who thinks it’s a great idea to get married when the couple’s financial situation is so shaky that they “need” ten showers. Sorry to be mean. I appreciate the trouble taken to audition.

Not My Mother
Not My Mother
8 years ago

Ugh, all those showers just seems like gift-grubbing. And you example of putting up stockings is completely against the principles of GRS. A $20 hammer? You couldn’t find cheaper stockings? (which are a WANT not a need). Disappointing, bad bad bad.

Mom of five
Mom of five
8 years ago

This article really rubbed me the wrong way. I have the impression that the author thinks his friends and family owe him and his wife an instant middle class existence.

And if he really thinks it takes $50 to hang two Christmas stockings he needs a few courses in frugal creativity. How about using drawer pulls, or refrigerator chip clip magnets, or a couple of doorknobs, or a hundred other places around your home?

I’m embarassed for him.

Kristen
Kristen
8 years ago
Reply to  Mom of five

Ha! My favorite item for hanging holiday decorations has always been paper clips! You can wrap them around existing nails, shape them any way you want, and there’s always a dozen or more of them hanging out in the bottom of the junk drawer!

Lindsay
Lindsay
8 years ago
Reply to  Mom of five

We just set the stockings down in front of the hearth or the tree, they’re too full of fruit and nuts to hang anyway. 😀

BD
BD
8 years ago

Yeah, I’ve never had a “first set of stockings”. Or a fireplace of my own. What to do for Christmas? Skip all the lame expensive stuff that I don’t need.

I can’t say this “showers” post is very helpful. Then again, I’m probably not as “blessed” as you either. Ah well.

Carol
Carol
8 years ago

I am sitting on the bench with the others commenting on this blog post. Sure, tradition usually has family and friends throwing 1, perhaps 2 (if family event is separate)showers for upcoming weddings, first child’s birth/adoption. Maybe a third thru work-but that gets to be a bit much. 10???!!! THUD! Just can’t see that happening. While I laud the idea of a practical shower (kitchen basics, bath towels etc type of thing vs the $500 place setting china that most can’t afford), and I think that the themed shower is good: couple purchasing a fixer upper so get them registered… Read more »

Kristen
Kristen
8 years ago
Reply to  Carol

I wish as a society we’d drop wedding showers altogether. Many, many couples set up house before they ever marry. It’s not like they need anything.
And no baby showers after the first kid!

Dee
Dee
8 years ago
Reply to  Kristen

I see baby showers differently — I think there should be one for every new child coming into the family, to celebrate that event and recognize the importance of each child. Of course, I also don’t see showers as only an event to give and receive gifts, either.

Kio
Kio
8 years ago
Reply to  Dee

I like the idea of only one baby shower (for the first child). But a lot of my friends have had “welcoming” parties for their 2nd, 3rd etc. A month or so after the baby is born, they throw a party that’s a lot like a baby shower, with bbq and cake and punch and family, but just without the expectation of gifts. If people happen to bring gifts they aren’t opened in front of everybody like a shower.

It is so much fun to get to celebrate the birth of their child, and actually meet the baby!

amanda
amanda
8 years ago
Reply to  Dee

I’m OK with a welcome shower, no gifts. Or an open house or welcome dinner given by the parents.

Leah
Leah
8 years ago
Reply to  Kristen

I didn’t have any showers for our wedding. We did register for some stuff (mostly, place settings, as we had never actually gone out and gotten dishes) at the insistence of our relatives who *wanted* to buy gifts. My aunts actually threw me a mini-shower the night after the wedding, since they were in town, to give me even more presents I hadn’t asked for. It was nice, and I love the items they gifted us, but I’m glad I didn’t have more showers. re: babies, we did just throw a second baby shower for a friend, mostly because we… Read more »

Nicole
Nicole
8 years ago

🙁

BitterKitten
BitterKitten
8 years ago

I agree…this is gross. Childish and entitled. I am a faithful reader but rarely comment, however, I couldn’t let this one pass without noting my disgust at the content and the gleeful tone. How is this advice? How many of us are about to get married and have ten showers. Ridiculous!

