I’m not talking about Katie and the Willie.
I’m no monarchist. The ex and I planned our holiday to skirt the royal wedding entirely. (Although must admit, that was some nice wedding dress. Someone at work also showed me this photo below. Maybe we did miss out after all.)
I’m actually talking about Angela & Tom’s big day on Friday the 22, a week before Kata and Prince of Willies.
This is technically 3 posts squashed into one. I should really have paced myself or edited better.
Pre-Wedding: The Hen Night
In preparation for this huge event we had a girls night out on the 2nd of April that took dozens of emails back and forth from November 2010 onwards to organise everyone’s dates and calendars.
The Hen night started at 1pm, Luncheoning somewhere (I so love the word Luncheon, I think it needs to be resurrected), which I skipped, and then moved on to drinks (skipped) followed by the Thriller musical (also skipped) followed by more drinks at Liz and then a club night at the Proud @ O2 in Greenwich (which I attended).
There was no way I’d have lasted if I had started drinking by 1 p.m, a fact that will soon be attested for once you reach the end of this blog post.
The club was like, well good and that.Outside was a patio area, with a bar in the middle and big double beds arranged around the edge under heat lamps. Very nice, very chilled for when you was wanting some chilling, you get me?
Inside was a strobe lit dance floor and stage for some banging beats mon. You can tell how hip and with it I am by the lingo I use when I talk about clubbing. You should be like, well impressed an’ that.
The female and male toilets both had security guards (Both male) who were directing the peoples into the loos and then directing the peoples out of the loos. Very secure to prevent any kind of hanky-panky. There were a couple of indian cheapies stalking the dance floor, desperately looking for hanky-panky. They’d waltz up to one girl after another, dancing while asking relentlessly,
“Hies where you from? What your name? Wanna dance? Have boyfriend?”
You can imagine the conversation. Indian cheapies have a very fixed and standard repertoire usually exhaled heavily with minor bad breath. These cheapies were no exception.
I admire the cheapies amazing ability allow the rejection to flow off their backs like ducks and oil or oil and water or whatever that saying is. I wouldn’t ever dare hit on anyone in anyplace for fear of the rejection crushing my spirit and thus ruining my evening.
Hen Do all good. No drama.
Wedding day, my first ever English Wedding.
The first wedding I attended was my artist friend Ratna’s. It was very glamorous and Punjabi and lasted 5 days. Ratna, her mother and her sister were all crying all through the wedding ceremony, with the priest and the fire and the prayers (which lasts a good 30 – 40 mins).
It was almost some Bollywood drama: The dastardly villain has forced the family of the beautiful pure girl who in love with the poor but gold-hearted hero to make her marry him instead. Poor but gold hearted boy will have to leave village. Will heroine ever see him again?? Villain twirls his lumba mooch and laughs, hysterically. Full family crying-crying.
Later on at the reception (Wedding was in the morning, reception in the evening) the last thing I remember before I left (at 5 a.m) was Ratna still crying.
It was a good wedding.
So my first English wedding – Had the dress all sorted. Bought a pair of yellow heart glasses to match my shoes. I really love heart glasses, just wearing them makes me feel more cheerful.
Liz, the ex and I all caught a train down to Brighton using Liz’s Network Rail Card (I don’t understand what this is or how it works). The train was packed with holiday makers. A grotesque woman fell asleep next to Liz with her mouth wide open. I was feeling mighty cheerful even though I had a splitting headache so I put on my yellow heart glasses.
In order to purge my headache, as soon as we got to the hotel Liz and I went out to a park in Brighton to laze in the sun, chain smoke and drink Crabbies. Needless to say, my headache was not purged at all. If anything it was worse.
There was some woman at a fish and chip ship with 5 kids running around all over the place. Liz cooed over her baby which was only 2 months old. Internally I was revolted that she couldn’t use contraception after the first 2. Externally I had the expression of a saint. A saint who was revolted internally.
Then we finally went upstairs to get ready. I took a quick shower and drank more Crabbies. The cab guy who picked us up to take us to the Brighton Pavillion made me leave my Crabbies on the pavement. The ex tutted at me because I was acting like a lout, drinking out of the bottle. But Crabbies is just so darn delicious. I couldn’t waste it.
There was a brief round of drinks before the ceremony where I was faced with some excruciating moments of social awkwardness and awful conversational lulls. (Only for me. I’m sure other people are better socializers.)
This is why I took up smoking with such gusto. It fills those awful gaps with activity: Looking for the cigarettes, then looking for the lighter, asking around for a lighter, then lighting the cigarette, ashing here ashing there, fiddling with it, waving it around, blowing smoking rings, etcetera etcetera. Fun times.
Finally we went off to the Brighton pavilion to attend the civil ceremony. The bride’s gown was a modern, off-shoulder number in ivory (White, I am told, never suits red-heads.) The bouquet was of deep purple, nearly black lilies with the stems wrapped around with a simple white ribbon and the bridesmaids dresses were black to match. Very modern and chic. Service was shorter than the rounds of photos of the signing of the register that followed afterwards.
I think I’ve now done my duty about writing about wedding things. I covered dress, the bouquet and the bridesmaids. I used the word tres and elegant. Done. Sorted. Fini. The rest of this post is going to be all about me.
Finally after more drinking, we sat down to dinner. I still had a terrible headache. I like to think we had the coolest people on our table. This is of course, discounting myself, because I took a bite of the first course (smoked salmon) and promptly had an overwhelming feeling of dizziness and nausea. The ex looked at me, worried. Hurling during the wedding toasts is hardly proper ladylike behavior. So I bolted.
