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Posts Tagged ‘Dave’s wedding’

  1. Wedding mission complete, disaster rating 6/10

    May 26, 2009 by superlative

    I haven’t had time to blog about the wedding until now, so I’ve had to set aside some time this evening (yes, in my *own time*) to do it.

    Overall it went OK, and despite things with Mum being more difficult than average, there were no disasters, so I suppose I should just be grateful for that. It’s done now anyway, so that’s a relief, and I was able to enjoy a fair portion of it.

    The coldy virus thing I had at the end of the week had abated enough by Saturday for it not to give me too much trouble, and so I set off on time in the car up to Tunbridge Wells. I got checked in at the hotel (quite nice for a Travelodge), and then went to meet Mum and Dad who had already arrived at the wedding venue. We were there good and early so Mum had time to rest before the ceremony, and so she could get installed in the room she was to be using for her rest periods.

    Basically things went slightly downhill from there, and continued in that trend until Mum and Dad went home. It became apparent to me fairly quickly that Dave and Janine had made choices and organised things in a way that was somewhat incompatible with Mum’s needs, and this made things more difficult than they otherwise might have been. I choose the word incompatible carefully, because after all why shouldn’t they choose what they want first and foremost for their wedding? It’s not unreasonable. It’s just that it exacerbated an already difficult situation.

    Take this room Mum was to rest in: we were told it was a dressing room, attached to the function suite, where she could be out of the way and rest quietly. In fact it was a small attic room up five flights of stairs, with no lift access, and with no furnishings other than a table and chair. Given that Mum can’t walk that far, can’t exert herself etc., this was not ideal. She ended up ‘resting’ with a blanket on the floor.

    Janine arrived on time, by steam train which was quite novel, and looked very nice in her dress. The ceremony was nice, a fairly typical civil ceremony really, but the room was too hot which added to Mum’s progressively crosser expression.

    Then the plan was to get photos with Mum done quickly so she could go and rest again, while the main body of photos would take quite a bit longer. She had practically to be dragged across a lawn to where the photos would be (it was ‘too far’), at which point the photographer’s camera jammed. So after five minutes of hanging around, Mum complaining that she “can’t stand like this for long”, Janine barely able to mask her fury at Mum diverting attention towards herself, and the photographer getting stressed, photos with her had to be abandoned and NO official photos with Mum in were taken. Disaster! So off she went in a foul mood, basically delirious with fatigue, and Dad and I had to do our best to sort her out.

    Thankfully, the camera became unjammed after that so Dave and Janine still got the rest of their photos done. I missed the bucks fizz of course because I was sorting Mum out, but managed to get back for most of the photos and the ones I needed to be in, and took quite a few nice ones myself.

    Then there was the meal, which Mum didn’t really attend any of, and the speeches which she was there for but which were ‘too loud’, and through which she sat looking like she was about to pass out while poor Dad looked confused and embarrassed. And then they went home by 7pm.

    So it wasn’t awful, but it wasn’t great either. Thankfully I was able to relax after that. My Grandad pushed off at 8pm, around the time Chris arrived, and after that I was fine. We watched their first dance (well executed – Janine used to ballroom dance competitively), we had quite a few drinks, we chatted nicely with other guests, and we danced quite a bit ourselves. It was fun, and I think Dave and Janine enjoyed it, which is the main thing.

    I’m glad that it is over as I found the build up and the thought of what could happen quite tense. I’ve already had Mum on the phone twice today though, in tears at one point, at how ill she now feels following the wedding, how it’ll take her probably two months to recover from it (that’s not an exaggeration), and how no-one understands. So that was thoroughly depressing and made me think “can’t I get a minute’s peace??”. But she’ll be OK I should think, and at least the day wasn’t spoilt. I only give it a disaster rating of 6/10 from a personal point of view; hopefully Dave and Janine weren’t aware of all the stress that went on and were able to enjoy their wedding undistracted.

    How sad it is though that almost my entire blog post about my brother’s wedding is about my mother. Chris will read this at some point and think “yes, because you let her rule your life, exactly like she wants you to”, and he’ll be right. Ho hum.


  2. Ill-timed illness

    May 21, 2009 by superlative

    As I suspected, I’m ill. My sore throat has turned into a proper stuffed up cold, and I feel really run down. It’s so inconvenient! I have to be well on Saturday, I’ve got to drive myself to Tunbridge Wells and then be on my feet and sociable for pretty much the whole day. So I’ve taken today off work anyway, and I’m hoping if I just watch property programmes on TV and think happy thoughts then my body will heal itself before the weekend.

