Once Works Well was pure technology. Now it seeks merely to divert.
Pansy subjects - Verse! Opera! Domestic trivia! - are now commonplace.
The 300-word limit for posts is retained. The ego is enlarged

Saturday, 30 April 2011

Why my father is honoured in Folkestone

WEDDING, second tranche. The photographer was terrible; Mrs BB rose over this but I resemble a beached dugong, even here. Sparing use of the eraser reveals my awful haircut.

Recognising, no doubt, we were unbelievers the cleric concentrated on the mystical aspects of marriage and neglected procedure. Thus we knelt when we should have risen, triggering his angrily impatient hand-wagging. I failed to look Mrs BB in the face until told – too late – this was desirable. The cleric started to bind our wrists with his stole: this so alarmed me I lurched backwards.

In the vestry I signed the wrong box on the marriage certificate, then signed the wrong form of my name, then crossed out a correct signature. The cleric (Canon Hough – his name suggesting his favourite conveyance) became testy. My father, observing this, placed a large denomination note in the donations box.

I had prepared no speech for the reception despite speaking in public for the first time. My father, an accomplished public speaker, appalled by my increasingly desperate babble, decided to redress the balance. To wit: “At dinner (a month previously) I could tell she was the right woman for BB because she chose an excellent Bordeaux from the list.” Horror among the in-laws.

The Bondens’ many failings did not include snobbism. Nevertheless my mother-in-law banned all but the closest of her family from the post-wedding booze-up. This gave my father full rein with the conversation and the whisky bottle. During one peroration he fell asleep. As he woke, his hand descended unerringly to the spot on the floor where he’d left his glass. In-law horror turned to awe.

13 comments:

Anne said...

Ah, yes, blame the photographer! Nevertheless, Mrs BB looks lovely. Was your father photogenic as well as eloquent?

Barrett Bonden said...

Anne: You raise an interesting point. If I can't blame the photographer then I must accept that his camera was telling the truth and I do look like a beached dugong. Perhaps this is so or was so, since these shots were taken 51 years ago and age is unlikely to have improved my looks. However, in wading through our tea chest of photographs I came upon one taken in 1987, a close-up of my younger daughter and me, at her first wedding. I am wearing a variant of morning kit, my head is tilted forwards and slightly sideways towards my daughter, my longish hair is sliding away from my forehead (like James Bond except mine is grey). Out of all the thousands of photos of myself I have seen this is the only one I would really like to believe resembles me. It doesn't of course - the odds are against it, since all the others would have to be non-resemblances. It flatters me. But using that judgement commonly applied to photographers might some of the others be said to have de-flattered me? Might reality lie somewhere in between? I only arsk.

As to my father you can judge for yourself. He appears on the extreme right of the photo used to illustrate the preceding post - Oh, and by the way, it rained.

Plutarch said...

Your description of your wedding ceremony whets the appetite for moresimilar accounts. Perhaps it is because you limit your posts to a certain number of words that such episodes so are intriguing and amusing, but there must be more to say about your life and hard times, which I for one would enjoy reading.

Hattie said...

My cheapskate father in law said he would arrange for our wedding photos and came with his little camera and took a few miserable shots. I still resent this very much.

Avus said...

What an hilarious wedding! I think I would have enjoyed being there.

Rouchswalwe said...

I would wager that a wedding with adherence to procedure would be half as memorable and entertaining as yours, BB. And your telling makes me feel as though I'd been there. I second Plutarch!

Barrett Bonden said...

Plutarch: The behind-the-scenes business of producing a 300-word post is quite Calvinist: suffering is inherent. I am forced to cut away all sorts of angelic passages which I love with a parental passion. And yet when they're gone - truly gone - I never mourn them and in my view at least less is more. Thanks for that idea: a subject springs to mind: job interviews.

Hattie: But I take it your resentment doesn't outweigh the benefits which ensued between you and The Special Other.

Avus: The more agonising the experience, the more fruitful the raw materials. And I have to say some of this was really agonising.

RW (zS): I am able to tell myself that this was our marriage at its worst. However, reaching that stage of calm detachment took about twenty years.

Julia said...

The stole wrap procedure would have shocked me too. It was a bit shocking even on Friday and that was a screen away.

Barrett Bonden said...

Julia: That's the trouble with clich├ęs; my lifetime has been devoted to avoiding them and thus they can creep up unexpectedly. They talk about tying the knot and then it occurs literally. But you didn't watch, did you? Oh Julia!

Julia said...

I did! We were a house full of females, watching all the dresses and fun. It was such a relief after the horrible tornadoes in Alabama. (They shattered the town Will grew up in and barely missed his family.)

Barrett Bonden said...

Julia: Oh heck, you're forgiven (and Will too). Film of the storms looked terrifying with great bolts of white light close to the ground - lightning, perhaps, or possibly a live power cable. Our sympathies.

Julia said...

The white light bursts appeared as transformers exploded, and apparently half of Birmingham lost their electricity when a power station ripped up.

Will wasn't interested at all in the wedding, though I did get him to look at the weirdest hats, just to see what he'd say ;-).

Barrett Bonden said...

Julia: I liked Will as a theory, liked him even more when I met him and now I'm honoured I've been acquainted. I should add the BBs are split on this matter.