A new observation on Inspire is quite…inspiring to me. “Co-Ed Baby Showers.” Thank you world for this modern advancement in forced gift-giving!

I just had a co-ed baby shower this weekend and what a relief. It wasn’t all cooing and ahhing and ladies eating tea sandwiches. Nope. Sliders, beer (none for me, of course), jokes, and get this: it started at 6pm and went till midnight, breaking the obligatory “shower hours” of 10am-3pm.

The result? It was barely recognizable as a “baby shower” and much more recognizable as a party with friends. More fun for me and my husband, definitely more fun for our guests.

According to Mintel Inspire:

“This isn’t just about making men part of the occasion, rather it’s one of the many byproducts of the recession. Turning to a more casual approach for festivities, these families are holding get-togethers in their homes with some home-style cooking and a few drinks, according to a November 2010 USA Today report…

Thebump.com, an information site for pregnant women, held a poll in October 2010 and found that 69% said they would opt for a toned-down shower so as not to impose on friends who have been hurt by the recession.

And 64% said they would choose a sip-and-see or meet-and-greet instead of a typical pre-birth party…

It’s not so much about the feminization of society; instead, this is a movement that shows women and men are dropping their guards and experiencing the areas of life that have traditionally been compartmentalized for the opposite sex and enjoying them together.”

I agree. And the best part? I got to split the thank you notes 50/50.