Monday, September 25, 2006

Really. Simple. Very. Polite.


On Saturday night we had our London wedding party. Our friends commented that we were just eking out this whole getting married business for the presents. And their point is???

Seriously, it was good to see a lot of people we haven't seen in a long time and we really felt able to let our hair down, without having to worry about when to cut the cake, hair and makeup for the official photos, staying sober for speeches, and opening the dance floor etc.

If planning a wedding for 70 people in the South of France has taught me anything it's this: The more precise you are, the more perfect you want things, the most specific you are about your vision, the more disappointed you will be. As wonderful as everything was on the day, some things weren't as we wanted them, and other stuff cocked up a bit. Truly minor details, and I doubt anyone noticed, but we (or I) did, and it's entirely my fault. The operative word here being details, and indeed getting caught up in them.

Someone, somewhere, once said a good party consists of having the right people and plenty of booze, and the rest just happens. And it's true, you could put people in factory with a few bottles of wine and they'd find a way of having a good time. Andy Warhol did it.

Much like life itself the more hung up your are on the details, the less open you are to the very wonderful unexpected spontaneous nature of it. Some of the best nights happen when you're least expecting it. You're sitting on your sofa in your jammies, your face full of Cearasil, ready for a night of TV and pizza, and your friends drop round and drag you out for a few drinks. In fact, this is how a friend of mine met what would become the love of her life and husband. And, according to her, she had a scrunchie in her hair. A scrunchie for goodness sakes! Like John Lennon sang, 'Life is what happens to you when you're busy making other plans.'

Saturday night was an opportunity for us to party with friends, family, and colleagues that weren't in France with us, and we had a blast.
A brilliant jazz band 'Sax in the City', (highly highly recommended), a beautiful venue and delicious food (ditto on recommendation) and some wonderful friends. The general plan was to serve champagne on arrival, food at 7.30, and have the band start playing at 8. No more or less complicated than that, and it was one of the most stress free, fun things I've ever organised.

A few people didn't turn up, nor did they let us know they weren’t coming - not even a text message. I understand that people get sick (it's happened to me), or have to work, or something last minute comes up, but you also have to appreciate that someone else is spending time and money on something, and the polite and more so considerate thing is to let them know you cannot come. It takes five minutes. With functions of this kind you pay per person for catering (ahead of time) and if people don't rock up, you still have to pay. I think it's only when you host something yourself do you really appreciate this. And even if you aren't spending money and just meeting a friend somewhere, you'd want to know if they weren't coming.

So that's it now. No more weddings or wedding parties. Now we can get on with the business of being married, which, if I'm honest, doesn't feel too different from when we were engaged. Which is how we both like it. My mom worked with a woman who had been living with a man for 12 years or so. Eventually they decided to make it formal and got married. They were divorced a year later. Apparently she said he changed and started having certain expectations, and I imagine he said the same thing about her.

I'm no expert but personally I'd feel cheated if Robert suddenly changed and started acting like some version of 'husband' he had in his head. I know for sure, that whether we like it or not things will change (dramatically) and hopefully not too badly when we have children. That's just what happens when you invite a strange dictatorial bald midget into your life that makes demands on your 24-7, and leaves you very little time for yourselves. But until then, our life is no different and nor should it be. The nice thing about being married is that it's official and it feels good to be a part of a team, and to look forward to a (hopefully) long and happy life together, and at some point, planning for the invasion of the midgets. There is something to this which is hard to define, but is just a lovely kind of feeling, and has you quietly smiling to yourself at odd moments in the day. Oh yes, and then there's those presents.

Photos from Saturday night now up.

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