The long winded story of the shower: Cara has been very clear that her tradition is to not have showers, that no baby things can cross the threshold, blah, blah, blah. This is kind of frustrating for a waspy type like myself who believes wholeheartedly in the idea of a shower. You need all of that stuff! well, maybe not all, but lots of that stuff. I found a loophole in Cara’s system when she mentioned that her sister Jolie was given a baby shower by the ladies at her work. The presents she received simply stayed out of the house until after the birth. Ah ha!!!! So it isn’t the shower per-se, but the gifts’ whereabouts that is the jinx.
Blogging can be considered a full time job – except in my case where it is a half assed attempt. But we’re talking about Cara here and she certainly puts her all into her blog. So this was a work shower. Except nobody actually works with Cara and we’re all just friends.
My first try at keeping the shower a surprise came through an innocent mention of my love of Robbie Benson. She threw her support behind Shaun Cassidy and we spoke of having a Tiger Beat smack down. I really thought this would be the perfect ruse. So did Kay. My friend Flair thought I was completely lame and told me so. Apparently Cara did too because after a week of talking about this party she said, “dude, is this just a shower in disguise?”.
I decided to drop the whole Tiger Beat approach and just hope that I could drag her pregnant ass out here when the time came.
Well, my friend Mary was planning to be at the shower. I told Cara that I was feeling all goofy about the Tiger Beat thing and was going to drop it since I was hearing how lame everyone except me and Kay thought it was. And that anyway it was better since I was going to have company, but that she, Cara should come out too so she and Mary could finally meet. It seemed like a weak strategy, but oddly enough Cara bought it.
I was surprised that she didn’t question any of it. Why was Mary so hellbent on meeting her? Wouldn’t it be nice to have a visit with a long time friend where it was just the two of us?
In the meantime, invitations had gone up on the baby shower blog and also through email. This party was getting bigger than I had originally expected, but was going to be a blast. I was especially floored when Norma and Sandy said they would be here and also Cara’s family – her two sisters, her sister-in-law, mother and grandmother! I was finally going to meet all of these women! I spoke with Jolie many times before the big day. She was convinced that Cara still did not have a clue about any of this.
The day before the party we had a big snowstorm. The kind where travel plans need to be changed. :( The kind where the harried baby shower hostess might be running around the house all wild with preparations and decide that she would run the snowblower. And because she is all harried but also because the newspaper people are idiots, she runs over the newspaper that is buried under eight inches of snow and ends up with the newspaper all wedged between the auger and the hopper thing of the snowblower. And because this hostess is the stubborn sort who flies into blind rages whenever her to-do-list gets messed with, this might lead to hours of trying to unwedge the newspaper. During these attempts knives and screwdrivers are used. The hostess might almost also lose two fingers in the attempt before she finally gives up and storms into the house to scream and weep.
Blind rages are exhausting.
But getting back to the baby shower. A few days prior to all of this, Cara announced that she would be arriving on a very early train. The baby’s room was being painted on Saturday and she wanted to escape the fumes.
I told her no. That my mother-in-law needed assistance in the morning with moving furniture and that she had to take the 12:16 train. Cara did not question this.
In the morning on Saturday I called Cara to make sure that she was going to be on that train. She said it didn’t look like it, that she would catch a later one.
I told her no. That she had to be on the 12:16, that Mary was going to be here. Cara did not question this, which was a very good thing because I wasn’t even sure what it meant. She said she would do her best to get on the 12:16.
Because the guests were coming from all over the place and a few were traveling by rail, arrival times were staggered. I picked up Nancy, Regina and Maribel at the station at 11:20. So we got the party started early. Mimosas were flowing, needles were flying and everything was humming along. There were a few tough moments when it was not certain if Cara had gotten on that train – and I was envisioning a scenario where I have a house full of party goers and no guest of honor (which really just looked like a giant, boozy knitting party with good food, so it wasn’t too bad).
Anyway, I went back to the station to get Herself and on the drive back to my house I could barely contain my nervous giggling. Luckily Cara was so distracted by hunger and the need to use a bathroom that she didn’t notice. When we pulled up she did wonder about all the cars, but since the party had come out into the driveway to yell “Surprise!” she didn’t have any time to piece it all together.
She sees everyone out front yelling surprise, it sinks in that it is a crowd of her family and friends, turns to me with her mouth wide opened says she can’t believe it and punches me three times in the arm. Dude!
You can check my Flickr account for some pictures – but please look at them through rose colored glasses, I did a terrible photographic job. I know that Nancy and Maribel have posted some pictures. Also check Virginia and Kay and maybe Kathleen (although I don’t think she brought her camera). It was a great time – with tons of gorgeous gifts – thanks again to everyone for helping to surprise her in every possible way!