Then there's the bridal showers. Maybe this is common outside of Mormondom as well, but it seems like girls who are getting married usually have two showers. There's the practical shower attended by older, long-time family friends, and there's the younger, hipper shower with all the bride's contemporaries. As you can imagine, the gifts given to the bride by these two groups of people are very different.
I figured this out the hard way. A few weeks before my brother got married, my sister Teresa and I were invited to a shower thrown for our future sister-in-law, Emily. It was the young, hip shower, held at a downtown Portland restaurant. I was 18 at the time. My mom packed me and my sister in the car and sent us on our way with directions to the restaurant and a gift. The gift was a rice cooker. This will be important later.
Blair & Emily
We got to the shower and as the evening wore on, Teresa and I slowly realized that this was not a rice cooker kind of shower. Everyone else had given her lotion, hand cream, cosmetics, etc. Obviously, our gift was in a whole different category.
So toward the end of the shower, after opening a lot of beautiful, pampering gifts, our future sister-in-law opened our gift and there it was, a rice cooker, in all its glory. Teresa and I were so humiliated. We just wanted the shower to end. We were embarrassed before it was opened because we knew what was coming, as it was opened because everyone else got to share in our shame, and after the fact because from then on we were the weird sisters-in-law who gave a rice cooker at the cool person shower.
But we did learn our lesson. I will never make that mistake again (or, as the case may be, allow my mom to make it for me).