Too Much Information

August 20, 2009 | 54 comments
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My friend was recently invited to an LDS bridal shower, and the invitation came complete with the bride’s personal measurements and sizing. Call me old-fashioned, prudish, and conservative, but I found that troubling.

While some women would probably herald this young bride’s embracing of her body, the feminist in me wants to remind her that she has a great mind, a kind heart, and many talents. I would tell her: “Be glad you’re a woman. Celebrate your female body. Just don’t forget the rest of who you are.” The feminist in me also can’t help wondering if a man would ever include his measurements. I’m frustrated with our culture’s fixation on an almost-impossible, ultra-slim, well-endowed female body, and I’m frustrated that girls soak up that fixation.

The mother in me wants this bride to know that anyone with a lick of sense will love her whether or not she remains an XS all her days. I’m proud of her for working and maintaining a trim figure, but it’s just not the most important thing. I believe that Heavenly Father sees beauty in all stages and phases of a woman’s life, as well as in all the sizes that his daughters may be. The mother in me also hopes that this bride didn’t include her sizing to brag or make others feel jealous, since that wouldn’t be very nice.

The Miss Manners in me thinks it’s tacky to include such information. If someone doesn’t know you well enough to know your bra size already, then he or she has no business buying you lingerie.

The thirty-seven-year-old in me is shocked. Apparently I’m old and out of touch and on the verge of falling into a generation gap. I’m a short step away from an “in my day” sentence that will date me forever.

The older sister in me feels like offering two bits of advice on sex. I would tell the bride a giggle-inducing bit of advice I heard at a different bridal shower: newlyweds should fight naked. From that, I learned that sex is an important part of marriage; it can both create and help resolve tensions. Sex is a big deal, so I’m glad she’s excited. But I also remember standing by the kitchen counter when my mom decided I was old enough to learn why some family friends were divorcing. She stopped her dinner preparations and started crying as she thought about her friend facing life with five children and no husband. She told me, “Sex is enjoyable. It’s fun. But it is never, never worth losing an eternal marriage, an eternal family. Nothing is worth that.” I hope that this bride’s focus on the sexual part of marriage is balanced with other vital aspects of a covenant relationship.

The friend in me isn’t too troubled. If I know the bride well enough to buy her underwear, then I’ll go ahead and run down to Victoria’s Secret. If I’m a more casual friend, I’ll bring a blender—despite her blatant hints in another direction.

I’m not there yet, but the mother-in-law (to be) in me has no idea what to do. I only met my mother-in-law once before my own bridal shower, and I have a hard time imagining that I would ever want to buy lingerie for a young woman that I barely know—however much my son loves her. Maybe if the bride has been a longtime friend or girlfriend, I’ll feel differently. I don’t know.

I am not a man, so perhaps you of the male persuasion can fill in your own comments. How would you feel if this not-so-blushing bride were your wife-to-be, daughter or friend?

All in all, I am—as I said—troubled. Do I think including your bra size in a bridal shower invitation is immoral? No. Scandalous? Not really. Edgy? Out of my comfort zone? In bad taste? Definitely. I sure hope my daughters and future daughters-in-law choose not to.

——P.S.—- A few friends who have proofread this blog for me said it is missing one thing: the bride’s actual measurements. They say I should let my audience feel the same squeamish shock that I felt when I saw it printed in black and white. Sorry, I’m sure I’m losing some impact, but I just can’t spread it further. I already have too much information about this bride—more than I ever wanted to know—as do dozens of others. I’ll leave it there.

54 Responses to Too Much Information

  1. LDS lady on August 20, 2009 at 10:59 am

    no, really, please do tell! i certainly wouldn’t have wanted the world to know mine, so maybe this is only for special bodies :-) i’ve never heard of this trend, although it doesn’t surprise me much given how particular everyone is about requesting gifts at registries. i’m going to a baby shower this weekend where the nursery colors were specified as “creamy yellow, crisp white, and navy”–but maybe she should have indicated the potential size so we could all shop for the baby correctly!

