Blanche’s Shower

I tried to make the title of this post sound as close to a Lifetime original movie as possible. Like Angela’s Ashes or Flowers For Algernon; something like that. Why I don’t know.

First things first. I do not photograph well. That double chin you see so prominently at the top of your screen is much more discreet in real life. And the smile–well, it’s not as if I had just heard the funniest joke of the week; I was swept into a basement for a one-minute “head shot” photo shoot. How could any regular guy possibly ace that.

Second. Her name will be Blanche. Provided she actually comes out female. (We re-confirmed this on Tuesday, but I’ve heard every “my friend…” pregnancy story in the book, and confused gender stories aren’t that uncommon. If in fact this baby pops out with an unexpected extremity, either he’ll grow up with a major identity crisis or we’ve got multiple shower gifts for the next ten baby girls we know.

She’s going to be a girl, though, and her name is Blanche. Kristie is a) infatuated with old-fashioned names, b) determined not to pick an uber-popular en vogue name, and c) committed to choosing a name that means something to her. So, let’s cross our T’s.

Old-fashioned name. According to the very cool NameVoyager at, Blanche was the 53rd most popular name in the 1880’s. As you can see by the graph, its popularity has dwindled, which satisfies goal number 2. So of what importance is the name Blanche to our lives, you ask? No, none of us had a grandma, or great-grandma Blanche. Not a favorite aunt, best teacher, and NO! NOT AFTER THE GOLDEN GIRLS BLANCHE. (When revealing her name at a restaurant recently, the waitress responded, “Yeah! The slutty Golden Girl!” I assure you, this is not what we were after.

Kristie has been visiting Lake Blanche in northwest Minnesota every summer since birth, and her parents bought a cabin on the lake a few years ago. It’s one of our favorite places to be, and baby Blanche is in homage to that. There have been times where I personally have feared that being named after your mom’s favorite place in the world would be a difficult thing to live up to, but really, there’s no way a lake could possibly outshine our child. So no pressure.

I digress. The shower! This, I found out, is a HUGE deal to everyone involved. For this Sunday afternoon shower, I spent a full week prepping the house: sweeping, mopping, dusting (in places no human was meant to venture). Organizing, rearranging, sprucing. Buying candles, hanging curtains, replacing toilet paper. The first thing I’m telling Blanche upon birth is how much she needs to appreciate the work I put into her first party. She already owes me, and don’t think I’m not tallying.

The planners–friends, parents, siblings’ significants–treated this as if Blanche was actually here to see and judge their party planning capabilities. The food, drinks, decor, gifts, games, ambience. It all had to be perfect. I was happy to be stuck in the middle of it, but without any real responsibility. I found myself interpreting texts, fielding bizarre questions, documenting late-night baking sessions and trying to reassure everyone involved that their ideas were perfect. (While at the same time confirming that those ideas were whatever the questioning planner wanted to hear.) But you don’t want to hear me babble, you want to see pictures! With clever captions.

This is the GIANT cupcake. A stunning visual that I’m sure was also delicious. Sadly, after the smoke cleared, and when we tired of it as our dining room centerpiece, it was consumed only by our garbage can. Around it, you see regular-sized cupcakes decorated as animals. The one in the front is a bear. I think there are some fish there too, though I don’t really remember.



Kristie, sandwiched by friends Michelle and Mindy (left), and brothers’ girlfriends Tawny and Lana (right).



The moms: mine on the left, Kristie’s on the right, and me! Still with the double chin! Drat!




The happy shower committee. Great job ladies. Please plan the next one around a Vikings game again.


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