AIMEE: “What kind of peanut butter is Brian’s favorite?” one of the moms at my Philly bridal shower calls out to me. We’re playing the “How-well-do-you and-Brian-know-each-other-game” and the afternoon has reached its breathlessly cheery peak. I’m feeling one part kid-on-Christmas-morning and one part Desperate-Housewife-at-a-press conference, but in a totally fun way.
“Skippy!” I blurt out instinctively. “Wait, no,” I almost fall for the trick question, “up until a couple weeks ago, it was always Peter Pan!”
“Exactly right!” she cheers, then reads her slip: “‘Used to be Peter Pan…now Skippy!'”
Lauren, my sister-in-law to be, places in my lap a placesetting of my china along with a card. “Oooh, thank you! I love my china!” Holding up a saucer proudly, I address the whole group: “You’ll notice my china pattern bears a striking resemblance to the invitations that will be arriving in your mailboxes this week, ladies. And that’s no coincidence!” Everyone whoops it up, I know my audience. It’s a group that really appreciates pattern coordination. I bask in their praise.
“Here! Aimee!” another waving hand. “What is Brian allergic to that he still continues to eat?”
“Green apples AND red apples! It’s ridiculous!” More laughter. “His eyes get red and puffy and yet he continues to buy them and eat them! See what I’m working with? And I have a lifetime of this!” Laughter ensues. “I’m here all week folks!” Yes, I actually say those words and as I do, realize I have, in fact, had a couple glasses too many of that tasty blush wine (but it was so pretty!) Is it hot in here? No, in fact others are shivering. An All-Clad non-stick frying pan appears on my lap with a card. I read and wave to the relatives, all in from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania: “Thank you Harrisburg!!” I call out to the back of the restaurant. “Love it!”
“Aimee!” says another voice. “What does Brian say is your greatest extravagance?”
“Sending my laundry out to be washed! I’m so embarrassed! I used to do mine–and his, I’ll have you know,” more whooping, from all the moms who understand matters of laundry–“But now Brian has converted me to the dark side. Please don’t judge me!” Laughter.
“Are you ready for your hat?” Brian’s childhood friend Jen says from somewhere behind my chair. Time for embarrassing pictures!” Quite the milliner, she ties on a lovely number she’s fashioned out of the top of a Bloomies box and a slew of bows and ribbons from all my shower gifts. I pose for the popping flashbulbs.