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Gifts Bags Are Good Enough

September 1st, 2009 · No Comments

Today’s complaint has to do with party tradition oddities. Granted, I hail from the North, home of giant Polish-Catholic wedding masses with over-the-top receptions that last into the wee hours of the night. The ultimate goal of which is to get all the guests hammered so that they donate handsomely to the new couple’s nest egg.

So far, in the South I have learned that receptions actually have time limits, there is something called a Groom’s Cake and the typical rubber chicken dinner is substituted with inedible finger foods that no one ever eats in real life. Since when did a handful of cashews become an entrée?

Recently, I discovered the most irritating traditional oddity so far…

Sari and I attended a wedding shower for a newly engaged young couple. I have known the Groom since he was about ten years old and enjoyed many tasty dinner parties at his parents’ home over the years. The Groom and the Boy grew up together and currently Boy is the Bachelor-Party-Throwing-Groomsman. By association, our family has known the Bride-to-be since her inception as a potential girlfriend.

I take my time, my hard-earned money, my creative focus and thoughtful consideration to shop, purchase, wrap and sign the perfect gift. The Registry asked for a double boiler (what the hell is a double boiler anyway?) and several kitchen utensils including slatted spoons, a rolling pin and the always required pastry brush. I bring home a large copier paper case box from work, fill it with all of the items, then hand wrap it using pretty paper, four different ribbons, tulle and topped off with a handwritten card (going for the wow factor). As I know the Groom has been taught French cooking from his European trained parents, my card simply begs the question, “When’s dinner?” (Sure to get a laugh, right?)

Upon arrival at the church parlor venue, I am greeted by an elderly woman who quickly skirts my package to another room, never to be properly presented to the guest of honor. The entire effect is then completely stolen by two other woman whose job it was to open all the packages and display the gifts on a long table in the church hallway. After about an hour of gnashing on lemon cake and strange brown punch, the Bride states, “let’s go see the gift table!”

Noticeably to me, my items are dead last on the table and a small group of girls stands at the end chatting (including the Bride). I make my way down the table as the girls discuss the gifts. One asks, “What is a pastry brush anyway?” To which the Bride declares, “I have no idea, the Groom requested it.”  I give the girls a hug goodbye but as I walk away, I point to my gift and say, “By the way, this is a pastry brush.” The girls all laughed as I slipped away with a wink and a smile.

Disheartened by this process, I am considering foregoing the desired effect next time and just succumb to the free gift bag and tissue paper emblazoned with Bed, Bath and Beyond. Nah, I may have not met my original expectation, but I still got a laugh in the end.

Tags: Rants & Raves

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