So when my sisters and I get together pre-wedding we shop.
We need frocks. And champagne. And new lipsticks and shiny bobbly things to wear in our hair. And also more champagne. But it is an indication of just how far we have all come that the very first thing we bought, all four of us, was the hitherto unknown to me: Foundation Undergarments.
These sturdy beige coloured beauties flattened my sloppy tummy with brute elastic strength. I have never worn such aggressive underpants in all my life. So efficient. And so, so attractive. Between us we had four pairs of aggressive underpants, two sets of angry miniskirt things, and at least one full tummy, bum, thigh ‘you will be flat if it kills you’ ensemble.
Now the thing about having an almost 15 month old toddler at a wedding is that they look so adorable, so cute, in their cream linen suit with the vest and the buttons. But the other thing is that sometimes they do not like to be held. Not by grandmother, not by visiting ex-amah Rani, not by Dadda who is in any case taking photographs like a dervish, and certainly not by bad mean Mumma.
It seems that Being Held At A Wedding is tantamount to having toothpicks shoved under your fingernails or being forced to dance barefoot over something very hot, like say, the sun. It is definitely not for nattily linen clad toddlers with their kicking legs and their flailing arms and their club-like head that whips from side to side, much like those dinosaurs. You know the sort. The ones dressed in linen. Possibly named Screaming Tomatosaurus.
Call it the thrill of romance, call it the spirit of the lake alongside which the wedding vows were made. Call it sheer bloody mindedness, whatever, the Tricky wanted to run. And shout. And play the Upside Down Baby Game. And this is hard when solemnity is taking place on the other side of the rose petal strewn red carpet.
But then, just as you might have thought that you could simply tether him to a nearby tree and let him prance about happily, the Tricky decides that actually he does want to be held. And only by Mumma. And it shall be right after the bride and groom exchange rings, in fact at the exact point that Mumma is meant to be reading something called “The Art Of Marriage.”
And it shall be done with additional flailing so that she will need to juggle him with her piece of paper with the "The Art Of Marriage" printed upon it. And she will be slightly distracted because the dress she bought two days previously is a wrap around thing and the nippy lake winds have already blown it embarrassingly high and exposed aggressive tummy squashing underpants never meant to be seen by human eyes.
The only fly in the perfect meringue of my sister’s wedding was the empty seat for Grumpy Grandad. He almost made it, my sister AJ and I had spent a pleasant afternoon doing his (ahem) personal grooming, trimming his hair (both head and nasal), fingernails, and making sure his suit fit over all the additional accessories that the doctors have seen fit to attach to him. My dad shone up his shoes, we tee-ed up a wheelchair, we were all systems go but on the morning of the wedding that sneaky low blood pressure did its thing.
Still, despite the missing GG, despite the flailing linen clad Screaming Tomato, despite bride’s oldest sister continuous flashing of scary foundation undergarments, it was a beautiful day.
5 Fiction Books for Christmas 2017
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