It is beautiful outside. The sun is REALLY shining. Birds are chirping. It is summer, which means weddings, which means gutwerera and bridal showers (and the inevitable pressure that comes with weddings). Almost every weekend on your calendar is booked. Every now and then, you get texts reminding you to attend those wedding planning meetings (a.k.a. the fundraisers). You groan everytime you get such a text.
If you are a chick and also a friend to the soon-to-be bride, you’ll be added to a new WhatsApp Group called ‘Gisele’s bridal shower’, then the fun will begin (Hehe). The admin will welcome you all and inform you that it’ll be a surprise for the bride (bya he?) and that the shower is due in 2 weeks. She’ll proceed to tell you that the contribution is fixed at not less than 5000frw, followed by contact details to transfer the cash to. Dress code: all white.
For me, the concept of sitting in a room with a bunch of women (whom I don’t know) while one special lady sits on a throne-like chair for hours freaks me out. I hate bridal showers. However, I don’t hate showers out of jealousy or the urge to be on the receiving end. Naah! I may say that I hate showers and be told “Do not worry, it’ll be your turn soon” Hehe! I can’t even predict what the next day of my life will look like, let alone harbor the idea of getting married and having babies! Anyhow, I know that couples need household items, and we all need all the help we can get. But isn’t that what wedding gifts are meant for? I find these showers unnecessary. And I always wonder why these bridal showers don’t include men? If the marriage is between a man and a woman (as per Rwandan Constitution), why should the shower be an all-female event? Also, men have money, and more money equals more gifts, and we all know that showers are gift-grab events.
Bridal showers aside. There’s also the (inevitable) pressure that comes with weddings. The pressure of being single. I don’t feel the pressure on the daily, but when I get ‘save the date’, I can’t help but think “am I missing something?”. I wonder why the fuck am I single? And there’s always that relative or your mother’s friend who for whatever reason needs to know why I’m still in school after so long, why I’m still single, and what I’m doing about it. Like my choices are any of their damn business. They be giving subtle hints like “Ko ntacyo wibwira?” or “Uzaduha inzoga ryari?” These old guys are unimpressed by one’s ambitious pursuits and be reinforcing notions that marriage and babies should be the primary focus in our lives
Anyways, it is wedding season, remember? Which means that you need several outfits so that you won’t be wearing the same outfit to different ceremonies. You wore the red and black dress to Fiona’s wedding and to Alice’s introduction. You wore the long blue dress to Mutesi’s introduction and to Jack’s wedding last month. You don’t want to wear the black and white dress to Fred’s wedding, since you wore it last weekend. So, there’s one person you need: a tailor.
You’ve got a piece of fabric/material. You’ve already chosen your own style. You ask your friend, Solange and she recommends a tailor. Mama Sumaya is her name. You have hope. You tell Mama Sumaya that Solange recommended her, and you proceed to tell her that there’s a wedding in 3 weeks that you plan on wearing the dress to. She seems to pay attention and nods. You show her the style and she immediately says that she can sew it. Hmm. You explain that you want it embroidered with black and she still nods. You agree on the price, pay 50% (the remaining is to be paid when you pick your dress) and take her contact number. 3 days before the wedding, you remind her that you’ll be coming to pick the dress the next day. The next day, you try reaching her but both her Tigo and MTN lines are switched off. After a couple of times, you finally get through to her but she doesn’t pick up. You text her but get no reply from her. Then you know that something is wrong. You text her that you want your dress or the material in whatever form. And that’s when she comes clean with you, telling you that she had finished the dress but burnt it while ironing it. Hehe! How does one cope with such?
It’s like tailors find it easy to let people down. If there’s anything that tailors can teach someone, it’s patience and the importance of having plan B. When you take your material to the tailor for sewing, just add 2 weeks (before the expected time) for adjustments here and there…maybe too tight or a bit loose (when she takes your measurements but then decides not to use them) or when the tailor decides to remix your style, because well you know tailors and their madness. Like, when you repeatedly tell her to use black embroidery but instead uses yellow embroidery.
Speaking of plan Bs, your outfit is burnt (sorry) so you have to find another one. And it’s not easy to pick out an outfit. You stare at your closet, wondering if you don’t own anything nice. After an hour or so, you’re dressed and out the door. You arrive at the reception hall. Only 30 minutes late. Good thing, the newly-weds have not arrived at the reception hall yet. 50 minutes later, the newly-weds still have not yet arrived at the reception hall. They are still taking pictures. You are wondering why the reception hasn’t begun, yet. Why aren’t you at least drinking? The drinks are right there. You could grab one. But you have to wait. I have many problems with the food aspect of weddings. You never know what to expect. At most weddings, there’s only cake and fanta (that is if you’re seated in the front rows). If you’re very lucky, there’s take-away (bread, a slice of potato, and a tiny meatball). I miss that time when they served food and beer during wedding receptions. Weddings are about celebrating the union of 2 people. But what’s a celebration without food and drinks?
Anyways, you’ve already eaten your cake. So, it’s time to go home.
Happy Wedding Season to you all.