Although coronavirus has us socially distancing, life goes on.
People have found ways to continue toasting happy events, and many of those ways are quite creative, even though they’re not what we initially had in mind.
My nephew, Ben, is engaged and had a big wedding planned for the first part of October. He and his fiancée, Shevy, had venues booked, and we were making plans to attend their wedding in Virginia.
COVID stopped all that.
Ben and Shevy had to cancel everything. As a family that loves to celebrate together, the news was disappointing. We also realized we wouldn’t be able to host a bridal shower for Shevy and scrambled for an alternative.
Showers are a big deal in many families, mine included. My mother’s idea of what makes a great shower and mine are often at opposite ends of the spectrum. A few years ago, she came over early to help with a shower I was giving at my house.
She was inspecting the plates of snack foods and stopped at the chicken-salad sandwiches.
“You didn’t cut the crusts off the bread,” she said, pointing at the triangles of sandwiches on the plate.
“And I don’t plan to,” I told her. To me, that was too much work and I had no intention of standing by the sink and cutting crusts off all those sandwiches.
“People know sandwiches have crusts,” I told her as I dumped some chips in a bowl and put a can of store-bought dip next to the bowl.
While I finished a few last-minute preparations, my mother quietly got a serrated knife out of the drawer and cut the crusts off the sandwiches.
People at the shower commented on how elegant the sandwiches looked. My mother smiled. I rolled my eyes. But the next time I hosted a shower, I grudgingly cut the crusts off because I learned that little extra step did give the sandwiches a fancy look.
My sisters-in-law, nieces and sisters go all out for showers, and I’m amazed at the professional level of culinary and decorating skills our nieces have demonstrated. They created original invitations, made party favors that matched the colors of the wedding and decorated their tables in an up-to-date, modern style.
Following their grandmother’s advice, they cut the crusts off all the sandwiches.
We have brilliant nieces.
But we were still stumped on what to do for Ben and Shevy. Sister Diane came up with a Zoom shower, yet we were quite nervous about how to run the shower. Zoom meetings are usually for business or school, so we weren’t sure what to do when.
Despite our worrying, the shower came off flawlessly. My sister found a game where people got points for finding obscure things in their home, if you consider a VCR obscure, and points for having more than 1,000 pictures on one’s phone.
Relatives from all over the country, including France were there, and it was wonderful to see everyone, even if it was electronically.
We laughed, played the game, watched Ben and Shevy open their gifts and because we were all in the same area – a computer screen – nobody was left out of conversations.
Nothing beats being at family functions in person, but the virtual shower was pretty simple. When the call was over, we were finished – no dishes or pots to clean, gifts to haul out to the car or leftovers to divide between the hostesses.
Preparation chores were non-existent – no bathrooms to clean, rugs to vacuum or furniture to dust.
Best of all – no cutting the crusts off the sandwiches.
I think we hit gold.
Denise’s email is email@example.com.