Yesterday I went to a pre wedding get together. This is what hen dos are called when you’re in your mid 30’s. A group of women and a couple of men enjoying a hearty lunch in a North London tavern. There was a distinct lack of drinking for a hen do. But as half the group were either pregnant or breastfeeding I guess it’s not so surprising. Apart from one trooper who had expressed all morning so she could enjoy some good wine on her first day out from her 4 month old.
Then there was me, making 1 glass of prosecco last 4 hours because I really really hope I’m pregnant. Even though it was only day 9 of my cycle, but you never know I may be one of those early ovulators. I hope I’m one of those early ovulators, otherwise I just passed up an opportunity to get sloshed with some of my dearest friends on a rare child free occasion.
Hen dos have changed significantly over the 20 years since I’ve been at attendance. From the Kitchen Tea that my oldest sister had. Where everyone brought presents for which to start her kitchen with. The premise I suppose being that the kitchen would be her domain rather than her husbands. These days you’re more likely to get a ‘bedroom’ present than a spatula.
My first actual friend got married at the age of 25 which we all thought was terribly young. I’ve since moved to the UK where young weddings seem to be the norm. There was a butler in the buff making us cocktails that had to be drunk through willy straws. Then we hit the town in true hen style with embarrassing attire for the bride and a list of silly things she had to accomplish through the night.
Then there were the heady days of the pre-recession hen do. These were my best friends from the London days. Weekends in Budapest, Bath and Poitiers, with our early 30’s no mortgage no kids income. Horse rides, spas, Michelin star restaurants and real champagne. No pink boas or rude head dress but there were plenty of vodka cocktails and dancing till dawn.
Most of my friends are married now and the hen dos have been replaced by children’s birthday parties. It’s nice to have an excuse to get friends together for a long afternoon lunch. It was brilliant to catch up with old friends and meet some of the bride’s family before the wedding. But as I finished my lamb chop with kale pesto, and took a sip of my made from real mint leaves tea, I couldn’t help thinking, I should have brought some willy straws…