Thursday, August 09, 2007


Unconfined joy in our house recently: Geoff's sister has married.

It's not the fact that she's got married that's the source of joy. It's the fact that she eloped to Gretna Green with a couple of witnesses and only had a celebratory meal afterwards with the two sets of parents. Therefore WE DIDN'T HAVE TO ATTEND A WEDDING.

More summers have been blighted in my life by HAVING TO ATTEND A WEDDING than I care to remember.

Weddings are shite at the best of times. In the case of this one, I wouldn't have known anybody beyond Geoff's immediate family. Given that most of the guests would have been from South London (in other words, *bubbly*, *cheery* and *extrovert*) the likelihood of our being able to hold a conversation with them would have been virtually zero. In fact, we would've been driven into a corner, keeping ourselves to ourselves, and have people say under their breaths "they're a right stuck up pair. Some people don't know how to have a good time, do they?"

As I've said here before, having to socialise with people is one of my least favourite forms of activity. In fact, the older I get, the less I want to socialise. I should imagine that within the next fifteen years, I'll be living in a cave and avoiding any human contact whatsoever ... with any luck.

Unfortunately, very little provision is made in society for people who want to *keep themselves to themselves*. Weddings are supposed to be grand gestures where hundreds of guests have a right old knees up to celebrate the happy couple's union and conveniently forget the fact that they'll probably be divorced within the next few years ....

Er, anyway, to conclude: everybody thinking of tying the knot should elope. Well, it would be absolutely lovely not to have to attend a wedding ever again, wouldn't it?

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Well said Betty.
I've always found that *bubbly* and *cheery* go with a third asterisked adjective.

You're so right!
I little tip for those thinking of confining themselves to celebacy/getting married is to put "no children, please, at the reception". I did - you cut the number of people attending by 60 per cent and those who do won't speak to you - result!! Putting "Jew gassing and cross burning to follow" would have proved less offensive, apparently.
Those caves at Kinver are up for sale, by the way. If you buy one as well I promise not to keep popping round to ask for a cup of sugar.
This is why I hate Friends Reunited.

The people I counted as friends remain united, the rest can fuck off and die for all I care.
Something to think about for a retirement home:

Betty, I share your horror of weddings. And wedding receptions. Fortunately, I seem to have got through much of my life avoiding them. It's as if people know.

I got married in France, in order to avoid most of my side of the family. I also actually forgot to buy a ring, incurable romantic that I am.
A guy I used to work with came from NZ. He lived on one island but he and his g/f got married on the other island in order to keep costs down by stopping rellies attending!

Billy & I went to a nice wedding party in Bruges. No-one forced anyone to be sociable, there was no DJ or disco and it was very relaxed. If only they could all be like that.
I have to go to a party tomorrow night.
What shall I wear? Who can I talk to? What shall I talk about? Shall I get drunk? How soon can I leave?

I've been so anxious it nearly spoiled my holiday in Spain.
*laffs at the thought that Kaz has to think about getting drunk*
I switched the name-cards round last time - so instead of sitting next to the groom's dullard friends, I was sitting between my lovely friends - hurrah! The bride asked me about it after - you'd think she'd have other things to preoccupy her rather than seating arrangements. Why must they do this mix and matchy thing? We are English & unsociable & prefer not to talk to strangers.
As long as there's someone to talk to you're fine. At least you have each other.
Murph - oof. The problem is, *bubbly* and *cheerful* seem to be qualities that employees used to covet, which is probably why my, er, *career* never took off.

Reg - yeah, I can remember one relative's wedding where what seemed like hundreds of children swooped down on the buffet like gannets when it was first put on display, meaning that there was nothing left for anyone else. As for those caves - only interested if they're fully centrally heated.

Garfer - too true. I've always avoided Friends Reunited and school reunions like the plague. Why would I want to know what's happened to people who I wish I could have avoided having to share time with thirty years ago?

