1) Andy got us an exquisite breakfast made, as in The Pursuit of Love, "out of little bits of nothing at all:" tomato and cheese, an egg rolled up like a crepe, and other savory bites. And excellent coffee.
2) A lazy morning reading the news and lounging about the pool and hot tub culminated in a trip down Comical Street to the farmer's market by Town Hall. I came away with something I can't get in Boston: a jar of beach plum jam.
3) Then all of a sudden it was time to prepare for the White Party. I really couldn't get excited about my own outfit and ended up opting for the classic simplicity of one of the white cotton shirts I got in Greece with some brand-new boxer briefs and my boater. Not even a string of pearls. At the party one friend even said I appeared "dignified," which is really NOT what the WP is about.
3a) In the words of the late Mr. Babcock, "Undignified?! At least I'm wearing a vest!"
4) We three took off a whisper before 2 PM (the start of the party) and headed down Comical Street resplendent in our white. Lawn chairs were starting to come out up the street to observe the Passing Show. Soon we noticed white-clad revelers behind and before us, all "bent on pleasure" as they say in the novels.
4a) In front of one house a sizeable group had gathered along with a boom box playing "Stayin' Alive" and Kate Clinton Herself with a microphone. I was able to kiss her hand and say "I've always loved you, and here you are" before passing along.
5) The party was in full swing by the time we arrived at 2:12 PM, and there was already a line for check-in being kept in line by the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence. And what a surprise, the representative of the beneficiary organization checking everyone in was someone I had to work closely with on a work event 20 years ago! OH MY GOD, IT'S YOU!
6) I was taught early on that on arrival it's best to go to the bar furthest from the entrance and get two drinks, because later the lines get so long. Happily for me, friends were already congregated in that particular area, and after I'd loaded up with two G&Ts we cowered in the shade of a cottage for a bit catching up.
7) The costumes included a New England clambake, ABBA, the last two living white rhinos, Marilyn Monroe, some fabulous Louis XIV headdresses made out of toilet paper rolls, translucent hazmat suits, a group of manscapers with some frightening lawn equipment, a knee-length hoop skirt made of peonies, floor-length hoop skirts with no skirts and almost nothing but legs under them, and the usual number of sailors, tennis players, drag queens, speedos, and underwear. I saw only one parody of Melania Trump's jacket. The WP is always somewhat risqué, so I also enjoyed the semi-transparency of a few lace gowns and gym shorts.
7a) At the party I came up with two possible themes for costumes (for someone else) to wear next year: a) "Eat at Sal's" and b) "Ingmar Bergman Mary Poppins." Add to this the drag name we came up with at lunch Friday: Announcia Prevençion.
8) The beach had been augmented this year with an artificially high dune just outside the property boundary. It didn't stop the party from spilling over to the beach, as usual. Only later did I hear about the extensive flood damage to the property because of the winter storms.
9) File under Nel mezzo del camin' di nostra vita: this year medical issues got talked about more. I noticed canes for the first time (not as part of a costume, that is), and symptoms and diagnoses were mentioned to me in no less than three conversations.
10) Finalmente, it was time to ankle off to tea, which I did with two friends, running the gauntlet with two friends and passing by this shoe-warning sign at ye Ryd Ynne.
11) My one anxiety about tea after the WP is having to wait in line at ye Bytteslyppe to pay the cover charge; everyone else has a townie pass. This year only the most negligible line, and it moved quickly, so yay!
12) We stood in the shadows and chatted over drinks, gradually watching the deck become overcrowded. Miss Gogo was certainly working at double-quick time behind the bar! When the entire experience became too claustro for me, I let a phone call take me out to Comical Street.
13) All good things must come to an end, and back at the house we three opted for an early dinner at Liz's (superb chicken milanese), and then The Great British Baking Show after I'd had a quick promenade to Town Hall and back. Interesting to see how much drama and suspense they can coax out of these situations.