I’m so damn happy today. I hear the muffled sound of the sleepy-time CD we play for the tots during nap time piping in from behind their bedroom door. The CD was a party favor from a baby shower. I haven’t been to many baby showers. A few when I lived in New York, fancy ones with tea sandwiches, crumpets, and strawberries with clotted cream. Fancy because all the ladies dressed in suits with scarves, floral jewelry, blown hair, lipstick. A lot of preparation to celebrate the preparation of a life. I kinda love baby showers.
I think I love all showers because they’re daytime affairs. You get design ideas.Fruit-filled ice rings made in bundt pans. Creams piped from pastry bags. Tablescapes. Fancy cocktails. Yet, showers are casual enough that you don’t have to worry about which black dress. You get to mingle without screaming, and no one forces you to dance. And, hello, there are always tea sandwiches! Oh, how I just love small sandwiches. Fig, marscapone, a mint leaf, on a walnut cranberry bread. Died and gone. Just love it.
I love the ruffles, the laughter through the rooms of a house, the way people speak of their jobs and other people they know. I always admire the clothes of others. From across a room, I’ll wonder where they got that bracelet. I love being surrounded by women at showers.
Luncheons, however, are a beast. The word itself reminds me of my ex-mother-in-law, Rome. Luncheons are forced. It’s business or obligation. Someone’s always pushing something. It’s too uptight with tables and centerpieces, a speaker or agenda. Oh, but the shower, what glee. Free to float about, feasting on seconds, to up and leave when the company bores. Onto a new clutch of women with new stories to tell.
You sip champagne and clink glasses and get to eat as many diminutive delectables as you’d like. Smoked salmon, dill, and a dollop of creme fraishe. I love the dollop. Sweet butter with cucumber. Life, I think, should have more showers.
The last one I attended, here in Austin, the baby shower for Gus Dupuy, was fantastic. During all the ho-hum oohs of gift-opening, there was a kitchen counter stacked with scrapbooking supplies. Guests were encouraged to create a page for Mama, leaving blank spots for her to simply slip in photos of Gus once he arrived. Guests signed their names to the back. And, not only were there sandwiches galore, and sugar-rimmed glasses, but the guest of honor is just about the brightest woman I’ve ever met. Bright in a way that when you’re near her, you light up. Her voice, the things she says, I just love her. And the strange thing is, I hardly know her. When I first moved to Austin, we went on a grown up playdate, set up on a double-blinder. Maybe saw each other a handful of times. Walked the lake in the morning once. Did dinner and drinks. Not much of anything, but she’s full of personality and life, and it’s a joy to be near her. Especially when she has something to bitch about. She’s sinced moved from Austin, but I get the photo updates of sweet Gus, the mass email moms seem to come to between feedings. But just thinking of her makes me smile. We should all know people like this.