I went on my first ever hen’s weekend away a couple of weeks ago and it was fantastic!
It seems a distant memory as I type to the theme tune of Koray’s 30 minute tantrum downstairs because the battery died on my phone and that is somehow my fault even though he’s been on youtube all morning; grand, Ossie just lost his shit and let a roar at him… he’s quietened to whimpering about how much he hates me.
T’was a Friday afternoon and after much dropping off of children and hasty leg shaving I arrived at Jens, my cousin and the hen. I must give some background here…. Jen was an awful hussy and had her daughter before her wedding. The wedding was in a registry office and then a raucous party back at her house where not one person walked a straight line upon leaving (I was carried out). Poor Jen (and Chris, her husband) spent their wedding hangover dealing with a baby. Another baby came along and 3 years later she got around to organising a hens. I too was (am) a heathen hussy and pregnant on my wedding day so my hens has yet to be planned, almost 10 years later.
The bus arrived and it was so comfy and me, Jen and my friend Susan hopped on… pinching ourselves that we were about to leave our kids for 2 whole nights! There were 10 of us all together and we started sedately on Bucks Fizz.. The driver, Ken amazingly let me plug my phone in and play my spotify playlist… his eyebrows raised when the Carpenters blared and I further emasculated him with lots of Whitney and Madonna. Jen had a large cooler in the back and produced many Coronas with lemon and shocker, I drank beer…. ME!!! and I might again. Jen and Susan made up a song about me called Tiny Bladder as I sprinted into pubs and petrol stations grabbing my crotch and shouting “don’t make me laugh!”
We eventually got to Carrick on Shannon and after another pee dash into a cafe we arrived at our suite which was so beautiful, I contemplated starting a new life there. I was to share a room with Susan, who is always my wife on nights out and Jen shared with her cousin Michelle. There was another apartment across the way that housed Jen’s in-laws who were all completely mental, in a fun way!
We realised that we were all more than a little hammered so coffees were made along with tayto sandwiches. My wife went for a little nap, (she’s not able) and me, Jen and Michelle laid all our makeup out on the table and extolled the virtues of this lipstick or illuminator and we cleansed, toned and moisturised while listening to the dulcet tones of Peter Cetera, Madonna (I got to sing an uninterrupted Live To Tell Bridge) and Bruce.
I got a bit of a fright when we went into the pub first .. Murtaghs… it was stag and hen heaven/ hell. There was an almost tangible wall of testosterone to be fought through to get seats which we did, followed by a couple of platters that we horsed down. There were many older.. dare I say culchie guys in their best shirts, dancing with their eyes closed. I was fascinated but Jen warned me not to make eye contact. We noticed that our wives (Michelle and Susan) were getting a bit slumped of shoulder, due to the fact that they both have a combined weight of maybe 10 stone and decided to get the little ladies home. Jen disappeared for ages to the toilet and I became enraged and stalked off to find her. She was chatting to a couple in the smoking area and I stormed up and shouted “your wife is drunk!”… I started to drag her away as she mumbled about not being gay but voted yes in the referendum and not having any problem with it. As soon as we got outside I realised it was all a ruse as Jen fell over a kerb and admitted to being drunk. I ferried them home like a military sergeant… Michelle went rogue through a field at some point and I had to pee alfresco. I noticed a small roped area and warned all making sure everyone stepped over safely with Jen by my side shouting rope! and careful now! She then became entangled somehow and ended up in a heap… I thought of drawing a chalk line around her but we made it back. Captain Morgan made an entrance and we decided to play old tv theme tunes and sing along. What fun! Three’s Company best for dancing while Family Ties best for a tear up. Me and Jen Blue Steeled to 90210. Much, much later I got into bed and couldn’t sleep due to all the caffeine and I took a Night Nurse and climbed into Iggle Piggle’s boat and floated away yes my name is Iggle Piggle….
Day 2 and much medication later, we made a big fry for everyone and spent the day making ourselves beautiful… it took that long.
Maureen arrived, Jen’s cousin in law and a roommate for me and Susan. Things got complicated when she and Susan discovered a mutual love of Star Trek and hatred (they just don’t know) of Game of Thrones and I ended up calling Maureen affair…. To which I referred to her all night.
We went for dinner in the Courtyard Kitchen and then were picked up for a cruise on the Shannon… which was basically Murtaghs on water. We sat on the boat facing the most miserable hen’s party I’d ever seen… a bunch of women who had obviously had professional hair and makeup done that day and were doing their best not to displace any of it. You know how make up artists are called Muas? Well I think of their prey as having been mua-ed. Some of our gang got some muscly guys to put Jen’s hens t shirts on and they wore them well while Jen lamented her innocent 18 year old face (image on t-shirt) being subjected to such lewdness.
Back to the pub and the ratio of men to women was quite high and we abused this… Jen had a boy carry our shots to the table only to realise that he wasn’t staff. We situated ourselves in the smoking area where we were besieged with compliments from hot nordy guys.. “You have 3 kids?” “you’re 40?.. I don’t believe it”… how delightful! They drifted away when they realised that we weren’t interested in a “my husband doesn’t understand me” scenario.
We headed home on the promise of more theme tunes and Captain Morgans. Instead we made a mistake and played John Denver and we all sat there with tears dripping onto the floor as we thought of mothers, aunties and friends lost. As an antidote, we played Counting Crows and some early 90s stuff and sang till almost 4am. As I went to bed I left Jen and Michelle holding hands and crying to Hootie and the Blowfish…. I actually laughed myself to sleep.
The next day was not so funny and I don’t know how I packed or got on the bus but I know the journey home was a sombre one. I didn’t know if I wanted to puke or have volcanic scuts but I held it together and cured myself somewhat by eating 5 packets of Hula Hoops in a row… The Murphys were still upbeat but a glance at Jen and Susan showed shells of human beings.
Ken was surprised by our personality change but respected it with silence.
We were deposited one by one back to our families and we were grateful of some normalcy (except Jen who spent that night in Temple Street with her son who had a chest infection).
It took me about 3 days to get over the debauchery and have a glass of wine and I cannot wait to plan my own… all suggestions welcome.