7 Sep 2009

Back from the brink of marriage and alive - just!

Lady readers, I can only apologise for my absence. Yesterday was clearly the worst day of my life, but I awake renewed and refreshed for, thank god, I'm not married!

Things went from bad to slightly better to pretty bad again on Saturday, as Ann was placated by her pizza, but soon high and buzzing from the Cherry Coke I served her as an accompaniment. She came as close to being drunk on sugar and E numbers as any woman I have ever seen over the age of 12, reminiscent of a childhood summer I spent in Portugal trying to get drunk on Malibu ice cream, and then just Malibu. Attempts to entertain her were fruitless as she babbled half incomprehensible nonsense about her family and childhood and the difficulties she faced as a worshipper of Sappho (who she's never read, I ask you!) in the blustering North. It was all rather too moving for me, and I accidentally fell asleep picturesquely in my bio-form Habitat beanbag, to be unceremoniously awoken 7 hours later by Emmeline. Morning had come, and Ann was already in her dress.

Now, we'd kept our dresses a secret from one another so that it would be a lovely surprise. Just to clarify, mine was this one.

As a feminist bride, I'd thought long and hard about what to wear, critical as it is to uphold one's political principles while doing justice to one's admirable waist (cf. the Suffragettes with their great hats). Having decided that my virginity, soul, modesty and so forth were decidedly un-'white', in the bridal symbolic spectrum, I decided to opt for a revolutionary black. Obviously it had to be vast and puffy, and cinch the waist to the vanishing point. I mean I was bloody well getting married. You can't tell from this picture but I also wore an enormous boat shaped black hat based on a Elizabethan design after the defeat of the Spanish Armada. This represented feminism's defeat of patriarchy (and my love of QE1).

Anyway, knowing me just a little bit (enough to be my wife) I thought Ann would have picked up on my fierce, yet feminine, yet feminist, yet fashionable, tendencies, and swapped her frock for a frock coat, top-hat and little cane like the gorgeous Marlene Dietrich. How else would we achieve the desirable and chic gender-bending irono-androgene feminist-couplage I've always dreamed of? Sort of like...

The desire to flout gender conventions through revolutionary dress was clearly the last thing on Ann's mind. From nowhere, hundreds of bunches of white lilies had appeared and filled the house (symbolic of death, surely? Poor stupid Ann, she should've paid attention at the Waterhouse exhibition). White bows decked the staircase, sugared almonds in grotesque pink were boxed up and patterned with love hearts. LOVE HEARTS. There were love hearts everywhere, all over my potato stamped (U+26A2) symbol recycled crepe paper table cloths, filling up my mooncup shaped vases, and all the dead roses I'd put out in ironic reminiscence of the Miss Haversham bits from Great Expectation were destroyed. Ann thought they were depressing.

And her dress.

I don't know how to explain it, I don't have the words, or the stomach. I've looked all day for a picture that approximates its horror. This is the closest one I've found.

That really finished it off. I couldn't marry Ann. Ann was clearly a maniac. I mean, what's the point of marrying a feminist if you're going to wear a dress like that? Getting rid of Ann was harder than deciding not to marry her. At first she didn't understand, then she didn't believe me, then she wanted to kill me. As she came at me wielding the phallus shaped pinata I'd planned to destroy during our vows, I had little choice but to let Emmeline pounce. She's always very defensive of her mistress. There was blood everywhere, like in Carrie.

After the attack, I ordered Ann a cab. I was feeling generous and pretty guilty about everything, so I got it to take her to the National Express depot, not Megabus, which is pretty awful. I only hope she could afford the fare. She doesn't know London very well.

And what have I learnt? Perhaps that relationships, either with women, or men, are not my strong point. Perhaps, as Emmeline often advises me, I need to pursue the solitary course, concentrate on my writing, develop my many undeveloped talents. A woman's way is hard, but only alone can she enjoy the self-expanding freedoms of solitude.

And Ann, this is for you. Though you are uncultured, this may help you formulate your grief. I'm so so sorry!

I have not had one word from her
Frankly I wish I were dead
When she left, she wept
a great deal; she said to me,
"This parting must be
endured, Sappho. I go unwillingly."
I said, "Go, and be happy
but remember (you know well)
whom you leave shackled by love
"If you forget me, think
of our gifts to Aphrodite
and all the loveliness that we shared
"all the violet tiaras, braided rosebuds, dill and
crocus twined around your young neck
"myrrh poured on your head
and on soft mats girls with
all that they most wished for beside them
"while no voices chanted
choruses without ours,
no woodlot bloomed in spring without song..."

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