… unemployment! I write to you from my favourite chair (yes I have one of those), with a warm cup of Lapsang Souchong and a piece of wedding cake because this weekend I attended the union of two minds and hearts that is the modern wedding. And here’s how it went…
My dwarfish boyfriend is older than me (only by two years but it makes me feel young to say it) and as a result of his mid-twenties dwelling we have been invited to three weddings this year. This was the first, the marriage of his cousin, who I had never met but nevertheless being the soppy romantic I am (I come from a family of people who cry at emotional adverts – John Lewis Christmas adverts are usually a sure thing) I was really looking forward to seeing her get married.
So we arrived in Kent on Saturday morning to find we were staying on the world’s greatest B&B. I spend most of my life pretending I’m in a TV adaptation of Agatha Christie’s Poirot or Marple but it’s a rare and wonderful occasion when my surroundings match my imaginings. But this B&B had all the components of a fine Julia McKenzie (not Geraldine McEwan – personal preference, murder seems to make her genuinely delighted) production. There was the beautiful cottage with splendid gardens and lots of cats (heaven in itself), then there was the terribly eccentric host, Nicholas, who called us all ‘Darlings!’ and pursuaded me to have scallops for breakfast, I would have taken a picture but Nicholas would not permit mobile phones at the breakfast table. Then there was Christopher and mine’s room , complete with separate and flower-clad beds and a decanter of sherry! The smile on my face could not have been wider.
Three hours, a debate about leaving times, a panic about grandparents, an emergency heated roller session and two strategic glasses of sherry later I was standing in my favourite coat, charity shop hat and happy red shoes fighting against the rain and wind with a flimsy umbrella all ready for a spring wedding – an outdoor spring wedding.
Thankfully it stopped raining just before the bride walked down the aisle. Although it was still damp and cold and I couldn’t tell whether my nose was running because of the cold or my blurry eyed emotion. I know it’s silly to get emotional at a strangers wedding but it’s very touching to watch two people make such promises, whether it’s sunny or raining, whether you know the couple or not. During a small break in the ceremony whilst the happy twosome signed their official papers of law, Chris’ mother lent over and said ‘we’ve got to get your grandmother out of this ceremony or it’s going to kill her.’ I turned behind me to see what looked like a chair that everyone had dumped all their coats on, at the top of the coat pile there was a tuft of white hair – it was grandma in her wheel chair. After that I managed to keep my misty eyes in check – if not my dribbley nose.
After the ceremony I had the happy surprise of finding that I was sat on the same table as the bride and groom which felt like quite a privilege – until the father of the bride speech. Modern society being what it is, the bride had a father and step father, the result of this seemed to be that her biological father wasn’t that familiar with the groom or his relationship with his daughter. So unable to talk about those things he decided to focus on a) the fact that he really hadn’t spent much time with either groom or indeed bride, b) that they had met on the internet and c) his hobby of ancestry. This combination resulted in a very awkward debate about how the groom’s family pronounced their own name (apparently they’re wrong), a long time spent telling people things they already knew about their own family and some interesting comments about online dating. Myself, after about seven minutes of painful awkwardness (and three glasses of wine… and a G&T… and two glasses of sherry from my bedroom decanter) I found myself clutching on to my cool demeanour as well as Christopher’s hand while the cruel beast that is inappropriate laughter started shaking up my insides. I was shaking but at least keeping my face together until Chris’ grandfather, who had hardly said a word all day but was now being ‘informed’ of his wife’s wealthy family background, to which he loudly butted in with ‘why do you think I married her?’ The whole room erupted into laughter that I suspect they’d been suppressing just as I had, unfortunately for me it meant the beast had been unleashed. I spent the rest of the speech trying to hide behind my napkin and turn my laughter into what I hoped sounded like loud coughs. Through out the wedding I had to dodge the ‘so what do you do?’ questions with a blithe flexibility that seemed to involve talking a lot about knitting.
Apart form that interlude the wedding was lovely , I greatly enjoyed meeting everyone in such a loving environment. I’m now officially wedding broody (everyone who knows me knew this already, but this is the first time I’m admitting it through the written word – go me).
However, now it’s the light of Monday and I’m again realising how unemployed I am. I’ve also started to become sort of scared of potential interviews. I’ve been unemployed for three weeks now, it was my first ‘proper’ job and amongst the lie-ins, finding an unenxpected passion for gardening and shit loads of knitting, I’m afraid of the early mornings, the daily routines and spending every day in an office environment (which can be a scary place to be in itself). I guess the best thing to do in the face of fear is to just keep going, keep applying, keep going to the interviews I’m lucky enough to get and hope against hope that the right job for me, or even what could one day be the right job for me might just come my way.
In the mean time I’m going to keep doing what every other sane unemployed graduate would do, spend their days pretending they’re living in an episode of Marple (without the murder), start referring to my newly potted plants as ‘my babies’ and dabble with the idea of alcoholism.
Til next time! Tesco have Dino vino on for half price at the moment, so if anyone needs me, that’s where I’ll be…