I’ve snuck off to the coffee shop to post a bit.
I’m in Joshua Tree attempting to be a landlord and getting heaps of errands done. It’s easier to get things done here, because there just aren’t as many choices; if I need a new timed watering system, there’s one hardware shop; I drop stuff off at the same thrift store each time; and, when I go to the post office, everybody knows my name (and my box number).
Don’t get me wrong – I’m not waxing nostalgic for this old hi-des, in fact, last night when we pulled into town, my stomach started to get twisted into knots – like part of my brain was afraid I was moving back here…
But I don’t want to post about the panic-inducing effects of coming back to Joshua Tree, I want to post an overdue piece on my bridal shower/bachelorette party.
As one of my friends said, my wedding shower was the best she had ever attended – and I have to agree, it was the best I’ve ever attended as well.
I have never understood the point of making wedding veils with toilet paper or to try to catch women sitting with their legs crossed to win their clothespins. So when Caryn and Betsy approached me with idea of a shower, I asked for a shower with no games. Caryn objected. Caryn, the local Boggle champion, insisted on her party organizer’s right to have a few games and promised to keep toilet paper and clothes pins out of it.
We agreed that a campout would be fun (would allow everybody to drink without concern), picked a date (the only free weekend before the wedding would have to do), and then I promptly forgot about the whole thing.
As the shower day approached I gradually became aware of the enormous list of things that had been taken care of by somebody else: somebody had taken care of camp reservations, invitations, firewood, food, ice chests, water, breakfast, and coffee.
When it was suddenly the day of the bridal shower, I stood alone in my bedroom and racked my brain. Was there something I was supposed to bring? Nothing? Anything? I am so incredibly hard-wired never to show up at somebody’s house empty-handed that it was bizarre to get ready to go to a party with no other obligation than to get myself there. Finally, I threw my sleeping bag and pillow into my car and drove off.
When I showed up at Indian Cove campground, I was ridiculously touched.
There were tablecloths and flowers on the tables! Iced beer, chips and salsa, and cheese and crackers! Piles of presents! Slightly buzzed friends sitting in the shade with big happy grins!
Heh, heh. I have to chuckle even remembering the games, because Caryn took “normal” party games and stretched them to hilarious lengths. The first game involved finding things in our purse… things as typical as a comb or mirror, to things like condoms and compasses. And the game went far beyond the usual twelve or so items; Caryn had thirty or forty things on her list, which made the winner really feel like she deserved the vibrating soap she eventually won. (How great is that? There were enough vibrating soaps for everyone.)
And Caryn created a word scramble with a Jeannie theme. Scrambles like:
TM ANS JOCAINT
(Watch out – these word scrambles will mess with you; can you find Art Center? or Janet Cardiff?)
And the party just got better and better (perhaps at the same rate of alcohol consumption). We ate a gorgeous potluck meal while everybody reminisced about their first impressions of meeting me.
We strolled down to the reception site at group campsites # 3 and 4 – and I got to walk through the whole reception night with feedback. It was such a relief to share the wedding plans, so I wasn’t the only one carrying them around in my head.
We ambled over to the ampitheater imagining the reception evening. The sun was getting low, the light was beautiful, and I started to really sink into the realization that I was getting MARRIED in two weeks. Things had been so hectic and scattered in my life that it had been easy to ignore that fact. I was safe with bunch of women who cared about me – I could feel a little freaked about the wedding because I was getting lots of reassurance and hugs.
It seemed entirely appropriate that we saw some cool things on our walk – like tortoise scat (the size of my thumb and looks like a dirt plug) and tarantula hawks (over-sized black beetles with brilliantly orange wings).
And this party (in honor of me!) just got more and more fun. When we got back to the campsite, turned out that Caryn had brought a bottle of Tequila and a plastic grocery bag full of shot glasses. That is a one good girl scout. (But what would be the name of that badge?)
Around a campfire, heated by the fire and alcohol, I listened to marriage advice from some of my dearest friends: walk together, have lots of sex, play nice…
We told funny stories and laughed and laughed.
When we started to fade, we stumbled over to our sleeping bags, and slept under millions of stars. Did I wake to any regrets?
How could I? There was fresh black coffee, bagels, cream cheese and lox for breakfast.
Nothing could have been more perfect.
My shower was simply the most heartfelt, generous gift I have ever received.
Thank you dear, sweet friends!
P.S. Pics of the shower to follow…