In our free time, during those moments when our minds can afford to wander off into that land we hardly ever venture into, our imagination goes on a rampage. Some thoughts are logical, nigh wistful…

Ah, yes! The campus days! I’d be nothing without them!

I miss Steph. I was silly to have let her go.

Others, not so sensible – inane, actually…

If I stuck my hand in this socket, would I become The Flash?

Of course I can take on five armed guys! I watched every episode of Walker Texas Ranger as a child! I know all the moves by heart!

When I say “five-armed guys”, what I mean is that the five chaps have guns, not that the chaps have five arms. Not that you didn’t know that, but the fact that I felt the need to mention this illustrates my point.

Some thoughts, however, are in that no-man’s-land between the logical and the inane, such as this:

What really happens at bridal showers and kitchen parties?

Such is our ignorance on the matter: Only two weeks ago did I come to discover that the terms “bridal shower” and “kitchen party” refer to the same thing.

So you can excuse us for believing what pop culture tells us: That a kitchen party is a night of wild excitement. The bride’s close friends and relatives lock themselves in with the bride, trading stories of eroticism all night long in between sips of wine to prepare them for the next burst of giggles.

The kitchen party marks the time when you’ll know which two friends are the wild ones – something about them bringing along a man in just trousers and a bowtie, and said dress code has nothing to do with a heat wave. Apparently, you’ll also know the loco aunts – the two that will ask everyone to take a seat as they show you things you never thought an aunt from that generation should know.

I have asked around: No one will confirm to me how true these stories are, neither will they deny the existence of such, much to my dismay. [Perhaps you could tell me. No? Ok then.]

The one thing that I have established though, is that there’s plenty of lingerie to go around during these kitchen parties. The irony of presenting lingerie at a ‘kitchen party’ aside, I have to admit: It is rather thoughtful of the bride’s friends to present something that will ostensibly spice up the lives of the soon-to-be Mr. & Mrs. in the bedroom. [Or living room. Or kitchen. Hey, it’s their house.]

You’re quite right: There is a ‘however’ to this.

I believe that a marriage is much more than just the thrice-a-day mind-blowing sex. If anything, rumour has it that at some point, the sex will start to decline in most cases.

[Allow me a prayer break at this point: Dear Lord, may this never happen to me and my beautiful future wife. May the sex become exponentially more earth-shattering as the years roll by. Amen.]

I believe marriage is about all those clichés we seem to overlook: Communication, support and that oh-so-tricky balance of money.

This thought leads me to wonder why the emphasis at many a kitchen party is laid on matters sexual. I speak from a man’s point of view on this: While the baby-making throughout the honeymoon will be a thrill thanks to the exotic underwear and the aunts’ invaluable pleasure tips, when they do return home, life settles in.

Consider this: New couple, new house. They probably have furniture, a washing machine, two microwaves, three kettles, four sets of cups and a jiko thanks to the guests at the wedding reception. Another glance at that list reveals a few glaring omissions.

For instance, I have yet to understand why we still present a Nairobi-based couple with a jiko at their wedding, despite the discovery of this brilliant product known as Liquefied Petroleum Gas. Too often have I visited newlyweds and despite having a fully furnished living room (including a gorgeous flat-screen television), they still have to order in because they’re missing either a cooker, a casserole dish or even a simple set of sufurias.

Which is where, in my opinion, the kitchen party comes in. A decent lot of friends will acknowledge that a man needs his food. After all, the common joke is that a man needs just three things to be happy: Food, sex and sleep.

I therefore put it to you: Rather than making sex the central theme now and again, how about reclaim the idea behind the “kitchen party” and also make it about making the bride’s kitchen something to be proud of? I say “the bride’s kitchen” realizing it may invoke a whole other argument about the couple and the kitchen, but let’s have that discussion another day.

From where I sit, the lingerie and the intimacy tips should come only after family and friends are sure that the kitchen is complete. Inasmuch as bedroom excitement does matter, the newlyweds need to fuel for them to have those exciting bedroom shenanigans. A little secret: If the food is that tantalizing, I really don’t care whether you’re in a “Seng’enge ni Ng’ombe” t-shirt – I will tear everything right off of you and get down to business. Food remains the way to a man’s heart – and more.

Of course, I’ve written all this with my assumption of what happens at a kitchen party. I’m still waiting for anyone to give me the details.

I’m almost begging.

- Mr. O

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13 thoughts on “Of bridal showers, kitchen parties and the newlyweds.

    • March 11, 2013 at 9:57 am

      Lies. I have yet to see a Nairobi man proudly donning the work of his wife’s hands. Lies.

      • March 11, 2013 at 12:38 pm

        I knitted a scarf for a guy I used to date. It was an effing awesome scarf. I still think he should have returned it to me when we parted ways.

        • March 18, 2013 at 1:54 pm

          Call him. Claim it. What’s he doing getting warm on your account? And how is he explaining away that scarf to his current?

  • March 11, 2013 at 9:07 am

    Interesting from a man`s point of view.

    Kitchen Party: Held by Mum and Aunties ( an older age group) . Advising brides on all matters wife and marriage including sex . A more sober perspective
    Bridal Shower/Hen Parties- held by brides friends/maids – generally in her age group .Can vary from very raunchy ( sex aunties, getting bride drunk for tell- tell session) to moderate with good talking points . But yes “thrice a day mind- blowing sex” is discussed :) :) amongst other topics like communication, money, importance of God in marriage etc etc

    That is all we can disclose for now

  • March 18, 2013 at 12:22 pm

    Someone very close to me was once presented with a kitchen/bathroom plunger during a bridal shower. Aside from that irrelevant detail, I can confirm that a lot of sex talk goes on. Communication et cetera may be mentioned in passing. I can neither confirm nor deny the presence of a man in just a trouser and bowtie.

    • October 22, 2013 at 7:34 am

      A plunger. I have my theory on why this character brought a plunger, but I cannot disclose it on this here forum.
      About Bowtie-Trouser-Man: I can neither confirm nor deny that I’ve made a deduction from that statement.

  • July 4, 2013 at 6:25 am

    Kitchen party – with the older ladies and the sex talk is minimal but disturbing (Did she really just say that? PS: An old lady during mine really said stuff that is still haunting me to date).

    Bridal showers – with the age mates and more raunchy. However, I have to say that we are given advice on how to take care of our husbands – food included (Well mine was that way :-)).

    In my opinion, the stag party is the one that needs more seriousness, yes?


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