Susan Gelvin is a longtime resident of New Canaan who graduated New Canaan High School in 1992 and then earned a bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of Michigan. She is a mother of two and likes shiny things.
Over the past few years, New Canaan’s best kept secret has been the library’s well-guarded renovation plans. I had been anxiously awaiting the official reveal, after hearing murmurings of its impressive overhaul. Fortunately, the library’s recent video unveiling did not disappoint—I found it more riveting than many of this year’s Oscar-nominated movies. I haven’t been this excited about a library in…ever. The virtual renderings struck me as ambitious, as the broad scope of the plans and campus-like vibe took me by surprise.
As we enter a new decade and a vision of 2020 comes into focus, many New Canaanites are zeroing in on self-care. After all, it’s Jan-you-ary and no longer De-them-ber. I am borderline giddy to embark on a path to wellness, since most of December was spent sidelined by a head cold that just couldn’t quit me.
I hate to point fingers, but the carrier monkey of our poorly timed pre-Christmas plague was my better half. Normally my husband is the last suspect on my list of human petri dishes, since he has a freakish ability to will his body to wellness. However, this year, he succumbed to hosting a super virus that handily took him down.
The holiday party season has commenced and the celebration carousel is spinning—take hold, it’s going to be a long month of overindulging in excesses generously doled out by experienced, unflappable hosts.
We have seen it all, New Canaanites: elaborate drinks served by bartenders who overtly despise everyone; festive food stations that could satisfy the weekly meal requirements of a Division 1 football team; and merry-ish musicians who would rather you not submit special requests (or touch their microphones).
Everything is wonderfully over-the-top and I appreciate the extra effort. Yet for me, the thought of hosting more than a handful of people in my home makes me anxious. Unlike most New Canaanites, I lack Ina Garten’s suave, stressless hostessing skills. The entertaining that I do looks and feels the opposite of effortless, which is why it’s so rare. I am the Halley’s Comet of hosting: After a massive amount of time passes, I come ‘round with an invitation to a sub-par event.
My entertaining phobia most likely results from my upbringing.
Truth to be told, each fall I anxiously await the arrival of my kids’ annual school photos—it’s my guilty pleasure.
There is nothing more amusing than peering through the envelope’s acetate preview window to find a ‘retake’ glaring back, silently screaming for help. I have seen my fair share of horrific phot-ohs, both of me, personally, and my offspring. Naturally, the apple does not fall far from the photo booth. Year after year, school pictures are the gift that keeps on giving—a constipated smile, a rogue snaggletooth, a set of firmly closed eyes, or even an unfortunate Nutella smear around the mouth. Been there, done that.
Last fall, my son’s picture was taken almost immediately after running the timed mile at Saxe.
Approximately four times this year, car enthusiasts will descend on New Canaan for what’s known as Caffeine & Carburetors.
Droves of gearheads make their pilgrimage to our town to showcase and drool over antique, muscle, sports and luxury cars, while guzzling Zumbach’s coffee. I was lured to the most recent event in September by my brother-in-law, a Riverside resident and a regular Caffeine & Carbure-teur, who promised that I would have a blast. I mean, what’s not to love—I enjoy coffee and I do love carbs. In order to prep for my first C&C, I had to break my sacred Sunday morning sleep-in protocol, which is not my idea of a blast. However, I did feel excitement brewing as boastful engines could be heard ripping down South Avenue as they headed to the main event.