Actually, the wedding was fine. Yes, I know, very anticlimactical. Sorry about that. The bride looked beautiful (she’s a very pretty girl anyway), the groom handsome and flustered, Minx (one of the flower girls) behaved (mostly) and looked extremely cute even when not behaving (she saved the naughtiness for the reception, and was positively seraphic in church. I was so proud). Only one poor lassie was sick in the loos at midnight, the bridesmaid didn’t lose her shoes after all, the decorations were lovely, and the food was good. So.
Comedy highlights included the priest, who may as well have been Father Jack Hackett, and who hurtled through the entire service like a man with a lit firework up his arse who can’t have the water bucket until he says ‘the Mass is ended, go in peace.’; the elegant, dry, measured, witty, and startlingly filthy speech of the Father of the Bride (his wife didn’t know whether to kiss him or kill him by the end); the sight of half-a-dozen heavily bearded men earnestly playing croquet; and me, discussing our large, Catholic families with the (more Catholic than I realised) chap next to me, remarking that we always ended family gatherings with a rousing chorus of Monty Python’s Every Sperm Is Sacred [will sing! NSFW!], and only then realising I’d shocked the poor bugger to his devout core.
However, when he asked me if I wanted a large family, he did carefully add, ‘or is that a sore subject?’ I laughed and said ‘I’ll take what I’m given,’ and with great relief we turned to our relative neighbours and ignored each other for the rest of the evening.
Only a couple of people, both of whom I did not know, asked if I had kids, and had absolutely nothing jerktastic to add when I said ‘no, not yet.’ Not even an encomium on the joys of parenthood.
Baby Edna was very good, and very sweet, and her parents were also very good, and very sweet, in that they clearly adored their new baby, but were very happy to talk about practically anything except babies.
As for Interrogation By Aunt, I think the fact I was dressed like an adult and wearing my hair up might’ve intimidated them. Oh, yes, the new dress was a success. Hurrah! And I got very good at spotting someone I hadn’t said hello to and sashaying off into the crowds whenever the conversation veered towards anything I couldn’t be having with. Such as why I was looking so fit and trim (comparatively. We all know I’m still decidedly plumptious). On the minus side, that meant any dramatic ‘and I’m suffering, so don’t be arseholes, thank you,’ revelations also got bottled. Feh.
We were not able to escape to our room and watch TV, alas, because our hotel was about six miles from the (fancier) hotel where the reception was happening, but hey, we were fine. And we even had fun.
Meanwhile, on Planet Fucknutterly, my Dad upped both the emotional blackmail and the weird. He took to playing phone-tag with Mum as well. My mother, who hasn’t been married to him for 30 years, remember, nevertheless felt bad about his not getting to see his daughters (i.e. Trouble and me) on Father’s Day, so invited him to an early dinner at her place on the Sunday, by which time we’d’ve all reconvened there for a post-wedding gossip (H and I and Trouble and Minx had all been asked to the post-wedding lunch, so couldn’t get back to my mother’s before 5pm). Dad promptly called back to ask Mum if he could stay the night, and she had to say no, as she had six (six) other people staying, plus Baby Edna (who technically didn’t need a bed, but did need, you know, a room). I don’t know how he responded, but she did offer him the sofa, if he liked, after that. He replied to that with a phone message saying, in essence, ‘thanks for nothing,’ and buggered back off the 500 miles home instead.
Trouble was furious, because she’s been emailing him back and forth for months, and yet, suddenly, when he was planning a trip to this end of the island, he not only doesn’t email her, or reply to her emails, but tried calling her at her ex-husband’s house. The ex she has a fairly acrimonious, craptastical relationship with. The ex delivers his message garbled and several days late, natch. Trouble can’t understand why her Dad, her own Dad, would arse her about like this.
It seems all of a piece to me. Dad has all our mobile phone numbers, all our emails, and yet choses to plan his visit via the most unreliable forms of communication available to him. Dad knew he was going to come to our end of the country weeks ago, yet only contacted us about it all less than two days before he set off. And then blames us when we have (major, very bloody hard to change, set WEEKS ago) plans. Self-sabotage. Forcing us to reject him, so it can be all our fault that nothing works out between us. Avoiding having to deal with one sickly, miserable daughter, and one divorced, miserable daughter. He’s a coward. The last time I visited him he probably freaked himself out with his confessional moment about his horrible childhood. And so on.
But, you know, I’m old and leathery and wise and filled with a kind of bitter empathy for the man. I can take it. Trouble can’t. Trouble still really yearns for his approval.
I am bloody cross.