Monday, October 27, 2008

Please Enjoy This Rambling Post (which will take you 5 days to read)

Hey, we had a party! Dinner for 25... and it was fun and de.lic.ious!

There were candles everywhere and flowers and lots of liquor and all sorts of cool beans people. Hugh turned to me at one point saying, "Damn, this is like a grown up party... suddenly, I'm all worried about the chicken."

He had no reason to worry as one of our guests, a chef of all things, suggested that he open a restaurant. Oh, guest, you know the way to my husband's heart.

As this was an engagement party, conversation turned to all-things-wedding and many a story was told about the influx of crisis and awkward moments one encounters while planning for wedded bliss.

A common theme was the bridal shower and how uncomfortable it can be to be surrounded by very nice people who have spent their hard earned dollars on your everyday china and bath towels.

You just don't ever feel that you can be grateful enough... it's hard to adequately express you feelings about a blender, and maybe you're a little too self conscious to say, "I love this blender. When I saw it in Williams Sonoma I immediately knew that I would love to make chi-chis in a blender like this... it would make me feel festive and grown up and my fiance loves them and when he is my husband it would be such a nice thing for me, as his wife, to do: blend up a batch of chi-chis on a hot summer day during our first summer as a married couple...". So, instead, you say, "OMG! The Blender! I love it so much, thank you!!"

But, by far and away, there is nothing quite like the "lingerie shower". Where the gifts range from the casually sexy (white tanks with boy shorts) to the overtly ridiculous (crotchless and edible underwear) and often lotions and potions are included and it's a little sleazy but a lot of fun.

Especially if you've already received that blender and have some smart girl whipping up chi-chis by the vat-full in the kitchen.

Now, here's the thing... I did have a lingerie shower, but, Lord have mercy, it was hosted by my grandmother and one of my aunties.

No, you read that right. Lingerie and grandma.

Boggles the mind, does it not?

Not only that, but my grandma lived up in Sacramento, so this was almost exclusively a family shower. Cousins, little nieces, great-aunts. F.A.M.I.L.Y.

There is something more than odd about opening the sexy-wear in front such a crowd.

In order to appease the multi-generations, my cousins gave me things along the lines of glamorous peignoirs... sexy, yes. Slutty, no.

The slutty stuff came from all the old ladies.

Seriously.

A maiden great-aunt came through with a sheer baby-doll nightie with matching sheer bikini panties. Trimmed in lace it was straight out of the pages of Mad Men and had this shower been held in 2008 instead of 1995, it could probably would have been billed as: Betty Draper woos Don on their wedding night.

My very own grandmother ponied up with a floor length red lace gown... well, red lace on the bodice, the rest was nothing but sheer red panels which opened provocatively when one walked across the room... presumably in one's matching red satin marabou mules.

Actually, if you had known my grandma this gift was right on track. She was truly awesome.

And let's not forget the slinky black number... after all, how many of you have been given a nightie, with strategic cut outs, by your granny's 78 year old gin rummy partner?

While my cousins and I were busily cutting our eyes at each other, silently telegraphing messages such as, "What the Hell?", the old ladies were giggling, swilling down mimosas, and asking to see swatches of the bridesmaid dresses.

And maybe trading information of Fredrick's of Hollywood sales.

We eventually realized that for them, the wedding night was a Very Big Deal and a new bride would want to look her Absolute Most Fetching for The Big Event... as well as have a few other treasures to bring along on the honeymoon.

And suddenly the "I am mortified" moment became a, "These Ladies Kick Ass!" moment.

It was also one of those moments which helped me define the kind of woman I aspire to be... a woman who will always get a charge out of life and open myself up to others... a woman who understands the age is just a number and celebrating, sometimes with naughty lingerie and a champagne cocktail, is the best way to enjoy this life.

Which in a round about way explains why I was so happy to be able to host, with my husband of almost 14 years, an engagement party.

Hugh and I have come a long way since our wedding and that gorgeous blender broke after a year...

But, I still have those slinky nighties.

21 comments:

Jill said...

