Baby showers are fraught with etiquette dilemmas: from who to invite and what sort of invitations to send, to dealing with duplicate gifts and getting your thank-you notes out on time. Etiquette/protocol consultant Melissa Leonard has some advice to help you out. (Have a question for our experts? Ask it here.)
Melissa Leonard

Your question:
My friend is throwing me a small baby shower, but I have a lot of people (like at work) asking me when the shower is, what I'd like and things like that. How do I politely explain that they probably won't be invited?

The expert answers:
Now, that is an awkward position to be in! But, luckily for you, it doesn't have to be. In this case, I suggest that you keep work and personal details separate and remember that it is no one's business as to the when, the if and the who of the shower.

Before I continue, I must say that I certainly would never ask someone, "Hey, when is your shower?"... especially if I didn't know for sure that I was invited. It's kind of presumptuous, don't you think? Asking this question definitely falls in the category of faux pas.

So, when these well-intentioned colleagues approach you about the details and your wish list, simply say, "Oh, I don't know if someone is throwing me a shower at the office," or -- if you know for sure that they are not -- say, "The office is not having a shower for me," and leave it at that. It is then up to close colleagues or your department to set up an office baby shower.

There is no need, if you don't wish to, to invite friends from your job to your home baby shower. By keeping on the topic of a work-related party, they will hopefully get on the ball, find out if a shower is being given at the office and if not, start planning.

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