The post-wedding comedown is brutal and one I would never repeat, says Lucy Mangan.
Whether it’s a small family do or full royal flummery, one factor that unites all weddings is the sheer volume of preparation and high emotion in the lead up to The Big Day.
There is one thing, however, that is often overlooked in all this. And that’s what comes after it. Namely, a big, fat f**king comedown.
After planning the fairytalest of fairytale weddings – a castle, royalty and an actual prince, the one who’s kept his hair and never has to be king! – just think what, assuming there was no wedding day drama, Meghan Markle will have to get used to. New husband, new job (modern princessing is not like in the days of old, when you could lounge around on your four-poster bed until you fancied getting up to arrange your jewels and consume some choice bits of swan; now you have to graft, albeit in the designer clothes of your choice). New boss (the Queen), new family (the Queen with her crown off), new home in a new country… Plus, she’s got to be a role model to millions, and smile unceasingly while the nation’s press speculates endlessly on the readiness of her reproductive system to host the royal sperm and transform it into a little carroty babby that will help take our minds off the parlous state of the world.
True, she will have money and comforts aplenty to draw the post-nuptial sting, but honestly, you couldn’t pay me enough to negotiate that comedown again.
Before you know it, the honeymoon – literally and metaphorically – is over. You must go back to work. Not princessing, but the daily grind. You must socialise with your new family and find ways to get along with even the most unlovable. You will have at least one step-uncle who says things like, “Terrorism is hereditary, you know”. And although you are unlikely to be facing Markle’s challenge of being a global celebrity, you will almost certainly find that people who previously thought your contraceptive arrangements were no business of theirs are now happy to ask if you’re planning to start a family yet.
Marriage does – still, in this modern, technological day and fluid age – change things. It creates the feel of solidity and permanence but with that – and the ebb of The Big Day’s excitement – can come a sense of suffocation and panic. If your big day was bliss, every non-blissful moment thereafter feels like failure. If it wasn’t perfect, you become paranoid that it was an early predictor of divorce. You notice that you are now formally linked to that hideous step-uncle. Your boyfriend’s lovable flaws can start to look like a husband’s damnable faults when you know you’re staring down the barrel of decades of daily proximity to them. You start wondering if you can take your mother as well as your boss to a tribunal for the calculating looks they are giving you at a certain time every month.
Stay calm. This is just your post-holiday feeling writ large (and with a life partner attached), and it too will pass. Your relationSHIP – please note the careful wordplay! – is not foundering on rocks or holed beneath the waterline, but just being jostled by the current. Still, blue waters lie ahead – as long as you both like the telly at the same volume and have made a pact never to buy thin bin bags. You have, haven’t you? Because no man may pull you asunder, but a split bin bag surely will.
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