The shower invitation arrived several weeks ago, sent out by an organized group of sisters. It came complete with a map to The Garden of Wonderland.
I did not need the map, which had the message at the top: "Don't be Late, for a Very Important Date!" for it was at the home of the daughter of one of my dearest friends in the world, Susan.
An Alice in Wonderland theme made this shower sound like a lot of fun.
The invitation hung on my fridge in a prominent place so that it wouldn't get lost amongst the paper that proliferates our house. Last week, as the date approached, I went shopping at Babies R Us and planned my Saturday around going to the shower.
In the morning I did my usual Saturday morning thing: watering of plants; tidying up; laundry and talking on the phone to Mum and Robert.
My nails were a disaster. I don't pay much attention to them unless there is a special occasion, and this qualified. I decided to haul out the vibrating foot bath that was one of Paul's Christmas gifts (this would be my first try at it.) Lest you think I'm an ungrateful receiver of gifts, let me explain. I am not a "sit in one place and soak my feet" kind of person--usually. But this was just the time for it to come into its own!
It worked perfectly, buzzing away, vibrating, while my feet soaked in warm water, softening them up.
I painted finger and toe nails, and then, noticing that the morning was rapidly slipping away, quickly got dressed. I was afraid that in spite of my efforts to be ready in lots of time, I was going to be at least five minutes late.
I shouted goodbye to Paul who was busy in the garden, and set out with all speed for the nearby town of Alliston, thinking to myself as I drove, "I'm late, I'm late, for a very important date."
The sun shone in a cloudless sky. I had taken along an umbrella to use for shade, as well as a lawn chair. The gift in beribboned bag, sat on the back seat of my car. I was prepared!
To my surprise I wasn't late after all. I arrived right on the dot of 2 o'clock. The unfamiliar experience of being on time felt good.
It was surprisingly quiet at Beth's house though. No cars to be seen, but I thought that perhaps everyone was inside hiding. Up the lane way at Susan's house, I could see cars. Maybe that was where they parked.
I knocked on Beth's side door. No one answered, although a barking dog came to look at me through the window.
Undeterred, I got in my car and drove up the lane way. The shower must have moved to Susan's for some reason!
I parked the car, walked up the tree shaded path to Susan and Ron's door and knocked. Ron opened the door, and to my, "Hello, where's the shower?" replied with a quizzical look, "Shower?"
"Ron must be out of the loop," I thought, until Susan appeared from behind him, dressed...well, I'll let her tell you. This is what she wrote later that day on Face book:
I love it when one of my BFF's shows up a week early all gussied up for Abby's baby shower, finds me in my jammies and totally unkempt, shoves the junk aside on my kitchen table and upon finding there's no party for another 8 days, ends up staying for tea instead!
Yes, dear friends, I was exactly 8 days early! I cannot explain why. I see that on the invitation, it quite clearly says, "July Twentyfifth."
As you see, Susan and I did not waste a serendipitous opportunity to have an unexpected tea party of our own.
And I'm hoping my nails hold out until next Sunday! :