  2. Ryan Bell on August 20, 2009 at 11:01 am

    Kylie, maybe we, the readers, need to understand that context of this invitation to understand why it affected you so. Maybe the invitation was garish and attention-seeking, or maybe the person in question already has a reputation for being arrogant about her build.

    However, in the absence of such contextual details, I have a really hard time seeing the inclusion of the bride’s measurements as anything other than a pragmatic aid to those who may give gifts that would require this information. Any drawing of conclusions beyond that (based upon the limited information you have provided here) seems like a huge over-reaction.

    Wedding etiquette enforcers may (justifiably?) view this as a little tacky, but it’s very difficult for me to see how this woman is necessarily over-valuing her physical attractiveness and undervaluing her intelligence and spirit simply by giving a little useful information to those who are out shopping for her.

    One may also question whether the standard gift of lingerie at wedding showers in general is a helpful tradition, but this particular person bears only a tiny bit of collective blame for that custom.

    What am I missing?

  3. corktree on August 20, 2009 at 11:02 am

    Definitely tacky. Personally, I think lingerie should be saved for later down the road when naked itself is no longer quite as exciting. Save it for when you need it so that things can get better in the bedroom, not worse.

  4. clark on August 20, 2009 at 11:05 am

    While it’s still a tiny bit crass, I suspect the sizing was to help people buying clothing as presents. In a sense there’s nothing wrong with that. You tend to get towels and pots at your wedding and lingerie at your bridal shower.

    There is something interesting in what you said though about the body vs. the mind. I’ve noticed two groups here in Utah. Those with perhaps an undue focus on the body but then an other group with perhaps an undue repression of the body. Those for whom to even find your girlfriend or wife physically attractive is somehow degrading as it should be mental qualities that are what’s important. That’s troubled me almost as much as finding out how much plastic surgery there is in Utah county.

    A friend from many years back told this story which to her was horrific. This guy-friend of hers was dating two women and was trying to decide which to get serious with as he really liked both. (Yeah, sounds like the Bachelor – how many people are really like that?) So he takes each them out on a fancy date where each wore an attractive dress and was all made up. Then he decided who he was more physically attracted to. Now the whole situation seems a tad silly. But if you like two people more or less the same based upon other qualities, is it really creepy wrong? I don’t know I can understand doing that sort of thing, but then liking two girls equally well seems contrived even for a 21 year old. I can understand some finding the scenario a bit creepy but is it because attractiveness is something one shouldn’t value when dating? I don’t know.

  5. bbell on August 20, 2009 at 11:07 am

    I find it very odd. I suspect that she is damaging her reputation amongst her friends and family long term.

  6. Paul M on August 20, 2009 at 11:13 am

    Measurements are useful for purchasing articles of clothing other than lingere. When I go into Anne Taylor to buy my wife a new outfit it’s not enough for me to tell the saleswoman that she’s 5’6″ and weighs 125 lbs. If I fail to mention her bust size I’m not going to get the right size blouse to gowith the skirt I am buying. I’m your age and I repeatedly made the mistake of purchasing clothing for my wife unarmed with her dimensions for the first ten years of our marriage.

    BTW my measurements

    H 5’11″
    W 196 lbs
    Coat size 46 regular
    Waist 32
    Inseam 31
    Shoes 9.5

  7. stark raving on August 20, 2009 at 11:15 am

    Sex is enjoyable. It’s fun.

    if that represents the depth of a woman’s understanding of the importance of sex in marriage, then it’s no wonder so many people divorce over it.
    The way a girl treats her body after her wedding day reflects both how she feels about herself and her spouse, and this applies equally to men. If you care about your spouse’s feelings, you will not let yourself go, physically or otherwise. You’re right that a fixation is unhealthy, but that doesn’t mean we can’t take pride in our appearance and take care of ourselves so our spouses know we still care.