I ended up missing the entire dinner. Eventually the ex coaxed me (by sending various texts one after the other) to get up and come downstairs for dessert. I felt terribly guilty about skipping the dinner of course, but I think if you are going to disgrace yourself it’s better done behind the door of a locked room (Didn’t throw up in the end, just needed a little lie down, thank god. Just so you know.)
So this is why I never start drinking from 1 pm onwards. I never last.
Good news though. My headache was gone.
Then there was the post-dinner disco and dancing. The DJ was a cliché wrapped in a cringe which was wrapped in another cliche. He only just stopped short of playing the birdie dance.
There was a secondary party going on outside the Hotel for just the smokers. Darius and Liz, from what I could tell were largely outside smoking most of the evening. Every time the DJ played some shoddy song I would also go out and smoke.
The DJ was so bad I ended up almost chain-smoking all evening. That was about 2 weeks ago, and I’m still coughing now. I was coughing so badly last week that if it was in the middle of the night, I needed to get up out of bed and sit in the living room just so the ex wouldn’t wake up with my entire body being wrenched with all the hacking. House had an episode where some guy coughed up a bloody piece of his lung. Visions of that episode keeps floating across the back of my eyes.
I packed the night in at 1 am. The ex stayed out till a more respectable 2:30 am. Everyone else stayed out till 5.
The next morning the ex and I were both supremely cranky at breakfast. We squabbled all the way back to the train station. I wanted to stay in Brighton and loaf in the sun, the ex wanted to return and pack for our holiday to Espain.
The ex was then doubly annoyed when I delayed us and we missed one train (which had already been cancelled, so like that mattered) and it had additionally taken me ages to find a cab outside the hotel. The ex hates all delays of any kind. I want it and I want it yesterday.
Finally a train to London bridge was due at 2:54 pm. We ran along to catch it.
It had been my duty to purchase our train tickets from and to London, not just for the ex but for Liz as well.
You know, the Railway system is mighty baffling. Off Peak Single, Off Peak Day Return, Anytime Day return, Anytime Nighttime Return, A Single that you can only use between the times of 1 pm and 1:15 pm on alternate week days that do not include bank holidays and any religious festivals according to the Mayan calendar. Please read all 45 pages of the T&C’s for clarity. I mean there is no way a simple lay idiot like myself can figure it out.
I’ve come to realize I must never buy rail tickets online. It’s just too dangerous. You need a qualified and trained expert to tell you what the hell is going on. You also need a Rosetta Stone. I once bought a £200 ticket to Manchester on a Virgin only train to attend a 15 minute interview for a job that I didn’t even want. Who wants to move to Manchester anyway? My one brief glimpse of it told me all I needed to know. It’s shit. I hate it and I’m never moving there. The Gallaghers’ can bloody have it.
Can you tell I’m segwaying into a personal fuck-up here? Well if you can’t, I am.
I turns out I bought day returns instead of next-day returns. We only found out when the ticket guy wouldn’t let us on the train and the ex whipped around in absolute fury. Even though the ex was wearing dark shades I could tell lazer beams were shooting out of those eyes.
I yelped, looked at my ticket in panic and ran like the wind to a ticket machine to try to buy another ticket.
The ticket machine is about as confounding as buying online. I didn’t have my Rosetta stone on me (it was in my other jacket) so I decided to put myself into the hands of an expert.
I had to run to a ticket counter and praying all the time that we wouldn’t miss our train. I mean, the ex would bludgeon me in the teeth. I was already getting glares that were aimed at making me combust in a ball of flames.
There was a small que at the counter. I could feel the glares burning the back of my neck like a Vader laser. My blood pressure rocketed. The guy gave me 2 tickets to London.
The ex and I ran back to the ticket guy who let us though, I look down at my ticket and it said ‘Day Return’! What?? I don’t want a return! Oh fuck oh crap! The ex said
“Why the hell don’t you check things when you buy them!!??”
So I ran back to the ticket guy, showed him my ticket and I looked at him in absolute panic, like catching this train was life or death man!
“I just wanted a single! …He gave me this and….”
The guy calmly and briefly told me a return is cheaper than a single (Do you see what I mean?? Fucking baffling system! Everything is backwards!! Also if the original tickets I had bought had been correct, yet if Liz wasn’t traveling with us how would we have used that Network Rail card thing? Fucking baffling.)
So we boarded the train. The ex wasn’t talking to me. The ex texted Liz to let her know that the ticket I got her was fucked. Then I had to text Liz to apologize and try to refund her the ticket money. (I have to buy her a drink or two)
Some football supporters boarded the train and sat opposite me. I suddenly felt terribly depressed. Being hung over didn’t help either.
I can say sorry and all that, but I can’t ever promise
“So sorry, it won’t happen again! I swear.”
It is seriously unlikely that I will ever stop fucking up. In life. Forever. I had not even the slightest inkling that the tickets were wrong. But I never do, before the event.
So I put my yellow heart shades on because I felt sure I’d probably start crying soon. I could feel it pricking the back of my eyeballs already. (Partly because I could feel the ex sitting in a corner, hating me and my incompetence and partly because I was frustrated with myself.)
Which I did. Nearly all the way back to London.
So much irony, no? Crying behind heart shades. Sheesh.
The ex forgave me half way, somewhere near Gatwick.