Saturday, April 24, 2010

I Should Be an Upper Class Brit…..

I love hats.

Haves you ever seen a good British, or better yet, Scottish, wedding?  ALL the women wear hats whether or not they are in the bridal party.  Of course, the bridesmaids will all be wearing head coverings ranging from huge and patently absurd to small and dainty depending on the location and the time of day.  Like in many American weddings, shoes will be died to match dresses which will be matched in color with hats.

Stand outside the church, hotel or hall and observe the guests as they exit the venue to stand around waiting for the bride and groom.  Yes, stand and observe, it is part of the custom.  The wedding is like a well orchestrated show for all to see, even those that weren’t invited.  Feel free to gawk, make quiet comments or even snap a few pictures.  I think this is all the result of  years of practice observing royals do various things.

As the guests emerge it looks like a box of crayons -all brightly hued, mostly solids, in jewel tones.  Even the female guests are dressed in ensembles of matching shoes, frocks and hats, standing in contrast to the dark suits or dinner jackets of the men. Often , the hats are HUGE, with veils or other embellishments as though at Ascot or a Derby party where a prize will be given  for best chapeau.  One wonders if these hats will be worn only once as they are so striking as to be noticeable should they reappear at the next function.  Perhaps there is a “Great Hat Exchange” that I have yet to stumble upon.  In any case, the guests create the peacock’s plumage around the bride dressed in white or ecru ,a meringue of tulle and lace or yards and yards of soft flowing embroidered silk, wearing a tiara and elaborate full, fluffy veil or a graceful hat cocked to one side to which a veil is attached.

Only at a full Scottish wedding is there competition  - from the groom and his men in kilts with proper cravats and  chalk striped morning coats or  short black Prince Charlie coatees with silver buttons catching the light.  Even the bride can sometimes pale by comparison.

Once back from the honeymoon the bride and groom take up residence in their new home. Although more often than not these days they would have been living there together for months or even years prior to the wedding.  Each will have his or her own room and this is where I think upper class Brits have really got it right.

David and I have often discussed the relative merits of separate bedrooms.  Now let’s be realistic people.  We have been married for almost 30 years and are way past the fucking like rabbits stage, so sleep is the goal here.  It is easy enough when planning sex to decide in whose room it should take place - if not on the kitchen table any  longer.   We do like to cuddle or spoon but inevitably as soon as one of us begins to drift off, the other moves  away and rolls to the other side facing away.

We have friends who never had a particular side of the bed on which each slept.  They had been married for years and each night whichever got to the bed first just took the side that seemed most comfortable.  I think that is weird!  This couple is now divorced and I have to believe that this is at least part of the reason.  I mean if you haven’t even staked out your side of the bed how in the world can you negotiate anything else in the relationship?

But I ramble…

I sleep on the left side of the bed (right if you are  facing from the foot) even when I sleep alone.  If  I am on my left side I expect to be facing the wall or door. On my right, I either have a vast expanse of bed available to me, if alone, which is rare. or I can feel David’s breath on my face.

Now here’s the rub.  He snores.

I know lots of people snore and lots of others sleep though it  but I am a well-tuned Mama-Machine and since the birth of my first child 25 years ago I startle at the slightest noise during the night.  And after the 1:30 AM call from Detective Fazio of the New York City Police Department while Toby was living alone in NYC when he was 17, it has only gotten worse.  So every time David huffs, or snorts, or blows out a long sigh, I wake and have to try again to sleep. Last night I did not sleep at all.  That tends to happen at least once a week these days.

At this age sleep evades most women on a regular basis.  We do not need the added disruption of a snoring bedmate to disturb our precious, coveted ZZZZZZs.  So when David and I arrive at the comfortable 2 bedroom, 2 bath condo in Florida that our dear, wonderful, amazingly generous, awesome, spectacular (you get the point) friends are letting us use from late June through November, I will be claiming one of the bedroom as my own.  David can choose the other room or the sofa, whichever he prefers.  If this works out, where we go next will be required to have two bedrooms.  A second bath is optional - I like double showers.  Besides it saves water.

Oh, and Madison will be sleeping with me.  I actually prefer not to sleep alone and, like a good, well-bred, upper class, wee thing,  she doesn’t snore.


  1. LOVE it... you made me laugh... and yes your own space/bedroom leads to a much longer marriage!!!
    Sleep is big at our age.. I say having not slept for several weeks... and last night.. I had a skunk ... yes a skunk ... spray somewhere near my bedroom....
    Take your space and love it... and know your love is only a wall away!! hugs... and love...

  2. 1) I LOVE hats and I always say I wish life offered us more occasions to wear large hats and feather boas. When you come to NC, I say you and I go have lunch downtown one day. We'll sit outside at Court Street Grill - right in the center of town - and wear lavish hats and drink wine. AT NOON! Quel Scandal!

    2) I always say the key to a good marriage is separate bathrooms, separate closets and separate checking accounts. I hadn't really thought about the bedroom aspect although I know happily married couples who do have separate beds in the same room and 1 couple who have actual separate rooms. For the record? Their sex life is FAB-U-LOUS.

    And who DOESN'T have a side of the bed? That's just plain weird. I sleep on the right side (left if facing from the foot) and even though I haven't shared a bed with someone in over a year (except my cat), that will ALWAYS be my side. In fact - I guess I'll have to qualify with the next man in my life that I get to keep my side of the bed because these things are soooo important!