I came home from hanging out with the girls the other night, only to find an impromptu supra at my home. Every chair in my house was at the table where ten men, Nini and a few of my host cousins were feasting on delicious food and wine.
One of the men at the table, Lasha (who became close with the family after he endured a root canal without any type of novocaine (I can still hear his girlish screams)), told me that if I wanted to sit at the table there was a three-drink minimum. Ha! I thought. I just graduated University- three drink minimums are for pansies.
So as we’re toasting and eating, Nini, my vakhtang duri (drinking partner) for the night decided that it was absolutely necessary for Melissa to be at the supra. So Nini thought it would be a good idea to call Melissa’s little host brother Koko at 10:30pm and beg him to let Melissa come over.
Before I could tell Nini to leave Melissa alone, the two of us could be found dancing in the street to Brazilian house music awaiting the arrival of Melissa. And once Melissa arrived, the toasts really took off. Toasts to life, to health, to God, to friendship, to Georgian culture, to America, to Israel, to children, yada, yada, yada.
But what’s a Georgian party without some awkwardness? There happened to be two single men at the table approaching forty who are still unmarried. My host dad, Vaho, kept awkwardly insinuating that Melissa and I should take a good look at them. ‘They need wives,’ Vaho bellowed. To which Melissa repeatedly yelled, “ME VAR ODZDA ORI!” (I’m 22).
That’s pretty much how the night went. We ate, we drank, we toasted- and we awkwardly avoided any and all eye contact until it was only us women that were left at the table. With Vaho the tamada (toastmaster) asleep on the couch, Melissa took over toasting duties and began to lead a toast for women.
Her toast began with “ajeki” (stand up). Normally at a supra, only the men stand and women have to remain seated. So naturally, any toast that empowers women has to defy a few Georgian cultural standards! I can’t quite recall the toast Melissa made (it was a long supra with good wine) but it was pretty beautiful.
I still don’t understand why woman have to remain seated while the men are toasting. Some people have told me that women have special rights and are entitled to sit, but I hate this answer. First off, special rights are not equal rights. But anyways, men get to do all the fun things at a supra: drink out of rams’ horns, lead toasts, and they don’t have to clean up. Now remind me, what kind of special partying rights do women have again?
P.S. Hope you’re all enjoying having Beyonce’s “All the Single Ladies” stuck in your head.