KT
KT
8 years ago

This is pathetic. TEN showers? How entitled are you? The gift card shower has to be the tackiest, greediest thing I’ve ever heard of.

You’re supposed to be happy to get married to be with the one you love, and CELEBRATE with family and friends…not hoard presents and gift cards.

Be an adult.

Jason
Jason
8 years ago

I thought weddings were for love not to milk extra gifts out of your family and friends? And who doesn’t already own a hammer and nail?

I feel like the true lesson from this post is that commercialism is ugly an doesn’t belong in a wedding story.

Panda
Panda
8 years ago

Agree that this post wasn’t really helpful. “Want a great way to save money? Have people give you stuff!”

Some interesting ideas for types of showers to throw for others, but where I’m from the recipients of a shower don’t get to specify the gifts or theme.

Evangeline
Evangeline
8 years ago

Nope.

jim
jim
8 years ago

Wife: Honey time to get ready for the shower.
Me:Another one!? How many is this?
Wife : only the eighth
Me: Ugh. WHY sooooo mannnnyyyy! What is wrong with your relatives?
Wife : shut up
Me : Whats this one for?
Wife : Household cleaning supplies and picture frames.
Me : shoot me.

Financial Uproar
Financial Uproar
8 years ago

This is a joke piece, right?

Vanessa
Vanessa
8 years ago

I had no idea showers were so profitable. How can a single person with no kids get in on this kind of action, lol?

Did he really list running out of laundry detergent as a “problem?”

I know most commenters found this article offensive, but I’m finding it funny for some reason.

Beth
Beth
8 years ago
Reply to  Vanessa

Your comment made me laugh! As a single women in my 30s, I’ve certainly never had a shower or anything to help me establish a household! I have, however, been blessed with friends and family willing to help me out with stuff they no longer needed or didn’t want to pack when they moved. One friend even bought me a “first apartment” present of a tea kettle.

It’s something I’m mindful of now — that people could use help establishing their lives (or re-establishing their lives, after divorce), not just when social convention says we should buy gifts.

Kim
Kim
8 years ago
Reply to  Vanessa

I agree. Is it bad that I think this post and the comments are kind of hilarious? Of course, I’d like to see GRS be a personal finance site, not a source of comedy…

Fake
Fake
8 years ago

I’d like to hear from the people whom you invited to TEN SHOWERS! Did the guest list overlap? Did you expect your friends to give you ten gifts? Seriously? Did you have any friends afterwards?

Holly@ClubThrifty.com
8 years ago
Reply to  Fake

I think my own mother might be busy “washing her hair” by the time the fifth of sixth shower rolled around……

Holly@ClubThrifty.com
8 years ago

Worst. Article. Ever.

MamaMia
MamaMia
8 years ago

Dear author: – Some advice. Worry about how you’ll spend Christmas with the kids when you actually have kids. By then, you may see the hidden value (and FUN) of making simple decorations with them out of construction paper, cardboard tubes, popcorn, and the like. My family of 3 (soon to be 4) uses ordinary socks as stockings. (Which is, in fact, the traditional way of doing it.) – “Require a tool or garden utensil as entry fee.” Seriously?? An entry fee for a shower your friends/family are throwing YOU? Tacky. – While there’s nothing wrong with using gift cards… Read more »

Karla
Karla
8 years ago
Reply to  MamaMia

The thought of a gift as an entry fee both amuses and disgusts me. As others have said, since when do we expect family/friends to subsidize our lives? My first tool kit was put together with extras from my parents’ garage and got me through 10+ years.

Overall, I think the article was written well but that the topic and attitude don’t belong on GRS.

