Monday, 1 March 2010

Love See No Colour Scheme

Pete and I attended our first (and undoubtedly last) wedding show at the weekend. We decided to go after a leaflet dropped through our door advertising the Wedding Fayre at Kingswood House, a stately home set in acres of glorious South East London housing estate. We wouldn't normally have been interested but the presence of the letter Y in the word Fayre alone suggested we just had to attend.

It was as spectacular and sophisticated an event as you would expect a Wedding Fayre in South East London to be. Highlights included swans made from real feathers and bad papier mache, chocolate stilettos, more pink fairylights than have ever previously co-existed in one place and a Nat King Cole tribute act called Colin.

However, my attention was drawn to a stall in the corner where two ladies sat surrounded by balloons. We wandered over and they showed us a photo album of the different balloon decorations you can have for your wedding, of which there are many thousands.

"Or how about this?" said one of the ladies, pulling out a huge, silver, heart-shaped balloon. "You can have your names and the date of your wedding printed on it, underneath where it says 'Our Special Day'."

"I like it," I said. "But can you change the wording to 'My Special Day'?"

The lady looked a bit confused, so I didn't bother asking if there was room to insert an extra word between 'Special' and 'Day'.

"What's the colour scheme for your wedding?" said the other lady.

Pete and I looked at each other blankly. "Umm... I'm not sure we really have one."

The air became suddenly still. The balloon ladies stared at us, wide-eyed and open-mouthed, as if they were Victorian spinsters and we had just told them our hobbies were gin and buggery.

"But... When did you say you are getting married?" one of them managed to stutter.

"July. The 24th. Not very long I know. Ha ha."

"And... You haven't decided on a colour scheme?"

"Um, no. But, you know, five months is long enough to decide what colour the balloons should be, isn't it, ha ha. Ha?"

Apparently not.

It sounds like we need to decide on a colour scheme pretty sharpish. Why not vote in this week's poll to help us decide?

The Name Game

It's been a difficult week. I almost called the wedding off after my faith in love was shaken by the news of Cheryl and Ashley Cole's marriage breakdown. But as Cheryl herself would say, you've got to Fight Fight Fight Fight Fight for this Love. I'll just have to hope Pete doesn't turn out to be a serially adulterous pornographic text messaging ratbag who's probably gay anyway. Fingers crossed!

I expect Cheryl Cole will be changing her name (after all it's already been unofficially changed to Brave Cheryl Cole, although I wish the papers would go a bit more old school and opt for Cuckolded Cheryl Cole). This got me thinking - what am I going to do about my surname after I am married??

Obviously my first instinct is to keep my name. It's against all my feminist principles to adopt Pete's, thereby implicitly accepting the intrinsic patriarchal oppression of the marriage construct, and also there would be loads of forms to fill out. I did suggest that Pete make a small gesture towards redressing centuries of imbalance by taking my name, but he says he just doesn't "feel" like an Ellie.

I'm not going double-barrelled because it would just feel like a lie, so I have come up with a "third way" and invented an entirely new surname for us both to adopt. It's taken a while, but I think I've settled on the perfect solution, a name which reflects both our personalities but which is also sophisticated and elegant enough for professional use: DANGERFIRE.

I haven't decided whether we should always insist on full capitalisation, but in any case Mr and Mrs Dangerfire certainly has a ring to it. Plus it goes perfectly with our chosen names for our children (Gold, Snake or Fist for a boy; Diamond, Beyonce or Lady Diana Spencer for a girl).

So at least something good has come out of Cheryl and Ashley's split. I hope that comes as some relief.