Tag Archives: wedding

My first boyfriends

26 Oct

When I was nine, I fell in love for the first time. Well, “fell in love” as much as you can at the age of nine. I officially became the girlfriend of a boy in my class, who I’d been hanging out with for weeks. We both went to “Zoo Club” on Saturday mornings (it only strikes me as weird 23 years later that my school took us to Glasgow Zoo on Saturdays). We were also both really into Lego. I can’t remember how long we were officially together. I know that we broke up before my tenth birthday, when I was home (sick with tonsillitis) and he refused to sign my birthday/get well card from my class. What an asshole. Anyway, that guy got married yesterday.

My second boyfriend became one of my best friends towards the end of high school, and then we both went to study at the same university. It was during first year of uni that we officially got together. It was all very dramatic. I think we were more in love with the idea of being in love than we were with each other. We’d fight and then make up with the choreography and hyperbole of a season of 90210. To this day I’m sad that it ruined an otherwise lovely friendship. I broke up with him about a month before our end-of-year exams. Shortly afterwards he started dating a girl we’d gone to school with. Two weeks ago, they got married.

Incidentally, both of these guys have the same first name as my ex.

I guess he’s next.

You never know what’s coming

27 Jul


Well, a year ago tonight was my last “date” with him.

We were in New York. We went to an incredible little Mexican place in the East Village and ate tacos, drank cocktails, and talked. He was talking about, “if we had a daughter”. Little did I know he was weighing up his options there and then. I remember walking home, and him telling me I looked cute as a button. I didn’t know he was saying goodbye. And when I got on a flight the next day to head home, I didn’t know that just a week later I would be on a last-minute flight to my parents’ house in Scotland, numbed with vodka. And that when I got there I’d lie in bed and cry. For four days.

Because he was never in love with me.

Today I met up with my old flatmate. We moved into a flatshare together seven years ago, and lived there for three years. A lot of sh** went down in that flat. I was the dumper and the dumpee repeatedly, while she was in a long-term relationship, then an engagement.

That engagement ended when the guy she was engaged to, well, ended it.

She’s a mum now. And – I am delighted to report – not an annoying mum in the least. In fact, probably the most chilled out mum I’ve come across. Her career is still hugely important to her. She works five days a week. She can hold a conversation without stopping mid-sentence to dramatically stage an intervention as her baby eats a leaf. I know the pain that she went through four years ago. And I think it has helped make her into the woman she is today.

She thought she had her happy ending.

I thought I had mine.

You never know what’s waiting, just a week away.

Never give up

29 Mar


I’m in Scotland for a bit of a mixed bag of a weekend. It’s the first time I’ve seen my Dad since his 70th birthday, my friend is over from Australia with her new baby girl, and tomorrow is Mother’s Day (which means my sister and her family are coming to my parents’ house and my Mum is treated to producing a four-course meal for the seven of us – ooooh, how we spoil her).


Today I got to catch up with my two best friends from school – one of whom is now all married and babied up in Australia, and the other who lives in Glasgow and finds herself in a similar situation to myself.

We caught up on the gossip and each other’s family news, heard about childbirth (which sounds more and more unpleasant to me), laughed a lot, and then all asked each other, “So, have you heard?”

Yes, the talk of the town in the suburb of Glasgow where I grew up had reached us all independently.

And it’s big news. Huge.

Our junior school headmistress is getting married. Now, bear in mind that we left junior school 21 years ago.

She is 77 years old. And she finally met the man of her dreams.

How awesome is that?


Trying to be happy for everyone else

8 Dec

Last night was fun. Always good to catch up with friends from university. We laughed a lot. I had just a couple of moments when I really struggled to hold it together.

All three of the friends I was with have got married this year. One of them is pregnant. The other two will follow soon, I’m sure.

So, it’s inevitable that there’s a lot of wedding and baby chat. I don’t mind. It’s not boring. None of them turned into bridezillas. I’m genuinely happy for them.

But it does seem unfair. Especially when I thought I had finally met my person. When I thought everything was falling into place for me. At last.

And when they ask me about work, because they don’t know what else to ask me about, I can’t help but feel the lump in my throat. I talk a little too much about not knowing whether I want to stay in marketing. I sound a little too scattered when I mention travelling, or going freelance, or trying something new. I look a little too sad when I laugh about how I have nobody to look after but myself.

What I mean is that I have nobody to look after me. That I’m searching for something – anything – to make me happy. And my future scares me because I really don’t want to go through it alone.

Last night we were also talking about parties. I said if I’m still not married when I turn 40 I’m going to throw myself a massive party. We discussed how I should get a completely over-the-top dress, and hold it at a fancy hotel, and have a gift list in Topshop. It sounded fantastic.

