Friday, 27 August 2010

in which I offend everyone

Dear readers, help me. This post was written last week - one of many posts where I try to come to terms with feeling, well, a bit weird about the whole blogging thing in general. I have been puzzled, bewildered and downright down about the whole thing. So yes, it's cynical. But I think all of the below still stands. I'm uncomfortable, and struggling to reconcile blogging with me. Quitting blogging is on the cards. Please help me work out what to do.

Now: the post...

So you may have noticed that I haven't posted a lot lately. Yes, I've been busy with work and all the rest, but that wasn't the reason. It was a conscious decision. The reason? I've turned into a complete cynic. It's not pretty. I had to step back.

It started with a small reaction to oversharing. "Why," I thought, "must I share my every waking thought with the world?" Small moments were being ruined by my brain making a mental note: "ooh, significant! Must blog this!" So I had to take a step back. My life does not need another layer of mental commentary and when I'm having a nice time, I don't want to be mentally wording a witty blog post about it.

Then I went to see the friend who will also be our photographer. Some interesting conversations took place (and I realise, the following will be mortally offensive to some people. I am sorry, people. I like you. I really do):

Me: [performing a mime] "So they stand there, holding their trousers and dress up so you can see their shoes. Which are normally Converse."
: [Photographer friend plus wife] What the f*ck? You can't see their faces? They take pictures of their shoes???

: Yes. And they jump a lot. And sometimes they hold things up like signs saying Mr and Mrs, or Polaroids of their face.

I later showed the assembled a pic of a couple both holding signs on an engagement shoot with arrows to each other saying something like 'cupcake' and 'muffin' and the look of horror on their faces was exquisite. Then Photo friend said: "I feel like I could throw up." Then there were jokes about him doing some shots right there and then of us gazing dreamily at each other and lying on the grass. This was a JOKE, btw.

And I thought: when did it all become such a display? This isn't me.

And I know it is not: no wedding is a show (except are. And you're on show. And people are judging you. So it sort of is unless you elope. And even that is a statement about how you want to be seen).

I feel there is a bit of a p*ssing contest going on here, with everyone competing to be the most alternative alternative there is; to spend the least, to be the most crafy. Or competing to see who can opt out of all this the most.

And we're all agonising over the details, or making a show of not caring. And it's even such a cliche to say that none of this matters, and that your wedding will be different. Because will it, really? We've covered every base, considered every option. I am starting to feel like there's nothing left for me. I'm losing excitement.

And by opting out of what I feel to be traditional and trying to do something different, I now feel like a cliche myself. I even read the other day that 'bunting was over'. Well excuse me. None of my friends or family think it's over. It's just a fricking wall decoration. I think blogging is harming my sense of perspective.

Not everything is a statement of adherence or defiance to tradition, or to a new, modern vision of alternative perfection. It's not always a statement. Except it is if you blog it.

Friday, 13 August 2010

by the numbers

This week:

Friends of friends I have Facebook wedding stalked: 5
Coffees drank: 1 (willpower cracked 20 minutes ago)
Lbs gained: 1
Wedding things done: 1 (my sort of rate)
Time taken doing said wedding thing: 2.5 minutes
Times other people have mentioned the wedding: 8, and this will potentially quadruple this weekend. Maybe even sextuple or octuple.

Sunday, 1 August 2010


(The M1 north, in the rain. Taken by me.)

This weekend, I went to visit my parents at home. It was a regular visit; a trip out, a family meal. Spot of shopping with my Mum. Pork chops for dinner.

My old room has just been redecorated, almost a decade after I left to go to university. I returned at holidays, and for a few months afterwards, but the room stayed the same until a few months ago.

Now my brother has left home too, his room is a sort of mixture of half of his things, with my Mum and Dad's stuff slowly encroaching (I noticed sewing books, where once was an over-sized stereo).

His notice board, once filled with homework to-do lists and missives from ex-girlfriends is still there. The only thing on it now is pinned in the bottom corner: a photo of my Dad, aged 20-something, laughing at something and looking for all the world exactly like my brother.

Before I left, I went upstairs and wandered in absent mindedly. I stood there for a while, looking at that photo and his pictures still on the walls and thinking about the baby he's having with his partner. Philip Larkin kept going round in my head:

Home is so sad. It stays as it was left,
Shaped to the comfort of the last to go
As if to win them back.