Wednesday, August 03, 2005

I Had Almost Everything But the Sangria

So I went to the bridal shower of a dear friend on Sunday. It was a "bring your own teacup" tea in a city called Rancho Palos Verdes. Can I say that the house and setting were beyond lovely? The home was on a cliff with a 180 degree view of the Pacific. Look hard right, there's the ocean! Look straight ahead, there's the ocean! And then again, there's the ocean on your left! Built onto the edge of the property was a bench that ran almost the length of the property, upon which they set pillows so that you could lounge and look out at the sea. Wouldn't I love to wake up and be able to look out to a view like that every morning.

I knew going into the tea that I would know very few people. I was counting on one person I knew to be there, thus alleviating any loner status. Of course, the bride-to-be cannot give people personal attention, so I was looking forward to catching up with my friend, whom I haven't seen in a few months. Unfortunately for everyone, she wasn't able to make it.


So I got along as best I could, making chit chat here and there. All of the people there were lovely women. I actually wound up videotaping most of it, which was fine with me. But it seemed there were two distinct groups of people, and the twain just weren't meeting.

It reminded me of the first official party I ever threw. It was for Hubba-hubba's 25th birthday, and it was a surprise. I agonized over it for months, sending invites, preparing the party space, buying the food, etc... Finally the big day came, and Hubba-hubba was indeed completely surprised. I felt vindicated, we had at least 20 people, and for the first 15 minutes things were great.

Then I noticed every hostesses nightmare, people were sectioning off into groups, and not intermingling in the slightest. Hubba-hubba's school friends, hanging out on the patio. Hubba-hubba's work friends, staking out the chairs next to the beer. And then a few other people who really didn't fit in with either group, awkwardly making small talk with strangers who they may or may not have even found remotely interesting.

The bad part of this was that I was doing this pretty much myself, and so between making sure the food was plentiful and cooked, the beer was flowing steadily, and other such duties, I had little time for socializing. Looking back, the party was probably a complete disaster. I don't think I had quite enough food, almost all the beer was hijacked by an uninvited brother of a guest, and everyone just sat around.

Of course, the shower was nothing like that. They had 5 different kinds of scones (my personal favorite being the ginger ones with bits of candied ginger), Devonshire cream, apple butter, strawberry marmalade and lemon spread upon which to dip the scones. They had cucumber finger sandwiches, 8 different kinds of tea, sangria, little molded chocolates, and adorable little infuser favors. They had fresh fruit, chicken salad sandwiches and lemon cake.

My friend was (and is) overjoyed to be marrying her fiancee, they fit each other very well. It took them both a while to find each other, but when they did they knew it was right. I am so very happy for the both of them.

And hey, I won the word scramble game, so I walked off with a cool prize. True love and a cute set of wind chimes and lanterns for my patio. What could be finer?


Mel said...

Sounds lovely, even if your friend was a no-show!

Suzanne said...

Wow -- how refined and tasteful that sounds!

I am not a good mingling-encourager at parties I host. I am usually too frazzled by the food and beverage duties to be a calm hostess. Of course, since most of my parties consist almost entirely of family, I think they're used to my party demeanor by now!