I really, really don't like weddings. Never have. Probably never will. The the way I think about this is why should you put any emotional energy into something that will probably never happen to you.
If I'm really honest, there are a few reasons why I'm quite averse to going to weddings. Missing a few important ones as I was on the other side of the world being one of these things. I missed the weddings of my mother, sister and best friend - all of it due to being stuck in London with no means to get to the weddings on the other side of the world (I was an impoverish admin assistant/ illegal alien back then). I think my mother and best friend have forgiven me for my non-attendance.
You also have to look at it from my perspective. As a chronically if not terminally single, middle-aged woman, weddings have the joyous task of pushing every one of my buttons and sending me into a tailspin. Thankfully, as I age, mandatory wedding attendance is declining.
Weddings and I have a bit of a bad relationship too. Whether you're having your sexuality questioned by Uncle Cecil, being repeatedly asking who you're with, or having to navigate the singles table up the back (If you're really unlucky, you get stuck with the kids) or knowing that you have a long drive home, having to abstain from frequenting the free bar (this is my case normally - getting bladdered is not an option).
Think of Fiona in Four Weddings and Funeral. That's me. The woman who desperately wants to turn up looking like an Italian widow putting silent odds on how long the couple will last. Yep. But I will not wear black to a wedding ever - unlike Fiona. (Fiona always wore black to weddings - I wear black as a work uniform - besides, I was better brunged up than that.).
I've been in Fiona's shoes. You are forced to turn up to an event, play nice with people that you don't know, eat what's put in front of you and spend money that you really don't feel the need to on a dress, shoes, hairdresser etc, that wouldn't normally feel the urge to do.
When I think about it, I have also been Fiona, standing there watching as that person married somebody else. I was lucky on that occasion that the groom's three-year-old nephew had taken a shine to me the day before, so I spent the ceremony looking after him, rather than standing there crying into my beer. My attention was diverted. I could ignore the broken heart for a day.
Then there is the plus one problem. This is not as bad as it used to be, but you're invited to a wedding and there is often an expectation that you need to take a plus one. When one of the wedding party is a good friend, they are often nice enough to say, "As you're not seeing anybody, do you mind if you come stag?". If you are asked to bring a plus one, and don't, then you muck up the seating plan. (Been there too)
In my years of going to weddings, I've only turned up once with a plus one - same wedding as when I was tending to the three-year-old during the service. Bringing him along was a saving face measure. It has been the only time I have ever felt the need to take somebody with me. He was a good choice to take. The groom's family, a mob of straight-as-a-die Lancastrians took offence to my effeminate Brummy mate. He was lucky to get out of the night with his teeth intact.
Then there is the money you spend on your friends. Again, as time goes on, and second marriages are now the norm for my set, you're not obliged to buy a toaster or towels or whatever it is you have selected on the gift registry. You know you're going to be set amongst some people that you know you're never going to see again. If you are really lucky, the people on the singles table are not too mutant - and you're not stuck with great-aunt Alice from Wilcannia who has a vocal and undeniable Peter Dutton fetish and the abject body odour.
Carrie Bradshaw has a good take on this when situations like this happen.
Get in there and enjoy the free champagne.
Thankfully, as I age, my friends are going onto their second weddings which means that the weddings are normally a lot more low key than the ones I went to in my twenties. It seems there isn't the need to dress up like a princess once you hit forty. Thank god for that!
But this brings me to the elephant in the room - this royal wedding - news that you can only escape if you turn off every device and television set and hide under the duvet.
My thoughts on this - you poor people. Okay, they live their lives in the public, they are surrounded by the paparazzi, - but I feel incredibly sorry for the lot of them. How awful it must be to have every hair on your head scrutinised in the 24 hour news cycle. Making this wedding even more traumatic, the poor bride's family seems to be imploding at a rate of knots. It's just voyeurism gone mad. I feel sorry for the lot of them. What a pillaver.
To be honest, I don't care about all of this Royal Wedding. I do wish them well. I hope they're happy - I hope they can last.
But can't we get back to some real news now?
p.s. Will I end up watching the Royal Wedding. Probably. I'm a Suits tragic.