Monday, 16 April 2012

Post Speech Life

HELLO! and welcome to the dawning of a new era - the era post speech. You probably heard my loud sigh of relief as it echoed around the four corners of the land as soon as the speech had ended last Saturday, but just in case - relax, it is all finished now. My sigh of relief is today joined by the relief that I have run my penultimate Wibbly meeting. Next week is my official handover with the new leader who is already more efficient than me and has been putting up laminated posters advertising the meeting all over the place - she could have waited until I was out of the way to show me up. This time next week I will be totally devoid of anything to moan about. That will be a new era.

So, THE WEDDING. Well, to preface the day itself I should inform you that my ability to cope efficiently with stress is the same as my ability to cope with scary/tense films. I do not posses the ability. I was tetchy, difficult and over emotional. Oh and tired to add to it all as I had already endured the first week of the holidays and our Anniversary meal out so by the time we got down to mum's on Friday night I was in a very peculiar frame of mind.  My hair appointment had taken far longer than I expected (four hours) on Friday morning and due to a last minute change of plan late on Thursday afternoon about when we were leaving, my allotted time to pack was reduced to 20 minutes. Mercifully K agreed to take care of his own packing so I was only left with four people to pack up for a week away and a wedding. I packed with sparkling speed and drove like a lunatic so that I managed to arrive at mum's just in the nick of time for Bea to go to the wedding rehearsal with my little sister and for me to enjoy all the amazing baking mum had put on for the various guests the little sister had over for the pre-wedding festivities. (They are the same bunch as came to the hen night - all thin and glamorous and clearly not people with hearty appetites as there was A LOT of food leftover - if I had been bulimic I could have been in serious trouble. Luckily I am just overweight and pregnant so I had a ball). 

On the morning of the wedding the little sister and her entourage left nice and early to prepare at the venue and we were left with the house in which to ready ourselves. Somehow we lost half an hour and were running late which made me even more stressed and tetchy so that by the time we reached the venue things between K and I were 'strained' to say the least. It is always a tad depressing to watch people exchange vows of eternal love and happiness as you sit there, nine years down the line, secretly seething at the person you promised such unrealistic things to. I am slightly concerned that my stage whisper for him to 'Just F*** Off' may have been overheard, but I hope there was enough going on to conceal it. (I was trying to take a picture of Bea and he was telling me not to by the way - it wasn't apropos of nothing - I wasn't that mad). Bea looked beautiful, as did all the flower girls (there were no official adult bridesmaids) and the bride herself looked perfectly acceptable. Oh, ok she looked ridiculously amazing, like she was the main event at some kind of Hollywood wedding. Seriously - compare her to Catherine Zeta Jones on her Hello! wedding day and C Z-J looks like the ugly, fat sister. I know people usually look good on their wedding days, I do, and believe me, if I could find fault with her appearance I would, but she had put a year in to looking her best and it really showed. Teeth, hair, skin, body, eyelashes - it was all tweaked, improved and perfected so that in the end you were left with an ethereal effect only usually seen in magazines of celebrities and people who have 'people' to ensure they look that good. I shan't go on as it sounds gross and sycophantic. Suffice to say she looked very pleasingly bride like and her groom turned up so all was well. In all he turned up to four ceremonies - yes I said four. It was a long day for me - I had fabulously impractical heels on (4 inches), and I looked a little like a hippo on very small stilts, but I think the bigger you are, the taller you can appear the better, as it goes some way to help even things out.

