Raine's post, here at True Confessions of a Single Mother, reminded me of this story. (And by the way, she has some entertaining tales over there - if you haven't already, you should go check out her blog).
One of my friends, I'll call her "Nan," hosted a shower for me when I was pregnant with my second baby. It is not traditional to have a shower for a second baby, and I think she knew I would resist, because she planned it as a surprise party so I wouldn't have time to object. Looking back on it, I think she really wanted to host the shower because she wanted to make us all play silly baby-shower games, because the hostess of my first baby shower didn't do games.
One of the games Nan planned was the "Ribbon game" described in Raine's post. Only we played it with regular old string. The basic idea is that you pass a roll of ribbon or string and a pair of scissors around the table, and ask each person to cut a length of string that is long enough to go around the pregnant woman's belly at its widest point. Whoever comes closest wins a "fantastic" prize, such as a set of plastic hair clips, or a kitchen towel, or a crappy picture frame that the hostess received as a wedding gift 12 years ago and never used, or, if they're really lucky, an expired gift card to a restaurant that went out of business two years ago. It is up to the hostess to select the "prizes."
(Nan, if you're reading this, yes you selected much better prizes than these examples. But so many of the baby showers I've been to have featured truly awful prizes, that I am thinking you broke with tradition in selecting prizes that people actually wanted!)
I had the same experience with this particular game as Raine - almost everyone in attendance (including my husband!) doubled the amount of string needed to wrap around my belly, thereby demonstrating beyond a doubt that my friends perceived me as only slightly thinner than a Hummer. Games like this are probably the reason that husbands traditionally are not invited to baby showers. He had some serious "splainin" to do when his string was twice as long as necessary!
The only person who was even *close* with the amount of ribbon was my 4 year old daughter. And she was nearly exact. Seriously, she was off only by half an inch or so.
So I thanked my beautiful and wonderful girl for not making me out to be fatter than I was, and then asked how she got the length so exact.
She said, "Well, I know that I can just barely wrap my arms all the way around you for a hug, so I knew the ribbon needed to be as wide as my arms."
Smart kid, that one.