  8. Ardis Parshall on August 20, 2009 at 11:23 am

    It’s a shower! By definition those are supposed to be for very close friends and family, and by tradition they have a narrow focus: kitchen tools, or bath linen, or — presumably in this case — lingerie, in which case it was essential information. But evidently you aren’t a close friend or family member, so the information was grotesque.

    The bride’s mother, or whoever is the hostess, has erred in inviting people who are too distantly connected for this type of shower, or else has erred in not focusing the shower to the point where a choice between blender and teddy would not be an option.

    The only shower I’ve ever had thrown for me was a mission prep shower, and if the hostess hadn’t included clothing sizes, nothing would have been usable and there would have been no point to the shower. And a blender would have been less than welcome.

  9. Kylie on August 20, 2009 at 11:39 am

    Ardis, that’s great. I’ve never heard of a mission prep shower, and I think it’s a fabulous idea. I would have no problem finding out your dress size and buying a mission dress or skirt for you. I probably wouldn’t buy you bras or new garments for your mission, though. I would have left that to you.

  10. Kylie on August 20, 2009 at 11:50 am

    Paul (#6), I applaud you for buying clothing for you wife. My husband has only recently attempted that–and he has been wildly successful. I personally have no problem with MY HUSBAND knowing every size and shape of me, and I’m thrilled when he uses that information to buy me clothing, especially since it demonstrates that he not only knows my body but also my taste and style in jeans, shirts, jackets, and dresses.

    And I think, Ryan (#2), that I realized what part of my problem is. I, personally, do not want any of you knowing my bra size. My husband? Yes! My mom? Okay–she did clothe me for years. My sisters? Maybe. And that’s pretty much where it ends. Like I said, maybe that makes me conservative and prudish. All in all, I’m just not seeing that a lot of other people want to buy me lingerie. So they don’t need that information. Maybe I’m mistaken, though, and I have a following of wild friends, acquaintances, and in laws, who are all dying to buy me something slinky.

  11. Weaselgirl on August 20, 2009 at 11:59 am

    Kylie,

    I think it’s tacky. Poor taste. No taste, TMI, all that. I think you should keep your personal life–well–personal. Buy your own dang lingerie, yourself, by yourself. What, is her name Brittany? Did she seriously need her whole entourage with her to, what, validate her? Ick ick ick. They’re probably taking pictures at that shower, too, as she hold up the presents.

    And how do you send a thank-you note for such a gift? “Thank you for the cami and g-string. They were much appreciated. I know we’ll be using them often.”

    I’d pass, send my regrets, whatever. Ick. And I’m not even old.(ish)

  12. Blain on August 20, 2009 at 11:59 am

    I’m going to join in saying “what makes measurements strictly about lingerie?” Was there something else in the context that made it clear this was only for the purposes of receiving lingerie? Or is this some unwritten code that guys just don’t get. I could see buying joke lingerie for a shower gift, but that strikes me as a somewhat intimate product to be receiving as a gift. How are you supposed to know what kinds/styles of lingerie are going to fit the taste of someone without sexual experience?

  13. jimbob on August 20, 2009 at 12:14 pm

    @6: Here’s a tip: never buy your wife clothes. If you feel like you must, take the money you would have spent and give it to her in cash.

    I go to the mall sometimes and sit in the “beleaguered husband chair” and watch her try on 8 pairs of jeans and 6 shirts before she makes up her mind, and invariably, it isn’t what I would have picked. I have no illusions that I would come anywhere close to getting what she wanted if I was by myself.

    Plus it’s a minefield. She’ll always be thinking something like, “Does he really think that I would look good in that? Because *that* is hideous.” Then later on, she’ll say something to you like, “Did you *want* me to look like I was homeless/trashy/a linebacker, honey?”

    In sum, it’s a high risk, low reward proposition. Avoid it like the plague.

  14. Hunter on August 20, 2009 at 12:25 pm

    For the other end of the spectrum, my wife recently received an invitation to a bridal shower that made clear that gifts “of an intimate nature” were *not* welcome.

