Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Friend of the bride.

Those schoolgirl promises we made to one another - you know the ones, the sitting cross-legged on Mrs Newstead's prickly carpet playing Pat-A-Cake and swearing on our unborn baby brother and sister that we'd never ever even so much as flick our ponytails in the direction of a boy because boys, ughhh! - well, I'm holding up my side of the deal, for the most part. Everyone else seems to have forgotten.

One of my oldest and closest friends just recently got engaged to her fella of 2+ years; she's a wee bit younger than me and they're both planning a long engagement so they can save up, get a house and have a big wedding etc. which is crazy-sensible for a pair of just-turned twenty year-olds.
I'm a bit miffed with the whole situation; NO, not because of what you're thinking, y'know about me being a jealous single spinster only aged twenty, NO. I am miffed simply because it's going to be several years before I get to dance and get embarrassingly and inexcusably drunk in a godawful strapless dress at my old friend's wedding. I'll have to make a note so I remember to get twenty-odd tequila shots in at the open bar, then make an awkward speech in the middle of the couple's first dance. Yes, I will be THAT wedding guest. It's my sacred duty as an old friend. It's also very important that I attend the wedding without a date, meaning I can flirt with all the groomsmen (who happen to be the boys who bullied me in high school) and my mother can not only be my drinking buddy but also give me a piggyback home after I pass out covered in wedding cake and rose wine, mumbling incoherently about that charming boy who once took a shine to me on school photo day when my hair was all glossy and pinned perfectly, and how I thought I would marry him someday...

The engagement party was a couple of months ago now. I went home especially, armed with a pretty dress, multiple sticks of lipstick and freshly-dyed lilac hair. I donned my heels (this being the third time I'd worn them since the painful gunpoint purchase back in 2011), and tried my best to forget that not only would I be wildly unpopular at this party, as the guest list consisted mainly of the high school Perfect Popular Princess girls, but also would be subjected to the delightful questioning of the adult party population; "so, how's uni? Where are you studying again? A degree in what, exactly? And any future plans? Do you have a boyfriend, then?" Joy of joys.
All this being said... I had a fantastic time. I really did! A local band played (some familiar faces from high school, again), their song selection was spot on AND they covered Mumford perfectly, what more can you ask of a band? My family all danced to 'Mr Brightside' and 'Little Bird', my parents pretending to know the words and my little sister pretending to be drunk. There were a couple of tearful speeches from family and the honourees; the cake was extraordinary; everyone was wasted by 11pm. I, for one, was at that familiar level of wasted where I was happily spilling my drinks down myself as I gesticulated wildly in accompaniment with my loose-lipped chatter - I also thought nobody could see the Jack Daniels and rose mixing and mingling on my fresh cream dress. I also thought nobody would notice my subtle student skills 'minesweeping' unattended drinks from the tables. Alas.
I was home by 11:30pm, tucked up in my childhood bed, spinning through space and overcome with love and unapologetic optimism. I can't remember the last time a party left me feeling this way*. It was a perfect night, really.

*More often than not, I favour a bust-up and a dramatic exit from a party/pub crawl at 1am, after which I sob on my housemate's shoulder and swear 'never again'. Maybe the key is going to bed at 11:30pm...

In all seriousness... I am delighted for my girl, Daisy. She's found something special. She's found happiness that some of us cannot begin to imagine, love that will last a lifetime and stability that we can only dream of - all at twenty. If the only way is up, she's heading for the moon.


Hi, my name's Gracie.

I always find Irish coffee helps my studies, the little things enrage and satisfy me, I'm working on a Shakespeare group performance involving lingerie and orgasm noises, I'm starting to enjoy red wine, Fleetwood Mac soothe my soul, I'm constantly confused by at least two people, cuddles on the sofa are all I need at the end of a long day, my workmates just 'get' me, I have a date tomorrow, I live at the Terrace Bar, I'm bored of my hair colour, I want NEED to see McBusted live, Remembrance Day means a lot to me, I haven't been home in a while, I'm applying for Masters courses, I've been smiling a lot more lately, and it's all because of you.

I do one of these posts every month (ish).

'Hey'; A truly terrible love story.


Suddenly it all comes back. The speeding down the dual carriageway on a Tuesday morning, parking across the road rather than in the student car park, running to the reception area just for that fifteen-minute window between his lesson and mine, when we'd bump into each other and have conversations - conversations about nothing, endless 'what even is Sociology' and fake laughter, trying not to stare at his crooked and weirdly beautiful smile or nipple bar poking through his polo shirt. Sitting on the grass helplessly watching from a distance as he threw an arm around his petite pretty girlfriend's shoulders; 'oh, I so wish he would just dump her stupid skinny arse...' The drunk mess at that birthday party, sitting on his lap, just the one kiss; the tea leaves telling me he was lying, he wasn't what I wanted, things would go sour if I continued down this road. The disappointing night(s), clutching on to his bulky shoulders, breathing deep the smell of beer and Hollister Mens', thinking 'I swear, this is what I wanted...' The drunk phone calls at 3am that happened for months, him rambling down the phone about how much he missed me, how he wants to have 'that night' again; putting him on speaker so my friends could laugh along with me. He was the start of a bad pattern, a vicious circle of self-loathing and disappointment. I remember waiting in the corridor for him to finish lessons, driving him home feeling his hand on my bare leg, queuing for an hour outside Kings nightclub in the rain just to see him for two songs on the dancefloor, watching him kiss someone else a few feet away from me without even caring that he'd just lost his ride home, hiding from one another in Spoons before having that awful conversation when he said sorry and I said his haircut looked 'dumb'.
Waking up in the morning in his bed, and seeing him sat right on the edge with a phone against his ear, quietly muttering "yeah, see you later. Love you too."
Having to see his girlfriend, a girlfriend I didn't even know existed, every day in lessons and every night out in town. Him calling me while I'm out with my friends, my best girl picking up the phone and threatening to do unspeakable things to his balls should he ever contact me again.
Two years later. Why on earth would I even dare to respond? No good can come of this.

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