The first 'official' wedding ceremony was at noon followed by an unofficial, official wedding in the church at 2pm and then the Iranian and Baha'i ceremonies at 4.30pm. By the time we got to the evening meal and my impending speech I had reached breaking point and was about to crumble with the nerves. Thankfully K is not one to hold a grudge and having got Ted to sleep, tried to comfort me with words of wisdom and comfort. I rebuffed all of his efforts, naturally. The whole reason one gets married is to have a permanent sidekick on which to take out your moods and he definitely played his part that day. After a few false starts I was finally called up to stand at the microphone and begin. I had just downed four bottles of Diet Coke so I was shaking, in need of yet another wee and likely to burp at any moment which added to my already fragile emotional state. Luckily, as soon as I started to speak I began to feel better and then an older sister came rushing in carrying a crying Ted who had been found in his buggy, very much awoken from his sleep, which distracted me sufficiently that I could stop feeling worried and just carry on reading. Years of reading bed time stories whilst thinking of many, many other things mean that I am able to compartmentalise my brain sufficiently so that I could worry about Ted and look on as K tried to comfort him whilst simultaneously reading eloquently.  As it happens, K calmed Ted down quickly and my speech was being surprisingly well received, so by the time I got half way through I was almost enjoying the experience. I even made the little sister cry! In a good way. I became a little choked up too which is very odd for me. It turns out it is quite emotional having your baby sister married off.  By the time I reached the end of the 8-10 minute ordeal (my older events organiser sister had told me I MUST time it and ensure I did not go on too long even if it meant cutting out large passages so I know I didn't go over the 10 minute mark) the relief was immense - I have only ever felt relief like it post birth, when you finally know the pain is over and you don't actually give a shit if you gave birth to a two headed blue monster as long as you know that another contraction is not coming. (I still ask if it's over when the baby is well and truly out - just to make doubly sure.)  Speech completed, suitably congratulated and bride and her best friend wiping tears from their eyes, I returned gratefully to my table to retrieve my tired Ted and begin making amends with K. That actually didn't go very well as a short time later we were arguing over when to leave - he believing that the children were beyond tired and me insisting they were 'fine'. An interesting reversal of our normal roles. After we had finished the argument and I felt I had won, ten minutes later all children melted before our very eyes and I had to agree to get them packed up and off home.  They left at 8.30pm and I left fifteen minutes later with my over tired mother, sister and her family.  The sister with four children had left at 8pm on the dot. The other guests and little sister's new in-laws must have found us a strange bunch. I'm not sure many people have their own family being the first to leave on their wedding day. Still, she was not upset by our desertion and was incredibly happy with the whole day - it was beautiful, as was she, and it all went swimmingly - it was everything she had ever wanted and was, as is tradition, the best day of her life. Job Done.

So, all sisters are now married. DONE. First round, ding ding. There are many years to go so there may well be a second round. Never say never. Although you will be relieved to hear that K and I have fully recovered from the wedding - no round two for us just yet - we are back to our usual selves. Well, me more than him as I was obviously the more emotional of the two, but he could clearly have coped far better with my dramatic mood swings, so we were both at fault.

I worry that I have lost you with all the sister talk so I thought I would take this family occasion to clarify the sisters - here goes. There are five of us. The eldest is a half sister, but a whole person who lives in America and will henceforth be known as American Sister. She was my father's daughter from his first, short lived marriage. (Mercifully so otherwise I wouldn't exist - quelle horreur). The next is the oldest of our bunch of four sisters and she will be known henceforth as Kent Sister  - she moved there a few years ago and is now obsessed with the County. She is also the Events Organiser, used-to-be-actress who is married and has one four year old beautiful daughter who G is very in love with.  Then there is the Queen of Cupcakes who is the mother of four children, the eldest of whom was my 18 year old manny for a week at the end of last summer and the other three are girls who are Bea's surrogate sisters as I seem so rubbish at providing actual sisters for her, henceforth known as Cupcake Sister. Then there is the fabulous moi. And finally there is the littlest sister who has just returned from her honeymoon in the Maldives. Henceforth known as Just Married Sister. I hope this clarifies things.

The rest of the holiday was spent filling in time in Suffolk, going to the cinema, visiting long suffering friends in Norwich, getting Bea's eyes tested (four months later than advised by the last optician and it now turns out that she does indeed need glasses as she is long sighted - cue lots of guilt on my part and immense happiness on her part as she was desperate for them), rolling my eyes at my mother over yet another inappropriate comment and generally enjoying the fact that I had nothing to do all day. Although by the final weekend the constant bickering from the children and subsequent enforced separation of the fighting parties had driven me to the brink of insanity. On Saturday I put the big two in the trolley park in Waitrose and told them to keep an eye out for a nice looking lady and then ask her if she would be their new mummy. (In my defence it wasn't Asda - it was a jolly nice Suffolk Waitrose with a lovely clientele so they could have done a lot worse). It was too much for anyone to take. Although I hated having to get out of bed this morning, dropping them off to other responsible adults who could deal with their various whims and wants was joyous in the extreme. Yet again I thanked my lucky stars that I cannot afford private school which would mean I had to endure the fighting for yet another week. Unthinkable. God Bless the state system and their short holidays.

Right. That is enough for now. I need to eat, I am starving. The effects of the Ferrero Roche Easter Egg I had for lunch (as well as my sandwich) has finally worn off and I need to source more sustenance. Seeya. xxxx

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