It feels so good to be where I am today, having spent the last five years pandering to my future mother in-law, enduring ridicule, dealing with my fiancée’s idiosyncrasies and generally playing the role of the good girl. I feel that I truly deserve the wedding of my dreams. I can visualize it right now; my boo looking dashing in his suit, myself trying my hardest to mask the baby bump whilst pretending to shed tears into my ivory coloured handkerchief. My make up perfect, my wedding cake standing five feet tall, lilies, gardenias, white roses and orchids lining the entire hall. The little bride and little groom throwing rose petals at our feet whilst we both take carefully choreographed steps in our brand new shoes. The perfect fantasy, except when I think of my bridal train; I never fail to have a sharp intake of breath and break out in a cold sweat.
I need to pick the perfect bridal train. My train must reflect my new status in society, my husband to be is quite a catch. He was privately educated here in Nigeria, then he was sent to a proper British boarding school, where he played rugby, polo and had all the rough edges smoothed out. After boarding school he went on to a UK redbrick university and followed that with a Masters degree from an Ivy League University in the states. As for me I attended Alimosho Grammar School (Aligram International I told my boo), and backed those credentials up with a degree in adult education from a state run university in one of the southwestern states. You see, my friends from my past do not quite make the cut, what will my future sisters in-law make of this motley crew of cheap weave wearing girls? I consider them as an embarrassment, they don’t even know how best to hold a champagne glass, they can’t comport themselves in the proper manner, they wear clothes from New Look, Primark and Target, they don’t speak as if they just arrived after years abroad. Worst of all, they don’t even live on the Island. Thanks to my sudden elevation, I have left all those things behind. As I will marry up, I need girls that truly reflect my new status.
What are the requirements of my perfect bride’s maids?
* They must have convincing foreign accents. I spent many a day glued to DSTV practicing my elocution by repeating all that was said on BBC news 24. (Thank you Jeremy Paxtman).
* They must have expensive weaves on their heads. I was lucky enough to have an older sister who married up as well. She very kindly sent me her smelly used weaves, I learned that applying liberal amounts of shampoo and conditioner will get rid of even the most pungent weave odours. Thanks to her efforts, here I am today.
* They must dress right. I managed to fit in by recycling all my sisters’ old ratty baffs. Trust me, Abdullah the tailor cuts a pair of True Religion Jeans in to some mean shorts.
* They must lug around the largest, most obvious designer bags, and balance them carefully on the inside of their elbow joints. Might not be comfortable or practical, but hey; it looks right.
* They need not be close friends or family, but they must look right and Serve me properly in terms of my image.
Here is the other problem, my fiancée’s inner circle never accepted me, as I did not grow up with them and did not learn to speak like I have a plum in my mouth the proper way (someone let my BBC secret out). They make snide remarks in my presence, like the time I danced to ‘Feel So Good’ by Sonique, and they asked me if I grew to appreciate trance music the same way I acquired my cut glass British accent. They might not like me but I will ensure that they attend my wedding and maybe even serve on my train.
Call me a social climber, call me an upstart, call me a wannabe, beat me, kick me, punch me, brand me with a scarlet letter, have me hung drawn and quartered. I really don’t care. All I wish for is my dream wedding to serve as my proper introduction to Lagos society.
Always remember that Great Women marry up…