Sunday, July 29, 2007

the ghost of wedding present

The sight of Tilly standing in front of the full length mirror in my bedroom wearing my wedding dress brought my own childhood memories flooding back. I remembered putting on my own mother’s bridal gown as a child, swirling around lost in taffeta and lace and netting and a child's dreams of bridesmaids and bells and of a handsome man who would sweep her off her feet. I remembered my mother telling me that her mother had also married in that very dress and when she had children she had promised her young daughter that she too would walk up the aisle in her old dress. ‘But I thought Granny was buried in her wedding dress mummy’, I had said, puzzled. ‘She was dear’, my mother had explained. ‘She just got a bit forgetful in her old age and forgot she'd promised it to me first. It all worked out for the best in the end', she smiled. 'Although I did have to switch dry cleaners after I was married’, she added. I imagined the same childish dreams in my own daughter’s head as she stumbled about innocently in the too large dress.

‘Mummy’ asked Tilly, seeing my reflection enter the room behind her. ‘Yes dear’ I smiled. ‘Why is your wedding dress all white?’ she asked. ‘Because white stands for purity and a fresh new start’, I explained. ‘Mummy’, continued Tilly, ‘what’s this veil for?’ ‘I smiled. ‘That’s so that on my wedding day no other men were allowed to see me except your daddy at the alter’. Tilly thought for a moment. ‘Mummy?’ she began, looking down the front of the dress. ‘Yes dear?’ ‘What’s this big icky stain?’ I was just thinking a little about that one when a laugh came from the doorway. ‘Another few minutes and that could have been your older brother Tilly!’ said Hilly, my eldest daughter. Well, I thought to myself quietly, half brother actually, but thought I’d better just award that point in the seemingly perpetual mother versus adolescent daughter battle to myself privately for the moment .'Who are you going to marry Tilly?’ Hilly asked. ‘I’m going to marry Daddy!’ said Tilly triumphantly. ‘And I’m going to be a princess!’ she announced. ‘You can’t marry Daddy, silly’ Hilly told Tilly, ‘Much as Mummy might tell you that it’s allowed in the country’, she said, ‘and anyway’, she continued, ‘you should never marry a man who looks better in a dress than you do, and anyway, the princess can’t marry the que...’

‘Hilly!!’ I snapped, very annoyed by now, 'I’m trying to do a poignant mother-daughter bonding scene for my blog here, so if you don’t mind…’ Hilly laughed. ‘Bloody hell’ she said, ‘Do people know how much you stage stuff just to get something to write on your stupid blog?’ I was rather annoyed at this suggestion, I must say. It did seem most awfully unfair. ‘Look Hilly, darling,’ I said, exasperated, ‘You said you didn’t want to be in the blog so just bugger orf and go up to your attic and read Harry Potter or something’. ‘Well!’ exclaimed Hilly, 'that has to be more realistic than your blog!’ ‘Oh, just go away will you Hilly, and be sure not to wake the baby!' Hilly’s jaw dropped. ‘You've had another baby?!’ she said. ‘Oh gawd, Hilly, how could you not know such a thing?’ I asked. ‘I don't read your f***g blog’, she said, ‘So how am I supposed to know what goes on in this family?’ she asked. I think she must have meant that more as a rhetorical question because she stormed off at that point and slammed the door. Down the hallway the baby started crying. I grabbed the wedding veil from Tilly and pulled it down over my face. If I couldn’t see anybody then they couldn’t see me either, I thought, so then somebody else would have to change him. Hidden behind my veil, I began to think that perhaps, after all, today was not a nice day for a white wedding, but tomorrow seemed like a nice day to start again...

19 comments:

mutterings and meanderings said...

Oh Rilly, how simply awful for you! Kids. Who'd have em?

patsy said...

Perhaps like me Rilly, you should have rented your wedding dress? Dress went back but husband stayed and so much more money to spend on champagne! Biggest regret though...that I didn't wear my full regalia to the Scotland v Barbarians rugby match at Murrayfield the next day .One ought to get one's money's worth, don't you think?. Been me against the Barbarians ever since....

rilly super said...

M&M, you are so right dear, it's grim up north you know

patsy darling, you seem to have done things the right way around. I seem to be left with the dress but little sign of my husband, sigh

Richard Madeley said...

It is grim up north. Why do you think Judy got us out of Liverpool quicker than the numberplate on a knocked-off jag?