Will Crosswell
Will Crosswell
8 years ago

Wow. Apparently I gave off an entirely different impression than what I initially intended. 10 is a lot of showers, but we by no means asked people to throw all these for us. I got married because I met the love of my life, not so I could “get stuff.” I honestly thought this would be a fun, lighthearted, helpful post for people who were interested in throwing different types of showers for the bride and/or groom (it’s wedding season, anyway), but as many comments have been made, I did not express that clear enough. My wife and I come… Read more »

csdx
csdx
8 years ago
Reply to  Will Crosswell

In the abstract, the content is not actually bad, as someone suggested earlier if this were an article on a wedding site about ideas for throwing a unique wedding shower, I’d probably appreciate the piece. The issue is that you’re spinning it as a personal finance piece from the recieving end no less. I think you could have even successfuly done it as a personal finance from the giving end (e.g. “How to throw a frugal wedding shower”), since something like the tool shower is actually a neat idea. But you’re writing about the personal finance aspects from the receiving… Read more »

Krose
Krose
8 years ago
Reply to  Will Crosswell

Will, I’m sorry that you were subjected to the wrath of the internet with this. It can be unkind place at times. I must say that I too, was really surprised by the amount of showers; I think in the current economy people find the idea of that much gift-giving a little turn off. GRS is probably not the target audience for an article like this. Good luck with other writing endeavors-don’t lose too much sleep over the comments!

Michelle
Michelle
8 years ago
Reply to  Krose

I agree with the two above posts. This might have been a ‘fun’ article to write. However, it has not been written with its audience in mind. This isn’t a wedding planning blog (where ‘creative ideas for a themed shower’ would work really well). It’s an audition piece to get a job as a regular writer for a debt reduction/wealth building/frugal living publication. Consider: would you submit an article about hosting a baby shower to a culinary magazine? An article about making unusual baby food recipes – maybe, but even then, it would probably be better in a parenting magazine.… Read more »

BD
BD
8 years ago
Reply to  Will Crosswell

Aside from the great comment from csdx, I think another problem is you’re coming from a situation where you’re VERY blessed. You have tons of people you know in your life who love you and want to give you stuff. For those of us who aren’t so blessed, there isn’t ANYTHING we can take away from this post other than “Hope and pray that one day you’ll have lots of friends and family who’ll give you stuff”. This isn’t something that can be achieved by anything other than luck, or by God making it happen. I know some folks don’t… Read more »

SimpleIslandLiving
SimpleIslandLiving
8 years ago
Reply to  Will Crosswell

I think your explanation of your background (teachers and railroad workers) makes me understand a little more that your community banded together to throw you showers to give you what you needed. It seems smaller and more tight-knit than anything I’m used to, and I think you’re lucky that you have people to gather together and support you. I think the part that confused me totally is…what the heck did people get you for your wedding presents? The idea of wedding presents is to get the couple started off – which is why you register for kitchen stuff, bedroom sheets,… Read more »

Ash (in US)
Ash (in US)
8 years ago
Reply to  Will Crosswell

Hi Will, Thank you for responding to the criticism so gracefully. I think you explained your POV well. It does help me think a bit more objectively about the article. I think this is really a case of “choose your audience”. It’s been mentioned that this post would work well from the other side or on a wedding planning site. The audience at GRS is primarily interested in saving or making money. This article sort of hits those points, but it’s very tangential. I would probably have edited the “10 shower” thing to “our family, friends, and even coworkers all… Read more »

Beth
Beth
8 years ago
Reply to  Will Crosswell

Will, speaking as some who has worked as an editor and writing teacher, it’s important to remember that what people consider “good writing” often depends on context and audience expectations. I’ve had to turn down good writing because it wasn’t a good fit, not because it was bad writing or didn’t have good ideas.

I thought the tool theme was a good one. It’s always annoyed me that we’ve held bridal and baby showers for the women at our office, but not for the men. (They’re getting married and becoming parents too!)

CNM
CNM
8 years ago
Reply to  Will Crosswell

Will, thank you for responding. While I understand that people wanted to throw you showers, it is up to you to say no. Generally a shower or two is socially acceptable but I have never heard of anyone having so many. It is poor etiquette and overly burdensome on your guests.

Kim
Kim
8 years ago
Reply to  Will Crosswell

If you literally had enough friends and family wanting to shower you that you had to have ten showers, why didn’t you have a “give to charity” shower or something? Nobody needs ten showers worth of gifts. Even the children of teachers (I’m one!)

