A few weeks ago, me and thirty or so other women gathered to shower a young woman for her upcoming wedding. Being the fashionista that I am, and one always eager to dress for the occasion, I was relieved to know that we had instructions in that regard.

We were to consider that time when Audrey Hepburn had breakfast at Tiffany’s.

We were to wear our little black dress and pearls.

Which I did (after purchasing one) and topped it off or rather bottomed it out with my Chinese knock off Chrisitan Louboutin’s. (Those red soled shoes scream sexy.)

It was fun and it was quite something to see the 20 somethings, and the 30 somethings, all the way to 80 something’s, and we were who we each were in our little black dresses.

We had petite fours.

While we were feting the bride, on a whim the husband of the hostess of the little black dress affair had thought to spend some time with the groom, beings he was in town already.

Ann, the hostess who I love, and Bill her husband, who I love too, have a special way about them.

With no more than two days to plan, a ‘tool bath’ had been organized. Bill conspired with the groom’s future father in law. While the black dress group sat around and sipped mimosas, the tool bath began in earnest 2 miles away.

In a garage.

With a bar b q pit.

And hotdogs.( I think the term that was used was man food).

Silent Bob and I got home about the same time.

He unclipped my pearls. I took off the most uncomfortable shoes I have ever put my feet into and asked him, “How was the tool bath?”

He didn’t say anything for a bit.

“It was good.”  That made me smile.

That was something coming from SB.

He gave a cursory description.

“Did you enjoy it?” I asked.

“We gave J.T. advice.” he finally said.

As he explained I could see it. The future father in law of the groom, having given the group time to acclimate to the whole idea and meet J.T. (some knew him well and some didn’t) had them sit in a circle. Collectively within that group of men were literally hundreds of years of marriage experience. Those years of experience were bounded by paths that intersected with their jobs and for all of them, faith. At different places and with different experiences, they were being asked to offer J.T. bits of wisdom. Marriage isn’t easy. For anyone.

This isn’t the first time I wished I’d been a fly on the wall of an event meant exclusively for men.

Silent Bob has mentioned the tool bath a time or two since. It made an impression on him. I’ve heard the same thing from a couple of the other tool bath participants. What I realized was that SB (and maybe the others) liked the chance to tell the hard earned advice they had to give.They had the chance to review what had worked.

I bet J.T. has thought about some of the mens words a couple of times. He may recollect a few more in the days ahead.

I’m thinking that there ought to be more tool baths.

In case you need the instructions, here they are:

Tool Baths Rock !!!!!

[N.B. Prep. time should not exceed 10 minutes, STOP at 10 minutes.]

Advantages over wedding shower ;
1. Decorations –  Zero
2. Dress attire –   Please put on shirts, flip flops ok
3. Food – BYO Wild Game Sausage links, NO CAKE (P.S. – ask a buddy for some, don’t look like a weenie)
4. Budget –  What ?
5. Location –  Garage of course !
6. Dogs –  Welcome, cats for entertainment, no betting.
7. Advance notice – Why ?
8. Surprise –  Why would any guy tell someone what he’s doing ?
9. Directions –  Don’t come if you ask for directions or maps
10. Entertainment –  Power Tool Garage Band, no dancing, esp. when drilling or sawing.

Amendment #11 (clause from lawyer attending) – write one very nice thank you note. Email that exact message to each person word for word. Should be 5 minutes.

Amendment #12 (clause from chef attending) – Invite chef or equal, cooks and smokers are extremely important!  If something blows up, no one will turn around, because you trust your chef. However, if there is a big fire, a time out can be taken to watch.

Amendment #13: Sit in a circle and provide advice for the groom. It will be much less complicated and more easy to follow than any he will get from the women in his life, not to say theirs won’t be important, the men’s will just be more straightforward. Also, he’ll know where he needs to go when he needs more. Which he will.