So there’s this wedding, or whatever. Well we’ve been to some as well y’know. One of us has even HAD one. Stuff THAT in yer Philip Treacy hat and something something grumble grumble.
I was once invited to the wedding of a couple who an ex boyfriend and I had been friends with when we were together. I was totally fine with not actually really even being friends with them any more, to be honest, so was surprised or flattered or whatever when they invited me and my newer better nicerer boyfriend. The bride to be then asked if I minded if my ex’s NEW girlfriend (who he’d cheated on me with) was there, and if they could sit them near us. I said I obviously didn’t care if she went (not MY wedding after all, is it…) but that I’d rather not sit with them thanks. Fair enough I thought. After the epic dramas of having to hire a car to drive from Brighton to Sheffield (NEVER hire from Easycar, people) – upon arrival and realising we had missed the ceremony, we took our seats. Me, ex to the right, Newboy to the left. No sign of my ex’s ReplacementMe, as she’d decided it would be too uncomfortable for her. UNCOMFORTABLE. Indeed. Australian vegetarian new media creatives and scruffy Yorkshire IT geeks don’t make the best of friends, it seems. Needless to say, we left after the first dance. OH also, the bride’s dress had this draw-string contraption built-in so she could hitch it up like a pair of curtains for dancing. Also, the dress was silver.
Quite a few of my school friends are now married. All of my cousins are married. My best mate is divorced. I’ve got two weddings coming up over the summer (although both are sure to be great and lovely and are for people I adore), but haven’t yet posted back either of the RSVP cards due to being a bit unable to face the reality of probably having to cross off “+ Guest” from the damn things.
I’ve never been a “my dream wedding would be….” type of person. I’ve had two relationships where we’ve ended up discussing the prospect of marriage. Once just in a drunken rambling way, once in a quite serious and proper way. But those ideas were a result of the relationship. Not out of a need for a wedding or to be married.
I must have written 4 billion other times on here about my inability to have much foresight. I’m not good at planning, or predicting, or looking forward, or seeing anything long-term ever happening. This explains a lot of other things in my life (Foolish spontaneous decisions. Telling people too much. Telling the wrong people the wrong things. Telling the right people the wrong things. Moving cities. Moving countries. Having no savings. Or money in general. And so on…). So yeah – looking forward enough to see a wedding in my future? Impossible, for me. Not in any sad or upsetting way – it’s just not how my brain works.
I know a couple of people who are quite obsessed with the idea of marriage. Or weddings, at least. Fixated on the idea of it providing some sort of sense of completion or accomplishment or achievement. Of ticking the box of what you Should Have Done By Now. Of being wanted. Of the ultimate gift (THE RING*). Of wearing an amazing dress. None of these things appeal to me or register in my brain. If I ever was to find myself faced with a man on one knee because he liked it and wants to put a ring on it, then I expect it will just be because it’s The Right Thing To Do and there wasn’t ever going to be anything else and everything we had was good and right and perfect. Or that we at least believed that for the time being.
Marriage is actually quite a terrifying prospect for me. I’m no commitment-phobe, but my parents aren’t going to suddenly say “THAT’S BRILLIANT NEWS! WE’VE BEEN SAVING UP FOR THIS FOR YEARS HERES A MASSIVE CHEQUE TO PAY FOR ALL THE WEDDINGY STUFF” – because they don’t HAVE savings. And despite not subscribing to any religion myself, I come from a (vaguely, traditional) Jewish family. All of my married cousins married jews. In fact there’s only one or two people in our entire family tree who have married people who weren’t Jewish. This is not important to me in the slightest. I don’t practice or believe in any religion. I participate in a couple of family occasions, but consider them just to be our own traditions rather than attaching any spiritual significance to them. But there’s this thing – this idea – not mine, but the generation before me, that it’s a big deal to find Other Jews. And to make fresh new tiny Jews. Because for years and years people tried to kill the lot of them and it’s important to keep things alive that might not be. Keep things from being watered down and lost. I appreciate that – but it’s not for me. Finding someone awesome who is fun and understands me and all of those things we want – those are my goals. If they’re down with bringing me delicious fresh cream cheese bagels in bed on a Sunday morning too, then that’s a bonus. The Jewish guys I HAVE met/dated/slept with etc… weelllllll – whether we had an alright time or not, it wasn’t enough to convince me that it’s important enough to stay focused on.
