In an earlier post I wrote about not being married yet. And in breaking news in a few days, I turn 44 years old.
This means I am now into middle age.
The clock is ticking. Tick tock…
When it is your first wedding, you are invariably young I imagine and can wear a rip-off Vera Wang gown, can opt for lavish winery nuptials with a live band covering a range of dance favourites and can join the great traditions of Western weddings without a trace of cringe.
Maybe I could still do this. I could invite everyone I know and dress up like a meringue in virginal white. I could walk down an aisle, nodding at the guests and doing that big teeth clench “I’m nervous” expression. My intended spouse could stand at the end and look nervously over his shoulder at A Vision walking toward him and then get a little nudge from his Best Man as if to say “You’ve done well for yourself, Mate”.
We could then process back down the aisle to the photographer, who would take us to any number of locales around town; the Wintergarden, St Heliers Beach at sunset, the Panmure Roundabout, and take decently priced black and white stills of our love, with perhaps a few fun-filled ones of the groom and his Wolf Pack wearing dark shades, or with rolled up suit trouser legs kicking the beach water.
The one for our good table would be us looking back at the camera, showing off my veil, thusly draped down, as long and floaty as the til strip receipt for the cost of the whole event.
We’d get on a Lambretta and whisk ourselves away to dinner and dancing until dawn, Debbie Dorday style.
And for our wedding dance: Sting. The Tantric Sex years.
The twang of an acoustic bass, the imagery of a Verona amphitheatre. So classy, so European.
We would then ditch our five children into care and board an aircraft to whichever Asian nation had the best beach ‘n Botox deal.
The reality is this scenario will never happen for me. I am not a meringue girl. I don’t even like the edible type. I could never walk down an aisle like that, expecting people to defer to my majesty on my day of days.
There’s a bit of back story to this too. For me the wedding signifies the absolute end of being an island. Of course this is silly, because when you have been in defacto mode for seven years or so, and have a family, you cannot truly be considered “an island” at all.
An island to me is someone who is defined as just themselves. They operate within the parameters of just that and nothing else. It doesn’t signify ‘single’ or ‘unhappy’ or even ‘uncertain’. It’s just what it is really. You are happy not being married.
The spanner in the works is it is often your children who would like to see mum and dad married, like all the kids in their class, and of course they are gagging for a one-off chance to dance to Sting.
There’s other pressures. The school run mums who look quizzically at you when you speak of only ‘your partner’. All sorts of things to make you think it’s time to jump the broom for once and for all, just to get the world off your back.
The other factor is something I have written about before, after reading Moab is my Washpot by Stephen Fry. It’s called Joining In. Wanting to, but not feeling part of the greater group of joiner – iners.
Not all of us do everything by the book in life. Some of us do not marry, then have kids, then buy a house, then start having holidays to the islands.
There are other roads to partnership and love that take us to roughly the same destination, but they don’t look as tidy and are harder to compare to the women’s rag showpieces of relationships.
I am the latter.
There is a time though, to put aside wasteful ideas about weddings and marriage and just get on with it.
I just need to find a form of marrying, somewhere between the meringue Sting wedding and one in which I wear Ivory instead of white and sign off in a Registry Office.
I am going to get married this year. I’m going to put my cold feet into expensive slingbacks and join in.