  15. Hunter on August 20, 2009 at 12:27 pm

    Blain, I’m pretty sure that the practice of giving gifts of an intimate nature at bridal showers is fairly common. Still, I’d like to see Kylie’s response to your question.

  16. Ryan Bell on August 20, 2009 at 12:38 pm

    Kylie, I understand the motivation expressed in your number 10. What I don’t understand is your extrapolation, in the original post, that the citation of measurements is evidence of a fundamental misunderstanding (even “fixation”) of the importance of physical beauty, body perfection, spiritual attributes, and feminine worth. That seemed like an unfair, and even somewhat judgmental reaction about a person you do not appear to know, and who could plausibly just be listing measurements as a means of helping people shop for her.

  17. Alison Moore Smith on August 20, 2009 at 1:05 pm

    To me the lingerie trend seems kind of a response to the stereotypical bachelor’s party. I’m not remotely squeamish about sex, but I still don’t understand giving lingerie to a girlfriend–especially when the mother-in-law is there. Ew. The last thing I wanted, as a bride, to have my mother-in-law even remotely aware of our private adventures.

    So, to me, the argument is with the lingerie trend itself, not with the particular invitation. I don’t see the connection to the measurements and a supposed physical fixation.

    That said, I was always taught that mothers/sisters/relatives should never throw a shower. That used to be the Emily Post/Miss Manners dogma. Has that etiquette rule changed?

  18. Sam B. on August 20, 2009 at 1:40 pm

    Kylie (and others who find it tacky),
    Was it the bride who sent out the invite? I confess to having only limited and second-hand experience with bridal showers but, IIRC, they’re generally thrown by a close friend (or maybe family member) of the bride. Which means that the close friend or family member would be the one doing the invitation in any event.

    And of course the measurements are for lingerie. So? There’s nothing wrong with that–it’s a pretty standard bridal shower gift (again, at least as far as I know). How do you send a thank-you note? It probably depends on how well you know the person, but I imagine a “Thank you for your thoughtful gift” would be inoffensive to even the most prudish lingerie-giver.

  19. Sam B. on August 20, 2009 at 1:46 pm

    I should add, I find it slightly tacky, yes. But my wife and I didn’t include in our wedding invitations where we were registered. And, from what I understand, almost the point of a bridal shower is to be tacky.

    That said, only close friends went to my wife’s bridal shower. Moreover, it was planned by and thrown by close friends. I wouldn’t have been particularly embarrassed had the invitations included her measurements (although I never saw the invitations), but our friends were a little classier, so I’m pretty sure that her measurements weren’t on the invitations.

  20. Kylie on August 20, 2009 at 1:54 pm

    Okay, I hear you. “Fixation” might be a bit strong for a one-time bridal shower focused exclusively on lingerie, though I was mainly talking about our “culture’s fixation” with the female body, and I think that is difficult to argue about.

    That said, I want to be clear: I see this shower as something different, something much more focused on the physical. I–who have been to multiple dozens of bridal showers (since I don’t particularly enjoy them, that is dozens more than I ever wanted to go to)–have never, before this invite, been to a shower focused exclusively on lingerie. Perhaps that is just the kind of sisters, cousins, sisters-in-law, and friends that I have. There has always been a bit of lingerie, but it has never been the bulk of the gifts.

    I am willing to admit that this might be a cultural thing (though not in this particular case). My visiting teachee told me this morning that many bridal showers, including LDS ones, in Peru are held at stripper clubs.

  21. Amanda on August 20, 2009 at 1:56 pm

    yes. It’s tacky. Wedding etiquette tacky. The same tacky that makes people put in their registry information with their wedding invitation. The same tacky that makes people not write thank-you notes for wedding gifts. But I wouldn’t draw any conclusions about this girl’s understanding of her own body or her divine nature. She’s young, excited to be married, and excited about the sheer flimsy lingerie she might be getting that will make her feel pretty. Endowed Mormon women don’t have many opportunities to show their shoulders. Putting in her size saves her another trip to return lingerie that might not fit. I guess I would mostly attribute putting the sizes in to youth and childishness. I have done stupid things in life. I’m sure we all have. And sometimes the stupid things happen to coincide with excitement and big events. Making the stupidity a little more obvious.

