Monday, 3 May 2010

My Hen's

When we were young, my sister and I liked to play "libraries". We would take all our books - and we had a lot of books - and make a label that stuck to the back cover. These would be "stamped" with due dates. Green stickers on the spine meant Fiction. Red - non-fiction. They're still there on all our old books. Our libraries - for we played this game twice - were called Palm Tree Library, and Windsor Fountain Library. The game seemed to take all summer. No doubt Mum thought we were kinda autistic and weird for shutting ourselves in a room for weeks on end doing authentic-looking barcodes and organising the next-door neighbour's kids to come and "borrow" them (late fees 1c per day) but we didn't bother her, which must have been a bonus.
Now I thought we were pretty cool, doing our own libary, until I spent the day with my friend Meghann at her house. She and her sister Anna ALSO had a library. But they had taken it one step further. They had CATALOGUED their books. An actual filing system. Perhaps it followed the Dewey Decimal, I don't recall. I do recall feeling beaten.
20 years later, Meghann is now my head bridesmaid, and she used these incredible organisational skills to throw me the best Hen's Party any bride-to-be could ever want. She sent lists to my other bridesmaids (sister Megs and Trisha). There weren't any games at my Hen's - there were Initiatives. And each Initiative required a Facilitator. (Can you tell she works in HR)? So Trisha Facilitated the "How Well Do You Know Richard" Initiative. And so on. It was brilliant. I'm going to buy her a headset and clipboard for her birthday - and I can guarantee that she will use them.
So the actual Hen's day. It was the best. Meghann is my head bridesmaid, and we've been friends since infancy. We went to school together, to Uni, and have stayed mates when both of us were living in far-flung corners of the globe. Other bridesmaids are my sister Megan and boy-bestie Cameron as mentioned in previous post - last but not least is Trisha who I've known since I was 11 and lives in Melbourne. She was over in NZ for another wedding so we killed 2 birds with one stone and had a nice early Hen's so that my liver/skin/body could recover before the wedding.
We started off trying on earrings and shoes for the girls. I didn't want pigs-trotter satin horrors that cost a fortune. Luckily we found some very classy nude heels that were actually really wearable. I think I trotted out the usual bride excuse "you could definitely wear them again!!!" Seriously. How many of you have ever worn a bridesmaid dress again?
We had lunch at the Stables on Elliot which is this super cool food-court type place, but instead of 8 kinds of Chinese and 1 dead-dog-on-a-stick (kebab shop) they had Bruschettaria, Italian, German Bratwurst, Creperies and a whisky bar. I had an ENORMOUS bowl of pasta to line my stomach.
14 layers of makeup and a super cool blow dry from Tom at swishy Ryder later (a present from me to me, I am so generous) I'm ready to par-tay.
It's funny how you get 15 women in a room, and in literally 30 mins and a few bottles of bubbles, the decibels go through the roof. Meghann had organised all my friends to send her a story about me and also their favourite recipe, and she made a beautiful album from them. Perhaps this was a Group Initiative? Anyhoo it is the most wonderful thing I own. All these hilarious stories from school and old photos ... I bawl every time I read it. It's special. After presenting me with the book, we did the Quiz. Now, I hate losing. I am not allowed to do Pub Quizzes because I don't let anyone else answer and I get really mad if someone gets a question wrong (thanks, Dad-genes). Cameron had Facilitated part of this Initiative, by coming up with questions for Richard. No "what's Rich's favourite colour?" for Cam. Instead I had to battle with "what does Rich dislike?" "what was his first impression of you?" Putting it bluntly, I failed miserably. I had to be given HINTS. Sigh. Things came back on track with the next Initiative - a music quiz. Thanking my Dad-genes again, my team kicked butt.
It was time to head into town. Donning the obligatory veil, we had dinner at Brew in town, and acted our age by inhaling all the helium balloons in the room. Things get kinda blurry from here, but we ended up later at some totally rando dive bar on Karangahake Road (that's K Road to the linguistically challenged). Before we got there, the bar had 2 people and 6 teeth in it. After we got there, suddenly heaps of guys turned up. Why?! Anyhoo this bar had karaoke. It's another of my downfalls. Like a pub quiz, I don't like to let go of the control. In this case, the microphone. And because it was my Hen's, I was allowed to veto everyone else's song choice, and also take over the singing if I thought I could do better. So anyway I'm pretty sure I sang about 90% of the songs. The next day, my stomach was actually sore from belting out tunes. I have this horrid, awful feeling that a friend was VIDEOING me. Videoing. I'm super glad a Hen's happens only once because that kind of behaviour should not be tolerated as my old school principal would say. I even recall doing Like a Prayer with my veil over my face for the first bit, then I dramatically flung it off as we got into the dance-y bit. Except that my veil got caught in my hair so I'm trying to sing and my friend is trying to untangle me and I'm all, DAMMIT MY PERFORMANCE SHE IS NOT WORKING. Because all of Auckland's homeless were judging me.
So after we blasted everyone's ear drums with catchy 80's pop tunes, we went into Ponsonby to find people with teeth. Now Ponsonby is one of the things I miss about Auckland. Tauranga's night life is dire, people. Dire. There are two acceptable bars to be seen at. You can always get a drink at the bar and usually a carpark outside. Ponsonby - Every.Single.Bar. is packed to the rafters. There's always a party to go to. Heading to The Crib, there's a live band and wall to wall people. A few cougary type blondes tell me DON'T DO IT! But most people are super lovely. At least I think they were. Who knows. By this time my shoes are in my bag and I'm standing on a table. My new dress is covered in wine spillage and my stockings are laddered.
It's time to go home. Feeling no pain whatsoever, I potter around, taking off my makeup, texting various people to let them know I'm okay. (I only know this because they told me the next day). I even leave a message on Rich's phone, reassuring him that I didn't see any real penises whatsoever. I bawl over my beautiful album and pass out with the light on.
The next day - wake up, wish for death.
Bring on the wedding.


Megan said...

love it! was a great nite :)

Anonymous said...

Sounds like it was a lot of fun.

Fenella said...

Seriously bloody funny. You should write a book, I'd buy it.

Anonymous said...

love it Aims, so sorry I missed out on the fun! X

Nancy said...

I feel like I was at your Hen's Party. What a riot!

Tristan said...

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Gaijin Wife said...

What a great night! Megs said it was good fun. Would have liked to have been witness to the 'like a prayer' performance :)

From previous post - I don't remember libraries. My earliest memory is going down the stairs at France rd on a matress, eating a tub of icecream on the sly while a babysitter was there and collecting stuff to try and sell outside the house at a makeshift lemonade stall (and that grumpy old man who lived beside you who would only pay us 10c to sweep his driveway)

Good luck with the wedding preparations.

Oh, and the reason I'm even here - jumped from meg's page about your mag article. Haven't read it but great pic!