Ok, so I get the whole trend of putting the Strictly by invitation tag on events, but the truth is that I never really took any of them serious.
This is why; first, I felt that a lot of people just put the tags in an attempt to keep their events “celebrity-like”, and to make people think that they are the crème de la crème of the society (a deception trend that has definitely been the norm in a country like Nigeria over the past few years). Second, I actually went to a few events when I was a child (I was pretty event savvy as a kid) and although they said “Strictly by invitation”, people ended up coming and going in and out as they pleased. Third, I always thought “What will they do if I don’t have an I.V.? Will they send me out?”
So this fateful Saturday, I happened to be home with my mum and elder sister and there wasn’t really much to do. I was on holidays, my sister had come home from school for an interview and she was getting ready to head back to school. The boredom was real, until my sister suddenly realized that there was a wedding around town that she got an invite to. The funny thing is that I had stopped being all party savvy. Most times, I preferred just staying home. However, on this particular day, I decided to tag along or an unknown reason.
“Yeah, sure. Why not go? It’s not like we’re really doing much here”, I said.
An hour later, we were in the car and we set out to locate the venue. The invite she got had that “Strictly by invitation” tag, but nobody really noticed it (we didn’t even stop to check. I mean, that was how much no one cared).
To or surprise, we got there and discovered that there were military men at the gate. We’d have turned back but the problem was that there was a pretty messy queue at the entrance and nobody wanted to disrupt the line and anger the men in uniform (ever been hit by a military man? Trust me, bad idea).
We got our turn, and the man asking turned to my sister to ask her whose list she was on. She said her friend’s name, and told him her name. He duly checked, and she was cleared.
I suddenly felt sick (for real, I was running a temperature).
I wasn’t sure what was worse; wasting an army man’s time or embarrassing myself (and my sister, and our family) by going to an event I wasn’t (well, technically) invited to. All I knew was that I needed to get out of that place ASAP.
Luckily, tough, my sister’s friend (who invited her) was a bridal train member was she was taking pictures outside. She came up, exchanged pleasantries with my sister, and helped clear my name by substituting me in for someone who couldn’t make it. Remember; you can’t make this stuff up.
Image: Kallang River side condo