Then I went to the bathroom, and cried.


29 Nov

I read this passage from Captain Corelli’s Mandolin at my sister’s wedding, nearly seven years ago.

I came across it again today, and it made such sense to me. It also highlighted how ignorant of love my ex was. To say you love someone who is your best friend, who you find attractive, who you “know you could have such a nice life with”, but to throw it away because you were not “completely in love”. Dumbass.

I was emailing an old friend today. He’s about ten years older than me, married, kids. I updated him on the pizza of doom, on the reasons my ex gave for it all. It made him angry. Firstly, because I rock. Which we all know is a true story. Secondly, because, “being completely in love takes years of work.” I have a feeling that is a true story too.

I would have put in the work. But I guess some people are just lazy.

Love is a temporary madness; it erupts like volcanoes and then subsides. And when it subsides you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of eternal passion. That is just being in love, which any fool can do. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident. Those that truly love have roots that grow towards each other underground, and when all the pretty blossoms have fallen from their branches, they find that they are one tree and not two. ~ Louis de Bernieres

The presence of love

15 Sep

The wedding was lovely. And it was a very fun weekend. Despite personally having a few dark moments, there was swimming and champagne and my bedroom was roughly twice the size of my apartment with a stunning view of Edinburgh castle. Of course I had fun.

I think the thing that struck me most, and the thing that made me cry more than once, was being in the presence of love. Since the pizza of doom I’ve doubted everything. I’ve felt like it’s all a lie. That marriage and love aren’t for real. That there’s no point in hoping for it, because it’s all a hoax anyway. And all the lovely, thoughtful things I did for my ex and the way I felt for him, well, it was worthless and stupid. I was a fool.

I have news for myself: it’s not a hoax.

I reckon it’s rare. I don’t think everyone who gets married has it for real. But Sarah and Matt definitely do.

It wasn’t the boxes of wedding days gifts he left in our ‘getting ready room’, complete with earings to match her engagement ring, iPod stocked with her favourite music, chocolates, champagne, and personalised slippers for her bridesmaids (thank you, Matt!). It wasn’t the way he looked at her when she reached the bottom of the aisle (she looked stunning, any man would have done a double take). Or the way they looked at each other, and laughed with each other, while saying their vows (which made me cry as they still sum up exactly how I feel about my ex). It was later, watching them dance. Without sounding like a pervert or a stalker, I watched them for a while. I couldn’t even tell you what in particular I noticed, nothing specific, no particular gestures or dramatic embraces. Just an overwhelming sense of protection, passion, friendship and care.

He loves her. She loves him. You can’t miss it.

While I’m in my own personal heartache paralysis – bitter, uncertain, insecure and angry – it’s good to know they still make that kind of love.

Maybe I’ll never find it. Maybe I’ll only ever want it with my ex. Maybe. But maybe not.


15 Sep

More on the wedding later, but a strange thing happened. A guy I was at university with and haven’t seen in nine years spent all night telling me I looked “a million dollars” and also “a bit like a mermaid”. The Little Mermaid was my favourite as a kid, so I was happy.

I don’t fancy this dude. I don’t fancy anyone right now. And he is basically Ross from Friends. So I told him about the ex to put him off. The heartbreak. The missing him. We chatted about it.

I woke up this morning to a Facebook friend request and an invite to go on a “hot date” next time he’s in London.

It didn’t give me butterflies.

But it made me smile.

Wedding weekend

13 Sep

I’m on an excessively bumpy train on my way to Edinburgh for the wedding. It feels like a very non-fun roller coaster (much like life right now – and I usually love roller coasters). The bumpiness is actually making me angry. My iPad keeps jumping onto the floor. The glass of gin and tonic is perhaps too great a risk but I’m taking it anyway. I deserve it.

I have so many feelings about this weekend. Mainly, ‘WHY ISN’T HE WITH ME?’. I refuse to become an awful, self-centred, miserable bridesmaid, but when you have hardly slept all week, feel broken, and also feel very much like you resemble a mushroom, it’s hard to be positive.

I stocked up on magazines for my 5-hour journey. I carefully sourced the publications with the most celebrity breakup news amongst their headlines. Somehow comforting. One of my friends just texted and told me if you smile it tricks your brain into feeling happy.

So tomorrow I’ll put on my biggest smile and my beautiful dress. We’ll get our makeup and hair done. One of my very best friends will walk down the aisle. We’ll eat and drink and laugh and catch up with old friends. We’ll dance – celidh of course – and stay up ’til the early hours of the morning.

But I know when I go back to my hotel room and climb into bed, I’ll miss his arms, his face, his smell. And my feet will miss his feet.