Every time I’m invited to a wedding, engagement party, birthday or any occasion, I try to disappear and invent a million excuses in order not to attend. Nowadays, to be invited to such events is a complete hassle and very expensive, especially if you are a woman and living in Kuwait. The first thing a woman thinks of when she is invited to any of these occasions is: ‘What shall I wear? I have nothing to wear! I can’t wear this dress because I already wore it before. I need to buy a new dress!’ Although shopping is a constant urge and desire for women, going and searching for the perfect dress in order to impress attendees at a wedding or a party takes so much time, energy and money.
Maybe if you are lucky you can find a nice gown on sale between KD 40 and KD 60 – as I said before – if you are lucky. And I’m not talking about buying big brand names – I’m talking about buying a dress from a standard shop for middle-class people. If you are wearing a short dress or a skirt, then buying new shoes to match your dress is a must. The desired shoes will cost you between KD 20 and KD 30. If you are wearing a long gown, then you can save some money and wear old comfortable shoes that you can actually dance in, otherwise you have to spend extra money and buy new shoes.
If you are trying to imitate fashionistas, you will definitely need a matching bag with the shoes, and this would cost you around KD 20 to KD 30. Shall I go on? Of course I will, simply because I haven’t mentioned jewelry/accessories, makeup and hair. If you are the kind of woman who likes to attract attention, you will need bling-bling jewelry or accessories capable of turning heads when you pass by the crowd of women who are sitting like vultures ready to criticize the smallest details of your outfit and compare it with theirs.
Here you have two options – either you wear real jewelry that you have kept in a secure box from your wedding or inherited from your mother and get away with it. Or you can buy a good fake accessory that also costs not less than KD 30. Have I mentioned that you have to go to a nail salon in order to apply nail polish just to complete your look? Well, that will cost you around KD 10 to KD 12.
The second important question that women ask themselves if they are invited to a particular event other than ‘What shall I wear?’ is ‘Where and how will I do my hair and put on my makeup?’ If you are a low-key person and you decide to do your makeup and hair at home, then you will be saving around KD 60. If you are the kind of person that has lost the battle between personal conviction and social pressure, then be my guest and pay the KD 60.
Let us double-check our checklist. Dress: Check. Shoes: Check. Accessories: Check. Hair and makeup: Check. Nails: Check. Did I forget anything? Well yes, the gift! You will look bad if you go empty-handed. You have to get a gift, and this will also cost you not less than KD 50. So the total a woman has to pay when she is invited to a wedding or any important occasion is around KD 270!
Arabs in general and Kuwaitis in particular love to show off, and women feel so much pressure from society when they are invited to any occasion. They are pressured to dress up and they pay a lot of money for their outfits. It has become a vicious competition between women. The problem is if you are invited to a certain event and do not attend, people will complain that you did not show up. If you attend but your outfit doesn’t match their fashion standards, they will criticize you. If you decide to attend and you look really nice and fashionable, they will still criticize you.
So basically, no matter what you do and how much money and energy you spend, society without a doubt will criticize you. So there are three solutions to this issue. One: Spend money, energy and time to fit the crowd. Two: Just be yourself, wear whatever makes you feel comfortable and ignore all the criticism. Three: It’s what I usually do. I tell everyone in advance – please do me a favor and don’t invite me!
By Sahar Moussa