Istvanski - sounds okay, and there is a disco nearby in a cave, which is always important, don't you think? Mind you, the cave dwellers are described as troglodytes, which isn't a very promising start.

Maximum Bob - well, most of my family are in the West Midlands, but as most of them had disowned me, there was no worry about them attending my "wedding". They don't even know if I'm married anyway!

Llewtrah - a lot of the time, people say "ooh, this wedding's going to be different from the usual ones", but they end up being just the same as all the others anyway. However, you're right - the less formal, the better.

Kaz - turn up, give it about half an hour, then say that you're not feeling very well and will leave. Either that or do what I always do - stand in the corner looking into the middle distances so people think you're enigmatic. Always a good way to get chatted up, I used to find.

MJ - I'm sure she won't have to think too much about getting drunk. It just sort of happens *naturally*, doesn't it?

Annie - too true. A wedding isn't supposed to be a business networking course where people are forced to go "out of their comfort zone" (how I hate that phase). What does making polite conversation with strangers actually achieve?

Billy - that's usually okay, except that afterwards you start to hear about other people's disapproval of you because you haven't mixed well. We've had that complaint from people at a few social events we've been to actually (... which proves what a couple of miserable gits we really are).
This is one of the advantages to working every weekend throughout the summer. I am far, far too important and indispensable to take a day off, especially for Social Occasions.
Doris - yes, the cast iron guarantee of getting out of wedding duties. A pity I don't have that excuse to fall back on any more ...
I've just noticed your new byline mentions Digbeth Coach Station.

A hub of activity and communication, a bustling thoroughfare, a conduit for ideas and a setting off point for bright ideas for the whole country?

Or a drab tin shed which sets a note of dourness even the West Midlands has to struggle to live down to?

I'm going to plump for the former, obviously!
Murph - ha ha, the latter, obviously. The reason I used the expression "the Digbeth Coach Station of blogging" is because this place is a clapped out eyesore and people only turn up here as a last resort and on their way to somewhere much more interesting. The Wikipedia entry is a classic - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digbeth_Coach_Station, with a great picture of the coach entrance. One of the least alluring pictures on the internet (apart from the picture of Gentle Giant, of course)?
Kaz- (if I may, Betty). Such a lot to think about, but if you attend the party wearing an enormous pair of thermal knickers and two coconut shells, I think you'll find it will deal with all the other questions.
No, don't thank me, really....
Arabella - I'm sure she took your advice, although it sounds like the kind of outfit worn by competitors in Jeux Sans Frontieres.
I like weddings. Especially the speeches. £50 plus expenses and I'll go on your behalf.
Okay, you're on.

I'm always too pissed to remember the speeches.
I like weddings, as long as they're not too huge and prissy. I doubt I'd elope, but I also wouldn't spend my life savings on one day.
I would've loved to elope actually, but the husband said that he'd feel guilty about keeping a secret from his mum for the rest of his life, so we just had four guests and People Who Didn't Approve Of What We Were Doing to deal with instead!
I am hating weddings more each day - this is not a joke :(
... and I got the impression that you were having a very straightforward and low key wedding as well!
o wot a joy to read this post. realising with growing horror the social obligations that go with getting married in britain (i escaped to 'the continent' many yrs ago hence living a mainly social obligations free life, tho sure are similar marriage obligations if not worse in all countries) and not really wanting to get married for the benefit of my mother and her friends, we are seriously thinking of running off to las vegas. problem is most of my friends just got married/ are getting married and advise against. is it really such a memorable day that u can't live without? or is it a big blur with photos to remind u of who was there/ said wot etc? and if we elope, thots about need to pre-warn parents etc?
It all depends on the family. Some are more easy going/broadminded with regards to relatives eloping. It's probably best to pre-warn parents though, however much they may be against the idea. I know of one couple who got married on the spur of the moment about ten years ago, and - as far as I know - the bloke's mother still isn't talking to him now. Big weddings seem to cause so much stress and are so expensive ... still, that's just me, ranting, as usual.
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