Why not share your blessings?

Not My Mother
Not My Mother
8 years ago
Reply to  Will Crosswell

Will,
First, I’d like to say csdx expressed perfectly the problems with your post, from why it doesn’t work here in its current form (but might on the Knot) and how you SHOULD have spun it for a personal finance site like GRS.

Second though I think JD really let you down here letting it get posted as is He should have forseen the reactions and probably rejected it as not matching the focus of the blog. Audition pieces or not, he still has an editorial duty around here.

Eileen
Eileen
8 years ago
Reply to  Not My Mother

Given that we’ve had these audition pieces for what feels like three years, I think JD checked out a looong time ago.

my honest answer
my honest answer
8 years ago
Reply to  Will Crosswell

I was going to give you the benefit of the doubt since your explanation seemed very genuine. Until I read about your wife being given sheets. So, er, you don’t sleep on the bed too? Your wife is incapable of hammering in a nail? They bought the gifts for both of you.

Claire
Claire
8 years ago
Reply to  Will Crosswell

“My wife and I come from humble, hard working, and by no means elitist families. We are products of teachers and railroad men…”

Well, that just makes it even worse. You let your circle of “humble, hardworking” people shell out money for ten showers so you and your fiancee? In this economy???

Talk about taking advantage.

Karen
Karen
8 years ago

This article is disgusting. It is dripping with greed and entitlement. Please, J.D., don’t allow this person to write another piece for your blog. I fear you risk turning off your readers who are looking for financial advice, not this level of useless drivel.

Jen
Jen
8 years ago

My only other comment on this is — what happened to everyone’s stockings from childhood?

I still have my stocking, made by a friend of my mother’s (I believe). A few of the sequins are hanging loose, but it was handmade, just for me…and it’s still working fine 47 years later!

My SIL made a lovely hand-knit stocking (and they’re huge and stretch — kids love ’em, we find them to be bottomless!) for each of our kids. They’ll have them, barring unforeseen circumstances, for the rest of their lives too!

Amanda
Amanda
8 years ago
Reply to  Jen

Our stockings have cow heads on them. My mom got them from when she worked at Kemps (a dairy company). Their slogan was/is “Kemps: It’s the cows.”

Anyhow, the awesome cow-head stockings are in my parents’ basement. If my husband and I celebrated Christmas, I would probably bother to get mine back.

Allyson Carneal
Allyson Carneal
8 years ago
Reply to  Jen

I still have my Christmas stocking that my mother crocheted for me when I was a baby. She crocheted matching ones for my sister and I, with our name on them. Would never even think of using anything else, and if someone ever gave me one, I would discretely re-gift it.

Terrin Bell
Terrin Bell
8 years ago

Didn’t you just get divorced?

Amanda
Amanda
8 years ago
Reply to  Terrin Bell

That’s JD.

Jessica
Jessica
8 years ago

I think the person we need to be upset with here is JD. JD, there is absolutely no way you read this article and thought “yea, this is going to be a good try out piece.” You have wasted our time and you have subjected this poor kid to a ton of ridicule. In the future do a better job of screening.

Vanessa
Vanessa
8 years ago
Reply to  Jessica

I thought the point of these audition pieces was not to find authors we agree with, but authors with different points of view. Like some of the other commenters, I know that it doesn’t take $50 to nail a stocking, but apparently this author doesn’t. I find that kind of perspective intriguing.

Amanda
Amanda
8 years ago
Reply to  Jessica

I’m a little ticked that JD hasn’t shown up to respond to this at all, frankly. He was all over Honey’s post, and the wealth post from a few days ago, but now it’s radio silence. I feel like JD is throwing Will under a bus. And yes, I’m cranky. I’ve had to give up on The Simple Dollar for anything other than comic relief, it’s so bad nowadays. And now I feel like I’m going to be giving up on GRS next. Anyone have recommendations for some great PF blogs made for people who are in the building wealth… Read more »

Nicole
Nicole
8 years ago
Reply to  Amanda

The other half of our blog is currently in love with Mr. Money Moustache. http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/
I think it’s the badassery.

