I used to be a professional bridesmaid, until the series of events I’m about to tell you, led to my retirement.
I first began to think of retiring after Wedding 1. I arrived the town in which the wedding was taking place, and discovered that the bride had arranged for just one room for eight bridesmaids in a rundown hotel. The room she’d gotten was filthy; the floor was thickly coated with dust. Two used condoms lay on the floor and on the bed, were old, stained beddings.
A few of us came up with money for another room, much in the same state as the first. The bed only fit three people, so I took turns with another girl sleeping in the armchair until morning.
Next morning, we arrived at church late. The priest said we needed to cover up our shoulders, before we’d be allowed inside. I bought and shared shawls. Next thing, the priest said the bride’s cleavage was too obvious. She was seven months along. We loosened the dress; no luck. I had to tear off the second layer of her veil and use it as a shawl. By the time we were done, the priest had already begun the wedding ceremony, with the groom only.
At the reception, the groom’s family hoarded food, while guests starved. I went to get a cooler of rice for the elderly and one of the groomsmen began to drag my dress.
“Where do you think you’re going to with that cooler? Are you mad? Come on, put it down!”
All these screamed at the top of his lungs. I almost died of embarrassment.
At Wedding 2, the bride said her wedding would be featured in Ovation Magazine. The two asoebi was N40,000 each. I looked at my bank balance; it was laughing like a hyena. I told her that I’d go to the wedding in my own clothes.
“Okay,” she said, sulking.
On the D-Day, the bride saw me at church and gave me the gelé and ipele.
“Wear it, so you won’t feel left out,” she said.
I was surprised, thanked her, and even helped to serve the guests. After the reception, she said to me, “Do you have my money? I need to pay for some drinks.”
“Which money?” I asked.
“The money for the gelé and ipele you collected.”
“I didn’t ask for it. You were the one who gave it to me.”
Madam was vexed!
“I tried to help you, so you wouldn’t feel left out,” she screamed. “Now you’re repaying my good with evil.”
When she was done, everyone was giving me the evil eye. I quietly left, taking the gelé and ipele of course.
At Wedding 3, the bride asked me to pick the money sprayed on the couple at the reception. It was my first money-picking gig. I was in the middle of doing my assigned duty, when the groom’s brother showed up on the dance floor. He snatched the bag of money from my unsuspecting hand.
“Who are you?” he yelled. “Who told you to pack this money? Thief! Look at this hungry thing. GET OUT OF HERE!”
I was stunned and angry. I went to the bride, who was dancing with her husband.
“Babe, your brother-in-law just embarrassed me. Didn’t you tell them I’d be picking the money?”
“You leave the money nah!” she said, irritated. “Must you pick it? If he says you should leave it, leave it. Or are you trying to cause trouble between me and my in-laws?”
Ah! Na me be dis? Just look at my life in the outside of the worldwide. With nothing to say, I jeje jeje mi went straight to the hotel and out of the town. Never spoke to her again.
The concluding part of “The Bridesmaid Series” by Eketi Edima Ette [Part II]
Eketi Edima Ette is a writer, editor, digital media manager and founder of Kedima Consults.
A creator of two successful online courses on creative writing and business communications, she speaks and does trainings on creative writing, digital content creation and women entrepreneurship.
In her spare time, she loves to read, volunteer, , cook up funny comedy skits, travel and learn new languages.