No blog today. Sorry. Too busy driving from one mansion to another with my son and his lovely fiancee, scouting wedding venues. The gifts aren't wrapped yet. Some are still in the mail and may not arrive in time, and the rest gather dust as we chug from place to place, imaging green lawns under the snow, and long white dresses instead of tightly buttoned coats. Sometime today a turkey must be procured, a dessert for Christmas dinner decided on, adequate nutrition for my vegetarian daughter-in-law to be included in the traditional holiday dinner. But we are walking down long halls on elegant old carpets, under highly detailed ceilings and imaging where the bride will walk--down a staircase? Down the wide stone steps?
Bride's rooms with tall mirrors and enough empty floor space for that beautiful gown. Grooms rooms--formerly the smoking rooms of millionaires--complete with a big screen TV concealed in an armoire. Menus. Open bars. Linens. Flowers. My husband's eyes goggle when I tell him how it all adds up. So do mine.
We got married in the hippie era--someone's living room, or out in an autumn field--and all of this feels foreign and hard to process. But there is nothing lovelier than new love, nothing more pleasing, really, than watching this young couple taking it in, supporting each other through the process, asking complimentary questions as they try to get a sense of what, in this barrage of information, dollar signs, and personalities, is "them."
I haven't baked a single cookie this season. The poinsettias are already dropping their leaves. One holiday cactus is in rebellion, scattering its tiny pink buds across the sideboard instead of opening. The long, heavy stalk of amaryllis suddenly folded in the middle and collapsed instead of bursting forth in bloom. The world's ugliest centerpiece, a ghastly three-tired droop of faux green leaves and red plastic berries, bought as a joke at Home Depot one year, is surrounded by a sea of wrapping paper. It doesn't need water or care, just the occasional flick with a duster. I'm liking it better all the time.
On the way to the gym in a few minutes--a futile activity given how much sugar gets consumed at this season on a daily basis--I'll blast some holiday music and see if I can get myself moved into a holiday mood--before I get back in the car and drive to the train station to collect my sister-in-law. Then it's off to the grocery store. When am I going to watch "It's a Wonderful Life" or "Love Actually" or any of my other Christmas favorites? Could we just get a few extra hours over here?
But I am not complaining. Really. I think this is shaping up to be a lovely holiday week. Perhaps today Jake and Robyn will find the venue of their dreams. A turkey will be seized and dragged home. I'll have the patience to stroll through a crowded store with my 91-year-old mother-in-law.
Best of the season to you all....if you're here reading this, and even if, like me, you're out in your car, trying to get it finished up. Smile, remember what the season is about, and if you've got some free time---drop by and wrap my presents, please, will you?