Dear Alright Little Talks

It’s generally a good idea to make sure that anyone in a relationship feels happy and safe. During an appointment to stock up on my baby prevention medication, we naturally strayed in questions about matters that would normally not make their way into conversation. When I was asked something regarding the general felicity of my partnership (paraphrasing), I was somewhat surprised. I reckon it’s a routine question, I can’t think of any particular red flags I give off.

Of course, I used it as a natural opening to drop in the fact that my wedding is a week away (forwards in my timeline, backwards in yours of course. What am I talking about? You’ve had it marked on your calendar for months). My initial reaction was that it was a good thing to check and an ideal opportunity to do so. I’m not sure that a GP in a non-contraceptive capacity would think to check on that sort of thing. How lovely that ladies are having their welfare looked out for.

I would think that, in my middle class white ladyness. If I was in some difficult situation relationship-wise, I’d almost definitely have some mode of recourse to extract myself. I have my own bank account, no dependents to worry about and two different parental addresses to spirit myself away to. As things stand, there is no reason for anyone to ask me that sort of question. But it’s nice to know it’ll come up every now and then.

Things are changing, people are talking more about abuse of various different strains. Bringing it into the light is going to feel painful and unfamiliar to those who weren’t previously aware of it, myself included. It’s an odd way for it to hit home that this was my first time to pick up those essential tablets since #metoo entered public consciousness. It’s a throwaway moment for me but it could be a lifeline for someone else.

Song choices courtesy of: Kristin Chenoweth, Folk On and Of Monsters and Men

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Hurricane Signs Silver Lining

I’m quite concerned that I’ve tipped over the edge into something scarily manic. Less than two weeks out from W day (yes, the timeline is properly off by this point. I may submit this week of honeymoon cover posts to an art installation. Or as evidence of some variety of breakdown) and I’ve stopped obsessing over the little bits and pieces I still have to do. Mainly because I’ve ticked off as many as I can by this point.

Instead, I’ve begun fixating on details that are well beyond my control. In the early stages of planning, we had a choice to make if we wanted the venue we’d chosen: a June wedding that involved hijacking a guests from a previously planned wedding (she’s my chief bridesmaid but she had already received a save the date for a rival set of nuptials) or go for the depths of October when the weather would be less than guaranteed.

So we went for June because of the higher hope for sunnier weather (and because the bulk our relationship milestones seem to occur during that month). And now I’m checking two different forecasts at increasingly frequent intervals in search of validation of our decision to plough ahead with June. However, they keep disagreeing and there’s not exactly anything I could do about it even if flood warnings or some such were issued.

I’m also concerned that forms that have been posted haven’t apparently made it to their destinations and the venue hasn’t given us an updated final figure (we were supposed to stump up the cash at the weekend). It’s going to be fine though, right? Even if everything I can think of goes wrong? But what if a meteor strikes the hotel and everyone turns up wearing white? Why have I run out of my secret stash of desk gin?

Oh, and an email (spam) just popped up with subject line ‘fix your life’. Perfect.

Song choices courtesy of: MSMR, Frank Turner and First Aid Kit

Substitute Crash Landing

I’m not panicking, you are. The countdown clock is ticking and a surprising amount of decisions are still yet to be made. But, in spite of what I said earlier, absolutely no one is panicking. No one is getting increasingly jittery with concern that they might have overlooked something crucial during this run-up to an event that they had chosen to take the lead on. Nobody is teeth-clenchingly frustrated with resistant RSVP-ers who haven’t yet gone with the programme.

Of course, even if nothing else is determined from this point it will still be a lovely day. Of course it will. There’s somewhere get married, someone to marry us, there will be food and decorations even. Deep down, I do know it’s going to be fine. That’s why the only place I’m leaning hard into the bubbling panic is this post which will be published after the day has come to pass.

I was warned that it would be stressful and I steamed right ahead even though I knew myself and my tendencies towards overboard worrying. And, to be fair, I’ve actually been quite good. I haven’t been knocked sideways by the slightest setback and I’m less concerned than I thought I might be that people will have a good time (funny how that happens when you’re spending a shed-load on hosting a big party).

I’m not even that concerned. Not as much as I could be. Partially because there’s really not all that much to stress about and also because I’ve been doing this rather well indeed. It’s just the little details that pester and threaten to derail me. It’s going to be spectacular, especially since I’ve taken the opportunity to screech at the internet and file it away for when it’s no longer relevant to anyone’s concern. Well, it’ll be fine as long as the flowers arrive on time.

Song choices courtesy of: Frank Turner and Thomas Newman

36 Years of Common Folly

Never browse without safe search on. But be very aware that if you do and wander into something remotely niche that you will be haunted by supposedly targeted adverts forevermore. I just planned a wedding (not single handed but it’s a much cooler brag – provided it went off vaguely well – to pretend that it was something of a solo mission).

Over the course of this path to nuptial joy, I just so happened to kit out a battalion of bridesmaids (well, three. But apparently that’s enough). I really do not need to be besieged by reminders of purchases past. No matter how many times it is suggested to me by an ever increasingly persuasive internet, I will not be getting them outfits to change into.

