Let me pause our story to talk about….. the Dress. Let’s talk about The Dress.
If only I could. I don’t know anything about the dress. I don’t want to know anything about the dress. What dress? Who mentioned the Dress? I mentioned it once, but I think I got away with it.
Me and Sarah don’t really row. Sometimes we disagree, sometimes we have a little tiff, very occasionally we are close to having “words”. But a full blown, not speaking, sweary high volume hammer and tongs? No.
That is until Sarah started talking about the problems she was having deciding what to wear on her wedding day. We had named the date and things would have gone a lot smoother if I hadn’t come out with four words to strike a chill into the heart of any bride not in the first flush of youth. “What four words are they Tom?” I hear you wince from behind your world cup cushions. Well let me put my tin hat on and explain….
Sarah wont see 21 again, but then again neither will I . And before we named the day I knew as much about weddings as Gok Wan knows about blown head gaskets (hang on, maybe ….no, doesn’t matter).
So, In my head there were three looks for an older bride, Mrs Haversham, Giant Meringue and…well I’ll tell you
Sarah came in flustered, she was muttering under her breath and couldn’t settle. Now to a great reader of Human behaviour like me, I could tell that something was on her mind.
“What’s up chicken?
“I’m fretting about what to wear on my Wedding Day.
“It was then that I uttered the four words. And I didn’t even drop the paper to bark it across the room.
“Oh that? I just thought you’d just got out and buy an Age Appropriate Trouser Suit.
But not a tranquil quiet that settles over a house at peace with itself. This was a chilling, bone freezing silence, a deal breaker silence in the middle of a row. A pause before the storm, a drawing back of the tide before the tsunami.
I lowered my force field (Guardian) a quarter of an inch. I caught the molten fury in her eyes. The force field slid back up. A puny defence against what was to follow.
“Trouser suit? What are you on about?
“Well my auntie Joan looked lovely when she got married (wrong answer)
“She was 71!
“Yes but, er….she didn’t look her age? (second incorrect answer )
Sensing a faux pas on a tectonic scale, I desperately tried to slam the conversation into reverse.
“Look, I’m sure you’ll look amazing whatever frock you choose
“Frock? Why don’t I just get a maxi dress from Tesco?
“No, don’t go there, there’s bride shops full of frocks
“Will you stop saying frocks, please? Maybe I’m too old for this, , maybe we should just call the whole thing off, maybe I’m being ridiculous
She sat and started flicking through wedding magazines. I jettisoned my force field and went to sit on the arm of the chair. I put my hand on her shoulder, she threw it off with a sharp roll of her deltoid. This was bad. Really bad. I stayed where I was. Blurs of white fluff flicked past my eyes. Some were smudged. Drip, drip. Sarah was crying.
Anyone who knows me knows that I am a bit of a tough guy. (stop laughing.) But I can’t stand it when she cries. And this is a sort of a helpless, sands of time, femininity draining, inevitable kind of upset that drills itself down like a bo weevil into the bowels of a woman’s despair.
“Just leave me alone Tom.”
She stood up grabbed her coat and made for the door.
“Where are you going?”
“Marks and Spencer, that’s where. Happy?”
I didn’t know what she meant, but at the same time I sort of did
I jumped into the passenger seat I don’t know what was in M&S, but whatever it was, it wasn’t good…