2016-08-03 / Columns

Dreaming of a bridal shower—and everything that comes with it


I still remember my bridal shower. It was a poorly kept secret staged just a few days before my graduation from college and our summer wedding, and the whispers and the giggles among my compatriots gave it away.

I was so young and so totally unprepared for domesticity that I remember unwrapping a gift that had something to do with cooking, and faking my way through a thank-you to an aunt.

I did love getting gorgeous nightgowns with matching peignoirs that would mark a dramatic change from my collegiate flannels and T-shirts.

In later years, three daughters got their hands on those delicate lingerie items for playing dressup. The lacey things did not survive.

The sparkling pots and pans, some with copper bottoms, likewise have not made if through the five-plus decades of this long marriage. They were warehouses for steaming breakfast oatmeal, soup, and occasionally an exotic beef dish back when we were still eating beef.

But they, too, have met unfortunate fates.

So I’m ready. I’m eager. I’m psyched.

I want a bridal shower!

I want the kind at which packages are gaily wrapped and I sit in the center of a circle of laughing, cheering women opening them.

I want to exclaim over beautiful, thick towels and heavenly blankets. I want to swoon when I get gadgets that will make me a gourmet chef, and yes, I want to receive a few naughty nighties.

Everything in the enchanting world of bride-dom that was once exotic and new is no longer. And despite periodic replacements, we still have an unfortunate collection of mismatched towels and fading sheets.

Even our potholders have seen better days.

Sure, I could and should go out and buy all new things. I could write a sober list and cross out each item as I buy it like a sensible lady. But what fun would that be?

So I’m ready for that second shower, this one a lot more freewheeling than the original.

This time, I would decree that there be no silver trays, candy dishes or crystal ashtrays. Remember ashtrays?

My best friends chipped in and presented me with a crystal wine decanter and matching wine glasses. I think we used it four times, and several moves later, I have no idea where it may have ended up.

So yes, this old-married broad would find the prospect of a second bridal shower delicious.

Maybe other women yearn for diamonds, or trips to the French Riviera. At this stage of life, I’d happily settle for one of those fancy coffee makers. I wouldn’t mind a few chic mugs that don’t bear slogans like “Grandma knows best” to go with that coffee maker.

Boy, would I love a showerhead that offers the feel of a tropical rain forest, assuming there was no assembly required. That never washes well (if you’ll forgive the verbal mischief) with my husband.

Gift me, pretty please, with those thick, thirsty towels in pristine white that you find in hotel bathrooms—and throw in those matching thick, thirsty bathrobes that await you in the same fancy hotels.

Add a few of those sheets with ultra-high thread counts, a down comforter complete with a duvet cover in some enchanting pattern and fabric. And oh, how happily I’d accept a set of unblemished stainless steel kitchen knives that actually cut through a roast chicken.

If I ever get a second bridal shower, I solemnly promise to shriek in unabashed delight, to send thank-you notes promptly and to invite all guests back for a decent cup of coffee.

Meanwhile, just to tide me over, I’m off to buy potholders without scorch stains and a tablecloth that doesn’t bear the scars of spilled cranberry juice and chocolate icing.

You have to start somewhere. s pinegander@aol.com

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