I got invited to a baby shower. When I saw who the mother-to-be is, my first thought was: Hell no, I won't go. You see, I'm still waiting on a thank you note for the wedding gift we sent four years ago. And yes, I can carry a grudge.
When six months went by and no acknowledgement, I asked the bride's mother-in-law to ask Miss No Manners if our gift was received. It was. I thought that might embarrass the bride into a writing a thank-you note. It didn't.
So now I am faced with purchasing another gift that will probably never be formally acknowledged. A part of me is a little ashamed that I would "punish" the baby; it's not the kid's fault his mother is uncultured. The other sticking point is that I really like the grandparents-to-be (the mama's in-laws), who are two of the most generous and classy people I know.
I told Richard that I might slip in a box of thank-you notes with the baby gift. Shoot, I'll even write the note to myself, and address and stamp the envelope, but Richard said to let it go. He is such a killjoy.
In other news, I spent this past weekend in Lubbock for my daughter's sorority's moms' weekend. The weather was gorgeous --- a bit windy, a tad chilly --- but sunny and cloudless. Two other moms and I hit town Friday afternoon, and left just before noon on Sunday. By the time we got home to Dallas around 6:00 PM, Lubbock was bracing itself for a blizzard. Another example of the old Texas saying if you don't like the weather, wait five minutes. I can't believe I missed all the fun and games. The airport shut down, the interstates were closed, and the cattle that we'd seen peacefully grazing in the sunshine as we headed east were now miserable huddles of frozen, snowblinded beef on the hoof. Tech threw in the towel and cancelled classes --- a fact we were informed of via a 4:45 AM phone call from the university, which initially scared the crap out of Richard. (In my case, I have never had the pleasure of that particular heart-stuttering experience. Sometimes being deaf ain't all bad.)
While Paige and her roommates made the weather an excuse to celebrate a long weekend, Mitch was snowed in in Denver, forcing him to miss work on Monday. He didn't land in Dallas until midnight Tuesday morning. I asked my other kiddo, Brent, if Lawton, OK had any snow and he said no --- which I find hard to believe when the Texas panhandle, which is due west of Lawton, was under 4 - 6' drifts in some parts. I was hoping, as the storm system moved towards Big D, that it would dump some of that pretty white stuff on us, but it veered north instead. I swear Dallas has some kind of force field that repels snowstorms.
Anyway, during my visit to Lubbock, Paige and one of her roommates, Chelsea, invited me and Chelsea's mom, Mendy, to their apartment for 'ritas and appetizers. Mendy and I thought this was a lovely gesture on our girls' part until we found out that they were merely providing the space; WE were expected to purchase the food and prepare it. Chelsea, as it turned out, is pretty handy in the kitchen, and she made the jalapeno poppers in the picture below. Paige, however, had a tough go of it trying to mash the ranch dressing mix into the cream cheese and text at the same time. She is studying to become a registered dietician and already I am worried that she is not up to the task.
Zeta Tau Alpha Moms' Weekend Afternoon "Tea"
Looks pretty good, doesn't it? And it was so easy to prepare. The menu included: artichokes with Italian dressing, Parmesan Frenchies (the moldy looking stuff on the colorful plate), smoked salmon crudites, cream cheese topped with Pickapeppa Sauce (not shown) and served with crackers, chips and salsa (not shown) and homemade jalapeno poppers. I couldn't believe it when I saw Chelsea preparing the peppers --- cutting, seeding and removing the ribs --- with her bare hands. The recklessness of youth! I learned a painful lesson years ago to wear gloves when I accidentally rubbed my eye after handling the little suckers.
Well, I need to get some beauty sleep as I am heading to Lawton, OK in a few hours to help Brent move back to Dallas. He's bunking with us temporarily before he is due to report to Ft. Polk, Louisiana. I know he is going to be very glad to see Oklahoma receding in his rear view mirror.
Baby feet: http://www.sxc.hu/profile/Tasa_
When I set the table for dinner guests the other day, I used my good china and crystal and sterling. It was not a formal dinner. No dinner can remotely be called formal if Jell-O is on the menu, the hostess is trotting around in her bare feet, and cats are fighting under the table. I just happen to enjoy setting a pretty table, even if it requires a lot of washing and drying by hand afterwards. I know my guests appreciate the pampering, and food, even Jell-O, just tastes better. To me, it's worth it.
When I was growing up, my mother rarely used her best stuff when she had guests for dinner. Instead, she dragged out her mother-in-law's old china, a very meh Noritake pattern of pink roses climbing a trellis. I can only remember twice, Mom setting the table with her good Lennox china, and one of those times was because I asked her to. The pattern is Tuxedo, a classic Lennox design that is beautiful in its simplicity. So, no surprise when I chose Tuxedo when I was planning my wedding.
Eventually, my mother gave me her Lennox pieces. Her collection is 63 years old and because it was hardly ever used, every plate and cup looks brand new. What's the point of having nice things if you aren't going to use them? Since my kids were small, they have dined on fine china, sipped milk from crystal, and speared peas with the heirloom silver. They may not have understood what the fuss was about, but I noticed they minded their manners better whenever I hauled out the good stuff.
My mother has a beautiful antique cup and saucer I gave her one Christmas for a display piece. Because she's so afraid the maids, who come every other week to clean, will break it, she keeps it stashed away in a box in a dresser. There are times I'm sorry I didn't keep the thing for myself, because I guarantee you in my house, it would be out where it could be seen and admired. I may not have maids with dusters, but I do have cats with long tails.
One of these days, I will inherit the Noritake. And I betcha, with just the right tablescape, I can make those pink roses look pretty.
Lenox Tuxedo: http://www.antiquehelper.com/item/295571
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