A photograph of my wife, KP, an hour before the Christmas party at our house this past Saturday. We had spent most of the day cleaning the house, cooking (deviled eggs, cheese straws, spiced pecans, cookies, bourbon balls and tartlets) and picking up last minute needs, including the staple, ice. Lots of it. With an hour to go before the invitation advised guests it was OK to come over, we had a chance to dress and enjoy a minute of calm before the storm.
KP doesn’t fit well into the stereotypical trappings of an American woman whom grew up in the last throes of the 20th century. Make-up and long hours “primping” bore the hell out of her; and she’s all the more beautiful because of it. And, despite a short phase 10 years ago where she liked clothes with fancy labels, preferably with that label showing on the outside, a clothes horse she is not.
But, she is a woman. And women seem to think the satiny Christmas party shirt is high fashion this holiday 2008 season. KP found hers at the mall for less than a meal for two at the local diner, and it is lovely.
Most women I have seen in the past month with the trademark satiny party shirt pair it with a dark skirt, or maybe some velvety slacks, just like Mrs. Claus might wear. And high heels always complete the outfit down low. This doesn’t work for KP. Heels seem to be the dumbest invention ever in her eyes, and I agree. Long skirts are OK, but she sees them as the domain of aging teachers and models in the L.L. Bean catalog.
KP pairs her new shirt with jeans, and a pair of Vans Old Skool sneakers, a pair of shoes she has owned in different incarnations (blues and blacks mostly, the originals) since I have known her (1993). It may not work for many women, and yes, this pairing is not going to show up in Cosmopolitan magazine next month (Bust magazine maybe!). But, I like how it all goes together. It screams “KP!;” and I think she is drop dead gorgeous.
In the photograph, KP sits in repose in our laundry room, on top of the dryer. Most fashion photos in the front and back of Vanity Fair magazine are posed on top of chaise lounges or Italian sports cars, but that is not our life. Our life is laundry.
By the way, the party went well. Many wonderful friends attended, and the food and drink lasted throughout the night. There were a couple of party “wild cards” in attendance; those people who seem so quiet and sweet when you usually encounter them, then choose a party with their peers to fuel up on drink and merriment and come out of their shell. Laughs and good times seemed to be had by all, which is all you can really ever ask out of a party. Expect any more, and you may very well be disappointed.