take one woman with low self esteem, but quite good hair
add one moronic illness
stir in some medication which causes hair to fall out
mix it all up and this is what you get...

Tuesday, April 04, 2006


A common occurrence when one reaches one's thirties is devoting precious weekends to other people's weddings. I can't help becoming more and more anti-wedding as I get older. Ironically, now that I am in a couple (though, I hope, not too smug a couple), I feel much less inclined to have a wedding than I ever did as a wistful, misfit singleton, where I would sit there at the "wistful misfit singleton" table at the reception, imagining myself one day as the bride, reflecting on the one hand on my increasing age and, on the other, on my decreasing ability to meet anyone new, let alone potential husband material.

In the initial frenzy of excitement surrounding my relationship with Big, I won't deny that marriage was mentioned frighteningly early on. But the more we attended other people's weddings, the less inclined we felt to subject our friends (particularly single friends) and family to this expensive (for both hosts and guests), formulaic parade of smugness and ostentation which many, though not all, weddings seem to have become. I think those drinkers among us are probably more forgiving due to the usually copious amounts of free alcohol on offer at weddings. Unfortunately, I am not so easily bought.

The underlying sentiment of marriage (committing oneself to a relationship) is not lost on me, and I must admit to getting a tear in my eye at those points in the speeches where these sentiments are expressed in public. Interestingly, I rarely get a tear in my eye during the ceremony, not least because the participants are spouting someone else's words in broken sentences. I have seen ceremonies where the couple have added their own vows or have decided to make the vows without the prompts and I feel that this, at least, makes the whole thing a little more personal. The most recent ceremony I attended was thwarted by the constant whining, crying, coughing and spluttering of the selection of babies and children who were present. I could hardly hear the words of the registrar and the bride and groom above this cacophony of childhood. I doubt that the children were particularly enamoured by being forced to stand up, sit still, stand up again, sit down again and listen attentively to something which no doubt seemed utterly incomprehensible to them. I'm sure they, like me, would rather have been doing something else.

I just wonder whether the sentiment is lost within the pointless ceremonials, like being "formally received" by the bride, groom and various parents, (a particularly cringeworthy experience on this most recent occasion, especially because most of them had no idea who I was, being the newish "partner") and milling around hungrily after the ceremony for what seemed like hours whilst the endless stream of photos are taken.

Then there is the wedding list. A subject upon which I ought not to embark, for fear of being unable to stop ranting.

No. The more I think about it, the more I wonder what it's all for. I can only conclude that I'm just not the marrying kind.

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