    I’ve just checked back on where I’d got to on the ‘Days healthy’ counter I started after the last time I was ill. I didn’t maintain it on every post because I couldn’t be bothered, but if I had I would have reached the grand total of 91 days by today. That’s not even a hundred! I thought it was going to be longer than that, but apparently not. So I managed to be more or less healthy for 3 months before succumbing to yet another virus. I suppose that’s not too bad, I just hope I can get rid of it fairly quickly.

    I have taken the executive decision not to inform Mum that I’m not well, because she’ll only a) freak out that I won’t be well enough to come to the wedding; and b) say “but I can’t afford to catch a cold from you”, in her usual it’s-all-about-me way.

    Which is stupid anyway, because of COURSE I’m going to go to my brother’s wedding, even if I have got a cold. I’ll just dose myself up on paracetamol, gun through it with a fixed smile on my face, and then feel like crap the next day. It’s not going to come to that anyway because I will be better by Saturday (happy thoughts happy thoughts).

    Right, I’m off to eat hula hoops now and see if Sophie Allsop has managed to turn a run-down three bed apartment into a trendy cottage in the Lake District.


  3. Rush rush rush

    May 20, 2009 by superlative

    I haven’t had much time for blogging since last week, which is unusual for me and now I feel I’ve got behind with it.

    We had our Eurovision party at the weekend, which of course was another triumph. We had scoresheets, miniature flags, posters, and a lovely Eurocake:


    I enjoyed the show, but was a bit disappointed that the winner was Norway. Their song was OK, not great, and the fact that it was the bookies’ favourite and that it was such a complete runaway winner made it a bit boring. After a quarter of the votes were in you could tell no-one was going to catch them. And also, he had weird eyebrows.

    I thought Jade did really well to finish fifth considering how poorly we’ve done in the last few years. She sang very well and was obviously much stronger than lots of the other contestants, so fifth is quite respectable. I didn’t think that the jury voting really made that much difference though, there was still lots of unjustified awarding of 12 points to neighbouring countries by some of the Eastern and Scandinavian nations.

    Sunday was a little bit of a write off, as I had drunk a combination of white wine, rosé wine, champagne, and Moscow Mules (careful Eurovision linkage there) so I had a bit of a headache. And then this week just seems to be flying by with no time to do anything.

    Dave’s wedding is this Saturday, and after a mini-meltdown last week (including the glib fiasco) Mum seems to have plateaued at “there’s nothing I can do about it now, I’ll just have to hope for the best”. Which is better than insane stress attacks I suppose.

    I wish I could look forward to it more, but I won’t be able to relax until Mum and Dad head off home and Chris has arrived safely after his epic two hour bus and taxi journey from Brighton. Just to make things a bit more of a pain, I feel like I’m coming down with something today, which I could obviously do without. I’ve had a sore throat since yesterday and this morning I felt completely run down as soon as I got up. If I’m going to get a virus I’d rather get it now, deal with it on Thursday and Friday, and then hopefully be better on Saturday. I’ll have to see how I go anyway.

    I’ll need to check back to my ‘Days healthy’ counter I started on here after Christmas to see how long I lasted before getting ill AGAIN. I don’t think I did too badly, it must be at least a hundred days!

    My next blog post may very well be after the wedding. Wish me luck!


  4. Aren’t weddings supposed to be fun?

    April 16, 2009 by superlative

    Sigh, OK so here is the latest on my brother’s wedding, that I couldn’t be bothered to write about yesterday because it was too depressing.

    Mum now has a borrowed dress and a hat to wear, which is good because she was freaking out about finding an outfit. So is she feeling any happier and maybe looking forward to her son getting married? No. She’s now able to turn her attention instead to freaking out about how she’s going to manage the day, and how long she’ll be able to stay for, and how she’ll get home afterwards. I think the root cause is most probably that she went to a dress shop at the weekend for an hour and then it took her two days to recover, so she’s obviously now thinking how is she going to manage a whole wedding.

    Dave isn’t being particularly helpful, but I do understand why. He’s feeling a bit pissed off I think that not only is Mum not doing anything to help for the wedding (because, admittedly, she can’t), she is actually being a hindrance and creating more stress for him, by asking for constant reassurance and checking of things like where she can go for a rest during the day, where she can eat her meal, etc etc. She is quite good at making things about her, even when you think it is something that most certainly is not about her.

