My friendly recently announced her engagement, which instantly filled me with horror and dread. Not because I was against her union, in fact I couldn’t be happier that she was finally tying the knot. No, it was fear of the hen do. As best friend I knew the role would befall me and I felt highly inadequate for the task. To ask me to plan a hen do is like asking Mr T to plan an afternoon tea party for six year old girls. “I pity the fool.”
Hen dos nowadays are momentous occasions. For starters they are hen dos and not hen nights. Hen nights suggest one night of drunken debauchery, but a hen do can consist of several. In fact I know someone who recently had a two week holiday in Tenerife for the Hen Do! I could feel a cold sweat break out as I considered how ill suited I was to the job at hand. I have a child; my night life consists of falling asleep on the sofa, little man on lap, milk stain on top, in front of Peppa Pig. How was I to plan a thrilling time, when the most excitement I’ve had of late is when little ‘un fell to sleep early and I actually got to sit down in time to watch Eastenders?
What was it people did nowadays? Where did people go for a good time? I may not be of a time when the discotheque was still a term of reference but I was probably closer to that bygone age than modern times of entertainment. Plus there was the issue of Great Expectations. Being the first of my circle of friends to wed, there was no precursor to my hen night, no expectation to live up to. She on the other hand had experienced it all, pole dancing lessons, burlesque, Vegas…I mean Vegas for goodness sake! How was I going to live up to that!?
I started researching hen do’s, scouring the internet for ideas and soon became baffled by contradictions. Party buses or crochet classes, strippers or afternoon tea. Fortunately the bride to be had a suggestion of her own, Murder Mystery, and I no longer had to worry about what to do. Relieved to have a vague idea of our plan of action I soon got to booking. If only it were that easy. First we had to set a date which would be agreeable to the majority of the invitees. Certain people were non-negotiable (for instance the weekend would be a bit of a bust if the bride was unavailable) and certain dates were vetoed by the majority. Having finally decided upon the most popular date I then had the joyous task of composing an email to the unlucky few… “Hi, you’ve never met me but I’m organising this here hen do and have decided to book a date when you can’t attend because quite frankly you’re not important enough to scupper my plans”…or something to that effect.
Date booked, next came the chasing. Replies, deposits, I was on an endless cycle of nagging emails to which the recipients, I’m sure were cursing. Eventually however all of the organising was done and the big day arrived. It was one of the hottest days of the year. The hotel had no air conditioning. None. Nadda. Nor did the dining room, where we were to conduct our murder mystery, have functioning windows. Desperate we managed to uncover some dusty old desk top fans hidden in the back of the wardrobe and took to carting these around with, searching in desperation for plug points wherever we went.
A debate ensued as we discussed who was most deserving of the stale warm air that the fans provided. “well, there’s a crack in that there pane of glass on the window down your end…there’s a draft blowing through like a gale so you don’t really need the fan then do you?” (I said to the heavily pregnant lady who was melting in the corner). To top the non existing air conditioning, ten minutes in to the evening and we still hadn’t been offered a single drink. Fear of being lynched by a cluck of disgruntled hens led me to take action. Heading over to the beard maid (sorry, I mean the bar maid) I asked if someone could take our drinks order. “We didn’t know you wanted any ‘cos you hadn’t asked for ’em” she grunted. Right. As a group of young ladies on a hen night, wearing fancy dress costumes I might add, the necessity of alcohol was not obvious.
Despite a shaky start however the evening was a success. Drink was eventually provided and consequently consumed. The murder mystery erupted in giggles as we all miscued our lines. A nightclub down the road was discovered. Dancing was had, more drink consumed and I can’t really remember much after that….which is surely a sign of a good night yes?
So tell me ladies…what was your Hen do like? A night, a weekend, a week? Silly, fun, naughty? Would love to hear your stories!