Life Notes: The Second Bridal Shower
Fantasizing a redo a few decades later
By Sally Friedman

Even though it was some 50+ years ago, I still remember my bridal shower. It was a very poorly-kept secret staged a few days before my dreaded geology final, my college graduation and our summer wedding. The whispers and giggles among my compatriots gave it away.

I was so young and so totally unprepared for marriage, let alone domesticity – that I remember unwrapping a gift that had something to do with cooking and faking my way through a thank-you note to a beaming aunt. I like to think I got away with my chicanery.

I did love getting gorgeous nightgowns with matching robe which marked a dramatic change from my collegiate flannels and T-shirts. In later years, three daughters got their hands on those delicate items for playing dress-up. So much for the sexy lingerie.

The sparkling pots and pans, some with copper bottoms, likewise have not made it 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.

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 skinny towels and fading sheets. Even our potholders have seen better days.

I’m ready. I’m eager. I’m psyched. I want a bridal shower! I want the kind at which packages are merrily wrapped, and I sit opening them, surrounded by a circle of laughing, cheering women. 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 I want to receive a few naughty nighties.

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 more free-wheeling than the original.

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

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

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

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 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.        

Please 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. And for sure, a black negligee wouldn’t hurt.

If I ever do 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 do have to start somewhere.  

July 2019
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