This year I have been to six weddings. If had been to Nandos that many times I would have at least got a free half chicken out of it.
I have loved every single wedding I’ve been too. All have been personal and different, and perfect for the couple involved. They have been epic days of loveliness, with nights spent dancing under Tuscan skies, ceilidhing my kilt off in barns in Essex or getting my Tina Turner on in hotels in Hull.
All this, while watching as some of my very favourite women in the world, dance the dance of a married couple, their arms entwined with the men who turn out to be their very favourite people in the world.
They are events to be treasured. Wonderful days that lead to the not-so-wonderful day after, a blurry mess of Nurofen and half remembered flashbacks of slut dropping whilst wearing the bride’s veil. In short, weddings are bloody brilliant.
But then my friends go and change their surnames and I hate it.
I HATE it. It’s visceral. And it’s usually Facebook’s bloody fault. A day/48 hours/a week have passed since vows have been exchanged and FaceyB casually notifies me that my friend has changed her name. Just like that. In a meaningless notification. Like they are a Farmville request. A tiny insignificant notification to tell me that my friend no longer has the name that has defined her, no, been her, forever.
And then I feel angry.
I’m angry because over night, my darling friend who I have known for ten, 15 or even 20 years has disappeared and someone unfamiliar has taken her place. It’s like a very adept kick to the tit.
This new girl has been created in click. And I don’t know who the fricking hell she is.
This alien-named girl never went to my secondary school. She never shared stolen bottles of Archers with me at dodgy parties in Romford where the boys smelled of Hugo Boss and the pungent pong of lingering virginity.
This usurper isn’t the girl I met on the first day of university. She’s never made a tally chart to keep a check on how many sheets of toilet roll we each used. She’s certainly never drawn her nipple on the back of a napkin to reassure me mine are normal.
It’s as though the girl I knew has just disappeared, happily sacrificed to the past.
And the worst thing, is that I know they are changing their name because they want to do so. It’s their choice. It could well be a choice I one day make if some idiot ever decides that they are really into lanky girls who write needy blog entries.
This ‘name change’ is something my friends have been looking forward to doing ever since they knew they’d found their person – they are thrilled to be able to finally become an official team, an official family with the dude of their dreams. They are delighted. Therefore I should be delighted.
But I’m not. Not yet. Because at this moment I am feeling petty. Petty and sad. I’m sad for the way things change, and the way the past gets gobbled up by time, and I am sad that before I know it, that new name will be assimilated entirely into a new life and it’ll be like the old name and the girl in my memories never existed.
And that’s at the selfish heart of it all. It’s all about me. All about the stand-up comic? Shocker. But of course it is. Because I can’t help but think that as much as these women are their new husbands’ wives, and their unborn babies’ mothers, before all that, they were my friend. And I miss them.
So for now, I need to sulk so can I can mourn the loss of the past, and in time I’m sure will forget that I even had this little tantrum. I will write Christmas cards to many a Mr and Mrs without remembering a time when you were someone else. But for now I do remember. So for now, I will use your maiden name at every opportunity – and that’s not to annoy or disrespect your new life (well, only partly) – it’s because I’m not quite ready to let the old you go just yet.
So here’s to you my lovely women; you’ll always be a Pearce/Sanderson/Blerkom/Hills/Gawn/Quayle/Clossick in my eyes… that and smug married bastards of course 😉