You'll have to forgive the slight streak of cynicism that might ripple through this column, like a bitter coulis in a fluffy sponge pudding. I am watching Bride Wars, you see, a movie that determinedly undoes all feminist progress over the last 50 years in a sweep of frothy white tulle. "You have been dead until now," the wedding planner tells the newly-engaged brides. It's a great message.
But even ignoring influence of Kate Hudson's perfectly groomed idiocy, I think I'm reasonably clear-headed when I say that if one more person on my Facebook news feed gets engaged or married, I will do something terrible with a Tiffany cake slice.
Growing up you always hear about people in this phase of life, where everyone they know is tying the knot in giddy succession and every weekend is spent throwing cash at John Lewis weddings lists and sleeping off hangovers in Welcome Break service stations, wearing a crumpled fascinator. But you think it will hit when you're, ooh, 30.
Never did I think that at the ripe age of 23, half of my also-23-year-old acquaintances would be getting married or popping out babies. We're not old enough to hire a car in most countries, yet these people know who they want to share a toilet with for the rest of their lives. The rest of their LIVES. It hurts my mind.
Perhaps these girls are all far more emotionally evolved than me, or perhaps it is just that no one has taken the time to pin them down and say 'THE REST OF YOUR LIFE' over and over again in a doom-filled voice. Either way, they're doing it. The ring, the hen do, the dress, the cake, the honeymoon, the endless reams of professionally airbrushed photos. They're doing it, only a handful of years since we officially became grown-ups. I still can't commit to a shampoo brand, and they're happily signing up for a lifelong three-legged race. It's amazing.
But aside from humming Another One Bites the Dust each time the squealy engagement status goes up and arranging a small divorce sweepstake (what? who said that? not me), I'm grateful for the diversion that it creates. I am. I love it. I've become fascinated by weddings in the same way an elderly obese man might be fascinated by Olympic gymnastics. I await wedding pictures on Facebook with an embarrassing hunger, overlooking the fact I've only met the lucky lady once, briefly, when we were 15*.
Will the dress be massive/shiny/in danger of falling down? Hair down, up, or curled like crisp fusilli? What's the colour scheme? Hotel, marquee or barn conversion? Will they, the most terrifying bridal trend I've witnessed so far, pose for official photos in their pants**?
And on, and on. It should be noted that so far none of these have been people close enough to actually invite me (I'm pleading closeness as the reason, rather than the chance I might loudly criticise everything then eat all the sugared almonds). But it's only a matter of time before I'm aisle-side, with popcorn. And if Bride Wars is anything to go by, it'll be a hoot.
*Around which time said bride was probably drawing up table plans and beginning on table favours.
** This is a real thing. Two real people I know have actually done it.
Horses for courses - and the future
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