Wednesday, 28 March 2007

Strained Relations

A Family Conference had been called. We all piled round to Auntie Ivy’s last night to discuss The Wedding and To Meet The Bridegroom. It was nothing short of a disaster. Mum, Ivy and Daisy were on one side of the room with Darren, Janey and Darren’s mum Lou on the other when Bea and I arrived. And there they stayed, with Bea and I in the middle dodging snipes, verbal bullets and deflecting Looks.

Darren is a footballer. He has footballers legs (bandy) and tattoos all over his muscled arms. A pierced ear and a bizarre hairstyle made me think instantly “poor man’s David Beckham”. Bea asked him “are you one of those footballers that think spitting is acceptable?” He grunted an answer but none of us caught it. Janey stroked his arm and made soothing noises. “However is he going to say his vows if he can’t speak?” Bea whispered so quietly everyone in the room, the house next door and those wandering around the park over the road could hear. Another grunt, this time from Janey who shot Bea a Look.

Lou, Darren’s mother – fresh from rehab – was wearing a fetching denim ensemble of different hues and ages. Her jeans were bright blue and brand new, her waistcoat was grey, mottled and decades old and her jacket, slung over her shoulders like a cape was stonewashed and frayed. She doesn’t want “no son of hers done up like a dogs dinner”. This was in response to Ivy’s comment of “top and tails for the men”. Janey favours a “larnge suit” approach and advised that she herself wasn’t going for traditional wedding colours. Ivy and Lou both tutted at this. Ivy went as far to say “me and your dad are NOT paying for some half cocked, thrown together thing that looks nothing like a wedding. We want pomp, we want ceremony, we want an ivory wedding gown”. As they hold the cheque book, Janey had to agree with her demands. “I’m not having bridesmaids I don’t know though, Jenny Mackintosh ended up with half of her John’s female relations and she didn’t know of them”.

The Wedding Planner had so far not taken part in any discussions, despite the fact that my lever arch folder (pink) had taken pride of place on the kitchen table, along with my pencil case (haven’t had one of those since I was 15) and my Post-it Notes and notebook. In fact, nobody seemed bothered that I’d raided WH Smiths, Janey was far more interested in telling everyone that “someone from Big Brother will be at the wedding, we’re really close”. Davina McCall? Dermot O’Leary? Third secret camera man from the left? The mind boggles. Bea, who doesn’t believe in Reality TV, began to panic about falling over Z-listers in the aisles and at the reception. Her Philip Treacy confection would no doubt lose value if it was seen anywhere near a Big Brother “star”. She was looking slightly green around the gills.

“What abaht the food?” Lou asked, fixing me with a piercing look. Literally. Her eyebrow had what appeared to be a screw through it. “Only, some of our lot are whatchamacallit intolerant. Glue or something.” Janey rolled her eyes, hissed “Gluten” and jangled her bracelets. Aunt Daisy sniffed and muttered something about faddy eaters. The evening was not going well.

It degenerated once we’d got on to choice of entertainment for the evening. We were still in our starting positions although Bea and I had at least sat down at the table. Bea suggested a nice string quartet that played at a christening she attended recently. “Very tasteful, very unobtrusive, just to provide background music while you’re eating the, erm….” here she looked down at the list of food suggestions spread out in front of me “sausages rolls with ketchup dip, quiche and jellied eels at the buffet table” Darren looked aghast – well, he would have done if he knew what it meant – “we ain’t having no poncy violins. Nah, mate of mine said he’d do the disco.” Janey grinned “What, Dave?” she asked. “Yeah, Dave” Darren said, waggling his eyebrows. Janey giggled girlishly and blushed. Dear God. I wasn’t going there.

So – a mere three hours after we arrived – we’d discussed all that we came to. We knew the church, the reception venue and I had been left off the Wedding Breakfast invitation list “cos you’ll be at the hall sorting stuff out and that”. Mac is to be Page Boy and Ring Bearer (this will go down like a lead balloon), Caitlin is to be bridesmaid, along with Darren’s cousins Tatiana and Juliet. Because it’ll be “cute beyond words”, Ian is to join Darren’s brothers and a couple of team mates as Ushers. This left Bea in a cold sweat. As she said on the way home “I do not want a son of mine to start speaking football speak and thinking tattoos are acceptable. I shall police his every move.”
I’ve been left with seventeen pages of A4 covered in scribbles, an offer of help from Bea “I’ll make sure we don’t go to Tacky City or beyond”, an aching brain and a wish to flee the country until the 1st of July.

1 comment:

Pig in the Kitchen said...

oh wow, you have got your work cut out for the wedding! good luck...!Pigx

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Nunhead, London, United Kingdom
I'm a mum of one, wife of one and owner to several dogs, a variety of breeds and sizes. I live in the up and coming area (or so they say) of Nunhead and have mad neighbours, strange friends and certifiable relatives. I shop locally, although I do defect to Sainsburys once a week - shoot me now local shopkeepers.