Once upon a bride, there lived an elderly woman facing a massive responsibility. She resided in her cottage up the lane, wore her hair frizzled and grey, had crooked, red-wine caked teeth and was a dowager.
She wasn’t actually a widow — or, as we say in fairy tales/frontier stories/mythology — a widda, but she had a dowager’s hump. She wore her hump with pride. Not only was it a sign of her life experience and the burden of weight she bore due to her brain capacity, it was filled with knowledge and advice she needed to bequeath to her favourite Bridezilla.
A girl soon to become a voman.
One day, when the autumn leaves were turning red and the sun was setting an hour earlier, the Dowager of Hump decided it was time to sit Bridezilla down, outline the wedding night protocol, and the conversion of an unfurled childish bud to a fully-bloomed petal of flowery erotica.
Madam Dowager Hump knew the task would be enormous. She had planned to serve ‘erbal teas and an array of ‘ors d’œuvre on pumpernickel. ’owever, this was Stamen Day. If she was going to educate her unwrapped petunia, get her to understand the flora and fauna of the marital bed, and plant the seed that:
‘A stamen is for life, and not just for Christmas’,
she’d need something stronger than Quietly Chamomile. Or Jazzily Jasmine. Or Grass Clippings in Boiling Water.
Bending over her doilied table — she had a dowager’s hump, remember — the elderly woman set out a bottle of red wine, a litre of duty-free vodka, chip ‘n dips and The Berocca. She hoped the subtle fizz of the multi-vitamin drink might help her explain the propensity of the stamen to surge and snaffle upon said wedding night.
It had in her day, anyway. (Perhaps this was why she had a hump? Who really knew!?)
Bridezilla entered the cottage with a flourish. She was reddened of cheeks and flustered, as though she’d been fleeing the scene of one of Henley’s jokes or huffing about a group of conscientious objectors to the bridal registry (more on that development in a later post).
In fact, she explained to Aunt Dowager Hump, she’d been doing nothing of the kind. She’d been simply flabbergasted. Bridezilla had read the required reading for the Dowager’s Dutiful Discourse upon Deflowering, and now ‘I don’t really know if that’s what I want!’ she stated. She was teary. Stunned and just a tiny bit botanically revolted.
Aunt Dowager ushered her into a old velvety, crochet-crap covered armchair and held her hand. It was as she’d suspected. The Deflowering Textbook had been too explicit. Too ribald. With prose that stated ‘when the endings of a stamen ignite, become fully turgid and tangled within the leaves of womanly desire’, the Deflowering Textbook had obviously been pitched too far from Bridezilla’s entrance of need.
The elderly woman sighed. She really would have to go back to the very basics of potting in soil, of the dispersal of roots, of the bludgeoning bud eruptions, and of the ginormous melon that may probably grow from the very cuttings of seedlings sown at the wedding reception.
She almost needed a modified, children’s edition text to help Bridezilla.
This was a bigger task than she agreed to take on. Surely, Cassandra, she of Ye Ol’ (don’t mention the Biggles) Bunion should be assuming jobs like this? After all, Bridezilla was her daughter! Pity she’d wasted time at the (B)union Rights Union, screaming like she’d had a papiloma rather than a plain dodgy toe (bu) onion! Where was the MOBster when Bridezilla needed her the most? Trying to get away with wearing the Foxie Loafer square toe to a wedding, rather than the stiletto!
MOBsters had it so easy! But that was not helping Bridezilla, Aunt Dowager and the Dutiful Discourse upon Deflowering Discussion.
‘Come now, dear,’ said Aunt Dowager, as gently as she could. ’It can’t be all that new to you? I mean, I knew you were … unsure. Couldn’t tell a stamen from a botrytis attacked grape, even though the grape was moldy and rotted! But my goodness! Please don’t tell me that everything in the textbook is new to you? You’ve been out. Lord above, but you’ve ridden the Tube, you’ve hot spa-ed in the Swiss Alps! Don’t you know anything?’
Aunt Dowager felt instant remorse. She shouldn’t blame or ridicule. She should understand. Bridezilla simply wasn’t ready to have a fully engorged stamen penetrate her moisten foliage using a new, drought-approved root system! She just wasn’t mature enough!
Aunt Dowager was gentler this time, trying to remember back to the 1850s when she first confronted the idea of reproductive botany as it applied to the deflowering scenario. (It was simpler in those days. Droughts were droughts and stamen were all the same. There was no question about whether one would keep his stamen, apply silicon or have it removed surgically!)
Bridezilla dissolved into tears. ’I can’t! I just can’t!’
‘Will we call the wedding off?’ asked She of the Hump, her mouth thinning into a line of mockery! For land’s sake, this Bridezilla was high maintenance. ’Postpone it till your seedlings are more mature? Your flora is ready to photosynthesize?’
‘NO! Oh no, Aunt Hump! It’s not that! It’s not! It’s just I cannot — cannot — understand the botanical references. For instance, what the hell is a Nudiflorum Erectus of Semi-Hardwood, FFS? I DON’T GET IT, AND I DON’T LIKE IT. Oh, and I want my mummy!’ (Do you hear that, Bunion Breath?)
Aunt Dowager settled her Bridezilla with a cold face washer to the forehead and a lavender heat pillow to the femininely organs of woe. They talked for a while about how to bridge the gap between plants and people, but it was all still too analogical for Bridezilla. She wanted it straight. ‘Both from YOU and in the marital bed!’
The Humpster smiled. She patted Bridezilla’s hand and invited her back the very next week for a new outlook on the maidenly rituals facing a bride. She even gave Bridezilla another text book for more required reading prior to their next afternoon tea. It was ‘Our Solar System before Pluto was Excluded.’
If Dowager Hump couldn’t prepare Bridezilla for her wifely duties by using the botanical world as reference, she was going to try using SPACE. She was, after all, from another planet entirely.
They have yet to live happily ever after.