One of my favorites is leightpf.
http://leightpf.wordpress.com/

They’re both in the wealth-accumulation phase. MMM is an early-retirement blog. Leightpf is a young professional who is making good decisions for (mostly passive) wealth building but doesn’t necessarily plan early retirement (at least not in her 5 year plan), just having options in the future.

If you’re into rentals and entrepreneurship, Paula at Afford Anything is a fun read. (I’d link, but I’m afraid a third link will put me in moderation.)

Nicole
Nicole
8 years ago
Reply to  Nicole

http://afford-anything.com/

She’s doing a neat experiment this year in which all of her income goes to investing, including rental properties. Not what I would do (I’m more of a passive investor), but fun to read about vicariously.

Ash (in US)
Ash (in US)
8 years ago
Reply to  Nicole

Thanks for the links, Nicole! I hadn’t heard of some of these sites! Time to go check them out. 🙂

J.D. Roth
J.D. Roth
8 years ago
Reply to  Amanda

Amanda, I am a real person with a real life. I can’t be here to monitor the blog 24/7. I do my best, but sometimes I have other responsibilities. In this case, I’m preparing for a huge conference this weekend. It’s not that I’m “throwing Will under the bus”.

Ash (in US)
Ash (in US)
8 years ago
Reply to  J.D. Roth

Hey JD, when you have a moment, I think that Will’s comment at 44 should be highlighted (it does answer a few questions about his article).

Aaron
Aaron
8 years ago
Reply to  Jessica

I’ll defend JD here. The piece is loosely tied to personal finance and clearly the ties are being stretched a bit for these audition pieces, but I think this article should reflect most poorly on the ‘kid’ (how much more condescending can you be?) not as much so on the site or JD. The writer should have spent more effort getting to know the audience and writing for the audience here at GRS. Just keep this piece in mind when ‘voting’ for the staff writers when the time comes. And if you still feel like its JDs or GRS’s fault,… Read more »

Elizabeth
Elizabeth
8 years ago
Reply to  Aaron

Hm. I don’t agree. With any publication, it’s the editor that’s ultimately responsible for the content. (Chain of command and all that.) Editors have to have higher standards when it comes to things like style, tone, bias, accuracy, audience expectations, clarity, etc. Writers can’t always spot problems in their own work – it takes a second set of eyes.

That being said, not every article is going to be a winner. Sometimes editors know it and sometimes they don’t and sometimes they just have to learn from their mistakes like the rest of us 😉

Melanie
Melanie
8 years ago

I read the RSS feed of GRS, and I almost never come to the actual site. This article was so bizarre (for GRS) that I had to come and make sure I wasn’t crazy for seeing it this way. I concur with the other people who have commented, this was a terrible article for GRS.

Greg McFarlane
Greg McFarlane
8 years ago

Yes, nothing says “manly man” (to quote Mr. Crosswell) like a) waiting until you’re married to own tools, and b) acquiring said tools via something called a “tool shower.”

Level with us: was this fiction? I mean, you refer to a theoretical shower where people give you St. Patrick’s Day-themed gifts. You know, because St. Patrick’s Day is a staple on everyone’s gift-exchanging calendar.

Tyler Karaszewski
Tyler Karaszewski
8 years ago

BMW shower is at my house. Everyone’s invited, I’ll have beer and burgers, please bring a side, and a car. Thanks!

Honestly, I think this is probably the most ridiculous post I have ever read on here. I can not understand how it got posted. Presumably one of the editors on the site had to read it first, bit I can’t imagine how that could be true.

imelda
imelda
8 years ago

“As a first year married couple, we will be dealing with enough to just supply Christmas gifts to our loved ones, not to mention trying to make our house into a Christmas wonderland. (We love Christmas.)”

This is the part that gets me the most. Like, god forbid they have to go one year without store-bought Christmas decorations.

If you love Christmas, then freaking celebrate Christmas. If you love Christmas decorations, and don’t have money, make them your damn self.

