The bridal shower originated in the 1890s. It is common in the USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand; but it is just a new phenomenon for British people, even those who have crossed the pond and pledged allegiance to the flag! Unsurprisingly with our history steeped in formality and a stiff upper lip, we British are less prone to celebrating anything and everything: Valentine’s day is one card for your loved one; Halloween used to be a nonevent as on November 5th we have Bonfire night. This involves fireworks and throwing an effigy of Guy Fawkes (traitor) on the top of a huge bonfire and watching it burn while we eat sausages, parkin (google it) and treacle toffee. A nice child friendly event! However, if the USA sneezes, the UK starts with a cold so these events are growing in popularity, much to the delight of the high street retailer.
Alyssa’s shower was enjoyable although a little uncomfortable for a divorcee, asked to share Key Success Factors for a long and happy marriage. Although I managed 20 years of matrimony, I felt suitably unqualified to comment, whatever was running through my mind had an air of cynicism attached to it, however I tried to rephrase it. Then we were asked for funny stories.
It rained with vengeance on my wedding day, of course it did, it was April in England. My father raced up the church path with the umbrella over his head, while I tried to run in a big frock with an old school friend, who happened to be walking past the church, trying to run after me carrying my train. Where were my bridesmaids you might ask, full of champagne, laughing raucously from the protection of the church porch! After hanging like a dead weight on my dad’s arm trying to slow his pace from a gallop to a steady walk (was he perhaps fueled by the possibility that either I or my groom would change our minds and he would never get rid of me?), we arrived at the altar. My dashing groom, whispered in my ear: “We are not doing the service we practiced at the rehearsal, the Vicar prefers the traditional service, follow his lead!” WHAT? And marriage began………
As I watched Alyssa self-consciously open her gifts, I tried to remember the excitement I had felt, that I saw in her face, all the great moments that they will share and a future that will bring so many new experiences, travel, children, first home, so many emotions, happiness, sadness, fear, exhilaration, disbelief and joy.
My only offerings are be you, be kind to each other, keep a sense of humor and communicate clearly, you are on the same team.
P.S. If you ever find yourself watching a group of people burning an effigy of a human being, don’t questions it too much, just go with the flow!