LIZ JONES: In which I'm a pariah at a wedding
LIZ JONES: In which I’m a pariah at a wedding
I’m at a late summer wedding – as the bride has told me many times in her many, many emails. Just call it August Bank Holiday!
I’m the only guest in black and the only woman without a partner, bar someone called Ethel. Oh god, I should have dug up David 1.0. It’s the pitying looks
I can’t stand from women who left 20 stone behind decades ago. Who carry scuffed workaday handbags; one even has a Lidl bag for life. Who wear ballet pumps and tights. Tights! In late summer!
Their husbands are even worse. One told me how much they had spent on a gift. Seriously, if you are north of 50 and don’t yet own a Smeg toaster, you are doing something very wrong.
The church service is long and dreary. I keep thinking, ‘Bet they’re divorced in two years’ time.’
I’m the only guest in black and the only woman without a partner
The flowers make me nauseous. Everyone is wary of me, quite rightly. I’m slightly upset by the cobbles as I am in Louboutins, bought from Browns in the sale.
Ah, now this is why you need a man: someone to hold on to when the railings run out. I realise I’m dressed for a funeral, a bit like the superannuated supermodels on the cover of September Vogue.
The reception is in the bride’s parents’ home, a former vicarage. The newlyweds have children, who have not stopped screaming. And then the worst thing happens. I catch my heel in the tassels of a rug and go flying head first.
Thank god I don’t drink red wine and am wearing Skims knickers. I can see the super-busy mum brains thinking, ‘Hmmm. Should have worn ballet flats.’
There is no sit-down meal, just canapés. How do you juggle a flute, your clutch, and food? Why, as a vegan, am I a pariah? No, I’m sorry, I can’t eat it if it has been on the same plate as a prawn, are you insane?
Jones moans… What Liz loathes this week
- When you have a first-class seat on a CrossCountry train, and it’s an hour and a half before you get water. When you go to find out what the hold-up is, as Mini Puppy is thirsty, the staff are in a huddle chatting and eating sandwiches
- When the train is an hour and a half late, and you complain, the attendant says, ‘I want to get home as well.’ Yes, but this is your job
- My Salter scale. Every time I go to turn it on (which isn’t often, admittedly), the battery is dead
We are shepherded on to ‘the terrace’. I am thinking, ‘Why is her dad gardening at this hour?’ It turns out he is lighting fireworks.
I can’t wait to escape. I am thinking of my square pillows at my hotel, Thyme. Breakfast.
As I try to order an Uber, I’m thinking of all the weddings I’ve been to. One at Claridge’s, which was so boring I left to go shopping on South Molton Street. The bride sat me on a table with her cleaners.
My niece’s wedding in Edinburgh. I was wearing head-to-toe pink Suzannah London. I gave my niece my grandmother’s platinum engagement ring.
But I never made it to the main course as David 1.0 started an argument. He texted me the C word from the apartment I’d paid for.
My school friend’s bash at the yacht club in Burnham-on-Crouch, when I was seated next to a sex offender who followed me to my car! I remember shouting at him, ‘I’m in borrowed Dries van Noten. It can’t get dirty!’
A wedding in the Peak District, when my then husband booked a B&B with a plastic shower containing mini bars of Imperial Leather soap.
The groom left him very much in the shade by producing, at the wedding breakfast, a hand-printed, bound book of his poems expressing his love for the bride.
My husband then put a dampener on proceedings by whispering to me that the groom had ‘had sex with a man – both ways’.
My own wedding. The worst of all, surely. I spent the night alone, and went down for breakfast to find everyone having a really good time at my expense and, when I tried to sit down, no one would budge up.
Anyway, I get back to my lovely hotel room. Peel off my spidery eyelashes. Unfurl the Skims knickers. Remove my shoes.
Surely this is the loveliest part of getting dressed up? Releasing the breasts from a bra, like cows into a meadow after a long winter stuck in a shed. And then my phone shimmies. And the bad mood falls away, as easily as stepping out of my dress.
‘Hi. I’m at Soho Farmhouse. How far away are you?’
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