On 16 June 2014, I am getting married. Yeah. I know.
Why then? Is the question everyone I have told has asked me. Well, that date next year is mine and C’s ten year anniversary. Ten blooming years. Next year I will be 27 (how?!) and I was 17 when me and C got together. Ten years. In reality, it feels like a heartbeat.
We always said when we reached our ten year anniversary we would stop procrastinating, messing about, making excuses and generally avoiding the issue and actually make some firm plans. After a very large pizza and a very long and very frank discussion we decided that rather than actually making plans, lets make a date. So we did.
I bought my dress. It took five seconds. It’s from Primark and it cost £7. My friend got married in the same one except she bought it when it wasn’t in the sale and it cost £12. Due to the fact that I never dreamed of getting married, I didn’t have an idea in my head of what I wanted. I wouldn’t have wanted a meringue puff ball, because, well, I would look like a space hopper in a net curtain. A slim Audrey Heburn-esque column may be great for some but I’ve got hips of such an impressive girth I need a “Danger: Wide Load” sign on my bum.
So, it’s a dress. What can I tell you beyond that? It’s white. It’s got flowers on the cuffs and it’s well….a dress. I shall be wearing it, naturally, and I shall attempt to brush the impromptu dreadlocks out of my hair. I won’t be wearing my glasses on the day and I am allergic to contact lenses, so, to be frank, any one reading this could turn up and marry me and I won’t know because I won’t be able to see a thing.
A few of my more feminine friends made loud squeaking noises like a dolphin dying and asked about hair crowns (what’s that? An actual crown…I could wear that I suppose…) and a veil (no, because I know C will make a joke such as “Lift up your veil, honey. Jesus! Put it back down!”) How I am going to wear my hair (Same way I wear it every day mate. On my head) and about shoes (little giggle here, actually, I don’t wear high heels anyway because I’m too large but I have to wear flat shoes because heels make me taller than C) and tights (Bore off.) One of my friends is actually a make up artist and began squawking about foundations and creams and such. She was silenced with a withering look and she lent me her fur coat to try on instead. Thank you.
Venue will be the local registry office. I tried to book it but you can’t book it more than a year in advance, so I need to ring up on our anniversary this year. We then have to go down with our passports and that to prove we are who we say we are and that’s that. Neither I nor C nor our families follow any kind of formal religion, and I think it would be hypocritical to do it any other way.
Guests are my Mum, Dad, two brothers and their respective girlfriends, and C’s Mum, sisters, grandparents (they had a very big hand in raising him) and his sister’s interchangeable brood of small children none of whose names I remember effectively. My Mother in Law has been told in no uncertain terms by C and me that if any of those children begin crying, squealing, talking, weeing, pooing or anything else they are to be removed immediately or so help me God I will do amazing damage to her with a bouquet (I’m kidding! I’m not having a bouquet.)
So. Am I excited? No. Not about the day, anyway. I don’t like getting dressed up. I don’t like having my picture taken. We’re going to have to force so many smiles our cheeks might fall off. It’s the one day in your life you get to behave like a diva and you can believe me, they’ll be so much finger clicking and swanning about involved you’ll think Divine popped by to get married. I hate weddings, really loathe them, and I’m not even remotely excited. It’s going to be a long, probably hot, boring day, and I won’t be able to relax properly until me and C say that this carnival is over, go away and don’t phone us again for a month.
Why the heck are you doing this then, you miserable, cynical, evil woman, I hear many of you asking. So let’s move on to the nice stuff.
Firstly, because our families deserve to be a part of this. I have no idea if C’s family read my blogs but in case they do I am not going to utter a single word. My family, however, are four of the loveliest, kindest, most generous and gentle people in the world and I adore them. I am doing this because it would be cruel and unnecessary to cut them out. My parents have been nothing but supportive and kind with their time and love since I moved out, and have been invaluable to me and C when we needed help. My Dad helped us move and has given his time and expertise in DIY. My Mum has been a constant support on the end of the phone, has sewed buttons back on (a skill that nobody can compare to), given advice on oven cleaning and had exactly the right level of emotion when we got engaged. C genuinely thinks my parents are great people and as far as I know, the feeling is more than mutual. Their presents for his birthday and Christmas are amazing, they send support and good wishes for bad news, and celebrate achievements. My parents are a constant, stable and dependable safety net. I’ve never been afraid of falling because they will always catch me, without judgement. My brothers are moving on with their own lives and both doing very well, but we are always in contact and they never need doubt for a second how much I love them.
C’s family are very proud of their only son, as they should be. I’m so proud of C I could burst. His relationship with his family is rich and complex (I shall say no more) but he does love them, and they have every right to be there and see their only son get married. I also am my parents only daughter (my Dad often says to me “You’re my favourite daughter, you know”) and they deserve to be there. Without our respective families (C’s Dad has been missing since action, in case you wondered) we wouldn’t exist, wouldn’t have found each other, and wouldn’t be doing this.
However, my enormous family seem to be predisposed to breed, endlessly. My Mum has 8 brothers and sisters and my Dad 6, and they have kids and some of their kids have kids. They don’t all live in the UK and if we had decided to have a monster wedding, it would be more complex than organising the Olympic games. I don’t have an awful lot to do with my extended family, not for any horrible dark reason, just because I’m not really bothered. I have my own life. C also has a fairly large family who seem to drop sprogs like I drop tissues and he very rarely sees them. Most of them don’t live in the UK either, and they all seem to have impossibly high flying jobs (I see where the intelligence comes from.) So we decided just immediately family. If this leads to arguments, then okay. They can all come to my funeral anyway, and a party is a party right?
