I have no fear whatsoever of L’il Sis turning into anything like a Bridezilla for her upcoming nuptials. I am, however, slightly concerned that The Mom is going to get out of hand.
My concerns are perhaps not the ones that one might generally expect: I do not anticipate any long, drawn out conversations about table settings or chair covers or what L’il Sis will be wearing when wedded. I am however concerned about how The Mom might get just a teeny bit over-excited on the day itself, having spent the previous six or eight months contemplating how she might make a contribution to the affair.
So far, though, no red flags have gone up. And she has been quite low-key… for The Mom. On her recent holiday in Mexico, she only brought back one decoration for the cake (and didn’t sulk a bit when she was informed that there probably won’t be a big cake – though, as an aside I was hoping for a giant cake out of which the dog might jump), and a skirt which she thought L’il Sis might like to wear. Turns out L’il Sis does not want to wear it and nobody’s nose is out of joint.
I do, however, live with a slight bit of anxiety over The Mom getting ready on The Great Day.
I will wake up, and since it will be summer, and I don’t think anything’s happening until later in the day, I will probably want to go for a swim, and maybe do some work. I imagine coming downstairs, in my Speedo, and grabbing my goggles and cap from the side where I irritatingly keep them.
The Mom will look up from the paper, aghast. “And where do you think you’re going?”
“Thought I might do a little shopping,” I’ll say, motioning to my swim suit.
“Do you really think there’s time for a swim?”
“The wedding isn’t until the afternoon. It is morning time now.”
“But you have to get ready,” The Mom will say, the panic creeping into her voice.
“Yes, but I was planning on doing that nearer the time when we are scheduled to leave. Which is not now.”
“”You’re going to leave it too late.” At this point, she will take off her glasses and put the paper down.
“But I will need to shower, and a swim is very nearly the same thing, so consider this me starting to get ready.”
“Well how long a swim will it be?”
“Very hard to say. Depends on many factors: number of children in pool, how creaky my back actually turns out to be. And general level of energy.”
“Because you have a tendency to say you’re going for a quick swim and come back several hours later.”
“This probably won’t be one of those times. Though, if it is, we’re still fine, because: time. We have an embarassment of it.”
“Are you wearing sunblock?”
This tactic of hers, of switching subjects when you’re not looking or aren’t interested always gets me.
“Some,” I’ll say.
“You’re going to get a burn. And then the pictures will be ruined.”
“The pictures will not be ruined. They will be an accurate representation of the day.”
“But you want to look nice for your sister’s wedding.”
“I want to look like me.”
“But you’re going to be tired when you get back. And then you’ll fall asleep and have to get ready in a rush.”
“What kind of preparations are you picturing for me here anyhow? I feel you’re veering from the standard preparation I normally undertake in these situations.”
“I was hoping you might make an effort. It is your sister’s wedding.”
“You know, she doesn’t care if I turn up exactly like this. The point is turning up. You do that, and you win.”
“She does not mean that to be taken literally.”
“I think you’ll find she does.”
The Mom will now have a stern and grouchy look on her face, because she will make an effort. She will have had her hair done the day or possibly two before. She will have picked out a range of options as far as outfits go, and a range of shoes. She will have consulted her boyfriend about his attire, and they will look nice together, but not too matchy. She will have applied nail polish, and there will be extra care taken with her make up.
“You forget, when I get ready for something, for anything, the process is as follows: become clean. Dry hair. Try to brush hair. Apply skin cream so as not to scratch myself silly during the course of whatever is happening. Put clothes on. Spend another hour-and-a-half waiting for you to finish faffing about with your fripperies.”
This might put The Mom over the edge. “You couldn’t wear make-up just this once!”
“It is hotter than the sun. The make-up will melt off my face if I don’t scratch it off first.”
“Are you going to style your hair nicely?”
“Are you seriously asking me that question, to which you have known the answer since I have had hair?”
The Mom will now scowl. And I will have to offer a peace offering.
“Look,” I’ll say waving my hands at her. “I put sparkly nail polish on. See? Festive, no?”
“Your sister is getting married and you have applied nail polish that is suitable for a child.”
“It’s big in London. Very fashion forward.”
At this point, The Mom will probably crumple, her head lying on her newspaper.
“Right then, you look like you’ve got this well in hand. I’ll go for my swim and be ready at the appointed time. I will probably have time for a beer before we set off.”
“And you’re getting drunk first!”
“If you play nicely, I will make you a cocktail. Take the edge off. You seem to have a lot of edge today, I know not why.”
As The Mom growls at me, I shall slip out into the day, and into the pool, confident that L’il Sis wants my person there, not some dolled-up facsimile of her big sister. I will perform all duties, I will be cordial and funny, and make conversation with strangers.
Since I have now imagined this scenario, I should hope we do not have to re-enact it in real life, and that The Mom will be as she should: a proud, doting Mother of the Bride.