Will, if you’re looking for where people got the sense of entitlement from, this quote is a prime example.

sarah
sarah
8 years ago
Reply to  imelda

this, absolutely. a headline about getting “needs” followed by a paragraph about having every store-bought christmas decoration given to you just sounds insane. Holiday decorations are a never a need.

Nicole
Nicole
8 years ago

Long time reader, first time commenter, because I cannot believe how much this article disgusts me. It goes against the grain of pretty much everything I’ve read on GRS over the last few years. Advocating mooching gift cards out of friends and family for “when these situations arise: Broken light bulb Ran out of laundry detergent Need groceries Cleaning products” Really ? Are you serious ? My heart breaks for people who cannot afford these basic needs because times are hard. But that does not seem to be the situation here. Why would your friends and family pay for your… Read more »

stellamarina
stellamarina
8 years ago

I think that most couples would want to build up their own choice of Christmas ornaments and create their own traditions. I know I sound grumpy about it but I find American wedding showers a bit over the top. I like the old tradition of a Kitchen shower where women had a little afternoon tea together and brought a small gift for the kitchen…tea towels or something. I hate the sexy night gown thing. I could go with the manly tool barbecue idea if we are not getting into the expensive stuff. I still have not got used to the… Read more »

Nicole
Nicole
8 years ago
Reply to  stellamarina

Oddly, for our first Christmas as a married couple, DH’s (extended working class rural) family seemed like it bought out several Hallmark stores worth of “First Christmas together” gifts. It must be something cultural. (See also: matching Baby’s First Christmas gifts after baby was born.) (Of course, we were living in a teeny tiny urban apartment, but we retrieved said gifts from my parents’ basement once we moved into a house many years later.) They were also incredibly generous with wedding presents in general. We didn’t have a shower or registry because we were moving across country to a teeny… Read more »

Not My Mother
Not My Mother
8 years ago
Reply to  Nicole

” DH’s (extended working class rural) family seemed like it bought out several Hallmark stores worth of “First Christmas together” gifts. It must be something cultural. (See also: matching Baby’s First Christmas gifts after baby was born.)”

I’m going to go out on a limb here and say those working class relatives aren’t very wealthy. Cultural or not, this sort of over the top gift giving is why.

(Honestly not a dig at you. Just observing the sort of spending habits we readers of GRS are learning to avoid.)

MamaMia
MamaMia
8 years ago
Reply to  Not My Mother

I suspect that your comment gets to the heart of why readers have objected so strongly to this article. Most of us, I think, are sympathizing with the author’s family members, friends, and co-workers, many of whom we imagine – in this economy – to be struggling themselves and unable to afford gifts for ten showers (plus a wedding). Yes, maybe they seemed eager to throw the showers and give the gifts, but that doesn’t make it right. I know that my own annoyance with this article had more to do with the author’s apparent disregard for his loved ones’… Read more »

Jane
Jane
8 years ago
Reply to  stellamarina

We got married in early December and received a lot of Christmas themed gifts. While we appreciated them and kept several of them, a lot of them weren’t to our taste. I think Christmas decorations as gifts are actually very hard to get right. Unless you know specifically the type of colors and themes that a person likes, you are just as likely to get them something they wouldn’t want to put up as you are to buy the perfect Santa or whatever. I kept some of them for a few years, but I have since given away many of… Read more »

moneybin
moneybin
8 years ago

No wonder he has done some dumb mistakes with money. He’s obviously surrounded by people accustomed to a high level of spending. So all their friends think it’s just great spending their money on giving this couple a whole bunch of things they really don’t need to be happy in life. Seriously? This is just weird. In those surroundings getting rich slowly translates to getting rich never.

Clara
Clara
8 years ago

Sorry Will but your article upsets me. If you want to be a staff writer on GRS I assume you are a reader of the site & therefore should have an idea of what kind of posts are relevant. I am sorry that you don’t have a friend, relative or neighbour willing to lend you a hammer & 3 nails. In the UK we don’t have wedding showers so I’m even more confounded by this. I really liked your first post so don’t give up.

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