Friday, April 16, 2010

Twenty Years of Euphoria

On Saturday I celebrate twenty years of euphoric, ecstatic, wedded bliss to the Ball & Chain. (Just in case he's reading this.) He was an American working in London, and had already gone back to the States when we becamse engaged. In fact, since the question wasn't popped till the night before his flight back, no ring was ever purchased. I do however, have diamonds in my wedding ring and am holding out for something very sparkly this year.

Now, I know a lot of you probably think I exaggerate some of the incidents I relate, but I swear they're all true- I really did fall down a manhole at 17, and our ski trips usually entail some disaster or accident. Events leading up to our nuptials did not disappoint either:

Take my wedding dress for instance. I had gone back to the north east to do a bit of dress shopping with my mother and sister. Finding "the dress", I ordered it on the spot. Because we were in a bridal chain shop, I assumed they would place an order in the London branch for me, but no, the Newcastle shop wanted the sale so they insisted on it being delivered (from the warehouse in Watford) to Newcastle, and then shipped down to London for alterations. Three weeks later they finally admitted they had no idea where it was. Worse, time was running out for me to order another dress and have it altered - because of course, even though this was all their stupid fault, they weren't going to rush me to the front of the queue or make any other concessions. Dear God - that would be customer service!

A week later it arrived. I'd love to tell you that was the end of it, but because of this stress plus the US visa application process, I was losing weight by the minute, (ah, memories) and every time it came back from a fitting, it was still too big. Picture the scene, the night before the wedding (probably after one to many glasses of champagne), taking in the side seams with my ancient Singer sewing machine.

Talking about the VISA application, my father-in-law-to-be had to get his Senator involved because our paperwork somehow got lost between DC and London. In those days, there was no Internet so I couldn't "track" anything. It was impossible to get through to the US Embassy on the phone, so every lunch time I traipsed over there and begged some pissy beaucrat to see if my visa was through. Sadly, it didn't come through till a month after our wedding, so the B&C came back to the USA without me. Even worse, no one bothered to call me from the Embassy when it did come through and it sat there for a few days till I could get round there again. Grrr.

The wedding itself continued in the same vein. The day before, a friend and I had gone round to the Hurlingham Club and decorated the pillars with ribbon to match the table centre-pieces. The following morning I took the cake stand around - to find the cleaners taking all the ribbons off the pillars. I stood there with my chin on the floor while the manager flapped and promised that they would replace them, not to worry, etc. etc. (They looked better than mine did!)

My mother had bought my cake and ordered a very unusual, asymmetrical cake stand too. After the wedding meal she asked what the B&C and I were laughing about and I told her we had been taking bets on how long the cake stand would take to topple over. Oh how we laughed -until we realised the cake stand was a traditional Tower of Pisa model and my mother's arty farty one was nowhere to be seen. Oh well.

And then of course, there was that curly perm!


Ye gods.

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27 comments:

  1. Aaah, memories of standing outside the American Embassy in the early morning. Something every bride should experience!

    Congratulations!!!!

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  2. Congratulations on 20 years of wedded bliss! I hope you have something special planned.

    I think 1990 was the year I stopped having perms. I gave up the big hair and never looked back. Yours looked much better than mine ever did. You were a lovely bride and the B & C looked very handsome in his wedding garb too.

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  3. Congratulations on quite the milestone these days. I have to say the B&C has not changed at all, you however have improved sand curly perm my friend!

    ANd the Hurlingham Clug oooh-aaaah!

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  4. that was supposed to be - sans perm!

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  5. I think you might have been able to use some worry dolls... ;)

    Another name for your blog might have been '...by the skin of my teeth'.

    One of those 'you'll be able to look back at this and laugh one day' events at the time, no doubt. Oh, and here we are, doing just that! Very funny post.

    Congratulations on 20 years!!

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  6. Congratulations on twenty years! Lovely picture ;). - funny how we all think our dresses beautiful at the time, but cringe years later. Hope you have a less eventful anniversary than the wedding!

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  7. Congratulations!

    You look gorgeous, in spite of the perm.

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  8. Oh, the dress...
    I always think dresses 'go off' after about 10 years, no matter how beautiful they were at the time.
    congratulations! What anniversary is 20 years? pearls? sapphires?

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  9. I think you look LOVELY. Just lovely. THe perm is not bad at all - just lots of curly hair.
    Congratulations!!!
    I remember queueing up outside the American Embassy for hours, too, on several not very fun occasions. I hope I'm done with that.
    xo

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  10. Huge congratulations! You don't look old enough etc...!

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  11. You look gorgeous, and slim and very vey happy. Many congratulations! I hope you all have a great day!

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  12. No Internet....?

    Congrats, and all that. Despite the comedy of errors, it seems to have worked out.

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  13. Well, I think you look lovely. Congratulations, girl.

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  14. So many congrats! And stunning pic. Following in the same vein, a friend of mine in the UK is getting married today. But due to a certain Icelandic volcano her vicar is stuck in Venice! That'll be a story for the future.

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  15. I stood outside the American Embassy as well but it was for my husband. Froze my ass off in that queue.

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  16. Congratulations - It's been three for us, hope we make it 20! And might I add it seems that American Embassies are the same the world over - lots of waiting and no one answers the phone. Ever.

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  17. Oh gosh. . .I had the same exact perm 20 years ago! Congratulations on 20 years. That is amazing in a really good way.

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  18. Don't get me started in the US Embassy. I love to think that all my tax dollars (yes, I am still taxed in the US!!) are going to such good use.

    Happy Anniversary! We're only at 10 years.

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  19. well done- and congratulations to you both

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  20. This sounds like one of those "horrid dress rehearsal equals great performance" stories, as if the wedding was a bit traumatic but the marriage survives 20 years, that can't be all bad!

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  21. Thanks everyone.
    Funnily enough, minus the little jacket and the perm (ahem), the dress would be dead fashionable right now as it was strapless. The dress of my dreams (off the shoulder, very slim number) looked bloody awful as I have quite wide shoulders and narrower hips. I was devastated when I tried one on, but had to admit that it made me look like a rugby player!

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  22. You look great in your picture! Both of you look very happy. Congrats!

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  23. Congratulations! The stories were great - bet you wouldn't have it any other way would you. And the perm? That was the least of our fashion offenses. Seriously - a great accomplishment and one I hope you and the kids thoroughly enjoy. X

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  24. He married you despite that perm? That's what I call devotion ;)

    Congratulations on your anniversary! xx MM

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  25. Ah, Congratulations pet - I remember it well (actually I was very drunk, but never mind).
    You both deserve each other - in the nicest possible way!

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  26. If anything =) More stories to tell for future generations!

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  27. Just want to say what a great blog you got here!
    I've been around for quite a lot of time, but finally decided to show my appreciation of your work!

    Thumbs up, and keep it going!

    Cheers
    Christian, iwspo.net

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