Haven’t we all had fun being in that special role of bridesmaid for that very special friend. And the bonding between the bride and the bridesmaids can be enriched and strengthened from all the flurry of activity and building excitement that leads to the wedding day.
But that’s the happy story and tragically some bridesmaids have a very different experience that ends with the friendship between bride and ‘maid’ being ripped apart.
My friend Cath was asked to be bridesmaid for a very close friend she had known since they met on her first day of school.
But as the date of the wedding loomed closer, Cath, who was a single mum, began to feel uneasy about being a bridesmaid because it was becoming apparent that Cath was not going to be able to afford the costs involved. The required dress alone was over $800. (And this is about 15 years ago). Then there were the compulsory shoes, the hair, the make-up and there was even a specific G-string that had to be purchased. (And I do wonder what sort of bridesmaid’s dresses these were that the guests would be able to discern the make, type and colour of the G-string).
So with great trepidation Cath approached her friend and suggested it would probably be best if she withdrew from being a bridesmaid because she didn’t have the means to buy the G-string, let alone the shoes and the dress.
And the bride came to the decision that yes, Cath could be a bridesmaid because her father would benevolently pay for Cath’s dress. Cath was very grateful and thought this was very kind until the bride added, ‘but because my father has to pay for your dress you won’t be getting a bridesmaid’s present’. Cath was speechless.
The day of the wedding arrived and Cath was at the bride’s parent’s home where everyone was getting ready. The bride gathered her bridesmaids together and handed them all little turquiose boxes that were unmistakably from Tiffanys. But she didn’t hand one to Cath. Instead she said, ‘Cath knows why she’s not getting a necklace’.
And then it was time for Cath, who has very curly locks to have her hair done. As she sat down the bride came over and said, ‘Cath, you’re going to have to have your hair straightened because I’m having a linear wedding’. And Cath looked all confused and said, ‘A what?’ And the bride said, ‘I’m having a linear wedding and I don’t want anyone ruining the formal photos so you’re going to have to have your hair straightened’.
So Cath went off to the wedding in a dress the father-of-the-bride had paid for, wearing a G-string that cut into places that shouldn’t be mentioned, ironed hair that made her unrecognisable and minus a necklace because she was poor. And she had to make a speech.
And the perfect friendship that once was, never recovered.
Have you ever crossed paths with a bride-zilla?
Here’s a recipe that won’t give you a linear look if you eat too much of it because it’s rich and decadent pork belly but it’s very delicious and can bring comfort to a traumatised soul.
Pork Belly with Five Spice Powder
Degree of Difficulty: 2/5
Cost: I find that even good quality pork belly (like free-range) is very reasonably priced
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled
- 2 coriander roots, washed and scraped
- 2 tbspns vegetable oil
- 1 tbspn five-spice powder
- 500g (1 lb) pork belly or neck, cut into 2 1/2cm (1 in) dice
- 1 ltr (34 fl oz/4 cups) chicken stock
- 2 tbspns dark soy sauce
- 1 tbspn light soy sauce
- 2 tbspns fish sauce
- 1-2 tbspns palm sugar
- coriander (cilantro) leaves to garnish
In a mortar make a paste with the garlic and coriander roots using a pestle. Heat the oil in a wok or pot and gently fry the garlic and coriander paste until just starting to colour. Add the five-spice powder and pork, stir-frying until the meat is coated with the spices. Add the stock, soy sauces, fish sauce and sugar. Bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer. Skim often and cook for about 1 hour on a low heat. Transfer to a bowl and garnish with the coriander leaves.
Serve with steamed Jasmine rice.
Recipe from Spirit House, Essentially Thai