Friday 15 July 2011

Weddings As A Spectator Sport

Ever since our wedding day, I have been nagged for photographs.

The worst offenders have been the staff and members at my part-time job. Most of them are 50 +, and all of them women. If there was a demographic likely to be nosey curious about a wedding, people, this is it.

Yesterday I took in a photoshopped collage of official pictures Sam had put together and put it up in reception, in the hope that it would finally shut them up. Knowing full well they were presuming a "proper" wedding, with a beautiful elegant dress and lots of pretty "wedding things".

I put on my best thick skin, just for the occasion.

I felt like our wedding was in a cage at the zoo, ready for people to point and stare at.

"It's a short dress!" they cried, and then "I never though I'd see a bride wearing plimsolls!" followed swiftly by, "Is this what they call 'funky'?"

I was surprised, actually (knowing some of the members quite well) which of them seemed perplexed, which were polite but incredibly sniffy, and the tiny minority who seemed genuinely excited and wowed by it being so different. Needless to say the reaction of those last few just made my day and made me feel tough enough to not care about the others.

I knew I would find it difficult getting reactions from people who don't really know me very well. It does make me a tiny bit sad that I was put under so much pressure to bring in anything at all. But as a happy, peppy gym instructor, you can't be cagey. Holding back photos for a WHOLE month (in spite of bringing them cake!!) is an action at odds with the open, cheerful person I am at work. Consequently I think some people thought I was ashamed of our wedding. And I DEFINITELY wasn't - far from it. I just knew that not everybody would "get" it. I needed to put some distance between myself and the emotion of the day, so I could deal with the inevitable snooty remarks that were bound to pop out (EDIT: although, again, I wasn't expecting some of the lovely things people did say - those who were genuinely interested rather than just rubbernecking for the sake of gym gossip - and hearing those kind words made me really happy that I did bring the pictures in eventually. God I'm a sensitive little muppet)

I suppose it's made me realise how such an enormous part of my main job - being a personal trainer and fitness instructor - is about listening to others and forgetting myself. So much so that these people I see every day really know nothing about me at all. And I quite like that.

Anyway, yesterday I was so swept up in this new spirit of self-expression, I went straight to the hairdressers and got pinked up ready for the Secret Garden Party next week.

Guess this will take the heat off our wedding pictures for a while....

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