I checked my mail today. Four envelopes with hand-written addresses. It used to give me a sense of excitement, the exciting things that could be inside that envelope. Cards, letters, love notes (not once, FYI). And now, it fills me with dread.
Wedding invitations. Baby showers. Hen’s nights. Engagement parties.
You see, I’m at that age where all of my friends are starting to settle down. They are getting their lives together, while I am only just working out that ‘tax-deductible’ does not mean ‘free’, and it’s not a good idea to see how many M&M’s I can fit inside my nose. I’m genuinely happy for them. I’m endlessly proud of them.
But my bank account is crying ouch tears.
Last year, my work-friend got pregnant. HUZZAH! BABIES FOR ALL! After her announcement, one of the office employees suggested we all put in for some flowers for her. Of course! $30. And how about some baby-themed cupcakes for a celebration lunch? For sure! $15. And then came an invitation from her sister for the baby shower.
$80 per head.
That’s excluding the present I had to show up with, too. $80 per head would only cover a champagne or two, and a couple of croissants for brunch. That croissant better be stuffed with truffle mushrooms and unicorn tears, I thought, as I transferred my hard-earned moolah into a mystery account. It wasn’t. It didn’t even have ham. In the end, that pregnancy cost me $170. That baby better buy me a drink one day. Soon.
Last time I was a bridesmaid, it cost me a grand. ONE THOUSAND SMACKEROOS. $450 dress, spray tan, hair, make-up, gifts, hen’s night… The hen’s night, which was organised by the maid-of-honour and priced at $100 per head (and the bridesmaids were expected to pick up some of the tab, too), we also were expected to bring a cocktail-themed present. I was tempted to bring a bag of ice. Homemade.
I drank a loooot of champagne at that wedding. Not because I wanted to. Because I fucking had to. I was getting my money’s worth, even if it landed me in hospital.