I keep having days where I’m like “this is the best day of my life!” Festivities designed to make me say that have succeeded admirably. And also, ones not designed specifically for my pleasure have done the same.
Last weekend the amazing guys from Spires stayed with us. They’re the kind of band which could be an unstoppable supergroup if only they played catchier music…but then perhaps I wouldn’t love the music as much. They’re almost too perfect — each attractive in a different way, all good conversationalists, enthusiastic board game players, healthy and grateful eaters, and terrors on the dance floor. I think there were some pleas of “Aw Mom, can we keep ’em?” but we already have too many cats and too much long hair clogging up the vacuum cleaner.
Everybody knows I weep openly as soon as the opening credits come on for any period film, but I never thought I would be the kind of person who weeps openly at bridal showers. I think some brides dread their pre-wedding events as a seemingly endless parade of painful and awkward exchanges designed to torment them, but mine have been heavenly. My friends shower was last Saturday in the dimly-lit comfort of my own home, filled with delicious foods and fresh flowers. As if just having all the food, flowers, and females together wasn’t enough, I was showered with the most beautiful gifts this world has produced. The best part wasn’t getting stuff, it was seeing the thoughtfulness and love that was put into getting stuff specifically fitting for me. I wish I could mention every single gift here, but it would take forever and be a bit excessive…just let the record show that I was impressed with how well my friends actually know me. I was ecstatic to receive some things which were exactly what I had registered for, which reflected consideration for my specific wishes. And I was ecstatic to receive some surprises that were perfect gifts for me, which reflected wishes I didn’t even know I had. And I was ecstatic to receive gift cards, because gift cards are free money and everybody loves free money.
The best part was when everybody wrote down advice for me on little cards, and we read them. I was going to read them out loud but had to pass the stack around because my sentimental eyes weren’t up to it. I’ve transcribed these pieces of advice and well wishes into a Google doc and I’m going to blog some excerpts maybe in a separate post once things calm down. I think that’ll be a good way to start post-marital blogging life.
Today we took some of my favorite things, rolled them up into one thing, and called it a bachelorette party. Those things included: day trips, picnics, driving past farmhouses, fancy cheeses, the ruins of formerly grandiose buildings, historic sites that nobody knows about with no waiting and no lines and no other humans for miles, small Virginia towns, antique store owners with raspy voices, costume jewelry, handkerchiefs, champagne, pieced-together artifacts from archaeological digs, period garb, GPS, photo ops, and parasols. Not included on the list of favorites is the cloud (and I do mean cloud, like in cartoons when someone is being chased by bees) of mosquitoes which feasted on us like it was their first meal in months. But Rosewell is so beautiful…it really is like a dream being there. A crumbly, historically relevant, slightly goth dream (huzzah!). Everything was perfect except for the bugs and we have all sworn many solemn oaths to bring the vengeance of Deep Woods OFF! next time. But seriously the only thing that could have made it better would be if Thomas Jefferson himself stepped out of the ruins and refilled my glass of champagne.
I feel like things have been all about ME lately, and I know that’s kind of the point. But it’s been interesting to try to accept gracefully so many gifts and so much praise and love lavished, when I’ve spent the past couple of years trying to find ways to make my focus not be so much about ME ME ME. I think a lot is lost when we get swept up in the All About Me Party, so I’ve just tried to take a deep breath and love every minute of it without forgetting how lucky, blessed, and forgiven I am. I think part of the blessing here is seeing how small compliments and considerate gestures from my friends and family can weave themselves into a blanket of encouragement and good feelings for me. Now I hope I can employ these methods on others, to equally great success.