And so, I was sitting with my Made of Awesome eating cheesecake and consulting
the Oracle Google about options for my hen/bachelorette weekend.
‘But what do you want to doooo?’ she asked.
‘I don’t care. Surprise me. No Loch Ness cruises, please. And no pampering bullshit. But surprise me. Should we take a cocktail-mixing class? Or go back to Prague? New York? Surprise me, though. I don’t care.’
‘How many people are we inviting?’
‘Everyone. No one. Just us. Just send me somewhere by myself. Can I take Neil? I really don’t want to go. I’m not a girly weekend kinda kid.’
‘Shut up. We’re doing something.’
‘That’s what I’m asking you.’
We thought about renting a country house, but couldn’t find anything accessible. And then I had a lightbulb.
‘Let’s book the B & B I always go to.’
‘But you always go there.’
‘That’s the point. Full circle or some shit. And it’s accessible.’
So we booked the same B & B in Inverness I’ve been spending various weekends in since I was 17.
‘Are you sure?’
‘Yes, just no boats.’
The weekend came and we actually went to Inverness. No actual surprises. I drove through with my sister-in-law, while the rest of the crew trained up. I imagined they were plotting.
We arrived to chocolate-covered strawberries sent by a wonderful friend who couldn’t be there.
The girls put butterfly wings on me and we went to dinner.
‘Maybe don’t eat a lot,’ they said.
‘Are you kidding? I’m having one of everything. And two desserts.’
I didn’t. But I did have a lot of cider.
I kept looking over my shoulder for surprises from New York. I got a few. But no one still of this earth actually walked through the door.
‘I gotta pee,’ I said, and went to the bathroom with my Made of Awesome.
‘I have something to tell you,’ she said. ‘We’re going on a boat.’
‘DOOOD. I said no boats.’
‘You said no so much I thought you were joking, and it reminded me of that dinner cruise we took in Prague which was my best time with you ever, so far.’
‘AW, THAT’S SO SWEET. I LOVE YOU.’
‘I LOVE YOU, TOO!’
‘But what about that time that doctor gave me penicillin by mistake and I threw up on your kitchen table? Wasn’t that our best time ever, so far?’
We went back to the B & B, and I called Neil. Only once. Not once an hour.
I woke up in the middle of the night just in time to tell my step-mother-type-person that all those ciders were about to re-appear, in glorious techi-vomit.
‘Man, even my throw up is purple. That’s kinda neat.’
And the next day, hungover, we went on a boat.
Dinner that night was nice, but lighter than the night before. And I think we traded candles for glow-in-the-dark penises.
The next day dawned and for someone who requested ‘no pampering bullshit’, I did enjoy the airy-fairy massage my crew booked for me. And I still remember the conversation I had with the misguided masseuse:
Her: What’s the occasion?
Me: A hen weekend.
Her: Oh, are you a bridesmaid?
Me: No, I’m the bride.
Her: Oh, right. Champagne?
At the end of the weekend, Neil asked if I had a good time. I told him I did, but I really didn’t need to go on another hen night ever again.
That weekend flooded back to me this morning, thanks to Facebook memories.
5 Years Ago Today… I was smiling in front of a boat.
Last night was Isla’s first dance class. I snapped a photo through my Mom-tears before she left.
She let her Dad put her hair up and smiled like him.
We got in the car and Isla said, ‘Look out dance class, I’m coming to get you.’
Go on, my girl.
One minute I’m at my Grandparents house, pretending to be Dorothy Hamill one day, and Dolly Parton the next.
Walking with my metallic blue crutches, pretending my heels were making tap sounds.
Five years ago, I was standing next to a boat offering up silent, hungover wishes.
That I didn’t throw up on the boat, or fall asleep on the boat, and that the impending marriage I was celebrating would one day produce a kid that could dance and sing and do whatever she wanted.
Because she wanted to, not because I wanted her to do things I couldn’t.
Last night I sat there, watching my kid’s face above all others. Because that’s my kid and also because she’s tall. All the skips and jumps and waves to me (OK, one wave to me).
One wish from five years ago today came true.
Go on, my girl.
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Also published on Medium.