I know this had to have happened after I bought my own dress but somehow it didn’t get to me quite as much. Or perhaps it’s because I’ve gone through the process at least once already that it’s bothering me now. My hope is that it will have all gone away and my ad spaces will instead be clogged with sunny vistas of Thailand (or possibly cookware because by now I’ll be a wife).

It doesn’t matter to the internet big boys and wedding apparel sites that targeted advertising doesn’t work in the vast majority of cases. So long as they can squeeze that sweet green from a tiny variety of users it’ll all be worth it. I don’t even know what my original point is but I want the manic girl children in formal wear to stop. Looking. At. Me. I can’t help you, can’t free you from your hellish existence.

Basically. take this whole confused rant as a public service announcement to clear your cookies and always online search with incognito mode on. It definitely doesn’t look dodge.

Song choices courtesy of: Murray Gold, Baha Men and Josh Record

Sympathy Letter from America

Oh, that’s rich. Sure, our not particularly glorious leader isn’t exactly a peach but it’s not as if we vote for our political premier directly. It didn’t matter that he lost the popular vote (those pesky Californian illegals, eh?), whether you want to celebrate it or not, the tangerine buffoon was elected. So, you know, sort out your own shit show of higher level politics before you start chucking letter shaped rocks.

Sadly though, the pity that America feels for us doesn’t have a whole lot to do with our respective overlords. They’re seeing us continuing to pretend that we haven’t shot ourselves in the foot, hopping about on an increasingly bloody floor and sallying forth as if we hope everyone’s going to grant us the same level respect as they ever have (the sad thing is, they absolutely are but it’s far lower than we’ve realised). And they feel sorry for us.

Seriously America, thanks for the concern and all that but at this point you really need to do you. We had a vote, the result of which I continue to disrespect but at least it was largely upfront about the question it was trying to answer. The other side of the pond went collectively mad and decided that a reality ‘star’ was the best person to represent them at the negotiating tables of the world. Who then went on to withdraw from a hell of a lot of international deals and has gone onto regret it.

Maybe both nations need to admit that they need someone else in the supposedly developed world to look down on. For ages past we’ve sneered at the French but they’ve got delicious pastries so are they really so remarkably inferior. Let’s just keep sagely shaking our heads at one another’s folly and continue to not do anything constructive to rectify our various mistakes.

Song choices courtesy of: Goo Goo Dolls and The Proclaimers

I’m Asking for Impossible Transformation

It’s worth stating for the record that I’m really rather white. Tanning is something of a foreign concept for me and my skin that burns to a flaky red crisp rather than opting for that delicious golden brown (or am I thinking of pastry?). Of course, this disinclination my body has for fashionable trends in tanning has to be coupled with my own private fear of skin cancer.

I had regular UV treatments a few years ago and prior to each of these sessions I sat opposite a pretty stark poster of recognising the signs of melanoma. And now I minutely examine each new freckle and mole for these worrying symptoms. So it would be a little reckless to invite needless risk for the sake of a lovely tan.

Thanks to the magic of capitalism, there are plenty of ways to make tanning happen without sitting about in direct sunlight slathered in cooking oil or whatever. There are tanning beds that will cram sunbathing sessions into a fraction of the time (but do nothing to alleviate the adverse effects so probably wouldn’t meet my exacting requirements).

Then there are creams and potions and maybe even pills for all I know that are supposed to bring about the state of a glorious tan. But, you know, those require effort. It’s been hard enough to get into a skincare regime (moisturiser and bio-oil if anyone’s interested. We won’t dig into the unhealthy reasons behind your sudden fascination with my skin. If you start threatening me with lotion we might stop being friends though).

Essentially, I would very much like a lovely tan but I don’t want to buy anything to make that happen or sit about in the cancer-inducing rays. You can see where the impossible transformation stuff is coming from. Also, I’d like to drop a couple of stone without exercising or eating healthily. Please.

Song choices courtesy of: Lifehouse, Murray Gold and Mark Mothersbaugh

Follow You Into the World

I haven’t travelled far nor especially wide. So it’s very exciting for me to consider that by now I ought to at the very least be on the way to Thailand. We spent a long time deliberating where to go. Cancun, India and many others were in the mix. I know, we’re very middle class but if you can’t use a honeymoon as an excuse to push the boat out what’s the point in getting married in the first place?

Maybe I ought to have done a little bit of research beyond flight prices and headline activities. I didn’t really manage to take into account the fact that June is quite a rainy month for Thailand. Still, the food should be pretty good, right? And I’ll be somewhere exotic with the love of my life, what could possibly go wrong (I’ll always find something petty to worry about, never you fret)?

At the end of the day, and indeed week, I’ll have gone somewhere utterly fabulous and if it’s less than stellar I ought to be able to wring a story or two out of the experience. When finally back on terra firma, I’ll have to turn my attention to where I want to go next. There are plenty of places all over the world I consider it my right as a British person to visit.

Oh that definitely didn’t sound right. Is it better if Australia isn’t one of those locations? I’m absolutely digging a hole now so I might as well do it somewhere sunny or geographically interesting. The amount of travel time is a little too onerous for delicate little moi so Asia and bits of the Americas are swimming to the forefront of my attention. Of course I’ll have to come up with some glamorous justification for swanning off to the exciting ends of the earth.

Song choices courtesy of: Death Cab for Cutie and Imagine Dragons