There are several reasons, but one is - there is NO WAY when I get married for a second time that I am going to be a fat bride. No way. A younger girl, bursting with love for the man who asked her to marry him is usually on cloud nine, planning the big day, dreaming about the ceremony, choosing a fabulous dress and almost always, deciding to slim down so she has no bulges and blobby rolls of fat on show when all her family and friends watch her make those wedding vows in a gorgeous gown. She is the centre of attention.
Shudder. The centre of attention. Cringe. That's one of the reasons why I just can't go through with a wedding. I attended my sister's wedding a few months ago and the pictures of me..(in most of the photos because I was family) are completely ghastly. I was a fat, middle aged blob in turquoise who THOUGHT she looked nice on the day, but I almost cried when I saw the wedding album. (I've chopped a bit of one of the pics for you to see...sorry if I've bodged it up. See how I've positioned my body behind my sister's as much as possible!)
OK, so lots of incentive to slim? Yes, I have every reason to lose weight. However, I am not going to be a young, blushing bride in the first flush of youth this time. I was, way back in 1978 when I took the plunge the first time. That marriage, which I thought was for life, which I entered into for life, 'till death us do part' etc, produced my three lovely children but it wasn't a happy marriage for the most part. It ended after 18 years.
During all those years I was slim. I'd been a good and faithful wife. He hadn't been a good and faithful husband. I was distraught. I'd been alone for lots of the years of my marriage..Sadly, my husband wanted me, but I think he realised he also wanted a bachelor existence too, so me and the children came a poor second to his friends, work mates, beer and the social life provided for him in the pub. It was a lonely time...18 lonely and sad years with a drunken man coming home to us at some point..to shout, criticise, insult me, then fall asleep on the sofa. The next morning he was like a lamb...almost unaware of the upset he'd caused and my distress the previous evening. This was a regular occurrence. I dreaded hearing his key in the front door lock after a while. However, I was busy...raising our children, alone, working full time and also looking after my dear Mum, who was getting on in years and needed help and companionship as she became frail. In those days I didn't eat for comfort, I wrote everything down. I unloaded...and have books and books of late night/early hours of the morning sad and tearful ramblings. I needed an outlet or I'd have gone mad. I shall have to destroy them. I wouldn't want my kids ever to read them and feel guilty about my suffering or that they couldn't help me. They never knew how unhappy I was. I wore a mask - to them and the outside world...every day for many years. I was embarrassed, scared and ashamed, but I had done nothing to be ashamed of.
And then I divorced...finally this pathetic worm turned. I engaged a solicitor and against all my principles, started divorce proceedings. I knew it was the only way if I ever wanted to be happy again - to be myself again. I didn't want to bring the children up in such a caustic atmosphere either. They couldn't be damaged by things they saw and heard late at night. It wasn't right. Their father didn't care, didn't think about their little lives...their fear. I didn't care much about me, but I had to protect them, whilst I was strong enough to do so. I was beginning to crumble. It was such a traumatic time...and they should have been the best years of my life. I was young, slim, pretty, energetic..successful in the workplace and a good mother and daughter. I was also in pieces inside...a nervous, frightened, exhausted wreck.
I came away from the solicitor's office having started divorce proceedings and I slipped my wedding ring off my finger. I was in the city centre..The tears sprang to my eyes. I was SO unhappy. Big, fat tears ran down my cheeks and I found myself heaving with emotion and sorrow....and I remember finding a bench..partially hidden by shrubs and greenery...and sitting down, in the middle of town, and sobbing my heart out.
I rebuilt my life - with little confidence. I wanted nothing from my ex husband. No financial aid. I would support myself. I would pay for everything. I am proud. I needed a clean break. I didn't share my sorrow with many people. I kept my pain from my Mum. We were brought up not to wash our dirty linen in public. I quietly went about trying to make things 'normal' at home and continued working, to pay the bills and keep a roof over our heads. I felt hollow inside though, for years afterwards.
It's amazing. When you go through times which are bad...sorrowful, painful...years later, you realise just how strong you really were. I didn't break. I wanted to..many times, but I didn't. My Mum and my kids relied on me. Now I am here to tell the tale and have a ring on my finger again because I said 'Yes' when my man asked me to marry him in 2007. (No fool like an old fool, eh?) We've been together since early 2005.
"I think men who have a pierced ear are better prepared for marriage. They've experienced pain and bought jewelry." ~ Rita Rudner
The man I am engaged to now..in my fifties...(and he doesn't have a pierced ear) is nothing like my ex husband. I suspect he'd walk over burning coals for me. He is lovely and we laugh lots. We like a lot of the same things. He is good company. I trust him implicitly. He is kind, generous, hard-working, loyal, reliable and funny. He is young at heart like me. Neither of us can believe we are officially middle aged! Where did those years go? He isn't an Adonis..but to my eyes he is gorgeous. Who wants a God? He is in his fifties like me, and looking forward to retirement. He is a widower and we both have grown children who are young adults and live with us. THAT'S why we haven't married.
"SO THIS IS THE BRIDE TUBBY .... ER.....I MEAN, BRIDE TO BE."
Martha and the Vandellas