Wedding Etiquette Forum

NWR: Housewarming Shower?

Hi y'all... this isn't about a wedding but since y'all seem to know a lot about etiquette I thought this might be the place ask.  

My best friend is finishing her Masters this spring along with her girlfriend of two years.  Unfortunately they are rather stressed out about what comes next for them money-wise because both of their families cut them off when they came out as gay, so on top of having student loans from the past four years that they need to start paying back they also are struggling to figure out how to afford rent and household goods on their own (both have fortunately been able support themselves- barely- through scholarships and assistantships through their schools up until this point).  They are both teachers so they won't have a steady paycheck coming in until when the school year starts in September, to make matters even worse.

So with that backstory in mind, I want to throw them a small (less than 10 people, if that makes a difference) housewarming shower to help them out with some basic household items that I know they're going to have to do without for a while otherwise.  Obviously I know that something on this scale won't really set them up with everything they will need, but it's as much about showing them they are supported by their friends as giving them things for their new home.  BUT I don't know if this idea is weird/bad etiquette-wise as I have no experience with housewarming parties and even in theory I've only ever heard of them being hosted by the couple moving into the house (apartment), and not like as a shower thrown by friends.  So what do you all think?

Re: NWR: Housewarming Shower?

  • novella1186novella1186 member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Second Anniversary First Answer
    edited October 2014
    If you're doing it for the reasons you've stated, and I was a close friend and knew the situation, I would be glad to bring them a gift and have a fun party with everyone. I would not judge this at all. It's a nice gesture. I think I would only judge if someone was asking for gifts for their own party. 

    ETA it could always be a "graduation party" if they don't actually have a new house, and you could just explain to people the reasoning behind what you're doing since it will be such a small, intimate party. 
    image
    Wegl13
  • sarawifenowsarawifenow Denver, baby! member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Anniversary First Answer
    Yeah I have never heard of this either. If they have been living in the same house/apartment for awhile now, I would find a housewarming party to be really weird.
    Daisypath Anniversary tickers
  • They are moving in together for the first time, into a new apartment in a new city.  Previously they have always lived in dorm-type situations as part of the conditions of their scholarships/assistantships. 
  • NYCMercedesNYCMercedes BOS, NYC, DC. Forever a city girl member
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    edited October 2014
    You sound like a wonderful friend! Could you call it a going away party? I feel so badly for this couple. How can their parents be so mean.
    themosthappy91
  • I think this is a great idea.  I especially like that you are keeping it to close friends; I think that's the key to this not coming across as gift-grabby or selfish.  It's friends doing what friends do - helping and supporting each other during a transition.

    Some suggestions for stuff: beyond the basics to cook or be comfortable, think about the stuff that it can be a PITA to not have while you are unpacking and getting established - hand soap, TP, paper towels/napkins, cleaning products, good sponges, shower curtain liners (and rings!), dish towels. In other words, not the glamorous stuff but the "where's the <<blank>> stuff?"
    image
    Anniversary


    themosthappy91novella1186cowgirl8238
  • You sound like a wonderful friend! Could you call it a going away party? I feel so badly for this couple. How can their parents be so mean.

    SITB: I know, it makes me cry :(.  My poor BFF (who of course is my MOH for my upcoming wedding) is just having a really tough time right now between her family's crazy attitude and the very understandable sadness that I know she feels celebrating my marriage with me but knowing that option (where we live at least) is not yet available to her and her wonderful GF.  So that's why I thought of this gesture to maybe just try to make things a tiny bit better... and fingers crossed, with the way the recent court decisions have been going, that before long at least one of her problems will be resolved for her :)!  
    slothiegalnovella1186cowgirl8238
  • Are your friends moving to Chicago?  Because I'll totally bring them into my group of friends.  We like new people.
  • adk19 said:
    Are your friends moving to Chicago?  Because I'll totally bring them into my group of friends.  We like new people.
    Aww you're too sweet!  But unfortunately no, though I am very happy that they are actually moving closer to me (and many of our other friends) than where they've been going to school so will they will have a better support network here :).  
  • slothiegalslothiegal The Sloth Farm member
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer Name Dropper
    You're an awesome friend.  Just wanted to tell you that  :)

