Saturday was a milestone in our family as the first of the next generation, my nephew Stephen, married long time girlfriend, Diane, watched by daughter Sophie and a large gathering of family and friends in Broadford, Co. Limerick.
It was a joyful celebration as well as an opportunity of catching up with family and neighbours who I hadn’t seen in a while. It was also somewhat sobering to realise that I should have been in training for the last six months as one requires loads of stamina(as well as comfortable shoes that actually fit) to survive any length of time on the dance floor. Judging from the flamboyance of most of the guests, they must have been in serious training since at least the beginning of the year. I only wish someone had warned me as I had to retire, limping and panting, from the floor at a disgracefully early hour. Well, it was a choice of either clutching on to my pride and my shoes and going gracefully( Edna, please note)or having a heart attack and ruining everyone’s day so I quietly took my leave of the dancing throngs and gasped my way, unseen, to a hidden corner to recover. I mean, I didn’t even manage to make it as far as completing the first part of the polka set. When I staggered into the Ladies and looked in the mirror, I frightened the living daylights out of myself as I was confronted by two fearsomely wicked looking black eyes. Jesus, I thought I was after developing some deadly virulent and rapid strain of kidney disease but thank God it was only the mascara that was after running what with all the perspiring and high jinks on the dance floor. In truth though I was only pathetic so in that moment of epiphany, alone, well, except for the mirror and the fearsome eyes, in the Ladies of The Devon Inn, I resolved that things had to change or to be more accurate, I resolved that I had to step up to the plate or possibly step away from the plate altogether and transform myself into something respectable.
So the Campaign commences! I have thirteen months to discover the svelte figure long since subsumed into blubber. The next family wedding is next summer when my daughter ties the knot and as mother of the bride, there is no question of letting the side down and cowering in the corner,avoiding the cameras, while making my slow, painful way back to normality. No, the aunt of the groom might get away with such wimpish behaviour but the mother of the bride will have to maintain a high visibility at all times and can’t be alarming guests by changing colours, oozing sweat and seeming to be permanently on the verge of some sort of apoplectic fit. This behaviour would also be a sure recipe for being murdered Agatha -Christie like by the daughter and being the cause of shaming the entire family and parish by having the case discussed in lurid detail in The Mail on Sunday and destroying centuries of respectability in the time that it takes me to eat one jam tart. Ok, ok then, maybe three.🍰
So it seems there is nothing for it but regular attendance at Weight Watchers, constant workouts at the gym, abstinence from all cakes, buns, biscuits and chocolates, cycling to school daily and undertaking three mile runs twice a day before breakfast. I’m so out of condition I’m even thinking I might need the services of a personal trainer to make me fit for public viewing, oh and obviously I’ll require a large loan from the credit union on top of everything else to fund all the above activities.
Whenever I falter, all I need to think about is my future son in law’s mother and the fact that she will be beaming out, forever, from the pages of the wedding album, a resplendent size 12 while I’ll be a source of embarrassment and disgrace to my loved ones by being the (fat) black sheep of the family resembling a sumo wrestler in a heatwave and hat
I wonder now is it too late to persuade the daughter to run away and do the deed in someplace like Riga or Stalingrad and maybe to forget the photographer and the dancing altogether? 🙄