Sidebar: Back when I used to watch the Real Housewives of Atlanta, I remember that one of the wives had a baby and then invited her friends and neighbors to an open house that she called a Sip 'n' See. I remember that the whole internet exploded in derision. Like, "Sip 'n' See, is that a thing? What IS that?" I was like, it is right there in the name. You sip and you see, it is not that difficult. So uppity, the internets!
Okay, so the Sip 'n' Shop. I had not yet visited her garden nursery. Pretty Neighbor and I wanted to show our support, so off we went. The place looked like a little marzipan cottage. Everything was very cute, and there was wine and cheese. We chatted with some of our buddies and made our way around to look at everything. One older lady had on a full-length mink coat. You don't often see that in these parts, because it's not cold enough. But tonight it was. It's in the teens with the windchill. She also had on a striking red hat and pearls.
Whereas I had texted the hostess to make sure this wasn't a dressy affair and that leggings are still pants, because I would be in my tennis clothes. Or I didn't check with her about the leggings, I've made my mind up about that.
I had planned to buy a wreath there, because I'd heard that they were so pretty. I was even prepared to spend some money on it, even though wreaths, like bows and throw pillows, fall into that category of things that Matt doesn't imagine actually costing money.
(My friend Veronica and I used to have a policy. When your husband asks you how much a jacket or a purse cost, take the first digit off the price and tell him the remaining numbers, and that will sound like a reasonable amount to him. "This purse honey? A splurge at $79." Like that. Anyway.)
So Pretty Neighbor and I closed in on a pretty wreath that was festooned with owls and feathers. I turned over the price tag. "Uh oh," I said, "It has a 'one' in front of it." I scooted over and picked up a bow instead. I had a wreath already that needed bedazzling. But then somehow on the way to the cash register, I wound up holding a centerpiece with greenery and bows and two little reindeer.
Pretty Neighbor goes, "You put that on your dining room table, it's gonna Christmas that shit right up!"
Then we made our way back to our neighborhood, and I went around and collected the kids, and I thought about what pleasure there is in bustling through the early dark, with agreeable children, and a warm house waiting.
Here's to sipping and/or shopping for all of us. Put a bow on something maybe.