Ding, Dong, the bells are gonna chime

By the time you read this, I'll probably have left America, on my way back to Britain, having seen Phoenix for the last time as a single man. At time of writing, I have twelve days to go until I get married, a prospect which fills me full of...well, the odd thing is, I haven't really come to terms with it yet. I don't think it will until I find myself standing at the altar, hearing "Dah-dum-de-dum..." music playing, watching the most beautiful woman in the world walk down the aisle, ready to begin the rest of her life with me [which will forever be a source of amazement to me!]. Then, it might just sink in. ;-)

Part of me - the part which thought I'd never get married - says it's an excuse for a good party (two, actually) and lots of presents, not to mention five weeks off work. But somewhere in the back of my skull, tucked next to the lizard brain but rather more smartly dresses, is a chunk that whispers that this is the most important day of my life. I think this part was passed down from my mother, because we have frequently to remind ourselves who is actually getting married, us or her. Still, she who pays for the reception calls the tune - just as long as it isn't country and western.

Do have to say that getting married is a hassle. If we had to do it over again, it would probably involve just the two of us, Las Vegas, an Elvis impersonator and screw the presents (we'd probably keep the five weeks off work though). But if a thing's worth doing, it's worth doing well...5,000 miles away...in three different towns...over a six-day period. Er, is this the point where I say something like, "It seemed a good idea at the time"?

It is, in any event, far too late to pull out - without bringing down the apocalypse, in the shape of The Wrath of Mum. This is likely to be the only chance she gets to see one of her offspring marry (my sister is 41 and stoically single), and given she brought me into this world, raised me, and is largely responsible for me being who I am, it's the least we can do. Especially since all we really have to do is show up, the organisation of the Forres reception having largely been taken care of from that end.

Because of the location in Scotland, it's going to be a hugely unbalanced affair: I'll have all my relations there, Chris will have, at most, two - and possibly not even those. This is something of a double-edged sword; I'll know everybody, but it likely means I'll have to be on my best behaviour to avoid a scandal which will ripple through the family for decades to come. Chris, on the other hand, can relax, safe in the knowledge that she'll never see most of these people ever again. Besides, she's foreign...whatever my one true love does, we can just claim it's a Cuban tradition. :-)

We will, however, both be quite glad when it's all over and we can relax, heading off for the honeymoon, training round Europe. If you're short of a TC-fix while we're away, we've set up a wedding diary online where you can follow our progress, be it triumphant or disastrous (and depending on us being able to find Internet access in our current location). Otherwise, the next time you hear from me, I'll be a deliriously happy married man...


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