But before I began this surreal process, I gathered my closest friends together for the now infamous "hip shower” last Saturday. I am so, so happy I decided to go ahead with it. At first it felt kind of lame - throwing yourself a party is a weird enough, but celebrating having your hip bone cut out, moved and pinned back together (click here for info about the procedure I am having done)? Yeah, not your normal sort of celebratory event.
Preparing for the shower with my mom was stressful and a hell of a lot of work. We treated it like a real shower - gifts, party favors, games, little speeches and a specialty cake.
I even wore Vera Wang. True, they were Vera Wang pajamas...but that still counts! (I topped the outfit off with matching pale pink earrings and heels that for some bizarre reason I already owned.). Oh so glamorous. And yes, most everyone else wore some form of PJs too. Mendoza Line won the best costume prize for busting out her Grandma Bertha’s long velour robe.
Thanks to my brother Pat-hole's amazing bead collection, I spent an entire day making earrings for everyone to choose as a party favor.
My mom went to a specialty baker in town and had a hip-shaped cake made. It came out looking more like a bizarre tooth, but it still made an impact and put a smile on everyone's face.
And the topper….anatomically correct hipbone key chains for everyone to take home with the following inscription: Be “Hip” 3-23-09 (date of my surgery). I even gave one to my surgeon and told him to keep it with him on the big day.
As for games, I wanted to keep it simple and fun (and of course the winners got a prize). I know people’s tolerance to act silly in front of a bunch of people they may not know that well is limited, so I opted not to do the crutch race (though I liked the idea!). Instead we played "Pin the Hip on DT" - a big success in my opinion. We used the poster I created from the invitation's x-ray image, and used the bright pink glow located at the hip joint as the target. Everyone could choose which kind of "healing band aid" they wanted, depending on their belief system - Jesus or Enchanted Unicorns. Not that I’m reading too much into this, but I only had Jesus band aids left over in the end. I blindfolded everyone and for the most part, they missed by a mile.
For the second game, my mom made a "prescription bottle" filled with "pain pills" (Good & Plenty’s) and everyone had to guess how many pills in the bottle.She made the cutest label that read "Take as many as needed for sweet relief. Dr It's Good-Plenty."
My absolute favorite part of the day was when everyone introduced themselves, saying how they knew me. I usually keep one or two important people with me from each phase of my life. So, at the age of 36, this leaves quite a range. Friends were there from college all the way through to some spectacular women I met just months ago (high school friends -- and even a few of my fellow bloggers -- were there in spirit but live too far away). Not to mention my mom's friends who have known me since before I was born.
It's no secret that I've been feeling extremely down and sorry for myself the past few months about this surgery. But having all those people around me - people I feel so comfortable with - helped to remind me who I am. And I'm actually someone I like. Lately I've felt like nothing more than a medical problem accompanied by constant pain, negative emotions, and endless favors asked of my family and friends during my recovery. But being there, cracking jokes with everyone, feeling the love..well, the shower accomplished exactly what I had hoped. And I am proud of myself for making it happen (and eternally grateful to my mom for all her help).
Where was Wine Guy in all of this? Well, leading up to the event, he was really pissing me off. Of course, these days he just has to breath and I'm pissed off (yeah, I have been a nightmare to live with). But the night before the shower, when I really needed him (I put him in charge of bartending) he jumped into action. While I went to my mom's to party prep the night before, he stayed home mixing the perfect, spicy Bloody Mary mix. Then he showed up right on time and ran that bar like a professional, custom mixing drinks, being friendly but out of the way, and keeping everything neat and tidy. Every woman there was bowled over by his "level of service."
All this time I'd been upset because he seemed so disinterested in it all. He didn't seem to care about the games we were planning, the decorations, the outfits. I wasn't even sure he was really going to come. But clearly I was just drowning in my negative assumptions because he was a dream boyfriend and I couldn’t thank him enough. He didn't even want my gratitude...I think he actually enjoyed it.
But it was an important lesson for me. Well, more of a reminder actually. Wine Guy is a man - no matter how much of a “friend” he might seem like sometimes. And men simply don't want to talk about party planning and outfits (I know, obvious, but I can be pretty stupid about men sometimes). It's nothing personal.
The important thing is that he actually does what he says he'll do and that he shows me that he loves me in his own way. Not the way I am used to with my female friends, which is usually listening and talking about things ad nauseum.
Wine Guy showed me that he he does love me and is there for me when I need him. And I know he will continue to be there during my recovery. And that says a lot. Probably everything I need to know.
Yet a few hours after the shower, he surprised me with his total male cluelessness with a sincere question, "Why did everyone keep talking about weddings? What was that all about?" He simply did not get that this party was a spoof of a bridal shower. No clue. Oh, to be a man who doesn’t have to know what happens at a bridal shower. Sigh.
Tonight we are going to dinner at a new restaurant I’ve been eager to try and then WG is taking me to the musical "Working" (based on the Studs Terkel book that I am currently reading - and loving). This is my last night out before I am reduced to a drugged up, bed-ridden, walker-using invalid, who will hopefully heal quickly and get a heck of a lot of knitting and reading done during my 3 months off of work.
I appreciate everyone's good wishes, thoughts, prayers, whatevers. And I'll catch you on the other side.