    She’s like that though. Take when she found out I was gay – one of the earliest things she said to me was “I don’t think you’ve thought about how this affects me”, and then she bought this stupid book called Stranger In The Family – How to cope when your son is gay. It was all about grief, and the mourning that a parent feels for the life they thought their child was going to have and now won’t.

    Fuck. Off. Mourning?? I wasn’t bloody dead! Just because she chose to make lots of assumptions about my life, it’s not my fault. I never promised to marry a nice girl and have lots of babies. And a parent’s assumptions actually make their gay child’s life rather more difficult, as you then feel like you’re doing something wrong by not conforming to them.

    Anyway, I’m getting off the point. Mum is getting stressy and demanding attention, and Dave is getting pissy and refusing to give it, so I end up getting my ear bent by both of them. I don’t recall signing up to be family conciliator and I’m getting a bit fucked off with it lately. I want to go to my brother’s wedding and enjoy it! But I won’t really, I won’t be able to relax until the evening probably, once Mum and Dad leave, which sounds AWFUL but it’s true.

    So there you are. And we’ve got about five and a half weeks to go. I’m sure someone will go into meltdown at some point before that. I’m slightly concerned that Dave will be short with Mum on the phone, she’ll take offence (partly on purpose, as part of her attention-seeking tactics), and then Mum will say she won’t go at all then if she’s such a trouble and we’ll have a whole family drama.

    But whatever, fuck it, I can’t fix everything for them. I’m getting exasperated, can you tell?


  5. Six-day weekend

    April 15, 2009 by superlative

    I had a lovely six-day weekend for Easter. Although it seemed like I did a lot of stuff and saw a lot of people, as always now that I’m back at work it feels like it went past too quickly.

    We went up to London on Thursday to visit our families, which was nice enough. It was a bit boring at my parents’ house as usual, but I was only there for one night. Mum is getting increasingly stressed about Dave’s wedding now, but I think I’ll have to save that for a separate blog post (and for when I can be bothered to think about it all. It’s rather draining).

    Then Friday I had a nice meal with Chris’ family, and then another meal with his Dad on Saturday, before we scooted on up to Cambridge for a friend’s 30th birthday party. It was for our friend who moved to Sweden about 18 months ago, he was over with his wife and kiddy to see all his friends for his birthday.

    It was lovely to see them actually, as obviously we don’t see them very often now. I think the last time was their wedding in August. It got me thinking about how we’ve pretty much lost a whole circle of friends since they moved away and since our other friend (from the same group) moved to Cambodia. They were our friends we used to go to the pub with, quite often actually, but now Chris and I hardly ever go to straight pubs because the circle of friends broke up a bit after they went. It’s funny how that happens, but I’m not particularly surprised: they were the people who knew everyone in the group, so it was them that held it together. Once those people leave it’s hard to maintain a relationship with the others you don’t have a direct link with.

    We do have some other new friends now of course, but I used to enjoy those nights in the pub playing silly drinking games.

    So anyway, the 30th birthday party was spent drinking rather too much vodka and dancing by candlelight in his parents’ garage. I felt a bit like a teenager again. It was good fun though.

    And then the last couple of days of my long weekend I spent in Brighton, just loafing about really, and having a long walk up and down Devil’s Dyke (see my rather nice photo in the previous post). I wish I could have been off for a bit longer, as Chris is off all week, but such is life when you are the wife of a teacher.

    Right, I better get on with some work I suppose. Although it would be much more fun to start making the scoresheets for our annual Eurovision party, so maybe I’ll do that instead. Only a month to go now! “It’s myyyyy time, it’s my time….”


  6. Wedding stress – the slow build up

    March 26, 2009 by superlative

    I just had a rather long conversation with Mum about Dave’s wedding. It’s getting closer now, and as we approach it she’s getting progressively more stressed about how she’s going to manage it, which parts she’s going to be able to attend, and how only to attend bits of it without upsetting Dave and his fiancée too much (they’re being a little uncompromising, I have to say).

    Basically, she can’t do all of it, not a whole day from 2pm until the evening including a dinner and lots of noise and socialising etc. But Dave wants her to do it all; or at least, in an ideal world she’d be doing everything, and he wants his wedding to be perfect, so he’s pitching for the ideal world scenario.

