ASK AUNTY PAM: Is it the thought that counts?
Published 9:26 am Monday, March 27, 2023
Dear Aunty Pam,
I’m having a disagreement with a friend and we both decided we would let you settle it!
My friend, “Susan,” and I are both educators and teach at the same school. One of the other teachers there, who I will call “Mary,” is pregnant with her first child. All the teachers are throwing a baby shower for her at the end of an upcoming school day, and Mary is really excited about her baby-to-be and the baby shower. She’s a super teacher and really nice to be around.
The problem is that Susan did some online sleuthing and learned that Mary is married to a successful and wealthy man. I’ll admit I wondered how she could afford to drive an expensive SUV to work but never questioned it. Anyway, Susan now says that because Mary will never want for anything in regard to this child, it’s silly to be giving her a baby shower and all these gifts that she could easily buy for herself, and she shouldn’t expect the rest of us, who struggle with our salaries, to buy her nice and expensive baby gifts. I say it’s the thought that counts.
What do you say?
5th Grade Teacher
I say that your friend, Susan, is a bit of a soul crusher and borders on being unpleasant.
First of all, why shouldn’t Mary have the opportunity to enjoy what is, for many first-time pregnant ladies, something they really look forward to: the celebration with friends over the birth of their child?
I can’t think of anything more heartless than not to give her a shower or, breathtakingly worse, cancel the event because she lives comfortably. How does Susan even know that Mary would ever expect an “expensive gift?” For heaven’s sake, the woman is a fellow teacher—doesn’t Susan realize Mary knows exactly how much the other teachers make and how hard it is to make ends meet? In fact, she’d probably be embarrassed to be showered with expensive gifts. And there are plenty of gifts that can be purchased that are affordable: vintage pre-owned baby clothes…booties and caps, a cute diaper tote bag—or a thoughtfully signed card offering a night’s free babysitting when Mary and her hubs have their first night out.
Susan: seriously, your jealousy is showing. Who snoops around online to determine if someone deserves a baby shower or not? Teach says Mary’s a “super teacher and really nice to be around.” Your feelings on the matter sound really catty. Even Meghan Markle was thrown a shower.
And that is Aunty Pam settling it.