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May 24, 2010

Rites of Passage

Yesterday I co-hosted a bridal shower for my goddaughter, who's getting married in July.  I haven't participated in many bridal showers and have never hosted one, and through the process of planning and the party itself, I've realized how little I know about this rite of passage so many women go through. 

I felt like an ethnologist observing the inner workings of a women's secret society.  "No, you can't throw the bows away!" one woman told the bride as she began opening gifts.  Another instructed her to say who the gift was from, hold it up, and tell everyone what it is.  "There sure are a lot of rules to this," the bride said.

Most of the older women seemed interested and engaged, teasing the bride or making comments about the gifts.  A lot of the younger guests hung back, lounging on lawn chairs or texting on their phones as if they were only half-present.  I wonder how the ritual will be changed by the time those women are the elders.  Will people still have bridal showers?

Since I have ceremonies and rites of passage on the brain, today's writing prompt involves rituals.  Write about a ritual or rite of passage you have observed or imagined.  Include details involving each of your senses.

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