Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Nobody puts Bridezilla in a corner

As you read this (if you read it on a Friday morning) I will be soaring over the skies on my way to a weekend of debauchery and fluffy pink devil horns in London.
This weekend is the weekend of my sister’s (aka Bridezilla) hen weekend in London and as Chief Bridesmaid and ‘hair-holder-backer’ I was ordered to be there with bells on.
I’m fully prepared to be sensible one (see the hair-holder-backer title) and spend my time making sure the bride to be doesn’t get herself into too much trouble and herding the troops on the Tube and back to our hotel.
Now my sister is well known for her planning skills. (Think Monica in ‘Friends’ only a little bit more anally retentive), so there hasn’t been much that has been able to get past her Bridezilla radar. She decided on the venue, the dates, the transport and almost everything else.
It was probably all well and good that she did however, because my organisational skills are minimal. If it was left to me we would have spent a wet weekend in Mamore Gap in a freezing cottage trying desperately to get some heat off the fire. (Yes, you have guessed where my uber exotic hen weekend was....)
I have made a special effort though, simply because my sister, God love her, deserves it. She is the kind of person who goes out of her way to make things memorable for the people she cares about, so I couldn’t really let her down.
I’ve spent the last two months plotting and scheming, spending my hard earned cash on Ebay and in the Party Shop and rallying the troops of 15 women over-excited at the notion of getting a weekend off from their partners/ babies/ work. (As we will have left the country by the time this goes to press, I can reveal few secrets). In my suitcase I have 15 pairs of devils horns and 15 personalised badges declaring it’s Bridezilla’s Hen Weekend.
There is a specially purchased hen weekend disposable camera, flashing L-Plate earrings, sashes galore, a beautifully hand crafted hen weekend memory book and even a thong declaring “Just Married”. The piece de resistance however is 15 tickets to see the stage show of ‘Dirty Dancing’ tomorrow afternoon· (In fairness, my sister knows about this part, in fact it was her idea.)
To women of a certain age ‘Dirty Dancing’ is the ultimate Chick Flick. As a young teenager the film was my first real introduction to love, romance and (let’s call a spade a spade and a swivel of the hips a swivel of the hips) dirty dancing. I think there were thousands of us who wished we were Baby, fell in love with Patrick Swayze and felt a little bit naughty for singing along to some of the songs. (I remember turning a shade of beetroot singing ‘We’re Gonna Make Love’- I doubt it would raise an eyebrow these days).
We all wanted to go to Kellermans on holiday. We all wanted to carry a watermelon and at the end of the day we all wanted Patrick Swayze to tell our parents ‘Nobody puts Baby in a corner’ before whisking us up onto the stage to dance to ‘The Time of My Life’- including the lift.
It was definitely the first 15 Rated film I saw and it was one of the first movies I saw that didn’t involved Kryptonite, Princess Leia, the Muppets or ectoplasm. I remember my mother, who is normally quite open minded, being horrified by the sexy shenanigans on screen. “They might as well be having sex,” she spluttered. “The only difference is they have their clothes on.
Little did she know that within a few years I would witness worse atrocities on the dance floor of Squires.
But it wasn’t the raunchy dancing that enticed me so. It was the love story. The fact that a fairly ordinary, book-wormish type of a girl (which could well have been me) could have a talented, muscular and gorgeous dance instructor fall for her AND teach her the Cha Cha Cha. (I loved dancing and I still do).
And of course there were the shoes - the gorgeous silver strappy dance shoes.
In fact it inspired me so much that in my mid 20s I took up salsa dancing for a time and one of my fondest memories will always be dancing to “The Time of My Life” in the Nerve Centre one sweaty Tuesday night. So tomorrow afternoon will be a treat.
I’m told the musical is very true to the original film and I’m told the actor who plays Johnny Castle is even more gorgeous than Patrick Swayze (who in fairness, hasn’t aged well). And I will be enjoying the way Dirty Dancing is supposed to be enjoyed - with a group of 14 other like minded women who all fell in love with the film the same way I did. I’m sure we will sing. I’m pretty sure there will be some dodgy dance moves to boot and I’m definitely sure we will have a blast. In fact I’m pretty sure we will have the time of our lives.

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