  22. Amanda on August 20, 2009 at 1:59 pm

    I do wonder however, who is throwing the bridal shower. Another young girl or an older woman? If it was another young girl, I would place the blame on immaturity. If it was an older woman, I would wonder if she was clinging to the immaturity of youth in hopes of keeping herself young. Or something to that effect.

  23. Katie M. on August 20, 2009 at 2:08 pm

    “I’m going to join in saying “what makes measurements strictly about lingerie?””

    Blain, lingerie is the only clothing ever given as gifts at a bridal shower. You don’t buy a bride-to-be a sweater or jeans as a gift. At least in my experience….

  24. Benjamin Orchard on August 20, 2009 at 2:09 pm

    jimbob….

    You have a lot to learn. Want to buy your wife a home run clothing item? Here’s how: Take pictures of her favorite three or four outfits. Maybe more. Maybe even with her wearing them. You know…the casual pics, the ones where she won’t suspect that you are taking pics just for that this reason. (Note, probably not such a great idea if shopping for lingerie…).

    Take those pics along with her measurements and go to her favorite store, or better, the store that she would love to shop at but doesn’t because she doesn’t want to spend the money. Talk to one of the girls working in the clothing area that is similar to what your wife wears. Make sure that girl is dressed stylishly (that is, you don’t go to buy nice clothes for your wife from someone that knows nothing about clothing). Show them the pictures and explain that every time YOU pick out an outfit you get in trouble. Then buy whatever they recommend AND that you can afford.

    You will find it difficult to go wrong like this as long as you get the right store. Take notes about which stores your wife buys stuff at the next time you are out sitting in that ‘husband chair’ and which stores she tries stuff on, looks at longingly but discards due to price. Go to both and get something from each. It’ll be hard to go wrong.

    Final word of advice. Don’t break the bank. Your wife will never be happy with you if you can’t pay the bills because you bought her a bunch of clothes.

    Back on topic: bridal showers where it’s limited to close friends and its understood that lingerie is going to be given AND the shower is being hosted and organized by other than the bride….I’d say measurements are likely useful. After all, as a guy I’ve learned enough about ALL women’s clothing to know that measurements are darned useful when making a purchase. Nice lingerie probably shouldn’t be purchased unless you at LEAST know the girl’s size…and since some manufacturer’s vary in sizing a touch, the actual measurements are probably a good idea (this is true for dresses, men’s suits, and lots and lots of clothing…and the higher the quality the more true it is…).

  25. jimbob on August 20, 2009 at 2:23 pm

    Ben,

    It’s time to turn in your man card.

  26. Kylie on August 20, 2009 at 2:25 pm

    Good questions about who sent the invite. The answer is: I don’t know. The shower was held at the home of the mother-in-law, though. And, while there are widely different opinions on the question, I think most are in agreement about lingerie and mothers-in-law typically not mixing so well.

    True story about me and my mother-in-law and lingerie: for my bridal shower, my sisters-in-law bought a very skimpy white lace thing, wrapped it up, and wrote the card as if it was from my mother-in-law. It was difficult to tell who was blushing more–me or her.

  27. Justmeherenow on August 20, 2009 at 2:28 pm

    I plagiarized below a poem sent in a shower invitation — and commentary about the same, in the form of a limerick — from here: http://boards.msn.com/Lifestyleboards/thread.aspx?threadid=1231361&boardsparam=Page%3d1

    Something frilly
    Something sweet
    Something sexy
    To knock [Billy] off his feet!
    The bra is 36c
    The panties are small
    Dress size is 8
    Need more info? Just call!

