Easter Sunday I joined a group of friends to celebrate a marriage. The couple had taken their time getting to know each other over a seventeen-year romance, which I totally get as it took me twelve before I chased/dragged my own husband up the aisle. (Some people just don’t want to rush into these things!) What took place on this special day was something rather magical. Of course, we knew it would be, Lisa hasn’t slept for eight months! The girl put the O into OCD I mean organised, she’s beautiful and tasteful and was fortunate enough to be able to bring her dream wedding to life. The sun shone on the bridal party with a weird freakish heat wave (only in England! And yes I know it’s likely to rain now until mid-July.) Even the moon was full and pink and promised the end of an old life and the start of something new. I know Lisa is good but I don’t think she’s that good. Although she did provide free flip flops! I think the Gods were smiling down on this particular happy couple. The day was perfect and yes maybe we did consume many litres of different types of vino, but you could literally feel that love was in the air. (I think the DJ maybe played that classic somewhere between dancing queen and don’t stop me now. If he didn’t he should have.) When I say this I am not just talking about the very obvious love you could see reflected in the groom’s eyes upon glimpsing his gorgeous wife to be(maybe that was a different four-letter L word?), or the pride dad couldn’t hide as he parted with his daughter. It was in the readings, the speeches, infused into the pink rose petals. It was everywhere. The room had its own heartbeat.
I got to take off the Yoga Leggs and put on a nice dress and spend the day being part of something wonderful with a handful of my favourite people. That’s what made it feel so good. I have this amazing group of mum friends that I can honestly say I love. Not wanting to sound all mumsy (sounds so old!) but we met at school being mothers first and foremost. Our little mum tribe is eclectic, to say the least; we are like the United Nations on a night out. We vary dramatically in nationality and religious belief. There is a good decade between a few of us and our occupations are diverse. Some of us might be addicted to yoga, where others might be more inclined to SHOP or be fanatical West Ham United fans. Each one of us appreciates and respects what the other brings to the party. (Mon does make excellent paella.)(Little Spanish joke). Our differences are the very fabric of what makes us unique and interesting. Ten years of school gates, countless kid’s parties and crazy nights out, toddlers turning into teens, weekends away, a million zillion WhatsApp messages, operations, lost loved ones; one bat mitzvah and now our first wedding. Highs and lows and the love grows. We even have a special fondness for the dads and they have their own little love fest going on in a really blokey, jokey kind of way. Lucky aren’t we?
I think lots of people crave that lusty exciting all-consuming kind of love that makes your heart race and your stomach flip but that is just a tiny part of what will carry that seventeen-year courtship into a lifelong commitment. I think you’ve really got to be playing on the same team. It’s easy to get caught up in the big white dress and party time excitement and overlook the seriousness of joining together in holy matrimony. The Honeymoon period is great but like all good things will eventually come to an end. That sacred promise of loving someone for better or worse, for richer or poorer not forgetting the sickness bit! They are some serious promises you’re making! Because there will be all kinds of worse. Like some complicated mathematical equation, love equals understanding and forgiveness, compassion and trust, kindness, loyalty and respect. Not forgetting patience, lots and lots of patience. Yes, love brings great joy but on the flip side, it can bring pain like nothing else. For why would we grieve so intensely? Why do we suffer from broken hearts? Where would the poets and the songwriters find their greatest inspiration if love wasn’t such a complicated little Madame? Love has a dark side too, but then don’t we all.
They say blood is thicker than water and as much as our own flesh and blood can drive us insane at times isn’t it love that binds us. Makes us look out for each other in a nurturing, fiercely protective way. Haven’t we got each other’s backs when the going gets tough? Don’t we all thrive when we feel really cared for? Don’t we all just want to be accepted and cherished; unjudged. Trouble is we are all so busy we can forget the importance of just checking in. We waste so much valuable time doing stuff that doesn’t matter and then wonder why we aren’t happy or fulfilled. People are important, check in. People aren’t here forever, treasure them while you can. It took me thirty years to reunite with my old school friends, when we can all agree on a date (not easy) and meet up our teenage selves come out of hiding and very real feelings of genuine affection almost possess our bodies. Love and laughter, you can’t want for anything more.
So I’m not sure where I am going with this, often I feel compelled to write/rant and of late it’s been a little on the negative side. Truthful, but a tad moany. I blame the long winter. Is it easier for us to say what we don’t like, do we feel soppy or too vulnerable to give our compliments away as freely as our criticism, to declare our undying love or heartfelt gratitude. Is it just too weird and uncomfortable to let people know how much they mean to us? A day spent with people that make you giggle and dance and cry happy tears, is good for the soul. Never feel embarrassed to give thanks and show a little emotion.
I feel blessed; when I was in my twenties a fortune teller told me I would have a colourful and contented life. In truth, it has to date always been a little crazy and chaotic, messy at times. Colourful definitely and brimming over with fabulous characters, that I am lucky to call my friends and family. I never quite know where it’s going but I am so much richer for their company, it’s good to have them along for the ride. I am not on facebook so don’t have five thousand friends but I get to work with my most generous kind and clever friend and wake up every morning with my best friend (we do bicker a LOT!) but I guess that’s love thirty three years later. And I have old skool friends and crazy hairdressing friends and eccentric ex-market trader friends and yoga friends and with so many kids (love you) I’ve got a hell of a lot of mum friends. Thanks for making life colourful.
Now go tell people you love them.
Congratulations Lisa and Adrian may life be full of the richer, the health and the better.