Today is the first time since 11th August 1999 that the UK will see a solar eclipse. It is also the day that Antonia’s brother, Joshua, is getting married. On one hand, this wedding has been a bit of a whirlwind – Josh and Penny only got engaged at Christmas – but on the other it’s been a long time coming, considering that they’ve lived together for the last twenty-one months with their three and a half children (Lucy and Russell from Penny’s first marriage; baby Sebastian; and the one on the way), and were once, many years ago, childhood sweethearts. Of course, there were a couple of disasters at the eleventh hour: Penny falling and twisting her ankle last week on Friday the 13th; and then yesterday the mother, father and youngest sister of the bridegroom almost didn’t make it home in time from Fuerteventura after their plane was redirected… By the time this post is let loose in cyberspace, I’ll hopefully be in the Sudbury town hall watching the lovers tie the knot. This is only the second (full) wedding I’ve ever been invited to. The first was Sophie and Tracy’s seven and a half years ago, although we weren’t allowed to call it a wedding back then. I was one of two ‘best women’. If I ever have a wedding I’d like it to be a vegan one. Antonia agrees. I suppose it’s easy saying that when you have a vegan partner. But then I’ve talked to other vegan couples and they’ve said that they wanted a vegan wedding too but their families objected. When I say vegan wedding, I do just mean the food. Obviously, if I was going to wear a kilt then I’d want it to be a non-wooly one with a sporran that was made from something other than dead animal, but I certainly wouldn’t insist that all my guests had to be wearing faux leather apparel (unless I was paying for the outfits) because that would be a wee bit intolerant. I also wouldn’t say to my omnivrous or vegetarian friends ‘oh sorry, you had a cheese toastie yesterday so that means you cannae come’. Anyway, I may never get wed. And not just because of the vegan thing. Because even though it’s legal for gay couples to marry now in the UK, I still have my reservations. Mostly, I worry about disappointing my parents: a) because I’m never going to be that a traditional bride in a meringue (or any) dress; and b) because my mother has made it abundantly clear over the years that she would prefer it if I were to marry a man. So, of course, I worry about inviting my parents to the wedding. And I worry about not inviting them. I don’t know what would be worse: if my mother were to decline an invite, or for her to appear with her face tripping her all day long. And if I didn’t invite her, how could I invite my dad and my sister? I suppose we could always elope. But then I’d miss the wedding waltz and a golden opportunity to buy a snazzy new suit. I may not be one for traditional customs but I do like formal-wear; and I’ve always fancied myself in a crisp white morning suit with a matching waistcoat and tie… Anyway, this is supposed to be about Josh and Penny… I hope they both have a really wonderful day. I’m sure they will… unless Penny goes into early labour in the middle of the ceremony… but that would make for quite a good story!
So recently, I had a dream that I asked Sophie aka the Bean-cruncher to marry me. I was at a huge house party in this dream and there were lots of other people there that I knew, including Antonia, my mother and the identical teenage twins from my karate club.
I was sitting at a table facing Sophie, and Antonia was to my left; and Sophie was talking about how she really, really loved weddings. I started to tell her that if I ever got married then the best part of the day for me would probably be the wedding waltz. Antonia harrumphed at this. (Which is probably what she’d do if this conversation manifested itself in real life, because I’ve asked her many times to be my partner at ballroom or salsa dancing classes but she refuses to indulge me.) Anyway, I then sent Sophie a proposal via text message. And she accepted.
In fact, I clearly remember her saying: ‘Lynsey, I’d like nothing better than to marry you.’
She looked very pleased with herself. And then she went round texting and telling everyone she knew.
Antonia was not amused. Understandably, I suppose. She hissed at me that she’d waited years for me to marry her, so what the hell did I think I was doing going off with someone else.
She then dragged me towards the toilets to give me a further earbashing in private, but my mother accosted us on our journey and gave a tearful speech about how she was so pleased for Sophie, and how Sophie was a wonderful who person who deserved happiness etc. She didn’t, of course, congratulate or even mention me.
Once mum had gone I explained to Antonia that I was only marrying Sophie for the wedding dance. It seemed like a perfectly logical thing to do during this dream. And I have to say, it did feel like Antonia was over-reacting. I told her we could carry on seeing each other as normal and that I was sure Sophie wouldn’t mind. Antonia didn’t think that was appropriate though, and she made me promise to tell Sophie that I couldn’t marry her. But I wasn’t allowed to tell her at the party. Because she said it would ruin everyone’s night.
There is a bit of a gap after that where I can’t quite remember what happened. Possibly we all just got very drunk. Because Sophie did seem to be reeling in a lot of free cocktails on the basis of the whole ‘I’ve just got engaged’ thing.
The next thing I remember is when the dream sequence jump cuts to a different day in a fuzzy coffee shop location with lots of arm chairs. I tell Sophie that I’m really really sorry but I can’t wed her after all. And she laughs in my face. And then says: ‘You didn’t honestly think I was going to marry you, did you?’
Apparently, dream Sophie had a bet with our friend, Fiona, over how long it would take for me to call the whole thing off. Sophie lost. But she said it was worth it to see me squirm under Antonia’s wrath. Plus she saved a fortune on alcohol.
When I told the real-life Antonia about my dream the next day, she was not impressed. Sophie thought it was hilarious though. And we ended up talking at about how we both love social dancing. She prefers the waltz. My favourite’s the tango.
Then I sent Sophie a text that said: ‘Will you marry me?’
And she replied: ‘YES!!!’
The conversation got sillier as we planned out what we would wear if and when we got married: a morning suit and a cravat for me.
Antonia harrumphed for real and pulled the duvet covers over to her side and told us that we weren’t funny in the slightest.
Eventually, I said to Sophie: ‘I think we’re going to have to call off our fake wedding.’
And none of us have mentioned it since.
I still think it was quite an exciting dream. It made a change from the ones I usually have where I’m pregnant or I have just given birth (to a large velvet teddy bear or something equally bizarre); I even had a dream one time that I went into labour and then delivered my own triplets… and then my ex-girlfriend ate one of them.
I can’t remember my dream from last night, but Antonia had a nightmare that I accidently committed suicide…