The recent bridal shower for my youngest daughter was the occasion for extraordinary generosity by friends of ours. You may have stumbled across these folks in previous blog posts such as The Christmas Party or Croquet Anyone? or Navel Dancing Tonight, 7 to 9. I wrote facetiously then. Psychedelically maybe, anyone? Yes, the shoeless man in the box in the back row, sir? A big Amen to you too. I know this will shock some of you that I might gild the truth with spray paint and glitter, cherry bombs and bombast, hot glue and confectioner’s sugar. However, it’s not lying if the goal is entertainment and no laws are broken in the process.
Lying is an untruth told in an attempt to avoid negative consequences or gain advantage. By this definition Burritospecial is truth of an alternative kind. Like a zebra is not a horse or a donkey or giraffe, but it’s like them in that they all share four legs. Write that down or at least cut and paste it for future reference. It’s a fact, sort of.
Some background is necessary, I think, to fully appreciate the gift of the Sues.
The three Sues are Susan M., Sue B., and Suzanne P. They are stars from our Sunday School class, called Feet to Faith by those in the know. Along with my bride they have bonded over the last few years in a weekly prayer and Bible study small group with delicious snacks and shared intimacies. They rotate among their houses on Tuesday nights. Often my youngest daughter Jess joins them in their spiritual explorations. (I work Tuesday nights, otherwise I would be much holier, believe me.)
Once Jess’s engagement was set and fluttered over like a new blue egg in a robin’s nest, Suzanne announced her intention: “Y’all know how I love to entertain. How about if I host Jess’s bridal shower at my house? It’ll be fun! We can all get involved in the party.” Well, what are you to say to these statements but yes, yes, yes and yes? She is a great hostess. Of course she can host it. Of course it will be fun. If Suzanne says it, by golly, it will be done. Just ask Gary her husband. She is the Norman Schwarzkopf of entertaining, a force of cultural nature, a diva of delivery systems, a dervish of deviled eggs, a… wonderful woman who may hurt me if I continue this list.
“Sara, bless your heart, you don’t need to do a thing. Let us Sues do it for you. You’ll have enough on your plate with all the wedding planning.” (Suzanne is from Charleston, and “Bless your heart” is an expression that sounds deeply sincere and connective, but when parsed means something like “you are the village idiot”. )
With more relief than reluctance, my girl sort of complied. “Okay, but let me know what I can do…”
“Nope! We got this. You have a dress, a cake, a ceremony, a d.j., invitations, photographer, menu, music playlist…”
“Okay. But let me…”
“Now, what did I just say?”
Stung with tough love, my girl put on the little sister saddle shoes and agreed, let go, and surrendered the shower burden to these loving ladies. Good move. Opposing Stormin’ Norman never worked out in the past. Just ask Saddam Hussein.
No words, texts, phone calls needed to be exchanged on the business of the shower. The Sues swarmed like honeybees to flowers, flowers to nectar, and from nectar to honey back at the hive, i.e. Suzanne’s lovely home. See, bees have to chew nectar for a while before it turns into honey. And isn’t that a nice analogy for lovely women processing beauty and sweetness into a perfected product? After all, honey and love are both labor intensive products.
Now these ladies have a sense of humor. Over time they came up with the idea of having their available men be the butler wait staff at the shower. It was agreed that we– Gary, Dan and I — would be the un-jacketed tuxedo crew to wait on the whims and cares of the assembled females. Without a lot of planning we decided not to wait in wrestling singlets or biker shorts (Gary’s first two ideas) or tear away Chippendale dancer outfits (his third). Instead we planned on starched white shirts and black pants, preferably tuxedo attire, along with swanky bow ties and linen tea towels held aloft by sharply angled left forearms. And we killed it. Bulls eye. A spectacle. Bingo. Holy Schnikes. The swagger in our pantalones alone was worth all the Jagger in the Rolling Stones.
(Number four is gratuitous eye candy and did not attend.)
We reacted as professionals. “Martin. Where did you go to Butler School?
“Isn’t that near Yardley?”
“Why yes it is, sir.”
“Did you attend the front yardley or back yardley portion, Martin?”
“Alas, the back yardley, sir.”
“I thought so.”
“Piper!! Is that a singlet tan I see under your crisply starched white shirt?”
“Yes, sir. I wore the singlet proudly at West Chester.”
“Go wash it off or finish the spray tan before gentle company arrives. Bloody pugilist!”
We were ready to take the Sues’ marching orders to the mat if need be, but since our women were supremely prepared, it was not necessary. Like great athletes, they made it all look easy– the fresh lemonade and tea; the hor d’oeuvres; the cheeses and wines; the confections and lovely sandwiches. It was a feast for the eyes as well as the taste buds.
Pictures were snapped. Presents gathered up and recorded. And then the bonding activity of weaving a bridal head dress out of toilet paper, something so Pinteresting, came later. Three teams of ladies competed for the best head dress made with toilet paper and any other available materials. After twenty or thirty minutes it was left to the three butlers to judge the finest head dress. After several rounds of paper, scissors, rock, we reached a conclusion, announcing it to great fan fare. The first was the finest by a sheet or two, nipping out the competition by a whisker.
Altogether it was a fine time enjoyed by anyone capable of joy. Even the butler washing up was a good time as Dan nearly wiped out a freshly washed stack of china as he rushed to answer his duty bell.
“Martin, steady as you go, son. A good butler must be seen and never heard. Like a good mime barber.”
Good Show, All of you.