I have been married since Brian Mulroney was Prime Minister. When the husband and I got hitched, the "me" generation was the cultural buzzword, Oliver North was entangled in Iran-Contra and Duran Duran was a popular rock group! I know that many of you probably have marriages that pre-date this era, but we are fairly proud of our longevity, given the wretched divorce statistics that are pervasive in our society. We were young marrieds certainly under today's definition, and even back then. (And they said it wouldn't last!!! HA!!) I was never much for the whole wedding hoopla. I wasn't one of those girls who dreamt and planned their entire wedding day. I never imagined myself in the dress and I never had visions of floral arrangements or first dances. (the husband and I cannot even recall the song that we danced to at our wedding. If any of you readers out there were present and remember the song we would love to know what it was!!) I simply wanted to get married and the centre of attention stuff was just something that I chalk up to life experience. I remember being a bit put off by the pre-wedding entertainment circuit. I couldn't imagine attending a bunch of showers, teas and parties that:
A. Put me as the focus of everybody's attention where they were forced to laud me with gifts, roasts and tributes or
B. Were women only!!
Hen parties have never been my style. The construction of ridiculous hats out of bows, ribbons and wrapping paper, the playing of slightly off-colour games, the innuendo--not for me! In the ensuing years, bridal showers have taken on a decidedly more masculine bent. It is not uncommon for women to fete their soon-to-be brides with bachelorette parties complete with all of the sophomoric behaviour of their male counterparts. But, there still harkens a need for women to gather and celebrate the ensuing nuptials. And, so it was that a group of women gathered yesterday to welcome a young bride in waiting into the obstructive minefield known as marriage.
When it was announced that a friend's son was engaged, the planning committee went into overdrive. A series of unforeseen life events advanced the wedding date and in it's turn, the shower. I am certain that the bride wondered what this pre-wedding stuff was all about. She barely knows her future mother-in-law's friends, and I can't imagine how uncomfortable she and her mother must have been entering the lair of 22 middle-aged Jewish mothers. But, there we were ready to feed, fete and educated her! The early tension was somewhat evident as the women arrived and the poor girl and her mother were introduced and re-introduced to the entire gaggle. How does anybody even attempt to remember 22 names and match them with 22 faces? We were in desperate need of an ice-breaker. (Either that or some fairly potent booze!!) And then, like a saviour from above, she arrived. Our friend with the skills!! You see, one of our dear friends has been studying and teaching belly-dancing for several years. She is an eclectic woman, this friend. Her interests are varied and her sense of style is impeccable, so when she took to belly-dancing, it neither shocked nor surprised us!! She has travelled around the world trying the dance in it's various forms and purchasing the necessary garb.
Firstly, she provided us all with decorative scarves complete with coinage on the ass!! The sound was unmistakable. The music permeated the room as we waited for friend to return. Where was she? Changing into her costume, of course. She was magnificent. (When I grow up, I want to have a body like my friend!!) For the next half an hour, she proceeded to give us a crash course in the movements of the belly! We shook and shimmied! I moved parts of me that I didn't know could move! (I am not the most coordinated of individuals and discerning my right from my left is a chronic problem!!) We were a sight. A group of middle-aged women attempting to rediscover their pelvises!! We banged into one another and bumped and ground and laughed until we peed!! It was truly liberating and less embarrassing than you might think. It is a workout of mega-proportions (we were sweating pretty good!!) and my abs are quite sore this morning. There is a story to this dance, but I think the fact that we were all women made it that much more exciting!! (Men in the room--sorry! It would have made the experience voyeuristic as opposed to empowering!) It certainly was exactly what the party needed. Once you see your friends shaking their hips, there are no more reservations!! This was a shower that shook and shimmed the ages. Way to go, all and Mazel Tov to the bride and groom!!
Check out the photos. I thought about blurring the faces to protect the guilty, but I think that would diminish the empowerment! Anyway, we are all in the same boat, so enjoy!!