    Hoping for the best for your two friends!  
    Anniversary

    image
    novella1186themosthappy91cowgirl8238holyguacamole79
  • db1984db1984 member
    Ninth Anniversary 100 Love Its 10 Comments
    edited October 2014
    Um...why can't they get jobs to support themselves until September?  That's what I did after graduation, that's what my sister and brother both did, too.  I get you want to help, so help them out if you want.  But really...showers are for babies and weddings, not "I graduated but my job doesn't start for a few months yet, so give me stuff."  Is this going to be expected *every* year when school is out?
    rajahmd
  • You're an awesome friend.  Just wanted to tell you that  :)

    Hoping for the best for your two friends! 



    SIB!
    I agree. I would love to have such a thoughtful friend like you! (Not that my friends aren't thoughtful). But this is so nice of you
    image
    themosthappy91
  • misshart00misshart00 Oklahoma member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary First Answer
    db1984 said:

    Um...why can't they get jobs to support themselves until September?  That's what I did after graduation, that's what my sister and brother both did, too.  I get you want to help, so help them out if you want.  But really...showers are for babies and weddings, not "I graduated but my job doesn't start for a few months yet, so give me stuff."  Is this going to be expected *every* year when school is out?

    I actually agree with this. I have no problem with you throwing them a housewarming or graduation party, but I doubt people would show up with household gifts.
  • edited October 2014
    db1984 said:
    Um...why can't they get jobs to support themselves until September?  That's what I did after graduation, that's what my sister and brother both did, too.  I get you want to help, so help them out if you want.  But really...showers are for babies and weddings, not "I graduated but my job doesn't start for a few months yet, so give me stuff."  Is this going to be expected *every* year when school is out?

    SITB-

    Maybe I should have phrased it differently, I'm sure they'll be working somewhere for the summer (like maybe retail, waitressing etc) but I'm also sure almost all the money they make from that will have to go towards rent, so they'll essentially be living in a mostly-empty apartment until they begin their actual "careers" and have a little more money.  The shower idea isn't so much to "support them" financially (since obviously a seven person shower couldn't realistically do that anyway), as give them a few essentials to help them get started and support them emotionally.  At least that was my thinking behind it... do you still think it's objectionable though?  The whole reason I asked on here was because I'd hate to do something that's trying to help my friend out but unknowingly actually embarrass her (and myself) with an etiquette faux pas.

    Also thanks so much to everyone who has commented and been so nice :).    
    ETA: Oh also, it's been impossible for them to save much money during the school year because the terms of their assistantships dictate that they can't work elsewhere for more than 10 hours a week- so that's why they're basically going into this move with nothing. Just wanted to assure you they're actually very financially responsible people, just in a pretty tough situation :/.
  • I think that would be wonderful - housewarming parties are thrown in my area quite often, and this definitely fits the billl. I don't think you'd be breaking any etiquette faux-pas and I'm sure your friends would be really touched knowing their circle of friends cares so much! 
    cowgirl8238
  • freebread03freebread03 member
    1000 Comments Fourth Anniversary 250 Love Its First Answer
    edited October 2014
    I think its very nice of you to want to help them out, and I sympathize that their families have chosen to cut them off because of their sexual orientation.  However, I don't think its appropriate to throw a housewarming "shower" with the intent of helping them out of a difficult financial situation-theirs is not atypical for graduate students, and many students do without family support (my parents cut me off the summer I finished undergrad, and I was on my own for graduate school and thereon out).  

    If they haven't been able to save much, they should be doing everything they can to ensure they have a job the MINUTE their assistant-ship is complete.  I realize their teaching jobs don't start until September, but they can wait tables, work retail, clean houses, etc. until their first full time paycheck.  

    ETA: Just read your edit noting that they'll be working some type of job over the summer.  Still, I think that their struggles with furnishing an apartment are typical and don't warrant the type of party where people bring money and gifts to help them get started.  
  • I think its very nice of you to want to help them out, and I sympathize that their families have chosen to cut them off because of their sexual orientation.  However, I don't think its appropriate to throw a housewarming "shower" with the intent of helping them out of a difficult financial situation-theirs is not atypical for graduate students, and many students do without family support (my parents cut me off the summer I finished undergrad, and I was on my own for graduate school and thereon out).  