    * * *

    There once was a showering hostess
    Whose knowledge of “rude” twarn’t the mostest
    Her invitees did pause, o’er size of camies and bras
    Most RSVPing her “thanks, but, noes” ta it

  28. Ardis Parshall on August 20, 2009 at 2:49 pm

    I’m reading an article right now in the May 1934 Improvement Era about Gleaner summer projects, including a suggested trousseau party where the young LDS women, after a season of working on items to stock their hope chests, meet to display the articles they make. “These might include … lingerie … ” and were displayed to “the Gleaner girls, their mothers, and friends of the Gleaners.”

    In other words, lingerie as a marriage-anticipatory item has a long and respectable history. Lingerie given at showers used to be peignoirs and negligees, although I suppose from comments here, everybody now expects it to be trashy. It doesn’t have to be. Lounging pajamas, robes, and slippers also count, and certainly need not be either trashy or tacky. In any case, size would have to be known for gifts to be wearable.

    A lingerie shower is only tacky if seen with the eyes of nouveau-prudery, or if the hostess in her greed for loot has invited women outside the bride’s intimate circle, or if there is some expectation that the lingerie be trashy.

  29. living in zion on August 20, 2009 at 3:13 pm

    It is for this exact creepy kind of gift-giving occasion that God invented gift cards. Let her pick her own stuff.

  30. Hunter on August 20, 2009 at 3:24 pm

    Re: “the eyes of nouveau-prudery”

    Ha! Love it. Leave it to Ardis to come up with this type of historical prespective.

  31. Sam B. on August 20, 2009 at 3:26 pm

    living in zion,
    No no no no no. Gift cards are evil, for many reasons (fees, expiration dates, and the fact that, as unsecured debt, they have no value if the company declares bankruptcy). If you’re going the gift card route, give cash instead.

  32. Justmeherenow on August 20, 2009 at 3:31 pm

    I second Hunter’s comment about Ardis’s

  33. Ben H on August 20, 2009 at 3:32 pm

    I think this could be funny if the person sending the invitations is a sister or close friend who wants to tease the bride about how sexy she is! The inviter gets the measurements from the bride, ostensibly so she can tell people who ask, then figures she’ll do a little vicarious bragging, within a limited circle . . . anyway the bride may have had no idea and may be a little embarrassed. But what do I know. Certainly it calls for some discretion in how many people you send it to.

  34. Kylie on August 20, 2009 at 4:15 pm

    Thanks Ardis (#28) for the historical perspective. I know I’ve had my eyes opened with some newspaper and magazine ads from the supposedly repressed Victorian era of the late 1800s.

  35. Alison Moore Smith on August 20, 2009 at 4:36 pm

    if there is some expectation that the lingerie be trashy

    Would g-strings and pasties count?

  36. Kaimi Wenger on August 20, 2009 at 5:15 pm

    But Alison, what if the bride is a guitarist? A nice set of g- (and a-, e-, b-, and d-) strings could be very useful!

  37. Geoff B on August 20, 2009 at 5:19 pm

    Kylie, I like the way you presented the many “sides” of how you reacted. I think a lot of us react to things in different ways based on our life experiences, and you described that well.

  38. TMD on August 21, 2009 at 8:05 am

    I tend to disagree with the response. A friend of my mom’s–a well educated woman in her late 50′s–always but always takes lingerie with her to bridal showers (sometimes, to the surprise of the much younger bride). Her argument is simple: that (1) its something that brides are rather less likely to own already and (2) its important to have affirmations from within one’s circle that sex is a good and vital part of a marriage. (judging from a round of heated debates at fmh last january, [http://www.feministmormonhousewives.org/?p=2262 and http://www.feministmormonhousewives.org/?p=2290 this is something a fair number of women never come to understand). I think she’s right. And given this, I think what she’s done is just fine. Now if it were on the wedding invitations, that might be a bit much. But this is the wedding shower…

  39. Mark B. on August 21, 2009 at 10:40 am

    Just one request for Ardis (or anyone else who cares to respond):

    Define “trashy” lingerie.

