Over the course of my long life, I've been to more than my share of wedding showers, though not as many as some of my friends. Pastors (if they're women) or their wives tend to go to a whole lot of wedding showers. As does anyone who has a lot of influence and interaction with the demographic that tends to be of marrying age. Wedding showers are a rite of passage for women. I don't know what the similar rite of passage is for men, but such showers have come in waves in my life. First, my friends had showers. My friends, my sisters (and in-law). I went to such showers with my eyes wide open in wonder in the beginning. "You get all this stuff? Wow!"
By the time I was in my mid-twenties and still going to such wedding showers, putting on my seventh bridesmaid dress, I was beginning to think there should be some kind of non-wedding shower for the single person. After all, at some point, a person needed to set up a household of her own. A few towels that hadn't been washed and rewashed by her mother until they were threadbare, then handed down might be a nice thing. I got a set of towels for something like my 11th birthday from my grandmother, but I'm pretty sure my mother wouldn't have let them out of her house if they hadn't looked like they were ready for the rag heap by the time I needed them! And dishes? I mean, I could have used a nice set of dishes. Sure, I'd gotten a set of melamine dishes, which I think is just about the same as plastic, but I never saw these dishes at any wedding shower.
OK, so I clearly survived those early days to get to my own wedding and showers along with it. Three, to be exact. More than I needed. A little embarrassing, actually. That's what happens when you marry the boy across the street in a town where both your dads work fairly prominently at the same university. And I'll admit, my embarrassment didn't keep us from raking in the goodies from those showers. Great stuff. Stuff we still use to this day. The slotted board for cutting fresh bread--we easily use it every single week. The garlic holder? Used every single day until it broke last summer! And we have a blanket on our bed right this minute that we got at one of those showers 26 years ago.
But some of the things we got have long since worn out. And lately, in this new wave of showers I've been going to. Nieces, friends' kids, etc. I've been thinking that perhaps it'd be a great thing to have a second set of wedding showers about 25 years in. I mean, think about it--you've stayed together for a quarter of a century and most of what you have to show for it are ratty towels and pots and pans with loose handles. Don't you think there should be some kind of reward for having stayed married, stayed gladly married for all these years? A new towel or two, folks? Is that asking so much?
It's not that I'm envious. I don't sit at these young women's showers and covet their things. Not even close. Their choices are seldom my choices, anyway. I mean, last month I was at a shower where the bride got downright excited when she pulled an axe (!) out of a package. I mean, I ask you? (Or, to be punny, I axe you) Does this sound like something I might need? EVER?
When we remodeled our bathroom a year ago, we did replace our towels, actually. I knew that wedding shower was never coming. And just this afternoon, the Beve, who really never ceases to surprise me, took me down to one of my alltime favorite stores (The Greenhouse), and we picked out a new set of pots and pans. Yippee! We finally took them out of the box, put all the ratty old Revere Ware (oh, how I used you well) into that box and set it out for Good Will! Good riddance. For those of you who know Beve, I'll include this important piece of information so you don't think he completely changed his spots: the pots were half price. Of course they were. It's the Beve we're talking about.
So that's my story for today. That's it. Just a little pot and pan story. A little marriage shower for me, right in the middle of a sunny Monday afternoon. And you know, sometimes that's enough. What these young women \don't know, is that if they stay married long enough (and please GOD, may they stay married long enough), their dishes will break, their towels will fray and their pots will finally tarnish. Eventually, everything wears out. Even mattresses. So what I pray for each of them is that they will someday have to replace their pots and pans, with their wedding rings still on their fingers.