Readers of this blog may have picked up on the forthcoming nuptials for my son. Two years ago my daughter wed a delightful young man. In the run up to that event I imagined an alternate scenario which led to a series of posts, under the above title. In anticipation of this year’s event and maybe to bring back memories for anyone who has been the parent of a wedding, I’ve reworked the diary, though I’ve retained the fact it is a daughter whose wedding is anticipated. I hope you enjoy…
This is entirely fiction. Completely. Utterly. Except for any true bits
6.41 am. Awake early in panic over accommodation. Less than a week to go and last night Derrick confirmed rooms. ‘They’ve been moved so they’ll be more convenient’. Turns out they comprise a series of containers into which he has installed beds, a bedside cabinet and a bucket for sluicing. One container is some sort of communal washing facility. Know I need alternative but unsure what.
7.40 am. Stopped by Colonel outside his house, while trying so scrape up faecal explosion caused by Spiro Agnew having ingested remnants of Male Heir’s curry. Surprised by lack of complaints. ‘I’ve done what you asked,’ he says conspiratorially. Momentarily forget what I asked but he reminds me. Ask him to keep schtum and receive distinctly odd wink. ‘Anything else, let me know.’ In desperation ask if he knows where I can secure ten rooms. ‘What about the pub?’ When I explain they are already taken he nods. ‘Let me think on it.’ Should I be hopeful? This man is better connected than the National Grid. Decide to hope.
8.01 am. Find First Of Her Name hunched over my laptop, evidently having hacked into it. ‘Where is it?’ is her curt question.
8.02 am. ‘What Fragrance of my existence?’ ‘Your speech’ ‘Ah, that.’
8.10 am. Am rather pleased with my resistance. Knowing she would want a right to approve it – she calls it ‘constructive modifications’ – I have written it long hand and hidden it. After the photo-Wisden fiasco I have sourced a new secure spot which it appears she hasn’t twigged. Yet. Like the five stages of grief, there are five stages of remonstration in our relationship: demand, threat, anger, indifference and pleading. We are currently stuck on anger, coupled with the threat of withdrawing conjugal jiggities, though after the zip fiasco that is as much a relief as anything.
8.30 am. Am astonished. Anger has given way to an attempt to reason; this is such a novel experience in our 34 years together that I am rendered mute. When I probe as to the real reason why she answers in a small voice: ‘You’ll make me cry and I don’t want to cry, even happy crying’.
8.42 am. Fool. It is ‘trite’ and ‘self-important’ and ‘too long’. I will receive her revisions and be expected to incorporate them.
12.14 pm. In fact they are pretty good, though the humour has been removed. When she asked what I thought, I was tempted to say I’d realised that the wedding was no laughing matter, but reason she wouldn’t see the joke.
1.00 pm. Accept the revisions after insisting on one joke. She concurs. I fail to mention the poem.
10.47 pm. As the local news gives way to something young and incomprehensible on the BBC, am offered ‘an early night’. Decide that it would be rude to refuse though one glance at my julienned member brings home just how brave I am.
11.27 pm. Realise not for the first time that I’m not brave.
6.01 pm. Rehearsal. Waiting for Best Man.
6.02 pm. Vicar announces we need to start without best man. Male Heir pressed into service.
6.07 pm. Am waiting in porch with First Born. Some debate between Vicar, Fiancé and First Of Her Name. Can sense First Born is about to get involved and know it won’t end well. Decide to spring my surprise. ‘Darling…’ ‘Not now Daddy. I need to referee.’ ‘I think this will help.’ Her look of disbelief reveals what she understands of her parent’s marriage viz not a lot.
6.10 pm. Am conscious of First Born’s tears, her hugging me tight and the astonished expressions of the rest of the rehearsal party. Best Man arrives in flurry of apologies, trips on grate by door, face planting on the ancient and very solid grave stone just inside church.
6.20 pm. Awaiting ambulance. Best Man out cold, his nose is a strange shape and the grave stone is now a reddish hue. Rest of rehearsal cancelled as First Born wants to go with Best Man. First Of Her Name disappears with Vicar to vestry. Decide better if I stay outside.
6.40 pm. Best Man and First Born leave and Fiancé and I sit in porch. ‘What did you say?’ I explain my idea that both First Of Her Name and I give away First Born. He gives this some thought. ‘I suppose it keeps her (viz First Of Her Name) away from the front of the Church for as long as possible,’ he says morosely. I agree. Some unintended consequences are positive.