    Unstoppable object? Meet my friend the immovable wall.

    Neither of them seem willing or able to compromise very easily, so I don’t know how it’s going to end up really. I’ve been trying to think up all sorts of different plans that might be doable by Mum and acceptable to Dave, and it isn’t really working very well at the moment. I don’t know why I’m feeling responsible for sorting it out of course, but that’s just what I do. And when Dave’s being intransigent, Mum ends up feeling like he doesn’t really want her to go at all, and so it all goes on and you can see why I ended up on the phone for ages.

    Hmm. So I’m not really looking forward to my brother’s wedding right now. If we can come up with a plan then I’ll be able to feel better about it. Or alternatively I could try to stop caring and let other people sort themselves out for a change.


  7. Wrong side of bed

    January 29, 2009 by superlative

    I woke up in a really bad mood today. I don’t think it’s for any particular reason, I just woke up thinking “I can’t be bothered with any of it today”. I wonder why you just wake up like that sometimes? On this occasion it’s probably related to work being consistently dull at the moment, and I knew I had a couple of annoying emails to deal with when I got in, and I hadn’t had enough sleep. And then even getting to work involved sitting on a horrible bus with small seats that hurt my knees listening to annoying schoolchildren making too much noise.

    Well anyway, I’ve cheered up a bit now. Someone sent me this link, described as the best complaint letter of all time, and that helped because I nearly wet myself.

    I had quite a long phone conversation with Mum on Tuesday (probably another reason for my plummeting mood) in which she complained about how infrequently my brother calls home. To be honest, I’m not that surprised; it is depressing to call her. There’s always something that’s gone wrong or something that’s stressing her out, and I can’t remember the last time she said “yes I’ve had a nice day thanks”. Plus Dave works a lot so doesn’t have much time for calling her, and she’ll never call him because she’s “waiting to see how long it’ll be before he calls”. So no wonder she never speaks to him.

    She’s started to stress a bit about his wedding now, as May is creeping up quite quickly. She knows she won’t be able to manage sitting in a room of 100 people eating a two hour meal, but that it’s not going to be as easy for her to slip out as it was at our wedding. And when I talked to Dave about it, he said (rather unhelpfully) “I hope she’s not going to be going in and out during the meal”. Of course she’s going to be doing that, if she’s even there at all! It’s surprising how little he understands, even after seven years of her being ill. It’s because he thinks it’s mostly in her head anyway, which partly it may well be because she makes herself feel ill with her anxiety and stress.

    So anyway, I had to try to convey to him that we don’t live in an ideal world where she’s not ill and will happily sit at the top table for two hours or more and everyone will have a lovely time. It’s just not going to happen, so they’re going to have to find a compromise. I don’t know why it’s got anything to do with me at all really, but of course it does because I’m de facto mediator and everyone looks expectantly to me for bright ideas and to fix it all. I’d also quite like to enjoy the wedding myself though!

    I better read that complaint letter again, I’ve depressed myself now…


  8. Further update to the homosexual dilemma

    November 11, 2008 by superlative

    I think my decision is made now regarding Dave’s wedding. I’ve booked a hotel for the night for the both of us (me and Chris, not me and Dave, I imagine he’ll be sharing a room with his new wife), but Chris is only going to come to the evening. So I’ll do my ushering or whatever Dave wants during the day, sit with whoever they put me with for dinner (please not Grandad, please not Grandad), and then Chris can arrive discreetly with the other evening guests. I’m not sure how late my Grandad will stay, he’ll probably want to be heading home by 8 or 9 hopefully.

    It’s a bit of a shame for me to be playing this stupid game still at 27, but I think it’s for the best, there’s no real benefit to me coming out to everyone on that side of the family at this stage. I did mention to Dave that I didn’t want Grandad to cause a scene at the wedding and that that was one of my primary concerns, and he said “oh we want him to cause a scene; he’s going to hit the roof when he hears Janine isn’t taking our name”. Which was nice I suppose, but I still don’t believe he actually wants his wedding spoilt by an opinionated unpleasant old man.

    Is it wrong that I’m still holding out hope he won’t still be with us by May? Probably a little. Fuck it, he should have tried being a bit nicer shouldn’t he?


