I'm at that (dreaded) age when most of my friends have developed the highly contagious M&M disease, that is, Marriage and Motherhood.
I attended a bridal shower for one of my best friends and although I'm not keen on the idea of marriage (for myself), at heart I'm an optimist parading as a cynic.
So naturally I am very happy that she has found someone to bear testimony to her life.
Nevertheless, her party had me thinking about wedding traditions, "bridal showers" in particular. I've always hated the term, but compared to the other options - "hens' parties" and "kitchen teas" - it is reasonably okay.
But in comparison to the raunchy idea of the male version of a stag night, who wants to attend a toned-down tea?
So I decided to investigate. The idea apparently originates from Holland. According to an internet search, legend has it that a disapproving father refused to provide his daughter with the dowry she needed to marry a miller of modest income.
Since a woman couldn't marry without a dowry, townspeople sympathetic to the young couple's plight decided to take matters into their own hands. They "showered" the bride with gifts to make up for the dowry her stingy father refused to provide.
Bridal showers are also said to strengthen the ties between the bride and her friends because, hey let's face it, if that song Love changes everything is true, then what does marriage do?
In retrospect, the kitchen tea, hen party, bachelorette party, bridal shower or whatever (Shakespeare's famous "a rose by any other name" springs to mind) was quite a blast. In keeping with tradition, we did some of the usual stuff. My friend dressed up in a tiny skirt, white top and veil and walked through a mall with badges pinned onto very strategic places.
At home, she was forced to do a lap dance and answer questions about her future husband. (Note to self: Remind whoever does my bridal shower not to play this game because I would probably get some questions wrong and then contract a very sudden and strong bout of cold feet and not go down the aisle.)
The party made me realise the tradition is needed so that the bride-to-be can celebrate the end of her single life (Second note to self: Get my organiser to arrange a male stripper so I can end it with a bang. No pun intended!) and the beginning of their blessed union.
Another reason of equal importance: It is an opportunity for the friends of the respective bride-and-groom-to-be to gather and wish them all the things that make marriage work - communication, trust, honesty, love and ... fun.
PS: A heartfelt thanks to the two Lansdowne constables who assisted me last week when my car broke down, and to Fagmie Abass from Hanover Park who offered to tow me.