For an introvert like me, there is nothing more nerve-wracking then having a shower thrown in your honor. Not only are you made to attend a social function where small talk is prevalent, you are the center of that small talk. Gift-opening is particularly bad because you are being watched by dozens of pairs of eyes while you panic to invent clever new ways of saying how much you like each succeeding item you unwrap. I have had the privilege of having seven showers thrown for me, for wedding and baby.
Today I had a flashback to one of my wedding showers. It was thrown by some very lovely and well-meaning women from my home church at the time. So naturally within minutes, I was severely uncomfortable.
One of the gifts came from a friend of the family, a woman about my mother's age: dish towels. I was literally sweating in my anxiety to sound appropriately grateful for the gifts I had opened thus far, but this one proposed an extra challenge: the dish towels were decorated with teddy bears! My mind went blank, I could not think of a single reason why I might want towels with teddy bears on them. I already had plenty of towels and they were the towels I wanted because I had registered for them.
So what did I do? I said (out loud), "Bears!"
The woman who gave the gift looked at me with a startled expression and asked, "Do you...like...bears?"
I searched my brain wildly: "Do I like bears?" and determined "Of course not!" And then the real conversational genius broke through - I produced as my reply: "I had a bear blanket when I was little!"
Even at the time I knew that was no kind of response, though it was true. I did own a bear blanket. But why couldn't I just say 'thank you' and move on like a normal person? Sorry, Mrs. C_________, for being socially inept.
I later sold the towels at our moving sale.