We are also getting married for boring legal reasons. At it stands, we have no Will. Were I to die, or C, he would be entitled to nothing as my family are my next of kin. Same goes for him. We have life insurance so in the event of one of our deaths the mortgage is paid off but it doesn’t transfer the title to the survivor. My family or his family could contest if they chose to. If C were to be in a horrific accident and suffer severe issues afterwards, I would not get to decide if his life support was turned off, where he went after that or anything. That would go to his Mum, and the same goes for me.
Not exactly the most romantic thing you’ve ever read is it? I know that I will not always be around. I need to know that if anything happens to me C will be safe. He is my number one priority, over anyone. I have to know that financially he will be secure, that he will have somewhere to live and can make vital choices about my life. It would be unbelievably cruel to think that someone else could make those decisions. Nobody knows me better than C.
And finally, let’s get on the really nice stuff. The reason I am getting married is because I’m getting married to C. Above anything else, I love him. It’s as simple as that. I could turn that into poetry, or a song, actually, I could write several novels about all the reasons I love him, but that’s the one truth I have. I don’t know what I’m going to do with my life. I have a job, not a career, and that’s okay for now. Who knows what I’ll be doing in five years? I don’t. I’m not sure about where we live, I’m not even entirely sure about this haircut. I don’t know if I like the new Suede album, if these socks are the colour of pig vomit or if I should buy a new hoover. I’m the most fickle person on the planet. But I love him. That I know more than anything.
I could pinch myself with the luck I’ve had. I’ve witnessed a lot of bad relationships and been in one myself. I’ve seen the misery, the hurt, the anger, the betrayal and the loss. I’ve had none of it. This is someone who loves me. Me. All five foot six, plump, milk white skinned, ginger haired, speccy faced, blob nosed me. Plain old me. The one who the boys looked past. The one who never got asked to dance at school discos. You could have had anyone you wanted, C, and you chose me.
It’s horribly scary, realising how much you depend on someone. How your life tips slowly until it runs in sync with theirs. I don’t really know what I would do without C. Actually, I don’t know at all. I get up to go to work because we need the money. I do the housework because we live here. You know it’s true, everything I do, oh-a-woah, I do it for you. Stupid song, but it hits the nail square on the head. C has become my reason, my rhyme, my purpose and my destination. The greatest thing you’ll ever learn is just to love, and be loved in return. Another song that got it right.
I don’t feel calm about anything. I am so highly strung it’s a wonder I don’t have seven heart attacks just trying to buy pasta sauce at the supermarket. Perpetually angry, perpetually wound up about something. C is like a slow song, like a balm, like the sound of the sea. With him, I actually feel calm. I actually feel okay. C isn’t afraid of anything. Someone told me that they view their depression as a black dog running to chase them. I fear no dog. C is waiting, sword drawn and ready. I don’t ever need to be afraid again. Bad things happen sometimes, really, really, bad things. Sometimes you hate and you cry and you’re so scared you can’t breathe. I ride high on my emotions and I’ve never been balanced in my reactions, but I no longer feel so scared it crushes the breath right out of me. In the tiniest thing, in a hair stroke or a hand squeeze or a hug, I know that no matter how far I sink, C will pull me back out again.
I used to be afraid of love. I used to think that once you let someone in, they would know the power they held over you and make you into anything they wanted. Love was a danger, an obsession and a ruler. People kill for it, lie for it, change themselves for it and die for it. I wasn’t going to be a sucker. When you tell someone that you love them, you hand them your heart, as delicate as a butterfly’s wing. Give that to the wrong person and they’ll rip it to shreds. Give it to the right person and they’ll treasure it, and keep it safe always. C would never abuse how I feel about him. He wouldn’t hurt me if someone had him at gun point. He just doesn’t have it in him. Under that moss green polo shirt and big chest, there beats a heart three sizes larger than anyone I have ever known.
I don’t need anything to prove that me and C are forever, but somehow this just feels right. In the cruellest terms, the world needs to know that you are mine, and you always will be. In the softest terms, I want to show everyone what I’ve got. What I can keep. You.
If you’re not crying by now you don’t have a soul by the way.
Thank you for loving me C. Thank you for giving me strength. Thank you for chasing the darkness away and bringing the sunshine back. Thank you for the smiles and the joy and the wonder and the laughs and the tears and the hope and the pleasure. Thank you for being the one bright splash of perfect glowing colour in a world of grey. Thank you for believing in me. Thank you for believing in yourself. You were born in the gutter baby, but you reached the stars. You’re an incredible person and nobody will ever convince me otherwise. You astound me every day and nine years along, you haven’t lost a single sparkle. You’re a superhuman in the world of losers, a man amongst monsters, and an ever fixed star of love. I adore you. You’re gone for eight hours and I miss you. You’re home for eight minutes and I want to bludgeon you to death with a frying pan. You frustrate me into laughter, and replace every tear with a smile. You are perfect, in every single way.
So yes. I like to think that I am getting married for the right reasons.