    If they haven't been able to save much, they should be doing everything they can to ensure they have a job the MINUTE their assistant-ship is complete.  I realize their teaching jobs don't start until September, but they can wait tables, work retail, clean houses, etc. until their first full time paycheck.  

    ETA: Just read your edit noting that they'll be working some type of job over the summer.  Still, I think that their struggles with furnishing an apartment are typical and don't warrant the type of party where people bring money and gifts to help them get started.  

    I think the important thing here is less being cut off financially (a lot of families do this), and more the getting cut off emotionally and supportively from the family. Many young people that get cut off financially are still welcome at home for a warm bed, food, roll of toilet paper if they need it, etc when they are in financial straits. From what it sounds like, OP's friends don't sound like they have that support.
    With that in mind, I think it would be lovely to have a gradation party for them, and bring gifts for their new lives in their new apartment (I would do the basket of essentials, cleaning supplies, toilet paper, stuff like that), and invite y'all's closest friends. It's a message of support to them, as friends. I wouldn't call it a housewarming (that's normally hosted in the new place, like a grand opening or something, and if they barely have essentials they probably don't have the materials to host anyone), and I wouldn't call it a shower (for which the purpose is purely gifts). Call it a graduation party, have it at your place or a nice restaurant, and when you invite people and they go "gee should I get them a present? What should I get?"... You can tell them about how they need a few things for their new apartment, such as "_____"
    I think this will accomplish all you are looking to accomplish, without having to put you or them in an awkward gift grabby position.
    [Deleted User]themosthappy91slothiegallevioosa
  • Wegl13 said:
    I think its very nice of you to want to help them out, and I sympathize that their families have chosen to cut them off because of their sexual orientation.  However, I don't think its appropriate to throw a housewarming "shower" with the intent of helping them out of a difficult financial situation-theirs is not atypical for graduate students, and many students do without family support (my parents cut me off the summer I finished undergrad, and I was on my own for graduate school and thereon out).  

    If they haven't been able to save much, they should be doing everything they can to ensure they have a job the MINUTE their assistant-ship is complete.  I realize their teaching jobs don't start until September, but they can wait tables, work retail, clean houses, etc. until their first full time paycheck.  

    ETA: Just read your edit noting that they'll be working some type of job over the summer.  Still, I think that their struggles with furnishing an apartment are typical and don't warrant the type of party where people bring money and gifts to help them get started.  

    I think the important thing here is less being cut off financially (a lot of families do this), and more the getting cut off emotionally and supportively from the family. Many young people that get cut off financially are still welcome at home for a warm bed, food, roll of toilet paper if they need it, etc when they are in financial straits. From what it sounds like, OP's friends don't sound like they have that support.
    With that in mind, I think it would be lovely to have a gradation party for them, and bring gifts for their new lives in their new apartment (I would do the basket of essentials, cleaning supplies, toilet paper, stuff like that), and invite y'all's closest friends. It's a message of support to them, as friends. I wouldn't call it a housewarming (that's normally hosted in the new place, like a grand opening or something, and if they barely have essentials they probably don't have the materials to host anyone), and I wouldn't call it a shower (for which the purpose is purely gifts). Call it a graduation party, have it at your place or a nice restaurant, and when you invite people and they go "gee should I get them a present? What should I get?"... You can tell them about how they need a few things for their new apartment, such as "_____"
    I think this will accomplish all you are looking to accomplish, without having to put you or them in an awkward gift grabby position.
    I think this is a really great idea!  
  • I don't disagree with any of this-it must be awful for them being cut off like that, and its awful of their families.  I was more thinking that OP had originally been referring to furnishing the apartment with actual furniture or larger items since OP said "they will be living in a mostly empty apartment."  I think a graduation party is the best way to do it and stays out of any etiquette gray areas.
    holyguacamole79
  • holyguacamole79holyguacamole79 a taco truck in Houston member
    5000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I think these are sweet ideas. I also like the graduation party approach.
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