My glass shall not persuade me I am old,
So long as youth and thou are of one date;
- Sonnet 22, Shakespeare
The first wedding I ever attended was when I was five years old. It was exciting. New dress. I felt important. It was dramatic too - my younger brother, in his excitement, slipped off the sofa he was jumping on, fell against a glass table and cut open the skin near his eye. He was three; he still bears the scar. A memorable first wedding.
I couldn't have known it would be two decades before my next weddings, and then they would come in a rush. Something about that alarming age of thirty. All girlish things at an end and boys no longer the annoying presences in classrooms but worse, future husbands to be obeyed and cherished. I don't know if there is something wrong with me (apart from the hungry Wolf of course) but I don't seem to be able to see him anymore. And when they (the blushing brides) throw the dreaded bouquet over their shoulders, it's all I can do not to run and hide. Maybe I am a coward. But why would anyone want to catch a bride's bouquet? Why??
Husband, if you're out there, you have to find me. And if I am old and grey and full of sleep, it will be entirely your fault.
Meantime, I am enjoying the turbulent freedom of the uncaught bouquets - that deliciously silly teenage phenomenon called Crush. And it's on an actor (eight years younger than me), playing a vampire (eighty years older than me), frozen in time, at the tender age of seventeen... (confused?) and so what if we can never meet? This crush too shall pass, and fast, but not the freedom that goes with it.
And tomorrow, a hen party extravaganza at Chatsworth, where the BBC filmed Pride and Prejudice. You know, the place where Mr Darcy leaps out of his cotton whites and into the (probably freezing) water? Sigh.. literary noblemen, literary vampires, literary perfection... what more does a woman want, thirty years old or not?