Item – I weighed myself, I was distressed, I decided to go back on the Stern and Stringent diet. And then I ate a cheesecake.

Item – I weighed myself again, I yelped in alarm, I told myself firmly that I was getting right back on that diet wagon and then stocked up on Reese’s Pieces (made of equal parts nicotine, crack, marijuana and sugar) to have with my morning coffee.

Item – I weighed myself a third time, debated bursting into tears, and have been sticking to The Goddamn Diet for, oh, two days? now. I’m a bit slow on the uptake, me. Mentally. Alas, not metabolically.

Item – H and I were shopping for smart clothes this weekend. Moths ate his suit trousers, you may remember, and there is a family wedding next weekend which is turning into The Clan One-Upmanship Olympics. So H needed a suit. And I? Well, I have several summer dresses now, but they’re all a bit ditzy hippy with cleavage (don’t get me wrong. I like being a ditzy hippy with cleavage). And my other smartest frock is also ditzy hippy but with added sequins and my mother disapproves of it (she says it looks as if I’m not taking ‘it’ seriously. Whatever ‘it’ is). She also vetoed the floor-length backless satin ball-gown, on the grounds that it’s poor etiquette to upstage the bride. So I agreed to get something ‘smart’, with the caveat that if I couldn’t find anything that didn’t make me look like Hyacinth Bucket, I reserved the right to wear a ditzy hippy dress and be damned with it.

Item – I’m 36, you know. This is ridiculous.

Item – With much cantering about town in the rain, we found a new good suit for H, the price of which didn’t make him pass spark out on the floor. He looks very handsome in it. Flushed by this triumph, he even bought a tie. Good Lord.

Item – I then tried on a good dozen very grown up, smart, ‘hello, I’m a wedding guest at a formal British wedding in June in church in the rain’ dresses. The one I adored was, of course, not in my size (fat girls don’t want cute frocks, you see. They want to look like a cretonne-covered sofa). The one I liked very much clung to my tummy fat with surprising determination and made me look like I was smuggling a 12-pound pain de campagne (in case the buffet is delayed). The one I didn’t care for fitted, but showed my bra in several unflattering places. I tore my hair and the fitting room assistant eyed me nervously and then I tried on one H had spotted and good golly, it was flattering. And short (H is obsessed with my knees. Obsessed, I tell you). And so amazingly neon-vivid in hue you’re all going to spot me in the photos from the moon. It is also very tailored and smart and not in the least ditzy or hippy. So there.

Item – For reasons that give me a headache, I am now expected to go to the pre-wedding dinner, the pre-wedding breakfast, the wedding, the wedding dinner, and the post-wedding lunch. Not only am I expected to go, I am expected to go in my mother’s place and Uphold The Honour Of This Corner Of The Clan.

Item – My aunts have not seen me for a while, and have always taken what I thought was an unseemly and unmannerly interest in the size of my waist and the contents of my uterus. Also, my cousin who recently had a baby should be there. And last time I saw the cousin who is actually getting married, she went on and on and onandonandon about all the hints her parents and her fiancé’s parents have been making about grandbabies, aren’t they competitive, isn’t it funny. Oh yes indeedy ha ha ha. I have a horrible feeling that I shall be interrogated, judged, made to hold babies, nagged, and eviscerated, and come home in tears on Sunday.

Item – I am planning on totally being brutal and upfront, both on the multiple miscarriages and on telling people right to their face when they say something judgemental, crass, or dismissive. I will probably wimp out, simper, and hide in the loos a lot. Give me strength.

Item – And for this I bought a new dress.


28 responses to “Tummies

  • katie

    For this you NEED a kick-ass dress.

  • a

    So, are you going looking like Rose or what’s the other one’s name? I wish they still played that show here – it was usually on with either Are You Being Served? or the Vicar of Dibley. Anyway.

    Here’s my strategic plan for you: At the cocktail hour preceding the pre-wedding dinner, you can announce the May and H drinking game, where whoever mentions anything to do with pregnancy, miscarriage, ART, babies, newborns, or grandchildren must consume their entire drink right then. And no one is allowed to be without a drink for the entire weekend. Thus, you may spend the weekend either in comfortable silence, or surrounded by silly drunks. Bring a video camera to record the antics for future blackmail.

    Oh no – yet another way in which H is an exemplary husband??? 😉 I’m sure you will look very beautiful. Also, cheesecake – yum!

    • May

      Like Rose, of course, only more so.

      Alas, half my family don’t drink. Otherwise, world idea.

      Someone accused me of making H up a few years ago. He couldn’t POSSIBLY be All That and interested in helping me choose frocks as well.

  • Betty M

    And kick ass shoes too. What of the shoes? Can’t leave them out. You and H sound like you are going to be wowing the crowds at this event.

