Who Should Be Invited To an Unconventional Baby Shower?

Dear Pink Lady,

My aunts in a nearby city are throwing my wife a baby shower. My mom really can't travel, so we're having it at my house in town. We know this is kind of unconventional in and of itself, but we are planning to invite our friends and family who live in town. However, we would also like to invite my wife's Kentucky and Pennsylvania relatives and my Florida relatives as a formality, even though we know they won't attend.

Are we right to do that? If so, by what mechanism? Do we send them invites ourselves? Should my aunts—who are the actual hostesses—send them invitations? It seems awkward to ask my aunts to do that. Adding to the awkwardness is the fact that my wife's Kentucky family has already been quite generous with baby furniture and accoutrements.

—Proud Papa-to-Be

Dear Dad,

It's understandable that when you're imminently expecting your first child, you'd want all your relatives to be a part of it. But a baby shower is not a wedding. It is a two-hour affair with petit fours and silly games and gifts—lots and lots of gifts. Just like everyone you invite to a wedding shouldn't be invited to a bridal shower, everyone you want to love your future child shouldn't be invited to your baby shower.

A more important reason for not inviting your relatives who live far, far away is your own sanity—you may only want them to know they are loved and thought of, but they may see the invitation as a gift grab and take offense, especially if they've already given you gifts.

Besides, your aunts are hosting the shower, which technically gives them the authority to do the inviting. Other than suggesting they serve a round of "Scorpions" to make the games and gift-opening more palatable, I'd stay out of the rest of the organizing.

Cheers,

The Pink Lady

Scorpions

6 ounces light rum

6 ounces orange juice

4 ounces lemon juice

1 ounce gin

1 ounce brandy

2 ounces orgeat syrup*

Mix all in an electric blender with a scoop of shaved ice. Pour into bowl filled with cracked ice and serve with long straws. We have found this to be an excellent "starter" for a bibulous crowd.

* (The proportions may be altered to suit taste, but do try to find the orgeat syrup if you don't have it; your friendly liquor dealer usually stocks it.)

Serves 4.

This week's drink is from Come Into My Kitchen (Celia Marks, Chattanooga, Tenn., 1969).

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