Tuesday, 27 March 2007

Wedding Fever

As I think I’ve mentioned, my cousin Janey is engaged to be married to an amateur footballer called Darren. He plays for a non-league side but is constantly, according to Janey, on the brink of being signed for a “proper” team. This wedding is causing mixed emotions in our family: Janey’s mother, my Auntie Ivy, is beside herself with glee that her only daughter is becoming a WAG and both of them are getting up my mother’s nose; my other Aunt Daisy, because of the swiftness of the wedding (30 June 2007), is knitting bootees and matinee jackets in various shades of pastel; my sister Bea is wondering what Philip Treacy creation to choose for what “will hardly be a society wedding, what with all Darren’s chums milling around in Burberry and Hackett, but is still a family social occasion”.

And me? I’ve been roped in to help out with the wedding arrangements because I just sit at home all day doing nothing. I admit that, when I was asked on Saturday by Auntie Ivy to “help Janey, she hasn’t got a clue when it comes to flowers”, I was just settling down to watch Friends series 5 for about the fifth time but even so. I objected strongly for about two minutes before I gave in. Auntie Ivy’s voice goes right through me, anything to shut her up. Janey has now taken to calling me her Wedding Planner. In public. I met up with her yesterday at The Rye. I had just dropped Mac off to Eliza’s for the afternoon and was looking forward to a very large glass of wine and some chips and garlic mayonnaise. She arrived wearing a huge princess cut diamond, fake Donna Karan, fake tan, poker straight blonde streaks, bright red nails and dangling a Jaguar keyring. It seems she’s going to take to being a Footballers Wife very well. The engagement has clearly turned her head. At Christmas she had bitten-to-the-quick nails, mousey curls and drove a Honda.

After a quick air kiss she asked me where “me folder” was. Professing confusion (real, not faked), I pointed out the menu. “No, the Wedding Folder. You’re my Wedding Planner, you need a Wedding Folder. For all of your information things and…..stuff” she finished lamely, choosing a tuna salad and a sparkly water. She wants weekly meetings and daily phone calls. She wants overall say on everything and wants me to arrange wedding cake tastings, flower workshops and catering company tasting sessions. Kicking into action (carbs are great for getting the brain working aren’t they?) I asked her the budget for this extravaganza. She ummed and aahed a bit, fiddled with an oversized earring, flicked a curtain of hair over her shoulder and wrote a figure on a beermat. During this fiddling and flicking session I had visions of Gordon Ramsay doing the food, Chikako Shindo for the flowers and Harrods supplying the four tiered iced confection. After seeing the budget I quickly downgraded to Mrs Entwhistle and her daughter June doing the food, East Street stalls for the flowers and Charlie in the kitchen making a cake. And as for the venue! Out goes Claridges and in comes the Church Hall.

Janey looked defiantly shame-faced (yes, it is possible to be both). “Dad’s cashing in a policy which’ll give us another couple of hundred quid, Darren’s got some saved and mum’s doing the Lottery” she said, carefully extracting the onion from her salad that had just arrived. I offered her a chip. “Don’t, I need to lose at least a stone and a half before the wedding” said my stick-thin cousin who would blow over in a gust of wind.

I get the feeling that my mood for the next three months will be an irritable one. There was one bright moment, when we left The Rye together, me to go to WH Smiths to get some ring binders and paper and Janey to go to the gym to work off her tuna. She sashayed across the road, BMW keyring on full view to pedestrians and drivers alike before skulking into an unwashed sky blue Honda.

On another matter I’ve got Lydia clogging up my doorstep, phone and sofa having a mild (!) fit of angst. On Sunday, following the disaster with Giles In The Office, she and Matthew bonded over a bottle of wine and a roast dinner cooked by yours truly and found they had a lot in common. Apart from their ages. Lydia (and David joins her in her misgivings) is worried about the 14 year age gap. Matthew is taking her out tomorrow night and she’s worried about being called a cradle-snatcher by everyone in the restaurant. David agrees with her. But not to her face, clearly. When he broached the subject with me this morning, I suggested that he not worry about the age gap for, after all, there is a 15 year gap between our good selves. After a few seconds of silence, he claimed it was different “for a man to be seen with a younger woman, less stigma”.
Annoying, but sadly he’s right. But now I’ve got to convince Lydia that it’s okay for her to be seen out with a younger, good looking man – especially if we can engineer it so her husband and his bit on the side sees her as well.
Now, how can I manage that…….?


dulwichmum said...

Couldn't you just suggest that Janey goes abroad to get married? They can sort the entire 'do' out in the resort.

Nunhead Mum of One said...

Why did you not mention that at the time when we were in that stuffy kitchen? Have you ever seen Auntie Ivy open a window?

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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.