With wedding season upon us, I'm dreading the onslaught of "showers are tacky" articles and comments. For the sake of my blood pressure, let's clear something up once and for all...
Showers are never thrown by the guest of honor— they are parties-as-gifts thrown for the guest of honor.
Let's say that your friend's mother-in-law-to-be wants to host a little get together so the bride-to-be can meet the other women in the family and be introduced to old family friends. The women cherish the chance to get to know the bride, both for her own sake and as the partner of someone they watched grow up, and look forward to sharing their wisdom and well wishes. She in turn is so touched by the gesture she feels she has no choice but to agree to the shower— even if she's shy or busy or doesn't want people to feel obligated to buy gifts. This is her chance to be welcomed to the family, and there might be mimosas, so can you hold it against her for accepting such a lovely gesture? Could that ever be referred to as tacky?
If someone you love and/or respect, whether it's best friends, coworkers, or your betrothed's family members, really wants to throw a soiree to celebrate your life-changing event, accepting that offer can only be viewed as gracious. (This is not to say that politely declining is ungracious— there are many good reasons to say "no, thank you" and that refusal should not be judged harshly either.) You are not greedy or self-absorbed or tacky for agreeing to their sweet wishes.
If a shower is being thrown for someone you know, it's because someone they love is trying to do a nice thing for them and they're doing a nice thing by letting them. If there happen to be several showers, that simply means there are a lot of people that care about them, and that those people might not know each other. Whether you end up attending or not, do it with a happy heart, knowing someone you like is being showered with affection— and could we ever begrudge anyone for that?