Monday, 19 November 2012

HEN PARTY! (SORRY, NO ROOSTERS ALLOWED)

THE UNIDENTIFIED HENS, ROOSTING 'ROUND THE DINNER TABLE
Alas, I am forbidden on pain of death and excommunication from identifying ANYONE 
in this picture except one of my daughters (far left). It's probably only a matter of time 
before she forbids me, too.

I've always hated the phrase "hen party." Like so many terms used to describe women in various states of happiness or enjoyment, it is demeaning and degrading. It does a grave injustice to the magic that happens when a group of females bond.  
However. I attended a truly lovely get-together yesterday with my cousins, aunts, daughters and other related women-folk. No boys allowed. One husband, having espied the table laden with sweets, attempted to linger but was shooed away by his wife with a brisk, "OK then, enjoy your afternoon!" *door simultaneously closing in his face

Many of us hadn't seen each other in months or years, so things started off very politely and demurely. There were a lot of nods and crossed legs and daintily held beverages. But as time and mimosas wore on, the chatter warmed up, we started talking about everything from recipes to mammograms, and about midway through brunch the noise of our own excited gabbling had crescendoed to glass-shattering levels. 

I stepped out of the dining room briefly to grab my camera . . . that's a story in itself: now that the family is on to my blogging, they hit the dirt when the camera comes out. "NO PICTURES!" "DON'T IDENTIFY ME!" "DON'T YOU DARE!" "YOU'RE NOT GOING TO PUT THIS ON YOUR BLOG, ARE YOU?" (Heheheheh. Of course not, ladies) . . . but anyway, I stepped out of the room to grab my camera and I tell you, the sound that wafted out behind me was like a WALL of cackling. If cackling were bricks, we could have built a 40-foot tower with them and locked Rapunzel in at the top. And she'd have been grateful, because then at least she'd have had a reprieve from the noise.

As we were leaving, my mom said "Wasn't that fun? That was a real hen party." 
I started to protest, but then I realized she was right. That's exactly what it had been. And damn, it was fun.
So I guess the rule is that if the hens call it a hen party, it's fine, but if a rooster calls it a hen party, we get to peck him senseless. That, in essence, is the logic of feminine bonding. It's a beautiful thing.