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Thursday, January 20, 2011

Wedding Unfair

When I was a child, all I ever, really, really, really wanted to desperately be, was an adult. But then I got there and it didn't turn out to be quite as much fun. For starters I couldn't eat a bowl of mushed up sugar and butter without being sick.

Similarly, as a Miss, I’ve always thought I wanted to be a Mrs. All the more so since I got into a Serious Relationship and started fantasising about my wedding day.

A friend of mine recently got married, a small affair. Sprinkling of guests, no white dress, no cake. ‘It’s not the wedding day I want Kim, it’s the marriage,’ she said.

Well, she can stuff her smug marriage. I want the wedding day. I want the dress, all eyes on me, I want the bridesmaids and the speeches and all my loved ones under one roof.

Oh, and the husband. Would be nice if he’s there I suppose.

And so when Gareth decided to start photographing weddings (www.bloombrighter.co.uk - way better than any of the stuffy perverts you’d find in the yellow pages) I thought I could pretend I was a supportive girlfriend, by accompanying him to a wedding fair (so he could scope out the competition) while actually setting my own agenda: Operation Dream Wedding.

No sooner had we walked through the pearly gates of the Marriot Hotel, me hiding my non-existent diamond ring beneath a pair of gloves, I was asked to sign my name and our wedding date on the dotted line.

Oh – our wedding? Well, 7th June 2012, I gushed.* Might as well play the part, right Gareth? I gently placed my hand on his chest as us young loved up fiancés are taken to doing.

‘What?’ Gareth replied, already bored.

He was clearly not going to enter into my Jennifer Aniston rom com fantasy, but I didn’t need Gareth. I signed the form, got my free Mars bar and headed into the abyss.

It was a thoroughly depressing day. Vultures trying to cash in on what is supposed to be a simple declaration of love. Apparently you need petals strewn beneath your feet, a poker table, a chocolate fondue, a babysitter, a fitness coach, a fancy car. And if you don’t buy all this crap, you’re clearly not in love.

Ignoring the stale, depressing atmosphere that felt like it had been lured from 1987, we headed for a photographer stroke videographer for a chat. ''All your filmic needs in one! We’ll film your day and give you a terribly cheesy montage you’ll watch once, and we’ll give you stills too! Hurray!''

‘When is the big day?’ asked the geriatric as we arrived at his perch.

‘I’m not sure,’ Gareth replied. ‘I haven’t decided if she’s the One yet.’

Jennifer Aniston never had to put up with this. The poor man looked at me in complete dismay. Definitely the first time he’d heard that line.

‘Oh darling, will you stop,’ I said, tutting and shaking my head in a sort of ‘what will we do with him’ sort of way. I left Gareth to be talked into a videographer for our fake wedding and made my way over to the cake stand.

Well, they were giving away free samples.

So what did my day at the wedding fair teach me? Have I changed my philosophy? Will I now take marriage more seriously and make my Big Day medium?

Will I eck. I’m still going to swing from the chandeliers, I’m just not going to book them at a wedding fair.

* Date plucked from thin air. Just checked. It's a Thursday. Do people marry on a Thursday?
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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Fun Bobby

No, it wasn’t my new year’s resolution to stop writing blogs. It’s just, with no booze running through my veins (that was a resolution and I’m sticking to it) my creative juices have dried up. I’m basically the Fun Bobby of blog writing. No booze = no stories.

I made seven resolutions on new year’s eve, despite new year’s resolutions being one of my pet hates. I don’t see why they are such a big thing every year – what happened to last year’s? Are we really so inept as a race that it only takes us 12 months to fail at every improvement we try to make and thus, an annual attempt to better ourselves is required?

I’m usually arrogantly at peace with myself come January 1st and refuse to try and further my development as a human being. But, as I said, this year seven resolutions made their way into my little life. Even infallible people like me have an off-year.

I even downloaded an app for monitoring my progress. My resolutions are mostly boring but the one I will share with you is to Learn A New Skill.

Seeing as a friend illegally downloaded the entire Rosetta Stone French syllabus about four years ago (RRP ten zillion pounds. Mon Dieu!) and it’s sat on my bedside table ever since, unloved, ignored, French wasn’t going to be my new skill.

Seeing as I went on a silver smiting workshop with my mum and sister recently and managed to snap the ring I spent all day moulding the moment it came out of the kiln, silver smithing wasn’t going to be my new skill. Gareth says I’ve got the dexterity of a baby giraffe. I’m all hoofs.

Instead, I only went and bought a bloody piano! That’s right. I might enter Britain’s Got Talent this year because pretty soon I’ll have mastered the art of, if not Beethoven then at least the theme tune to Casualty.

I dragged Gareth to Mickleburgh Piano Showroom in Bristol town on Saturday, the required £500 finally saved up. That was my budget, see, and I’d been on Gum Tree, I knew I could get a piano for free if I wanted one that came with baggage. So £500 was generous. I couldn’t wait to see what kind of baby grand piano would soon by nudging the table tennis table out of our flat.

‘I’m here to buy a piano,’ I  told the man assertively. Not a sentence one gets to say often in life. Me and my £500, talking the talk.

He led us upstairs to the huge piano showroom and I was in heaven. Until Gareth said: ‘Have you looked into this? I can’t see one here for less than £3000.’

To my dismay, nobody told me even second hand piano’s are rarely shy of £1500. Grand pianos are in another world. A world where rich people bath in champagne and have so much surplus income even their dog wears diamonds.

An inevitable temper tantrum ensued, with me taking it out on a few expensive pianos in the show room then dragging my feet while Gareth tried to show me how nice (and cheap) the keyboards were. ‘Maybe you should just get a triangle,’ he suggested. A suggestion met with a scowl.

I didn’t want a keyboard. I didn’t want a triangle. I’m not seven. So I carried on with my huff.

But then we came across a Casio digital PX-730BKC5.

Ok so it looks like this. But it has special buttons and was a fraction of the price of authentic pianos.

Even cheaper when you run out of the shop when no one is looking, go home and buy it on Amazon.

And so, I came in under budget and am now expecting the Amazon man to bring me my piano any day now. Hello Ivory, allow me to introduce you to my tinkle. This time next year my only resolution will be ‘carry on being majestic on your Casio.’

Sold. To the woman in a huff.

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