Blog 54 v…5 become 4...
As I write this week’s blog I am filling up with tears…tears of joy and a little sadness as this is the day that the ‘Bridezilla’ is moving out; lock, stock and barrel as the saying goes and although I’ve known this day was looming I had put it to the back of my mind: head in the sand I suppose.
The ‘Bridezilla and her ‘young-man’ have worked round the clock : decorating, organising, replacing, carpeting, painting, clearing; you name it they’ve done it! All as well as working full time: and she’s even been doing over time as well as her secondary job of mobile beautician. Even the news that the ‘Bridezilla’ will be facing redundancy soon has not quelled her enthusiasm and where someone less determined to succeed would have crumpled at that news she instead set about updating her C.V. and going for interviews.
Nights out to parties have been replaced by nights in painting…take-aways have been replaced by cheaper micro wave suppers…new clothes and new shoes have been abandoned in favour of ‘old’ things found in the inner realms of the wardrobe.
They have saved, saved, saved and cut back on everything they could cut back on.
The last few months have flown by and right before my very eyes they have both turned their house into their home.
As well as working hard they have never asked for anything. They have received early Christmas presents in the shape of an S shaped wooden unit and matching nest of tables plus lamp and a few wee bits from the ‘Hubby’ and I… [purchased in an early morning sale…5.00am to be exact but what the heck I don’t sleep anyway and what an eye opener that was…everything half priced…too good to miss!! I was ‘gobsmacked’ at the amount of people there!!] Then her granddad took my lead and bought her 4 dining chairs to fit round the beautiful dining table that she had bartered for…yes my quiet little ‘Bridezilla’ actually stood in front of me and her future ‘Hubby’ and knocked the salesman down CONSIDERABLY! Ha! I would never have had the nerve but as cool as a cucumber she persisted and he caved in! Then the grandmother-in law to be provided a fabulous fridge freezer on hearing they were going to do without! They have shopped in outlets and sales to make their pennies go further. The final gift of kindness was from a wonderful aunt who has provided stunning bedroom furniture. It has all come together so beautifully.
Ahh! Who would have thought it?
Today the bed arrived and that sealed the move…there is no need to stay here anymore, boo hoo!!
So I wanted to give her some pearls of wisdom. What would her mother have said she needed to do? I have wracked my brain and quite frankly, no offence to the ‘big sister,’ but I cannot think of anything sensible that she would have wanted her daughter to know!
I have found it difficult enough… but I thought maybe saying something like:
‘Never let the sun go down on an argument’…mmm well I have, many, many times; and so far we’ve survived;
‘Always say goodnight with a kiss…’ mmm well sometimes it’s more than a kiss but I can’t advocate that to my ‘little girl’; perhaps I should say something like;
‘Always save for a rainy day…’ or for new shoes or a set of proper saucepans;
The ‘Hubby’s’ words of wisdom are;
‘Have your own televisions…because Sport and My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding programmes don’t mix…’
The ‘Intelligent-one’ decided to suggest;
‘Never run out of toilet paper…’
And of course from the ‘Cutie-pie’;
‘Always keep your cupboards stocked up…and don’t forget I like…’
At a loss of what to impart I have found myself wanting to say things like;
being together full time is hard, once the holiday period is over it’s a case of compromise…each person has foibles that drives the other one mad…you have to give and take…you have to put up with things…you have to get used to the toilet seat still being up at night and in the darkness you become wedged in the loo…you get used to seeing a dark shape in the corner and squint closely to see if it’s a mouse only to discover it’s the discarded socks …the best towels saved for guests are the first he pulls off the towel rail to stand on…never let him have cheese and biscuits in bed as cream cracker crumbs get in all the wrong places…don’t clean the cooker until he’s finished frying his egg and bacon…
but then there is also the flip of excitement in your stomach when you are driving home from work and he’ll be home first waiting…the excitement of the sound of his key in the front door after a night out with the lads…waking up next to him and running your fingers across his nose [wouldn’t advise doing that more than once though…!] the linger of his after shave in a morning…curling up on the sofa when the rain is pouring down and you are warm and snuggly…yes there is a lot I can tell the ‘Bridezilla’ about being with the man you love… but it’s been a lifetime of discovery and they have to discover it for themselves; so really I need to hush and instead of giving advice I need to become a listener first and adviser second.
Together they have made the decision to marry, to set up a new way of life and heaven knows she deserves the best.
So with a little heavy heart I have taught her how to use her washing machine, how to organise her fridge and supervised her making up the new bed with new bedding and enjoy her giggles when she said;
“Ooh it’ll be like sleeping in a hotel…!”
I have put on a brave face when we have discussed ‘When I move out…’ and I have smiled when she said that we will still have a day a week together to plan the wedding and go shopping.
I have tried to think positively about the fact that she filled the house with music and laughter, fashion and magazines and shoes and G-strings! She has often left a mountain of washing and needed the very item of clothing at the bottom of the laundry basket asap! She has given the boys advice on how to be a teenager without disrupting the parents’ lives too much…she has, in short, made us a family of 5…and now she needs to spread her wings and look to the future and one day her own family. I feel blessed that I have had her all to myself all these years and all the memories she has created with us are recorded in photographs and firmly imprinted in my mind.
You know it is exactly 25 years ago this summer that I moved out of my parent’s house and into my own little two up two down mews terraced house. Although I had been living away from home at different points in my life I had always had my childhood home as the permanent base and all my stuff and clutter was there: my bedroom had become a comfort zone. Then I decided that at the age of 27, following a promotion, it was time to have my own place and began house hunting. 12 months into saving and searching I found the perfect place within walking distance of my mum: brand new houses were being built on the grounds of the old Continuation hospital and the original hospital wall was retained; giving me an enclosed garden all of my own. The house I chose was built in the kitchen garden area of the hospital and came complete with some very old hydrangea and rhododendron bushes that survived the builders’ creations.
Not once did I stop to think about the effect it had on my mother that I was moving out for good not into marriage but as a single woman…not once did I consider her feelings whilst I chatted about carpets and curtains…she often went very quiet and I thought she was just pondering how exciting this was for me …not once did I stop and realise that my mother was having to say goodbye to her second daughter and begin a life without me coming home from work, sharing the day’s news, asking advice on the latest fashion or hair colour. My mother was facing the prospect of yet another one fleeing the nest, the nest she had tried so hard to create into a wonderful home that no child would want to leave.
All these feelings are now haunting me as I prepare to say goodbye to the ‘Bridezilla’…how the tables have turned…on the day I moved out all those years ago my ‘big sister’ and the baby ‘Bridezilla’ had been spending the day at the house whilst I drove back and forth with clothes and boxes and after I had unpacked what little bits and pieces I had for my new home and we had had our tea it was time for them to go home. They were walking, as my ‘big sister’ felt it would help the baby ‘Bridezilla’ to sleep…I stood on the doorstep to wave goodbye, excited to spend my first night in my new home…when they reached the corner they turned and they waved and then the toddler that I had been so happy to be with at her birth, see her first steps, hear her first words; turned and shouted “bye bye” and then burst into tears and shouted;
“Coming home now…?”
My ‘big sister’ swept her up and carried her off and I was left in tears on my doorstep, the full impact of what I was doing finally dawned on me.
So today it was my turn to walk away and wave, desperate to say “Coming home now…?” and although this is the right time, the right place for her and the right ‘young man’ to start a new life with… I cannot help but feel it’s all too soon for me…
Blog 54 w coming soon…next Wednesday…