“Bridal Shower”

We went to a friend’s “bridal shower” last Saturday. I wrote “bridal shower” in quotes because it is not your typical bridal shower. For one, guys were invited. And no, we guys weren’t invited there to do dances. Well, apart from the lack of raunchiness, the thing that made it more unlike any pre-wedding party I’ve attended was the “prayer meeting” vibe to it.

Maybe it was because more than half of the attendees as well as the host of the party were from our friend’s born-again Christian group. I’m okay with born-again Christians but I sometimes feel like they are a little too preachy for my taste. I prefer born-again Catholics aka Catholic Charismatics though as they seem less prudish.

Anyway, although the party was scheduled to begin at 10am (according to the invite), the party actually started at around 11am as everybody was in Filipino-time. Actually, even Raquel and I were late. We got there at 10:30am thinking that the bride might already be furious with us as we were assigned to bring the drinks for the party. Surprisingly, we were one of the first ones there. We didn’t know anybody who was already in the house and the bride wasn’t even there yet.

The party started with an ice-breaker where everybody essentially got introduced to everybody else at the party. It was followed by a game where the attendees were divided into two groups. Each group must set up a still scene depending on the theme revealed by the host. The themes were: first date, wedding proposal and child birth.

After much protestation, I reluctantly agreed to be the “director” of our team in the game. We lost the first round as I spent most of the allotted time whinging that I wouldn’t do a good job as director. I got more into it by the second and third rounds. We won the game 2-1 in our favour. It was good fun even if it was a little bit daggy.

Since the party started late, the other planned games were scrapped. Thank goodness for small favours. What came next was a few words from Tita (not her real name of course), a pastor’s wife. What was supposed to be a few words turned out to be a long sermon about the two greatest commandments: “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. (Matt 22:37)” and “You shall love your neighbor as yourself. (Matt 22:39)”

Sure, I believe it is good to know and follow these two commandments, but I thought there would’ve been a few Bible passages more appropriate for someone about to be married. It was okay to listen to Tita talk about these commandments for the first few minutes but I must confess that my mind began to wander after she started to just repeat the passage over and over. Maybe she thought the message would be better heard if it was repeated ad nauseam.

About half-an-hour later, when Tita was done with her advice to the bride, the host asked that the wives take turn telling the would-be-bride what to expect of married life. They were asked to tell her what to welcome and what to say good-bye to. The first person to have a go at it wasn’t a wife actually, but a husband. From my impression, he seemed to be a guy who likes to joke and poke fun at himself. So he was probably chosen by the host to go first for comedic effect.

I couldn’t quote him accurately so I’ll just have to summarise what he said. A wife shouldn’t talk to her husband for the first 10 minutes after he comes home from work to give him time to cool down, rest and just watch TV. A wife shouldn’t admonish her husband because it will hurt his pride (ego might be a better word) because men are proud by nature.

I just thought, wow, his wife wasn’t allowed to talk to him when he comes home from work? His wife wasn’t allowed to admonish him if he did something wrong? I just thought it seemed like I was back in the 1950s. Well, at least he said something I can certainly agree on: don’t let the day end with an unsettled argument. That is good advice.

The other wives (sans Raquel) contributed to the discussion by basically saying that the wife has to say good-bye to freedom and welcome suffering. Well, they didn’t actually say welcome suffering but from what they were saying, it seemed like the wife should not only submit to her husband but be subservient to him. Make sure dinner is ready when he is home. Don’t get angry when he leaves his socks just anywhere and just meekly pick up after him. If I was the bride-to-be, I’d back out from this whole marriage thing right then and there.

Granted some freedoms would be curtailed as a married person shouldn’t only think about himself or herself but also of his or her partner and children, if any. But that doesn’t mean that one partner should be subjected to the complete will of the other. The wife shouldn’t lose her individuality just because she got married. Maybe I’m just reading too much into what they were saying but it does feel like they were saying that the wife would get the raw end of the deal and she should just accept it.

The other thing the wives advised was that the bride should stay close to God. They gave their guarantees that if she was, her married life would be blissful for the most part. And if she wasn’t, it would most likely fail. It was as if marriages of non-born-again Christians were all destined to fail while the marriages of born-again Christians would never ever falter.

Okay, so they didn’t actually say that but if you were there and you were a non-born-again, you’d probably interpret what they were saying in the same way.

It was a relief when they ended all that advice-giving and went into the lunch part of the party. I was a little disappointed that most of the dishes had cow’s or pig’s meat/innards in them even though we were told that there would be something for non-meat eaters. I guess they meant the leafy salad. In the end, I just ate the other dishes with the meat anyway as I didn’t want a salad for lunch. It wouldn’t have made me full. That and a measly salad isn’t of comparable worth to all the drinks we brought over. Hehehe.

We left after lunch at around 2pm when the party was all but over. The people we’ve met were nice folks and I think I could even be friends with most of them although I don’t subscribe to the same philosophy that they do. Anyway, we give our best wishes to the bride-to-be and her husband-to-be on their wedding and marriage.

Published in: on April 10, 2006 at 12:13 pm  Comments (6)