Do you remember when you were invited to a bridal shower held at someone’s home often in an evening? The house would look lovely. The hostess served snackies and punch. The bride looked blushingly pretty as she opened her dish towels or basket of spices. There would be some silly little games. The women would all reminisce either upon their own showers or their wedding day.
As each gift was opened everyone would ‘oh and ah.’ The guest of honor would turn red when she opened a beautiful wedding night peignoir usually a present from one of her bridesmaids. The gifts were passed for everyone’s approval, with the largest gift perhaps being a toaster or mixer from one of the Mom’s. The evening ended with a luscious dessert, coffee and a feeling of camaraderie among the generations attending. And all the generations did attend from younger sisters to grandmothers.
Times have sure changed. Rarely are the parties held at home anymore. Showers are now an extravaganza held at a restaurant with many guests invited. Please do not misunderstand me, the brides are just as lovely and the showers fun to attend, but in my opinion some of the personal touch is gone. Gone also are the days of wondering what to buy which leads me to my recent Bed, Bath and Beyond experience. My sister-in-law, MT and I are invited to a shower at a winery which by the way sounds neat.
For the male readers, I need to explain what the BB&B experience is. First of all the bride, and I am guessing, the groom go to “their store.” The walk through the store checking off everything they think they want for their new life together. New life?? Oh well that is a another column. The store information is given to the shower hostess to be put on the shower invite.
When the guest receives the invitation, your job as a guest begins. If you are computer savvy you can go on line to the registry, pick out your gift usually costing a ton of money as the spices, dish towels, cookie tins, pots and pans (unless a complete set) are rarely on the “registry.” Depending upon your outlook I suppose this is not all terrible. Some people like to be told what to buy. Personally, old as I am, I like the element of surprise. I think it is hard to open a gift that you picked out and explode in excitement.
MT and I were delighted to be invited to the shower and immediately decided to buy a gift together. In our computer suaveness we picked out our gift the day the invitation arrived. In my infinite wisdom, it never occurred to me that someone else would choose our gift. However, in re-checking prior to going to the store, MT discovered our choice had been “fulfilled.”
This news flash created several lighting emails shot back and forth via cyberspace with the conclusion that a new choice needed to be made quickly not wanting to lose again. The decision was made that we should immediately take a trip to BB&B, the store of choice. I spent the entire drive moaning about the new world concluding that I should grin and bear it since it was not about to change. By the time we arrived at the store, I was over my tirade and things looked up when we found a parking space almost directly in front of BB&B’s back door.
MT is by far wiser than I as she knew right where we would receive our list. I should also add MT has an excellent sense of humor. Following careful instructions by a young woman who appeared doubtful we could accomplish our mission, we were given our list. We huddled in a corner looking at each item, then quickly checking to see if the item had been “fulfilled.” On the last page, we noted bathroom accessories. Who knew a shower curtain costs what it does these days? We did not. But the decision was made to purchase the shower curtain and liner.
BB&B is a dream come true for real and wanna-be homemakers. The store is chucked full of neat items. The other huge part of a trip to BB&B is that you must NEVER go to the store unless armed with as many coupons as you can beg, borrow or steal. Seems as though they never expire and are good on each purchase. I have often thought about the coupons wondering why they do not just lower the prices by 20%- showing the real price … and the savings. However mine is not to question why so we charged through the store finally locating the bathroom accessories.
How hard can it be to find a shower curtain? Trust me it is very difficult. After wandering the extremely tight fitting isles, backing up for another customer, saying excuse me more times than I can remember, we still had not found the item #……….. Or even the brand. Spying a young man with a manager tag on his shirt, I hollered at him. Guess I sounded like his mother because he stopped dead in his tracks and came to us.
We explained our plight. He gave us one of those “what are these two broads doing” look, flipped himself around a corner, grabbed our shower curtain, delivering it to the basket.
We thanked him profusely as he resumed his original mission. “No, wait” we announced now we need the shower curtain liner. He smiled, as by now he had decided we were there on a trip from the home and produced the shower liner. It was a clear plastic liner. We saw a taupe plastic liner that matched the shower curtain.
Noah pitched his level best manager speech as he informed us the bride had indicated clear. If we bought taupe, she would have to return it, thus “putting her out.”
We told him that between the two of us we had over 100 years of decorating experience and we were sure she did not know what she wanted. By this time another young man had stopped to talk with our young man. Suddenly it became increasingly evident we were their entertainment for the afternoon as they decided to join us on the rest of our shopping trip which took us to the micro-fiber dust clothes.
This time Noah wiggled into one of those tight isles and returned with one package of each brand of dust cloths BB&B caries. Carefully and distinctly he told us the advantages and disadvantages of each. MT was struggling not to burst into gales of laughter while I was listening intently or pretended I was. Noah’s pager beeped, so reluctantly the boys had to leave us on our own. We both looked truly sad and thanked him for being our personal shopper.
I suggested to MT that we needed some cutsie little item to put on the top of our package. After much deliberation we decided upon a pink pig timer. Yes, I did say a pink pig timer. Certainly that is not on the bride’s registry so obviously she will not be expecting such a creative gift.
MT had been searching the gadget isle followed by a grumpy man. I was not sure who was following who - but I did hear a couple of unhappy exchanges between them. We concluded the man should leave. After all we were studying the gadgets along with some other ladies. We held an impromptu conference with each of us announcing we wondered how we had been cooking without all this stuff. This was done as I was holding a battery operated whisk which I was considering buying. I did resist the urge. MT could not resist a couple neat items. I grabbed some over-priced keurig coffee and the micro-fiber dust cloths.
Our purchases in tow we headed to the check-out. There stood another young man who was working very s l o w l y. We, in the mean time, talked with anyone who wanted to chat with us. It was our turn. The young man seemed very confused when I told him I would like the shower present rung up separately. MT asked if he had any boxes.
As a matter of fact BB&B does provide boxes. He directed us to the gift wrapping area.
Little did we know they had a gift wrapping area. I asked if there was a charge for that service. He announced, no. It is a do it yourself. MT shot a look at me as this also struck us rather funny. So we marched in tandem to the gift wrapping area.
MT ended up on one side of the table; I was on the other. I found a box bottom which I had to assemble; MT found a box top that looked just like the bottom which she had to assemble. Customer’s walked by noting what we were doing. We heard several chuckles. Once the box was assembled; the gift put into the box lined with free tissue we discovered the only wrapping paper was wedding paper. This would not do so we passed on the free do it your self paper.
About this time, Noah came flying by. He almost bent over in laughter as he saw the two of us. We waved merrily at him. He waved back but he kept going. Darn we were going to ask him for shower paper. lol
I was much happier on the ride home announcing that maybe this bride registry idea isn’t so bad after all. I do hope MT is invited to whatever shower I am so that we can have another BB&B bonding.
We just cannot wait to see the bride's reaction to her taupe liner - not to mention the pink pig timer. I will let you know….
© 2012 Musings by Marilyn - 5/8/12