Sunday, 17 May 2009

Wedding vibes

My cousins wedding day was yesterday – there was some sunshine, quite a few tears I’m told (I was a B-lister so missed the tear jerking moments) and for many far too much alcohol. My first wedding in a very long time as a single person. This single-status was known to all my family (bride’s side) and it seemed to some of the groom’s family. By the end of the evening, I think it was also known to random passers-by. It became the source of much focus and amusement for my cousins. Oh joyous joy. At one stage I felt as though I was wearing a banner which stated ‘take this woman, she is the wrong side of 30 and needs male interaction immediately - age, personality, appearance, marital status of male is irrelevant’. I exaggerate slightly but sadly only slightly. My fun-loving, confident and terminally loud (yet lovely) cousin made it his mission to get me off with someone. I felt like I was being pimped. I managed to side-step each attempt. I’m happy being single and am fairly well equipped at securing a man without assistance (ahem, I think).

Moving away from Bridget Jones’ moments – I focus on music again for a while. My musical taste, as I’ve said before, is eclectic but it doesn’t stretch to Boyzone / Westlife, Boyz to Men or other pop earache of similar type. I appreciate though, that others love to singalong a Ronan Keating and that’s fair enough. I was quite pleased to hear Beyonce’s Crazy in love – I was on my own in this, no one else got up to dance so I bravely stayed in my chair and toe-tapped. I don’t recall hearing any other music that caused me to feel inexplicably drawn the dance floor. Although I did dance, it was somewhat against my will, forced and dragged as I was, to and around the dance floor, by various family members. Apparently even a toilet break was out of the question.

The venue for the wedding breakfast and evening fun was Crewe Hall – a beautiful stately building. It somehow feels remote even though it is relatively close to civilisation. It’s a perfect location to get married. Resplendent and grand, it boasts an impressively long, tree-lined driveway. I’m unsure on this but I think the building dates back to the 1600’s (corrections welcomed when I’m wrong). On a more negative note, it offers drinks that you need to put a deposit on before you can take them away and drink them. In other words, a tenner doesn’t provide you with much change for two drinks. Family members were prepared - like cubs and scouts from a demon dimension, they smuggled in supplies. These supplies consisted of vodka and whisky. Soft drinks purchased, spirits added to the glass away from prying eyes. Genius. I was trying to drink less so didn’t follow suit, not an effective plan as it turned out. In that, I still drank more than I meant to and definitely spent more than I should have done.

Onto an interesting phenomenon - the hi-five. Now, I’m not known for my hi-five action, however between the hours of drunk-oclock and drunker-oclock I was drawn into quite a few hi-five moments. The required process for a hi-five consists of: the instigator saying hi-five in the form of a question, raising their hand as you might do if you were to wave at someone, then the recipient (me, in this case) raising their hand to meet the instigators hand and create a clapping motion. All protagonists feel wonderfully pleased with themselves before, during and after. It’s a congratulatory gesture which celebrates successfully securing male attention, drinking lots of alcohol, still standing after midnight following lots of alcohol and basically anything else that the instigator deems to be a job well done. It’s an unusual practice, when you stop to think about it and in fact, I would argue that it’s an unusual practice when you don’t stop to think about it but I involved myself in it anyway. Those that know me well will agree that I’m also not known for my hand-eye coordination, so this coupled with a moderate amount of alcohol turned one hi-five into more of a low-four. Luckily the wedding guest on the other end of my low-four didn’t seem to mind, undeterred we had an action replay, which was infinitely more successful. The low-four and subsequent hi-five was closely followed by that marvellous wedding tradition of standing in a circle, arms wrapped around your neighbour, kicking your legs in time / not in time (delete as appropriate) to Sinatra’s New York, New York. Post-alcohol, I’m always happy to get involved in any kind of random dancing, even if it’s the conga, yet I often find a part of myself, the less drunk part, standing to one side and wondering at the craziness of it all. If alien’s landed – no doubt they’d find many earth customs strange but surely this type of collective drunken dancing would chart near number one in its complete nonsensical pointlessness. Apologies to anyone that doesn’t wonder in this way, it’s the sociologist in me (if you study sociology, to say sociologist in me, is practically a contradiction in terms but anyway). I suppose as a sociologist I might also consider that this type of drunken collective dancing relates to our need for human contact, a desire not to stand alone but to be part of something, a demonstration of unity, a collective of people tied by friendship or familial bonds portraying these bonds to all who stand outside the collective – or you may say that it’s a bunch of piss heads demonstrating that they are in fact very pissed. Anyway, as you may have guessed, if you’ve ever been to a wedding, New York, New York symbolises the end of the evening. So following drunken goodbyes, smiles, kisses and thank yous – I went home with my parents.

I have another wedding to attend in a few weeks. The amount of weddings you attend in a year directly correlates with your age. By the end of May I will have been to two and the so called wedding season has only just begun. Erm, oh dear….

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