Today at work I noticed it, I hadn't seen one in a while, but there it was, the good old "save the date" for a double wedding shower for two of my co-workers. Now, don't get me wrong, I like my co-workers, they are fun to go out to lunch with and talk with during the workday, on some occasions I have become very good friends with a co-worker and the friendship has outlasted the co-worker relationship.
Now, back to the "save the date" poster in bright red tacked there by the copy machine. My first thought is will I be invited to the wedding? I don't love going to weddings, but if I am going to fork over the coin for a bridal shower gift for someone that is not a close personal friend, I sure would like to get something in return. This may sound selfish, but we have three kids to support and close friends and family whom we may choose to buy gifts for and most definitely do buy gifts for at special times in their lives, like bridal and baby showers.
I feel a bit bad saying this as I have been the recipient of bridal and baby gifts in my lifetime. However, at the place I worked when I got married and had my kids we didn't schedule weekend showers for employees. It was a pool based system, each employee contributed some money that went into a pool and I was presented with a work gift, sometimes at a potluck during the work day. If I was good friends outside of work with any of my co-workers, and I was at the time, I invited them to the bridal/baby showers hosted by friends outside of work on the weekend.
Just a few months ago I finally had to bring what I called "the birthday debacle" to the attention of my boss. It seemed as though every month, sometimes more than once a month, we were celebrating the birthday of a co-worker. Our office used to be quite small, it has now grown tremendously, and I felt nickled and dimed at every turn being asked for contributions towards yet another birthday gift. We have since changed our policy and do a card and monthly potlucks. I like this, it seems more work appropriate.
I have now decided that I won't be setting aside any of my valuable weekend time with friends and family or forking over unnecessary sums of money for these work based bridal/baby showers. With the bridal showers, I will consider it if I am invited to the wedding. This may sound selfish, but two of my kids have a birthday party to attend this weekend, there are a slew of family and close friend birthdays coming up and I am on a budget. The budget is not going to include co-workers that are not out of the office friends or generous in their wedding invites.