(*The ring, though. There’s a massive sparkly diamond with my name on it, in a safe, somewhere. It’s The Family Jewel. The one that gets put in my futurepotentialcurrentlyimaginary engagement ring. But only if I marry a jew. Which is highly unlikely. So I’ll just wait till I get it in someone’s will and pawn it for shoes, I suppose.)
Where was I?
Ah yes. So yeah. Have your wedding. Settle if you’re desperate. Celebrate in a gorgeous way if you’re The Happiest. Invite me. Ask me to be bridesmaid. Employ me to make your hair accessories (yes I can do that. Reasonable rates, too). Do all the things you’re desperate to do. Or just empty the free bar and go home alone, like me.
I’m in the middle of going through a D.I.V.O.R.C.E at the moment. I want it more than those Gypos on channel 4 want a bright pink, light up, butterfly, ten stone frock. Those of you who have read my past posts will know my marriage and the entire relationship was a hard slog. We got married because we already had a baby and it was almost expected that that’s what we should do. Being young I also felt it would make things better. OBVIOUSLY DIDN’T. I didn’t even get a proposal, we discussed the idea of getting married and I ordered myself a twenty pound ring off of ebay. I should have guessed then that maybe things weren’t right. The wedding itself was lovely, but lovely because I had all my family around me. After the first dance I didn’t see my ex husband for the rest of the night and then got so utterly utterly hammered that I passed out when we went back to our hotel. (Again this really does speak volumes)
When we first broke up I swore blind I would never get married again EVER. I decided the idea of a second wedding was just tacky, and how would I know. If that didn’t work, how the hell do you know? I had visions of me becoming some sort of Elizabeth Taylor figure (gawd rest her soul)
Over the years I’ve seen couples that I thought were perfect, break up, and the messy process of divorce begins. I’ve also seen women plan their weddings for YEARS. And obsess over the colour of the fucking napkins. They’re napkins for fuck sake, you’re only gonna be using em to clear up Uncle Tonys sick at the end of the night. Then the day ends that they’ve spent all theirs and their parent’s life savings on. And the bride spirals into some sort of post wedding comedown for six months, whilst the groom stares on in utter confusion.
Yet knowing all this I still found myself defending the idea of marriage to a bloke last week who first claimed he wouldn’t get married because of the cost. I then pointed out that it didn’t have to cost loads. So he then said he didn’t want to because breaking up would be so much harder. This made me think that if you entered into everything thinking it was going to fuck up then you probably wouldn’t do anything at all.
So where do I stand on the whole thing now? Well I still believe in marriage. Yup, even though mine fucked up I still think it’s a lovely thing to do. I just think it needs re-evaluating that’s all. Brought up to date a bit, I mean, marriage, church, WHAT GOD HAS BOUGHT TOGETHER LET NO MAN TARE APART!!!! It’s all so fucking serious and so much pressure to get it right. Me and Mr Panda decided that wedding vows should be a bit more realistic……
“To have and to hold
For Richer and not quite as rich
In health and a mild cold only
Till borednesswe do part”
I guess it’s all in how you view it. For some people it’s all about the BIG DAY and they don’t see further than that, for others it’s just about wanting to be married. Getting to the point where saying this is my boyfriend seems a bit daft. Some people just want the world to know that they love their other half enough that they’re officially taking themselves out of the meat market. Other good reasons for getting married include, if you get to gain a really cool new surname, if your about to be deported because you’re an illegal immigrant, if your 90-year-old Aunt who you’ve never met says she wont leave you her million pound fortune if you don’t. Oh and obviously if it means you become a FUCKING PRINCESS!!! (I’d totally re marry for that)
So if you are getting married this year, well done. Enjoy it, have fun with it, delight as you sit in the doctors waiting room about to get a cervical smear when the receptionist calls out “Mrs so and so” for the first time. Just make sure you do it for each other not for everyone else. (Oh and don’t get a DJ for the reception cos they’ll play the Venga Boys and you’ll do a cry)