That? Would never have happened in my family! But it sounds like a hell of a lot of fun and I love the lesson you took from it!

On the mortification scale, though, I think I have the ultimate story. My step brother's fiance threw herself a bridal shower because her bridesmaid were all either clueless or children (I was 17 and her sister was 11 or something like that). And at this bridal shower which included her future mothers in law (my mom and my step brother's mom), her own mother and several other family members, we played Pin The Penis on the Groom, which consisted of an outline of my step brother (actual size) and tiny little Post-It note penises (not actual size according to my future SIL at the time). That? Was just sick and wrong!

furiousBall said...

do you have a cliff's notes version of this?

Anonymous said...

OMG, I'm peeing my pants reading this - I so remember that red gown!Grandma was pretty awesome...even when she gave my sister and I matching backless handkerchief tops. Not sure what she thought we did for a living at the tender ages of 11 and 14, but it was the tought that counted, right?

~Lisa

Kristin said...

Jill - PIN THE PENIS? You win, hands down!

Van - How about nice big shut up-sicle?

Lisa - Those backless tops must have been the same year I got the cha cha heels...

Kristin said...

And Lisa, the sheer baby doll was from your dad's sisters!!

Tori said...

Kiki

I love the Granny shower! Wish I had been there to chuckle along.

It was also truly a lovely party that you and The Hugh threw....

You guys are pros in this regard.

Truly wonderful...

Tor

Issas Crazy World said...

I am so glad I never had one of those parties. I think if I had to think about sexy panties with my grandma in the room, my head might have exploded.

jenontheedge said...

Damn, too bad I'm from a family of Baptists...

After 17 years, we still have our blender (in a lovely shade of 1990s almond), but none of the lingerie, as all of mine was too awful for words and even Pete suggested that I pack some good old cotton stuff for the honeymoon.

Shelley said...

Now wouldn't a riveting game of Pin the Penis on the Chickens have made the whole night? :D

Never got the lingerie. But now have 3 blenders. What does that tell ya?

Joannah said...

The matrons of your family sound like quite a hoot! What a great memory.

:-)

Chrissie said...

It was time well spent reading this. Good god, what an awesome post. You crack me up...

Marisa said...

Aw, your description of why you chose the blender is so sweet!

Los said...

I think I probably would've turned to stone if I witnessed my mom at one of these ... I still have nightmares from when she brought home a french maid outfit from a yard sale and asked if this would be a good Halloween costume.

jennie said...

your story reminded me of when we were planning a bridal shower for one of my cousins. It was two nights before her wedding and we were all in town to celebrate. My grandma pulled several of us aside to let us know that she hoped we weren't skipping getting a stripper just because she was attending. she said she thought that would be JUST FINE.

Barbara said...

Hmmm. Maybe that was the reason she was your grandma! Maybe that was why all those wonderful ladies were married for so many years!

Love your tale!

Barbara said...

Hmmm. Maybe that was the reason she was your grandma! Maybe that was why all those wonderful ladies were married for so many years!

Love your tale!

rubyiscoming said...

Great post - my lingerie party? It was hosted by my boss. Yep. Talk about blushing!

I just decided NOT to have a baby shower - seems so strange after three years of waiting for our Ruby. And uncomfortable - plus, we purchased just about 99.9% of what we need already.

But, I do love to throw a good engagement party - :)

Joe said...

Great story. There's something liberating about growing older and not really caring what people think.

At bachelor parties I've been to, it's usually the oldest man that's the least self-conscious...and that almost gets us arrested.

Kayce said...

Love the moment when you know you're hosting a grown-up party, had that happen to us a few years ago, nice.

Had me a very similar lingerie party with my grandmothers, I was so embarrassed but they shared stories of daisy chains and shenanigans that went on in the old neighborhood. At that point I pulled the liquor from their hands and called the day a success. I too still have the flirty goods but lost the blender too.

trish said...

Hi, Kristin! Would you shoot me an email confirming you're on target to post your review of Somebody Else's Daughter on Monday, November 3rd? Thanks!

carrie said...

Love. This.

What a wonderful perspective Kristin!