Commentary

Weekend humor from Celia Rivenbark: What ‘gender reveal’ parties really reveal

I’m just going to say it: Gender reveal parties are dumb. Outside of family and a (very) few friends, nobody cares if your baby is a boy or a girl.

Y’all: But it’s fun and cute! Stop being such a grumpy ol’ bag!

Look, when it was just about cutting a cake and seeing if the innards were dyed pink or blue, that was fine. You do you. Besides…cake. But, as you’ll see in a minute, things are clearly out of control.

On the other hand, I know I should look disappointed when the happy couple goes all cagey and says, “We want it to be a surprise!” What? Do you think there’s a chance it’s a wombat? OK, now I’m interested.

Maybe gender-reveals are the next logical step after extravagant promposals in high school and flash-mob wedding proposals in public places. We don’t want to do anything without an audience. If you didn’t announce the gender of your baby, as a Louisiana couple did, by having an alligator chomp into a blue-tinted watermelon, are you even pregnant?

Last week, a botched gender reveal involving pyrotechnics – PYROTECHNICS, Y’ALL—resulted in a California wildfire that forced 20,000 people out of their homes.

“It was awful being evacuated and not knowing if we’d ever see our home again but, we just have to know…was it a girl or a boy?” said no one ever.

This isn’t some COVID claustrophobic craziness or oddball do-gooding like the ice bucket challenge. These gender reveals need to go because—buzzkill warning ahead—it just makes us seem as shallow and self-absorbed as the rest of the world thinks we are.

We don’t wear masks because “waaahhh.” We don’t pause to think about how dangerous it is to combine flames and dry grass in the name of an over the top gender reveal because we want to crush Insta. And TikTok. And Snapchat. And Twitter. And, for the grannies, Facebook.

Last week’s wildfire resulted from using forced plumes of colored smoke into the air. When the Vatican does this, the whole world watches. Britney and Brandon…not so much.

Ten thousand scorched acres later, the family (unnamed) is feeling as foolish as that poor sap at the Cubs game when he famously reached out to catch a foul ball and nudged it out of the reach of an enraged Cubs outfielder. Instead of getting the out, the whole game went sour and the Cubs lost what looked like a sure chance to advance to the World Series for the first time in 58 years.

Sometimes, in our enthusiasm, we make bad choices.

The Washington Post reports gender reveal parties have been responsible for a plane crash (!), the destruction of 47,000 acres in the Arizona mountains and even the death of a grandmother who was struck by shrapnel when her family unwittingly created a straight-up pipe bomb to go off with a colorful explosion.

Your baby isn’t even here yet and you’re all competitive about “likes.” Just stop.

Celia Rivenbark knows she’s not invited to the shower now.

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