  40. Anon for this on August 21, 2009 at 11:21 am

    My very sex-positive sister sent my wife (then fiance) lingerie as an engagement present, before she even met her. It took my wife a whole 24 hours before she realized who the heck this *Sister Marriedname* was.

    Then at our cross-cultural reception, we had to open each and every gift while a cousin announced the contents and the old widows carefully inspected each item. The same sister, when she realized what was going on, went pale, rushed to the pile of gifts and dug hers out.

    She presented it still wrapped as we left that evening to head off for our honeymoon, saying “you can open this later, in when you get to the hotel.” We’re just lucky we didn’t have to go through airline security with that gift, in some countries it may have gotten us arrested.

  41. Researcher on August 21, 2009 at 11:35 am

    Define “trashy” lingerie?

    That’s easy. To misquote Justice Potter Stewart, “You’ll know it when you see it.”

  42. Justin on August 21, 2009 at 12:43 pm

    FWIW, Peggy Post on bridal shower invitations:

    “Do include registry information on a separate sheet in the envelope with the shower invitation, but not on the invitation itself. The theme of the shower (Kitchen, bath, lingerie) may be noted on the invitation, but color preferences or sizes should be noted on a separate insert.

    Don’t invite anyone to a shower who won’t be invited to the wedding. Showers are intimate gatherings for people you know very well—not excuses to haul in more gifts.”

    And on who can host a shower:

    “It had long been considered a breach of etiquette for family members to host showers because it could seem self-serving. But today family members frequently step in to host showers, especially when common sense dictates such a solution. For example, the bride may be visiting her future in-laws and the groom’s mother or sister wants to invite hometown friends and family to meet her. OR, the bridal party is spread around the country and it’s difficult to pinpoint a common geographic location to gather and celebrate. Let individual circumstances be your guide when determining who should serve as host.”

  43. Justmeherenow on August 21, 2009 at 3:15 pm

    Would Petra Nemcova in Tres Jolie racy lingerie pass a Justice Steward like test? http://www.bittenandbound.com/2008/03/14/petra-nemcovas-racy-lingerie-photo-shoot-tres-jolie/

  44. Justmeherenow on August 21, 2009 at 3:17 pm

    (defined as such by the gossip site)

    [erratum: 'Stewart']

  45. Kim on August 22, 2009 at 12:07 am

    I guess I should preface this by saying that I’m a convert, so a lot of Mormon society things are foreign to me… But isn’t the racy stuff supposed to be given/happen at the bachelorette party? I never heard of anyone giving lingerie at the bridal shower — I always thought bridal showers were reserved for kitchen/bed/bath/homemaking stuff.

    And as far as the tacky thing goes — I honestly think it’s all about who your audience is, and maybe it’s part of a different culture?

    For example, I found out when I was planning for my wedding that white people give gifts for weddings. To most Asian people (like my husband and I) that’s unthinkable (like, what the heck, really? why would you give me a blender? And NO I do not want that hand vacuum.)

    In my culture the most polite thing is either money in a red envelope or pure 24k gold jewelry that’s meant to be sold/kept as savings. I didn’t even know that people gave gifts during weddings until I was starting to plan one.

    From what I’ve read everywhere, it was probably tacky to the non-Asians that we requested red-envelope gifts only in our invitations.. however for everyone else it was kind of a no-brainer.

    ———
    So my point is… perhaps the bride in question just has a different viewpoint because her circle of friends/upbringing is different, but I don’t know if I would be so quick to judge her on it. It might seem tacky to her to not provide information for her measurements, since she’s asking for clothing of some sort.

  46. Steve on August 22, 2009 at 11:43 am

    “I’m frustrated with our culture’s fixation on an almost-impossible, ultra-slim, well-endowed female body, and I’m frustrated that girls soak up that fixation.”

    Let’s not forget that men are supposed to have a flat washboard stomach and shoulders twice as wide as their waist.

