Sunday, October 15, 2006

Lovely


Yesterday, my aunt hosted a lovely baby shower for me, down in my Connecticut hometown. As I write this, I realize that the only time I seem to use the word "Lovely" with sincerity is in reference to things like wedding or baby showers, wedding ceremonies, memorial services, flower arrangements, and quaint hotels. If I were ever to attend a garden party, I'm sure that would be "lovely" too. Lovely can be nice, if one is in the mood. Fortunately, I was.

In attendance at the shower: aunts, great aunts, cousins, cousins-in-law, A's mother and grandmother, my mother, several high school friends, and a few family friends. I think I managed to do a good job of being gracious and grateful and refraining from making un-lovely, off-color comments as I opened gift after gift after gift. It was hard work, though. My mom took lots of pictures of me opening things and reacting pleasantly, but these pictures highlight the fact that in addition to carrying around two babies, I am carrying an extra chin. So there's no way in hell I'm going to post any of them here.

Instead, I give you a shot of the haul, above. It was quite impressive. Lots of cute clothes, blankets, toys, books, etc. Even a couple of gifts for moi – a "new mom" goody bag, a pair of awesome "thank you for carrying our grandchildren" earrings from my mother in law. Not shown here: two infant car seats, two high-tech high chairs passed along by a friend, and two bouncy seats.

Also not shown: the "room box" that my aunt made. It's like a dollhouse, but just one room (a nursery), so more like a diorama. It's got miniature wallpaper, carpet, two cribs, a changing table, and shelves with teeny little toys and baby products, including a box of Pampers, a tube of Desitin, and a bottle of Johnson's baby shampoo. It's quite, well, lovely.

It was one of several extremely girly gifts I/we got. Others included a couple of lace bonnets accompanied by a poem about how they're supposed to become the "something old" at each girl's future wedding (someone said, "and if one of them turns out to be a boy, he can give it to his bride" I said, "and if they turn out to be lesbians, well then…"); and a pair of pink tutus. According to the experienced moms there, many little girls go through a phase where they want to wear a tutu everywhere they go. We'll be prepared. There is actually a pretty decent picture of me with one of the tutus on my head. If I can figure out how to airbrush out my second chin, I'll post it.

I should note, I have nothing against girly gifts for my girls. Really, they're all very sweet and thoughtful things, and for all I know, the girls will adore them. I guess I just have a hard time getting excited about them because that's not the kind of little girl I was. It's not that I was a tomboy; I had dolls and even a dollhouse, I liked wearing dresses, I liked fairy tales, and I took ballet classes (though I never went through a tutu phase as far as I know). But I was much more into stuff like books and word games, coloring and painting, singing and listening to music, playing outside, doing the New York Times Sunday crossword puzzle, building particle accelerators, coming up with novel wine and cheese pairings, etc. It will be interesting to see to where each of my girls ends up on the girly-girl spectrum. (That's an actual, scientific spectrum, by the way; I read some articles on it in scholarly journals when I was three and a half.)

Another interesting little moment: my aunt reminding me (before everyone got there – thank goodness) that she had the family Christening gown to give me, and then wondering how we'd decide which one of the twins would wear it. It was the first time I'd actually told anyone beyond my immediate family (who could care less) that we're not planning to baptize the girls. It wasn't a huge deal; my relatives, with a couple of exceptions, are not uber religious. But the majority on both my father and mother's side are church goers, and it follows that babies in the family have always just gotten baptized as a matter of course.

The thing is, I don't consider myself a practicing Christian anymore, and A. is technically Jewish (his mother is Jewish, his father Protestant) but isn't religious. We don't belong to any church or congregation, though we hit a Unitarian service now and then, and may join a Unitarian church when the girls are older. And if they decide they want to become Christians or Jews or Zoararastrians, more power to 'em. Initially, though, they're just going to be little heathens.

A few more quick highlights from the day:

1. My great aunt, 90-something, mostly deaf, and entirely senile, asking me who I was after I kissed her hello. Later, apropos of nothing, while I was in the middle of opening a gift, she hollered, "I don't think I've seen you since you were a little girl!" I told her she'd been at my wedding five years earlier, but this fell on deaf ears. Literally. I tried talking to her later, but by then she'd forgotten who I was again. Poor woman. It must be disconcerting to be driven three hours to a house full of strangers and have absolutely no idea why you're there. But I guess as long as the food is good…

2. A's Grandmother, 96 years old: "Honey, when is the baby due?"
Me: "Early January, but more likely late December. And it's two babies, remember?" (she'd just given me two sleepers. And she's known since June that we're having twins.)
Her: Two?! How wonderful! Is it a boy or a girl?

3. One of A's relatives saying in front of the whole group – perhaps a third of whom knew that I'd used fertility drugs – "So, really, no twins run in the family at all?" I smiled and shook my head. She kept going. "It's just unbelievable, isn't it? Nobody in your family, really?" My mother gallantly jumped in at that point and said that my second cousin twice removed, in England, had identical twin daughters. (This is, in fact, true, but completely irrelevant.)

4. After A's grandmother and great aunt left, my deaf great aunt hollering, "who were those old people?"

All in all, it was a lovely time. To those of my dear readers who were there: thank you.

7 Comments:

Anonymous njara said...

hallo..auguri ed un abbraccio per un nascita felice.

..njara

11:41 PM  
Blogger Jane said...

Um...domo obrigado?

11:51 PM  
Blogger Jane said...

Or, wait...grazie?

11:53 PM  
Blogger Churlita said...

There is a picture from my baby shower taken from the side when I was very fat and I was laughing and I had at least twelve chins. It's horrible. I had a friend tell me that I would like looking at it after I lost the baby weight, but she was very, very wrong. I still can't stand it.

When A.'s grandmother asked you if it was a boy or girl, you should have just answered, "Yes."

I hate to do this in your comments, but I don't have an e-mail address for you. I changed my blog address. You can find it here if you're interested:

http://churlishfigure.blogspot.com/

The blogger formerly known as SL

2:18 AM  
Blogger Motel Manager said...

I cracked up multiple times during the course of this, culminating spectacularly with "Who were those old people?"

The shower sounds great. And, yes, I was just reading Martha Stewart yesterday, pondering the hollowed-out squash being used as candleholders, not to mention the turkey-cutout treat bags, and thinking, "Who actually makes this stuff?"

3:39 PM  
Blogger Midwestern Deadbeat said...

Whoo! What an impressive-looking pile of loot!

(Now I would say that, wouldn't I?)

The highlights are hilarious.

I can't wait to meet these girls.

7:14 PM  
Blogger bihari said...

Oh geez, I am still laughing at your highlights. I can hear it all!

That's quite a haul you have there. Way to go! I am very impressed with your organization. And the sheep: I like the sheep.

10:12 PM  

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