I am realising that I am a very low-maintenance woman who has suddenly got to become a very high-maintenance woman on account of TBWW ( The Big White Wedding). I have tried to avoid becoming what is colloquially known as a ''Bride-Zilla'' ( see pic) and going bonkers spending money hand-over-fist on all the wedding-related tomfoolery that zillions of websites, shops and magazines are keen to sell the sweating bride-to-be. You say 'wedding' and the price usually doubles. When I went with my friend Jeanette to get a cake for her wedding, we went into the shop and asked for 'a cake'. Then 'a cake for a wedding'. The price was 40% higher. The next day we went back and there was a different person behind the till.
I said we wanted a wedding cake and as she reached for the Special Supersonic Wedding Prices brochure and as Jeanette rolled her eyes, and hissed at me, I jumped in quickly.
''A wedding cake for a conference'' I said.
''A conference?'' she asked, looking puzzled.
''It's um, a conference of wedding organisers, to, um, discuss weddings.'' I said, improvising hastily, ''and we will be discussing how much the mark-up is on things that are sold as being wedding-related, and sharing our in-depth knowledge of how much things like wedding cakes should really cost, because of course, we all know the truth. Of course, we're happy to recommend suppliers who don't charge mad prices, because it really puts brides off if they know they're being ripped off...''
''Well, of course we'd be happy to charge you a price for a normal cake'', she said.
''Marvellous. Thanks for that''
It does make me wild.
I have not bought a single bridal magazine, visited a single bridal shop and only registered on a bridal website so I could use their handy budget planner as my excel spreadsheet skills are ropey (I always used to get my assistant to do excel sheets for me at work, it was our guilty secret. He could do formulas and colours and everything, I used to flap admiringly and bring him coffee).
However, as TBWW is only weeks away, the pressure is suddenly on, and now I have finally been able to jettison tiresome things that were taking up too much head space and slowing me down, I am faced with a bewildering array of instructions relating to Essential Grooming Tips that I must faithfully follow in order to Make The Most of My Big Special Daaaaaaaaaay, Or Else.
I cannot believe that people write such things, in apparent seriousness as '' Beauty: Your 12 Month Plan'' that suggest meeting your hairdresser, colourist, stylist, dentist, beautician, masseuse, pedicurist, manicurist, acupuncturist, spiritual healer, herbalist, doctor, waxer, colour consultant, chakra-rebalancer, eye-brow-shaper and probably gynecologist ( 'for assured honeymoon freshness!') a whole flipping YEAR before you walk down the aisle!
Not to mention florist, photographer, organist, caterer, wedding invite designer ( actually, all those are quite sensible and I have done them).
Then there's wedding shops that sell frocks and stuff. They are all By Appointment Only. Which is an excuse to be pinned down and scolded and sold to. I haven't dared go in. It will be only too obvious to the scary matrons within that I have failed, my nails have failed, my hair has failed and I am Just. Not. Taking. Grooming. Seriously. Enough.
I have instead gone to Anna Maria D'Amato, a genius corsetiere and dress deigner in Enfield who is rustling me up the dress of my dreams to my own design in ivory silk with a corset that is not only comfortable but cinches my waist in to Jayne Mansfield proportions. After the wedding I will dye it black or midnight blue and vamp about in it at every opportunity.
As to veiled threats: I am scared of veils and will only trip over it or get the damn thing caught in my lipgloss or something, so I will just content myself with some silk roses in my hair.
However, the TBWW approaches and so I am going to have to book a flurry of appointments and hand myself over to be scraped and plucked and dyed and filed and painted and primped and snipped and poked over until I pass muster.
At the very least, I had better go and get a hair cut, fast.
Some people do this grooming stuff all the time. I have a new respect for them. I like to be clean and to smell nice and wear pretty jewellery and clothes that fit me, skirts that swirl and swish when I dance, but being a Perfectly Groomed Woman strikes me as being a bit like a farmer: a back-breaking round of cultivating and harvesting and cropping and feeding and chemicals and unguents, and it seems to involve getting up early, and thus I fear it is not for me, Bridezilla or not.