Friday, 20 May 2011

Here comes the bride (all fat and wide??!)

Rock My Wedding – my favourite wedding website – features brides telling their stories of the build ups to their weddings. I’d have loved to apply for this but bf is vehemently opposed to his presence anywhere in the ether of the internet. Both of us are Facebook refuseniks. My anonymity is important to me in the context of this blog, but I would have tried to keep the two separate – I would have liked to have had a stab at writing for RMW. As it is, this is largely irrelevant since a) I’d have to be short-listed, b) then I’d have to be voted for (not at all sure I have mass appeal!) and c) I don’t have the techy skills to come up with their mood board in anycase!

But it got me thinking and I thought I’d do a ‘Previously on Peridot’ post to detail how I got here....

I met bf when I was a mere 24. I’d had a couple of serious boyfriends before – and a couple of not-so-serious ones too. Having upset my beloved grandmother at the age of 14 by announcing I intended to marry for money, it didn’t really make sense when I fell in love with a poor, recently separated man, 12 years my senior, with a little boy and an unpleasant ex-wife. But I did. I was wary at first – or as wary as someone as all-or-nothing as me can be – because I have an absurdly low boredom threshold with men. After the honeymoon phase I usually went off the man in question - my previous boyfriend sometimes actually repulsed me – but I knew it was my flaw, not theirs. And here was this man who, whatever his faults (and there are some), never bored me –made me laugh and cry, fascinated and frustrated the hell out of me but never, ever bored me.

I’d always wanted to get married when I was c26. We went to 3 weddings together in our first year – there’s a lovely photo of me gazing at him at one of them with my heart in my eyes. But he was pretty scarred by an unhappy marriage and a pretty nasty divorce. And we were broke. Really broke. We talked about marriage and he said he thought he might want to ‘one day’. Many days passed but it was never the ‘one day’. I moved my goalposts – I’d like to get married before I was 30. 30 came and went. Okay, 35. We even had a serious, tearful (on my part) conversation and agreed that it would be good to do before I was 35. 35 came and went and my friends agreed – it was never going to happen. Should I give him an ultimatum some wondered? I didn’t want to. I wanted him to WANT to marry me, not to feel forced into it. I gave up. I switched my urge to being a bridesmaid – and it was an urge, an ache, a longing, I wanted to wear a lovely dress and be that girl so, so badly! I also convinced myself that this would be the way I lost weight. But my two long-term best friends got married – one didn’t want any bridesmaids (although I got to sit at the top table and go wedding dress shopping with her) and the other got married abroad with just her and her husband. My brothers got married – one got married twice! – but I was always the person doing the reading, never part of the excitement of the main event. It seemed that everyone around me was doing the very thing I longed to and couldn’t do and I felt more excluded and on the outside than ever. I blamed myself – I wasn’t enough x,y or z to be a bride, a wife. I tried to accept it but I never really did.

Then, almost exactly a year ago, at the ripe age of 39, bf and I were in Devon on a long weekend – a birthday present from me to he. We were on a coastal walk – the sun was shining and the colours were at their zingy, zesty Springtime best. It was the sort of day that makes you glad to be alive. Whilst I was admiring the colour of the sea and puffing up the hill, bf was scanning the path for unwanted people and the best place to propose; I noticed nothing awry. It was not a traditional proposal – he did not go on one knee and I gaped like a suffocating fish and almost passed out. I did not accept in a gracious and emotional way (“WHAT? Yes! WHAT?”) – and I made him repeat himself half an hour later too – but somehow it was very us. The walk, the sea, the moment...

So now I have a whisper under 18 months until I’m a bride. I will probably become a bride in as unconventional a way as I became a fiancée. And I hope to make it an experience as typical of us and personal to us as the proposal turned out to be (hopefully without the lightheadedness and unattractive gaping mouth). We have a venue and a few sketchy plans and I spend an unreasonable amount of (joyous) time thinking about it but otherwise we have a blank slate. I’m going to enjoy filling it in.


Lesley said...

Aaaaah, I'm all teary eyed here. That's so romantic. I love your back story and I'd vote for you on RMW in an instant.

You will be a beautiful, lovely bride honey.

Lesley xx

Seren said...

Awwww, I love a good back story! And I can relate quite a lot - like you, my partner is 12 years older and was quite marriage averse for quite a long time. And I sometimes wonder why, back then, I wanted to get married so badly - is it just down to wanting to be the girl in the dress for one day, or do I think being married will add something to our relationship? Hmm, answers on a postcard... :)

Your proposal story is gorgeous - so romantic. And I hope you have a wonderful, wonderful time filling the rest of your slate in.