When I opened the invitation to this year’s big Easter Egg hunt under — “dress code” — it clearly said: “weather appropriate.”
And if you recall, Easter Sunday was rather damp, cool, and gloomy. On my way out the door I grabbed the first thing my fingers picked up which clearly communicated a “tweedy” vibe.
If I’ve learned anything from enduring four seasons of Downton Abbey’s spectacularly Moorish English Countryside: it’s that when in doubt — wear tweed. Even if we fail to get a drop of rain, I’ll still look buckets better than the other blokes.
What I did fail to remember was that the lining and collar of this particular outer coat coat was…how do I say this without sounding grotesquely stupid…
My first encounter was with one innocent yet excessively astute little girl who must have been part of PETA’s Satellite Spy Network. Smart little girl. She waited until I was within earshot of everyone’s collective howl of disgust — before she unleashed:
“Daddy! That man is wearing a coat made out of The Easter Bunny!”
“And The Oscar for Best Supporting Actress in a motion picture goes to…”
At which moment it seemed as though howling an explanation in my defense would come across as sad and desperate. So, I just explained to the little tyke that my coat was lined with Paddington Bear — not the Easter Bunny. And that while I had her full attention (maniacal eye contact works wonders with easily-distracted children), I explained that without a moment’s hesitation I would happily create next year’s winter fashion out of her very own Labra doodle/oodle, Charlie — if she didn’t drop the drama surrounding my coat.
Problem solved. Except now I had a blistering headache and needed someplace to retire the nightmare-of-a-coat. I made my way up to the second floor bath (after graciously asking the hostess for an Advil, she knew exactly where to go). The room was lined with freshly mounted big-game trophies.
Clearly, the miniature lady of this manor was NOT given free access to THIS room. It was like something out of Dexter’s worst nightmare. Yet directly beneath the mounted mother and three baby Pandas — was a door. Made to look more like a section of paneling than an actual bathroom entrance.
So, after finishing up my business, I ran back down the staircase to join in on The Easter Egg Hunt. Newly energized, I left my guilt in the grass (Lush, emerald — it was more like one purchases at ABC Carpet and Home) How nice for them!
I was later told by a catering waiter that all the grass had been flown in and implanted — much like hair plugs —because it had been such a cold March.
Why not just tighten the Earth’s orbit around the sun?
Or have the party and guests relocated to a warmer climate? Easter in Kauai. Now that’s surely a thrilling canvas on which all the kids could create some top-shelf memories!
Good luck getting the Faux Fabergé Easter Eggs through customs.
Do I sound bitter? I’m really not bitter at all. I’m terribly grateful for being included in such a warm, family-focused event. Although I doubt I’ll ever get the butter crème out of my Crêpe de chine trousers. I can always send my precocious hosts the bill. They so get me. And wouldn’t stop giggling until they licked the stamp. And realized just how fetid today’s postal accouterments taste.
Who am I kidding? I’m mailing the letter to the head office of their broad network of global money managers!
I don’t quite remember why I even have that address…
Something to do with an overheated gravy boat and a sloppy, ill-placed dinner guest…
I’m just so happy to have survived “The Holidays” without a cigar burn on my neck.
Don’t ask. It’s obviously none of your business. And a historic, tasteful, East End newspaper would never print the story.
So, now I find myself looking wistfully towards Memorial Day. I can almost smell the warm pies scattered about Round Swamp Farm cooling. Before being rushed off to their respectively festive, balmy, late suppers — featuring a mélange of meats on the BBQ, corn on the cob, and an undoubtedly overdressed, soggy chopped salad.
“Well — there goes that t-shirt. I don’t know why I even bother! I don’t even like salad. Not even remotely. It’s my own damn fault for wearing it. Never again! If it wasn’t for the pie and ice cream, I’d be in the car and halfway home by now…”
PETER HAMILTON TRAVIS would like to dedicate this column to his mother, Ruth Mackay Travis — who left the party early — never missing an opportunity each and every Easter Sunday to leave a basket of assorted confections outside my bedroom door.