    As for the measurements included in the invite, the hostess probably, in a over-anxious attempt to make everything “perfect,” included all the information that some magazine suggested.

  47. jjackson on August 22, 2009 at 2:12 pm

    RELAAAAAAAAX :)

  48. Alex Valencic on August 22, 2009 at 10:05 pm

    FWIW, my wife and I kicked off a crazy year-and-a-half marathon of all of our previously-single friends getting married. (I believe the current count is close to three dozen). As such, she has gone to several bridal showers (and bachelorette parties). One of the things that I have heard her mention, on more than one occasion, is that girls who buy lingerie for one another rarely know the sizes. The result? A lot of this expensive stuff goes unused, due to being the wrong size. So, from a very pragmatic view, I’d say it totally makes sense to include sizes.

    And I think that’s as far as I’ll go with that, lest I say something that gets me in trouble with the missus.

  49. Molly on August 24, 2009 at 12:09 am

    I think it is all in who sent the invitation. Emily Post ettiquette- if the shower is being thrown by friends (as it should be) then there is nothing wrong with mentioning where the bride is registered or providing some information about preferences, measurements, etc. This ettiquette applies only to bridal showers and NOT to wedding announcements (still horrified when people send where they are registered).

    I’m guessing this bride was asked by the hostess of the shower for the information to help invited guests select a gift. I would have been happy to receive lingerie as a gift although I’d be pretty red-faced about it at the shower. I figure it would have been easier to open it than venture into a store single to try to buy it before I got married. I still blush walking by Victoria’s Secret.

    I don’t think it’s about obsession with beauty either. I think it’s more a way to help break the ice on the honeymoon and celebrate the fun of it.

    I know my sister-in-law found it immensely helpful when a few of her friends gave her some preferred brands of lubricant as gifts for the honeymoon. I wish I’d had some married friends to share that info. with me rather than having to buy a bunch of different kinds that were horrible and figure it out on my own.

  50. Crystal on August 24, 2009 at 10:36 pm

    I am a convert and must admit, slightly more liberal in my interpretation of “acceptable”. The poem above… was used by me 9 years ago for my best friend in graduate school and about 10 close friends. She requested no florals as well, so I added that in. It was a lingerie shower for a conservative baptist excited about her marriage (still going strong) to a man she madly loved (LOVES!).

    It was in addition to a regular bridal shower thrown by the mother of the bride and a third by the maid of honor. It was great fun and she got amazing things for her honeymoon.

    Would I send that invitation out for my sister-in-law? No way, besides everyone on the invitation list would only want to spend $20 max per family and nice lingerie is more expensive than that…

    My point is, for small, familiar groups, I really do not feel that I was tacky and in fact, my friend LOVED it. We also each brought her a flower, so she had a bouquet of fresh flowers too. It was most-excellent.

  51. Allie on August 25, 2009 at 2:32 pm

    Kylie, I’m with you!

    Nothing wrong with lingerie and sex is a sacred gift etc.
    But this was too tacky!

  52. Stephanie on August 25, 2009 at 11:52 pm

    So what does she do when she has enough lingerie to last a month and no toaster?

  53. Justmeherenow on August 26, 2009 at 10:05 am

    Watching carefully, you can make toast on the range (although maybe use tongs!)

  54. daveescaped on August 26, 2009 at 5:03 pm

    This is totally beside the point but I think any specification of a gift is rude. A gift is something the giver wants to give. Period. Sometimes in the course of gift giving we might ask the receiver what they would like (this can make things easy on the giver). But it completely gauche to specify without being asked. I sound like Miss Manners I realize that. But I felt uncomfortable with a wedding registry.

    I can’t help you on the measurement thing as I am a man. But regarding your point about men’s measurements, while there really is no equivalent, we generally have no shame. Keep that in mind.

    I miss the days of youth when I was taught to be gracious about any gift I was given. I still remember trying to muster gratitude from odd gifts from aunts as a child. Today that lesson has served me well and I find I can give an honest thanks because I learned that a gift is about intent not expense.