    Also what is it with weddings lately? I can just see the point of pre and post wedding events if you are having hordes of people from overseas and feel you need to spend more than 2 mins with them in a receiving line (not wild about them either) to make it worth their while coming. But otherwise come on, how interested really is everyone in chatting to someone else’s relatives and their own for 4 meals in a row?!

    • May

      I am shoe-doomed, as I have mildly deformed feet and can’t stand up in high heels. Am considering biker boots, for added ‘f*ck you* drama.

      Admittedly, some family ARE coming from abroad, but still WEDDING OVERKILL.

      I shall take my knitting and very very quietly pretend I am Madame Defarge.

  • Korechronicles

    I have strong urge to see photos of the dress because I am highly visual person with over-active imagination. It wants to know more about the neon-vivid hues because I am from the major city in Oz where everyone, but everyone, wears black. All the time. Even at weddings. And me? Well I’m all for colour but I’ve spent the last month scouring the stores for bright and warm winter work dresses and can only find shops stocked with charming numbers the various colours of sludge. And black. Come on now, brighten my day.

    And going in your mother’s place? That deserves large gold medal and mention in the Royal Honour’s List. You totally should confront the crass, judgmental and dismissive, but I advise the Ultra-Polite to the Point of Death method of delivery. Although I have no doubt there will be the ones who totally deserve a cricket bat to the head.

    Listen to Betty about the kick-ass shoes.

    • May

      Black? At weddings? Is that… allowed?

      My mother famously wore black for her second wedding. Which went, well, predictably badly.

      The plan is perfect, aristocratic levels of glacial politeness, coupled with remarks along the lines of: ‘And can you believe, some crass, heartless little idiots expect me to be over it by now! Really! Quite extraordinary, how stupid and unkind some people can be. Sorry, you were going to say something and I rudely talked over you. Please continue…’

    • May

      http://bit.ly/m9dQg5 Dress as shown in online catalogue. I can assure you, it looks MUCH better for having some actual breasts inside it, also hips. Which I consider a moral victory of sorts.

      • H

        I can attest that May looks far better in it than the model (probably far better out of it too 😉 )

      • Wombattwo

        Ooh, nice!
        I see what you mean – that model really does have no curves at all.

      • Carole

        Lovely dress: is yours also that colour?
        But I am most intrigued by the description which claims the garment has “faggoting detail”. What the haberdashery is that????

        I would not only take the knitting, but also a selection of books to a wedding that goes on that long. Hell, I’d take a sleeping bag and a nightdress as well. And I would be making up scurrilous gossip about your mother to pass on to all relatives just to make sure she doesn’t nominate you as stand-in again in a hurry….

        • May

          Ahh, faggotting. Yes. A fancy way of sewing two strips of fabric together, so as to make an ornamental lacy strip, often used as a border on necklines or sleeves, or as a fancy seam. Not nearly as exciting as it sounds. And I am totally wearing the brightly coloured version.

  • Quiet Dreams

    This calls for plenty of wine, I’m thinking.

  • bionicbrooklynite

    but will the groom be wearing velvet? because if not, sounds like he’s got nothing on yours.

    i like the drinking game idea. and i want to see this famous dress.

    • May

      Groom will no doubt be dressed like a well-bred penguin. That section of my family was and still is faintly horrified that we got married in scarlet silk and purple velvet. Heh heh heh.

  • Phil

    You should go with the ditzy hippy look, complete with straw hat and a sunflower adorning it. To go with this H should go all retro in a 60 or 70s style suit. To hell with what they think, be yourselves and enjoy being that.

    Good luck with the conversations on the state of your innards.

    • May

      I was tempted, but I do so hate it when my Aunts gang up and treat me like a wayward child. At least if I look like a grown-up I have an outside chance of getting through a conversation unpatronised. Hmm. I’m making them all sound like something out of PG Wodehouse. How… accurate of me.


  • twangy

    Oh blimey. May the force be with you.

    I presume the new threads are in an hermetically sealed nuclear war proof black box? Little fluttery feckers…

  • Wombattwo

    You could look on the wedding events as something you have to go through, to wear the dress, in order to enjoy H’s “attentions” later… of which I am sure there will be many.. wink, wink…
    Or, you could phone in sick for the wedding, go out to a nice restaurant with H, where you’re not likely to be seen by anybody who knows you should be at the wedding, wear the dress, and enjoy H’s attentions anyway…
    Or, if you really have to go, take HFF’s electric fly-swatter with you, and zap anybody who mentions babies, uteri, or anything at all unpleasant. Then stamp on them with your stilettos as they lie convulsing on the floor…

  • Valery

    Ah, neon-vivid pictures from the moon! So, while hiding in the loo don’t forget to look up to the moon, and smile longingly through your tears. This happens in all Bollywood movies, no?
    Also in the middle of awkward conversation burst into song and dance. (and blame Bollywood -not me 😉

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