Sunday, 28 May 2017

8. Weddings (part 1)



With this short post I have reached the pinnacle of hypocrisy; I am scaling the Everest of self-depreciation. I can only complain about the modern-day wedding with any authority because I am throwing one, a term I use intentionally to reveal that what I am in fact doing, is hosting a massive party. A party to which everyone I invite will be obliged to attend, even if they are out of the country; a party that celebrates me and the fact that I got lucky and stumbled (literally, I was very drunk) into a relationship good enough to justify the risk of entering into legal relations; a party that brazenly ignores the sexist and oppressive origins of marriage that I have chosen to disregard.
The modern wedding is, let’s be clear, utterly ludicrous. My parents popped to the town hall, went for a walk round the park and my mum wore a skirt-suit. That we even consider spending the amount we do these days suggests that a sort of generational insanity has taken hold. And don't go thinking it's enough to simply spend a ton of money, you must be crafty and artistic too. A quick glance on Pinterest or on any wedding blog will reveal the true horror of the scene. A wedding is nothing these days without handmade wooden signs, make-your-own-Bloody-Mary wedding favours and photo-booths, complete with dressing-up box. For my own wedding I am hand-making 100 origami butterflies. As an otherwise sane, disparaging person, something is afoot.
Then there’s the fact that it’s pretty sickening to ask people to celebrate the fact you’re in love with someone else. The other day, a mate of mine informed me that she's been invited to a party to celebrate her friend’s relationship  - an in-lieu-of-actually-getting-married party, if you will. I was immediately outraged and wondered who these weirdos were, only to be smacked in the face by the realisation that I am doing exactly the same thing. 

But then again, am I?

I’m certainly taking a bigger risk. Breaking up when you are married is more complicated than breaking up when you are not - there's money on the line. And although marriage is pretty pointless (unless you need a visa and I've heard there’s some sort of tax benefit – snore), there is something to be said for formally committing to someone else. The risk that we'll have to engage lawyers to disentangle ourselves from each other lends a bit of gravitas to the event.

But still, why make such a big fuss? How does it come about that someone like me, for whom public displays of affection are bile-inducing and who finds the very idea of openly declaring non-platonic love in front of friends and, even worse, family, is so happy to do so in front of 90 people, some of whom I don’t know that well. Obviously I love my husband-to-be (thank god, or this would be a very expensive mistake), but I would love him with or without the big country wedding and the poofy dress, so I can’t really claim it’s got much to do with him.
After much self-reflection, I have come to the conclusion that the reason I am so happy to throw a massive wedding is that I enjoy being the centre of attention and, as an adult, the opportunities are slim. When I was a kid I always wanted to be an actress (not willing to let crippling shyness deter me). Perhaps this wedding is my way of recapturing the dream of stardom - the aisle shall be my stage, the speech shall be my glittering d├ębut (yes, I am giving a speech, down with the patriarchy!).
Thankfully, I have no problem admitting that I enjoy being the centre of attention and so I don’t have to pretend that my wedding is anything other than a vehicle to achieve that dream. It’s so much easier to do something barefacedly self-indulgent if you’re happy to admit to being barefacedly self-indulgent.


p.s. My brother bought me a wedding magazine as a hilarious joke. In it, there is an article entitled "Our seven day eating plan for stress-free, radiant brides." The diet will ensure that I glow from the inside out, with "no bloating, clear skin, glossy hair, better quality of sleep and tons of energy". Well that's one worry to cross off the list! If only someone had told me that persistent acne, digestive problems and crippling tiredness can be cured by "harissa eggs on pea pesto courgetti". And stress too! Personally I can think of nothing more relaxing than a regimented eating plan. Throw in a candle and some dolphin music and call be a Buddhist. 


p.p.s Did you know that good fats like eggs and coconut oil are good for your sex drive? So that's the consummation sorted. Chuck me an egg-mayo sarnie and I'm your gal. 

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