Rilly, I don't suppose you happen to know what happened to Fred The Weather? Is he still living up there near you?

lady macleod said...

On the other hand, MY daughter reads my blog red pen in hand,"I have to," she says, "to make sure there's nothing about my underwear in there!"

It's a trial, the children AND the blog. We are just trying to get our work out into the blogsphere, in order to become famous, and wealthy from the subsequent books; but do they see that? Noooo. sigh Some days you just don't feel appreciated, and then SOME days you offend people....

Lizzie said...

Rilly, are you about to metamorphise??

Lizzie xx

Pig in the Kitchen said...

Hilly is a bit gobby isn't she? Life is hard for you Rilly. When does Hilly go back to boarding school? Can't the au pair take her away? My thoughts are with you.
P8igx (i don't know where the 8 came from, it sounds a bit 'street' tho doesn't it?)

ziggi said...

ah, teenage daughters, they're a joy aren't they?

EmmaK said...

While it is difficult separating the truth from the fiction here I'm willing to bet this bit is true, you saucy mare:
Well, I thought to myself quietly, half brother actually
You and the best man was it Rilly, or the vicar, or the vet? Ooh, the mind bulges like an overstuffed pair of breeches.

Daimyo Higham-Baka-Ohta said...

Ah, clearly I'm going to have to learn you, Rilly and all the kids - Hilly, Tilly, Silly, Billy and Frilly. What did you name your latest?

dulwichmum said...

Oh Rilly darling, to see your little one in your wedding dress - it must surely have made you feel incredibly emotional... Just think, one less set of school fees to pay when the darling settles down and leaves home - hurrah!

Don't worry about your husband enjoying dressing up as a girl, it is a typical rugger bugger trait. My husband will be dressed as a woman this weekend at Twickenham.

Stay at home dad said...

Careful Rilly, the poignancy was taking over there for a while... !

rilly super said...

richard, The last I heard of Fred was that someone tampered with his moorings and the last sighting of him was by Ellen McArthur somehere near Tristan de Cunha. She saw him waving his arms about but assumed he was just describing a cold front over Kidderminster and carried on

my noble ladyship, presumably you take your daughter's prohibition on your mentioning her underwear not to apply to your comments on other blogs then dear. I can't believe you could ever offend people however and I always try not to step on anyone's toes in anyway...

lizzie, much as my life may seem like being trapped in a Franz Kafka novel I anticipate no dramatic changes of this kind in the near future, sigh

PITK, I'm sure there must be some debs ball coming up at which I can offload her onto some poor unsuspecting chap with good prospects. But oh dear, the world is truely collapsing around my ears when someone of your calibre begins unadvertantly talking in text speak dear, sigh

ziggi, I wouldn't swap her for anything else, except perhaps a pool, or a ride on lawn mower, or my old life back....

emma, **&^cough! splutter!&8££! fiction!? well, I've been accused of many things but, really...

daimyo, darling, I love to have you round but please do not mock my family. I don't want to be accused of exploiting them. Frilly is quite obviously a made up name, anyone can see that

dulwichmum, you are so right. I just cannot understand parents who complain 'they grow up too fast' whilst here I am chucking baby bio in the bath water trying to speed things up! It's lovely that you dropped by. I feel you understand me better than anyone, like the sister I never had, sigh

SAHD, thanks for dropping by dear. The thing with poignancy is that I can never seen to keep it up, sigh. They say that after sincerity it's the hardest thing to fake you know. I have to work with such amateurs here in this house, really...

@themill said...

Rilly darling, I rather fear the common north is rubbing off on your darling daughter. Better buy her a pink pashmina and pack her orf to that rather posh school in York. She'll still say f*****g but not in a dreadful northern accent.

rilly super said...

@mill dear, you are so right, sigh; how one pronounces those asterisks is so critical to one's prospects..

Sparx said...

Hello Rilly... I cannot believe I have wasted so much of my time in the blogosphere (which sounds like something I ought to be putting in with my laundry) without reading your blog. Excuse me while I dip around in your old laundry for a bit.

rilly super said...

Hello sparx, thanks for visiting and welcome. Please do have a look through my laundry, some of it's even clean you know. I just hope nothing too embarassing turns up...

The English Courtesan said...

What a splendid cliff-hanger Rilly! Can we have a clue as to the form the starting again might take?

Livvy xxx

rilly super said...

hi english courtesan, it's lovely to see you again. Sadly, all my new starts just seem to turn into false starts, like moving to the north in the first place, sigh..