Why are most hen dos shit?
I’ve been to some great hen nights. But it seems like the majority of hen do options cater to a small segment of the market who like pink, tacky signs, and inflatable willies. And no judgement here, if that’s what you are after. I’ve been to many hen nights like that including my best friends, which was a huge amount of fun. But that’s not what I wanted. Where are the plethora of options that stag dos can pick from? It seems like if you’re a women, they assume you all want to celebrate in the same way. I live in Brighton, one of the most awesome cities in the UK, so how come my options are a) stumbling down little Beirut covered in flashing lights or b) eer… Where are the craft afternoons, the scavenger hunts or the glamour?
While I am on my rant box I find the ‘hen do’ terminology hugely demeaning. Stags are glorious majestic beasts that are the Kings of the Forest. Whereas hens cluck and peck. Also stop saying this will be my last night as a single girl. That was March 26 2004. Life doesn’t end after marriage and if it does, you’re doing it wrong. End rant 🙂
So instead of having a hen do, I had goddess do and it was amazing. My maid of honour, my little sister, had never been to a hen do before and she did me proud. It was exactly what I wanted: vintage, a little naughty and a hell of a lot of fun. My goddess do was held two days after I handed in my essays at University, I hadn’t drunk any alcohol in over a month so I was ready to P.A.R.T.Y. Channelling our inner Joan Holloway’s or Betty Draper’s on a sunny afternoon in May, my fellow goddesses and I assembled at Proud Ballrooms in Kemptown for a burlesque lesson. Proud Ballroom is one of my favourite venues: glamorous, decadent and you really feel like you have stepped back in time to a different era.
Only one problem, when we arrived although our amazing teacher Carmilla was there waiting for us nobody had arrived from the venue to turn on the overhead stage lights. The only person on site was the chef, who was lovely, and gave us some free bottles of wine to make up for the inconvenience. But it took almost an hour and half for somebody to arrive from Proud and switch the lights on, so most of our lesson was performed in the gloom. With everybody having to be extra careful they didn’t trip off the edge of the uneven dance floor. Due to their disorganisation our plans to come back and party at Proud at the end of the evening were swiftly rearranged.
However, in true Brit style we soldiered on regardless.Our burlesque teacher Carmilla, from the Cheek of It school, was amazing. Very calm, she immediately put some of the nervous goddesses at their ease, boosting their confidence and creating a true bonding atmosphere. Our lesson walked us through draping (my favourite an advanced form of lolling around at which I excel), seductive shimmying, ‘Ooops, I’ve dropped something’ to advanced propography such as taking gloves off with our teeth.
My favourite part was when we separated into groups to choreograph our own dance routine each of the four groups channelling one of the Sex and the City girls. Although I am definitely Carrie, my fellow goddesses were more Charlotte so we chose eye lash fluttering innocence.
At the end of the lesson I was presented with my very own nipple tassels and given a choice a) I could save them for my honeymoon, b) nominate someone else to wear them or c) wear them myself. I decided to split the humiliation with my little sister thinking we’d just wear them over our bras. But no, the plan was to bare all. Our blushes was spared as our dresses wouldn’t undo and instead we performed an over the clothes routine. All pictures of which have now been destroyed.
Then we emerged blinking into the sunshine and walked to one of my favourite cafes Metrodecco for afternoon tea. We had booked out the whole of the downstairs where we feasted on mini sandwiches, scones with cream and jam, and pastries including the yumtastic macaroons washed down with champagne.
My little sister had decorated the tables with her favourite pictures of me and HWSNBN, fake mustaches in honour of tashtastic dad, creepy Jedwood masks and marriage advice slips.
After everybody had written their advice, I had to read it out. Some of it was touching and helpful, some less so. My maid of honour/little sister and best friend Greg’s marriage advice was respectively ‘Spitting is quitting’ and ‘anal’. When I had to read out the latter I whispered ‘Anal’ in sotto voice hyper aware that not only was my mum present but so was HWSNBN. ‘I didn’t hear that, darling.’ Mum shouted out. So I had to repeat it at full volume. Lovely.
After Metrodecco, we wandered down to the Sidewinder for a couple of drinks. And I proceeded to get horrifically drunk. Just in time for the game of Mr and Mrs, which I flunked at bigtime. Basically they asked HSWNBN questions and I had to guess his answers. Unlike on other hen do’s there answers were not multiple choice. Not only was I horrendously drunk but HWSNBN’s has an utterly unique method of thinking. So I was very proud when I correctly guessed which celebrity couple he most thinks we are like. Answer: ‘He doesn’t know any celebrities.’And also his most embarrassing moment about which I am sadly sworn to secrecy. Everytime I got a question wrong, which was frequently I had to drink. Then I was dared to do a number of things including lapdancing a giant Buddha (sorry Buddhists) and fellating a wine bottle. CLASSY. After which we played a reputation ruining game of ‘I have never’. Let’s just say there are a number of dark horses among our group.
After this my memory the night gets a little hazy. We ended up in small yet fabulous gay club called Poison Ivy for cocktails and shots. Ros and Debs, took to the stage to show off their amazing vocal talents at karaoke. We’d been there an hour when I headed to the bar for more shots just as somebody puked over it. Not one of my goddesses I hasten to add.
We made a swift exit to the Mesmerist for dancing, drinking and cackling. Muchas cackling. Before I took my sleeping/passed out maid of honour home and then to headed to bed myself.
I am so lucky to have so many lovely friends and family members to join me in the BEST.NIGHT.EVER