March Showers

15 03 2010

The weather has precipitated for a good sixty hours at this point.  We’ve had slight drizzles and raging showers and everything in between.  My backyard, which was already mushy from all the melting snow, now looks like a mud wrestling pit.  It seemed like a bad omen yesterday when a salesman called trying to sell me some aluminum siding and he said his name was Noah.  I was afraid to ask him if he had any pairs of pets.

Speaking of showers…

I got an e-mail from my sister-in-law.  She wrote that she had been instructed by her pregnant daughter to forward an e-mail from a third-party whom I do not know which was in fact a hold-the-date announcement regarding an upcoming baby shower.  I was instructed to be on the lookout for a soon-to-arrive e-vite.

First I was struck by how convoluted and confusing the whole process was.  But then I recalled how an old-timer like me would have gone about the same  task.  I would have started with a trip to the Hallmark store to pick up a box or two of party invitations, the selection of which could in itself be a daunting task.  Then I would have had to fill out all the time and location blanks, address them, seal them, stamp them, and haul them to the mail box.

Either way…

I don’t know how people got invited to my wedding shower.  All I know is that it’s the only time in my entire life when a surprise party truly caught me off guard.  I was in college and a buddy asked me to participate in a behavioral study conducted by the psychology department.  I didn’t know whether to be honored or terrified.  But in fact it was just a cover to get me to accompany her to the prearranged party locale.

I remember two gifts from that affair.  A bright yellow colander, which I still have and love, though I rarely use it because the  utensil with the holes in it that you slide over the edge of the pot is just as easy when you’re cooking for two, and much easier to wash.

Also a bacon press. a heavy piece of cast iron that you put in the frying pan over the bacon so it would cook up flat.  I used it for the first several years of married life.  It fell into disuse because

  1. we stopped eating  bacon regularly and
  2. we got a microwave which was much more convenient for bacon preparation.

Now I think the only place you might find one of these devices is at some restored colonial house, sitting there in the kitchen between the butter churn and the candle molds.

I don’t actually remember a baby shower when my first child was born.  We were building a house at the time and we moved in two weeks before the little guy arrived.  (When I visited the post office to start mail delivery the woman behind the counter said, “Which will come first, the MAIL or the MALE?”  How cute was that?  Not all postal employees are ready to go off the deep end.)   Anyway, in all the confusion either there was no shower or I forgot it.  Somehow though, I ended up with all the necessary baby equipment.

By the time number 2 was imminent, I was ensconced in a group of five moms.  Between the lot of us, we had more than enough infant onesies, diaper genies, plastic bathtubs, and sippy cups to run a daycare center.  The last thing we wanted was more such gear.  So instead we celebrated the impending arrival of the new child by dumping all the previous children on our husbands and enjoying a childfree girls’ night out—a ritual which we repeated as each subsequent member of our group gained the courage to bring forth baby number 2.

But back to the upcoming festivities.  It’s a day to honor the new mother.  And we should also acknowledge my sister-in-law, who will be a wonderful first time grandmother.  I certainly won’t say anything while I’m there but as an aside here I will comment that it will be the first baby shower I have attended where the mom, instead of being a peer of mine is one generation down the chain.  Whoa!  Gives me pause…..



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