  9. Update to the homosexual dilemma

    October 13, 2008 by superlative

    I’m still pondering what to do about my brother’s wedding, and haven’t really managed to decide yet. I’ve talked to a few friends about it, but their advice has varied quite a bit and hasn’t always been that helpful. Mostly people just don’t really understand, and why would they? It’s a funny thing being gay and hiding it from people. You get so used to doing it when you’re growing up, but then at some point you think “why am I doing this again?”. And it’s all very well for people to say “well they’ll just have to accept it won’t they?”, but it doesn’t really work like that, and it’s different when it’s you and your life at issue.

    Anyway, I think that it’s looking most likely that Chris will just come to the evening of the wedding as a general ‘evening guest’. That’s probably the most discreet option while still allowing me to have him there. I’m not going to know that many people during the day and the dinner, which isn’t going to be great as I find socialising a bit hard and normally rely on Chris a bit to do the talking with new acquaintances, but I’ll just have to manage for once. And then at least if he comes in the evening, by which time my parents will be leaving, I’ll have him to talk to from then.

    I still think it’ll be a bit obvious because it’s not like we’ll each be circulating around talking to other people individually, we’ll just latch onto each other once he arrives. But fuck it, what else can I do? And by that stage my grandad will probably be gone so the chances of a scene will be minimised, and I reckon I can handle any of the other family members if they did decide to ask me outright.

    Maybe I’m making too much of a big deal out of it, I don’t know. But it is a big deal when you’re going to get judged negatively by people for who you are and it’s essentially beyond your control. It’s a very frustrating feeling.

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  10. A homosexual dilemma

    October 7, 2008 by superlative

    I’m having a bit of a dilemma about my brother’s wedding next year. Unlike my wedding, to which I simply didn’t invite them, there will be a number of family members on my Dad’s side at my brother’s wedding who don’t know about me enjoying the boy love. So I’m in a predicament about what to do regarding Chris and taking him with me or not.

    Historically, this hasn’t been much of a problem because I hardly ever see that side of the family, and I’m more than adept at side-stepping the occasional “haven’t you got a girlfriend yet” question once every six months when I do see them. I’m also not particularly close to them (i.e. I don’t actually like them), so have seen no reason to share that side of my life with them.

    I don’t particularly care if people like my uncle or cousins know; their opinion is basically meaningless to me. I do resent the idea that they would quite possibly look down on me if they knew, when in fact they are fairly mediocre individuals who have no right to look down on me at all, but I could probably live with it by simply never seeing or thinking about them ever again. But in the past I have dug my heels in about my grandad knowing. Not, of course, because I care that much about his opinion either; he’s a cantankerous and rude old man who has always been quick to voice his negative judgements about me and my brother and has traditionally favoured our cousins because they are “good with their hands” rather than academic achievers. The reason has been that he is fairly wealthy and I haven’t wanted to be screwed out of my inheritance by his bigoted attitudes after all these years of putting up with him.

    So it has been very easy these past ten years simply not to tell them, rarely to see them, and when my Mum asks “wouldn’t it nice for it to be out in the open?” for me to reply that no it would not.

    But Dave’s wedding will bring things to a head. They’ve said they would love for Chris to be there as he’s family and has a right to be there, but that they’ll leave the decision up to me. So do I:

    • take him as my partner and out myself at the wedding, possibly causing a scene at Dave’s wedding which I do not want to do
    • out myself in advance of the wedding and then take Chris, again with the potential for a scene
    • take him as my secret partner but officially just as a friend of Dave and Janine’s who is sitting on the same table as me (might be a bit obvious, don’t know)
    • go on my own but then have Chris come later to the evening along with other evening guests
    • go without Chris at all, and when asked “when are you getting married then?” refrain from replying “I got married last year thanks, you just weren’t invited”

    Oh it’s so difficult. Would people guess if Chris were there not as my boyfriend? My grandad probably not, but uncles possibly. And then there is always the risk that someone in Janine’s family (who presumably all know about me, there’s no reason they wouldn’t) might get chatting to one of them and ask if they enjoyed my wedding last year (clang, huge piece of metal hits marble floor).

    And do I still care if they know? Not really. If I’m excommunicated I won’t be that bothered, I just won’t have to endure my grandad at Christmas any more. But I do care that it might be my Dad that gets flack off my grandad for it (although he’d probably tell him to shut his face), and I don’t want to inflict that upon him. I don’t even care that much about the money any more.

    Hum. Don’t know. Whatever I choose has the potential to be a disaster.

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