Don’t Make Me Go To Your Gender Reveal Party

Lisa Schwartz is a Los Angeles native, actress, and YouTube sensation whose channel Lisbug has over 2.2 million subscribers. Her book, THIRTY-LIFE CRISIS: Navigating My Thirties, One Drunk Baby Shower at a Time, out now, is a collection of comedic personal essays in which she shares stories and musings about being an ambitious, modern day woman in her thirties.

Dear Stranger On The Internet, 

Before you decide to have a gender reveal party, I ask you to reconsider. Don’t get me wrong—I want the best for you. You have absolutely every right to do whatever your sweet pregnant heart desires; after all, you are brewing a baby and that’s no easy feat.

I have watched my friends struggle to get pregnant and then finally push through the pukes, the poops, and the swollen feet. You should be celebrated, you should be cherished, and you should have pink or blue sh*t shoot out of some extravagant device purchased solely to ensure that your baby’s genital unveiling goes viral. However, I ask that you take a beat to consider the people around you who have dedicated many weekends to you.

The ones who have dug into their bank accounts to get you that bread maker for your wedding that you have yet to unwrap. The friends who held your hair back at your bachelorette weekend because drinking out of penis straws for only one night didn’t seem like enough. Think of those, near and dear, who carried on mind-numbing conversations with your weird aunt at your engagement party, and then again at your bridal shower. The lifetime bestie who kept note of who got you which boob-milking accoutrement at your baby shower, and then played that horrific diaper sniffing game at the second shower your mother-in-law insisted on throwing to impress her friends. Consider your peers who are having trouble reconciling that everyone in their social circle is getting married and having kids. Keep in mind the ones who feel a million steps behind, emotionally challenged by change, and/or struggling to keep their heads above water. Think of those who have been told time and time again—not only by medical professionals, but from family members alike—that they ought to freeze their eggs regardless of the fact that they can’t even complete a dating app profile.

 

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And please remind yourself what it felt like when you were single, tasked with attending an event that made looking into a mirror more than just a “is there sh*t in my teeth?” check, but rather a deep dive into a “what the f*ck am I doing with my life?” spiral. I urge you—take a beat, and rethink having this party. 

I am not saying it’s your responsibility to take care of everyone. You certainly have enough on your plate tending to your wellbeing as well as your little bundle of joy. But ignorance is not bliss; it’s actually pure hell for a single 30-something-year-old who just discovered another wrinkle along with a thick black chin hair that miraculously popped up overnight. Won’t you consider throwing us a bone and keep the private-part discovery between you and your loved one? 

If you’re annoyed by this plea, and proceeding with your celebration anyway, may I at least suggest three things that are bound to lessen the discomfort of those going through a thirty-life-crisis: 

1. Have A Bar

Even if it’s just some kitschy Pinterest-inspired mimosa table that your former sorority sister spent all night making little tags for (oh thank you, Stacey. I almost mistook the orange juice for cranberry juice). A cheap Champagne buzz is better than a sober conversation with people you haven’t seen since high school who are insistent that there is a guy at their CrossFit that would be “perfect for you.” Kill me. Or similarly, make me go to CrossFit. 

2. Don’t Have A Dress Code

Not like you’re going to throw a black-tie event (although I wouldn’t put it past some cummerbund-loving Richie Rich to enforce such a thing). But please, don’t make everyone wear blue or pink according to what gender they think this little thing is going to be. It’s hard enough to find something I feel comfortable wearing without having a complete meltdown that ends with me naked on the closet floor, alongside every item of clothing I own. F*ck you, I’m wearing black. 

And lastly…. 

3. Let Your Friends Off The Hook

In recent years, I have come to realize the power of saying “no.” If I don’t want to do something, I don’t have to. The power of “no” is a strong and empowering thing. The power of obligation and guilt due to years of friendship, however, is stronger. Do your longtime pals a favor and give them an out. If this party is seemingly more appropriate for your family and new “mommy group,” give your old friends the “no pressure” text. Those two words go a long f*cking way. Chances are they’re going to attend, but at least they are coming because they chose to, and not because they had to. 

Or screw my unsolicited advice and do it the way you want. You are an incredibly strong woman who is doing an extraordinary thing here. Have the f*cking gender reveal party of your dreams. Just keep in mind that there may be people in your orbit who are in a less-than-celebratory headspace. Don’t be surprised if there are some eye rolls or no-shows; that’s how this pink and blue cookie crumbles. As long as you stay true to you and your heart, the rest will work itself out. I can’t guarantee your epic reveal is going to be on Ellen, but if you upload it to Facebook, I’m sure my grandma will repost it. She loves that sh*t. 

Whatever you end up doing, here’s to you and a happy, healthy pregnancy. Regardless of what gender your baby is. 

Sincerely, 

A Retired Gender Reveal Partygoer 

Lisa Schwartz is a Los Angeles native, actress, and YouTube sensation whose channel Lisbug has over 2.2 million subscribers. Her book, THIRTY-LIFE CRISIS: Navigating My Thirties, One Drunk Baby Shower at a Time, out now, is a collection of comedic personal essays in which she shares stories and musings about being an ambitious, modern day woman in her thirties.

Images: betches/Instagram; Sirio/Unsplash

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