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Friday, July 15, 2011

a bachelorette party

The invitation said, ‘Dresscode: Kittelschürze und Kopftuch (apron and head scarf)’.

First of all, I had no idea what a ‘kittelschürze’ was and second, this was going to be my very first, lone, social event. I was nervous. But, it turns out, I was not as nervous as the bride-to-be, whose surprise bachelorette party we were all going too!

Max and Bärbel are getting married. And, everyone who knows them is very excited. They are a lovely and interesting and very easy to be around. I don’t think that Bärbel really wanted a typical bachelorette party (who really does…except for maybe my soon-to-be sister-in-law!). But, she knew that something was happening, because she had been given her kittelschürze, so it’s not surprising that she was worried. I was worried too. I had no idea what a German bachelorette party looked like!

So, great guy and I headed to the second-hand store in Ingelheim for me to find my ‘costume’. He directed me to the kittelschürze section (yes, there really is an entire section). Now, these are not your typical, tie-around-waist, aprons. These are the long, sleeveless, button up, dress-like, mou-mou things that you would picture an old hausfrau in, who is cleaning the house all day. And, surprisingly, that is precisely who they are for! Every single kittelschürze was in size 50 or higher. There are, apparently, no Kate Moss-type hausfrau, cleaning ladies around.

After getting a colourful (and baggy) kittelschürze, with a matching kopftüch (why shouldn’t I try to match?) I began to mentally prepare for spending an entire evening with a bunch of women who I don’t know very well, on a planwagon (I’m not sure if there’s a specific name in English cause I’ve really seen one like this in Canada…except for at the Calgary Stampede or on Little House on the Prairie re-runs… a little covered wagon with a wooden table and benches inside and little holes to hold your wine glass…pretty much the cutest little wagon you’ll ever see) touring the wine bergs (wine hills) and drinking lots of wine. (I apologize to my writing prof, that was a very long sentence.)

Of course, the moment great guy dropped me off at the designated meeting spot on party night, and I climbed out of the truck, all was well. We all screamed and laughed at each other’s outfits and I preceded to have one of the most fun evenings I’ve ever had in my life. Truly.

This was a really wonderful group of women; a few who I knew a little and now much better, and a few who I didn’t know and now can’t wait to see again at the wedding. There were 13 of us in total, with Mickey driving the tractor (in the pouring rain) which pulled the wagon through the hills. It was bumpy and loud and hilarious. Mickey drove right through his family’s vineyard, back and forth, through the rows and rows of plump, ripening grapes. The tractor putt-putted up the steeper parts and, after a few shared bottles of sekt, we all just laughed and hung on to each other, hoping the tractor would not start reversing.

Our destination was a tiny hut, where bien-chen (little bee) pulled out picnic baskets stuffed full of meats and cheeses, spündekas (a delicious, cream-cheesy dip) and pretzels, olives and sun-dried tomatoes, and the best bread I’ve had up till now. It was a smorgasbord of goodness…along with many bottles of Mickey’s sekt and grauburgunder wine.

We spent hours standing around talking and laughing, eating and drinking, getting to know each other better, or at all. And, at…I have no idea what time it was…dusk-ish, maybe, we all climbed back into the wagon, with Mickey at the tractor wheel, and we putt-putted down the hill, back into town.

This was the absolute perfect way to celebrate an absolutely wonderful person. This is how all bachelorette parties should be (no North American kitschy ‘suck-a-buck’ t-shirts!!). Great women=new and old friends, great food=baggy clothing, some grapes=all forms, and a tractor.

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