I'm waiting around for a table to come from Crate and Barrel today.  It's a nice mahogany table.  We've already received three matching chairs and are expecting the fourth, and final, one today or tomorrow as well.

We arrived home from Nicole’s bridal shower Sunday with a carload of stuff from Target and Crate and Barrel. We received: four complete dining sets (I think); new pots; lots and lots of bowls; a lamp; a toaster oven; and more. The depth of the materialism indicates my love for Nicole.

The men were asked to leave while the women gave Nicole gifts, ate food, and dispensed advice, which mostly consisted of things like, “Don’t go to bed angry” or “Save the weekends for each other,” though my grandmother’s advice–“Please listen to me before you pass judgment and do as I say”–brought the house down.

The man-group consisted of me, my dad, my aunt’s boyfriend Mitch, my mom’s friend Charlotte’s husband Bill, and Nicole’s dad. We went to a brewery, ate sandwiches, and talked about travel, trains, and flirted with harmless forms of politics. When we arrived back home, we ate cake and had a few Coronas. The women all said, “We know so much about you now!” Nicole later informed me that she’d told them that I tend to clog strangers’ toilets at the most inconvenient times (when is it convenient?). This came up because I’d done so at her parents’ house soon after meeting her, and her dad had to do the plunger. She offered this story to the group.

It was on of the most surreal experiences of my life. I felt like I was being carried along the conveyer belt of tradition. It didn’t feel bad, this automation, but I was somewhat removed from it. Nicole and I were describing our very similar eating habits to a friend the other day and I remarked that the biggest difference was her use of condiments. “I like to eat sandwiches with just bread and a veggie burger. She needs mustard and lettuce.” I’m not dealing with the sublime here, but it makes a point. I don’t need the dressing, but Nicole likes it, so we do it. Now we have a new table on the way.