The many and various ways I pass the time now has a new addition. Usually it involves drinking coffee whilst sitting at a computer keeping in touch with chums, or sipping wine sitting on our tiny terrace catching the sun, and wondering what else I can do to avoid any cleaning or tidying or putting away of stuff and things that aren't even MINE. And now I am going to type this blog. Provided that doesn't become a chore as well, in which case...

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

A Mother's Musings on Matrimony

The Daughter received a proposal of marriage on Saturday evening, in Rome, and not from some briefly-smitten ogler or bottom-pincher (actually she has reported a marked decline of personal interference on pretty ladies in Italy since I was last there in 1993) but from her partner of almost five years.  She sent me a brief e-mail with the news on Sunday morning.  After I read this my brain was as bubbly as the glasses of cava we swigged all afternoon to celebrate the news, and then I slumped early and needed a bit of a siesta.  All that evening I couldn't process the idea fully as I still hadn't heard their voices, and so I fell asleep that night feeling strangely cast adrift.

They travelled back to the UK on Monday, and by teatime I had my phone call.  Some more funny anecdotes to add to what she'd said in the e-mail, and the reassuring sound of a girl as happy as a girl can be, looking forward to picking out her engagement ring from one of those lovely old antique and secondhand jewellers on Oxford High.

Then, on Tuesday, came the vision to go with the sound.  A quck and slightly blurred photo attachment of her left hand wearing the vintage 1950s emerald cut diamond ring she had picked out.  It had to be vintage because she will not support the modern gold and diamond industries.  And because such items offer better value for money than what's available brand new.

Soon, within the hour, she will be arriving to collect the hamster (cf my last posting) and have a cup of tea before driving him back to his usual nest in their darling rented Victorian house in central Oxford. And I will be able to add touch to sound and vision and give her the biggest hug a mother can muster.

At some point I may offer her some words of advice about how to forge and sustain a good married relationship.  As I have had two marriages, one Bad, one Very Excellent, and have been married for a total of twenty-six years to two very different types of man, I might have a few good ideas that could be transferable to another couple.  But I doubt it somehow.  I was sagely advised by an elderly long-married neighbour as a first time bride never to let the sun go down on our anger, and yet huffily slept in separate rooms after rows, year-in, year-out, feeling that no other option could be possible.  It's good advice though, and worth trying to uphold as a practice, as we've managed to do, The Husband and I, in our second-time-around-for-both-of-us union.  

The only other thing I would suggest is "Don't eat all your meals in front of the TV".

Apart from that, they're on their own...bless them.


  1. Wonderful news! Give them both a big hug and leave them to sort out the rest out for themselves :-) They've had five years practice already and it must be working for them or why go further? Really chuffed for them both!

  2. She drove off just now saying "He's good to me". That's why she's chosen him, and stayed five years with him and will be marrying in him in late July if a date can be booked to suit all those attending.

    Four months should be long enough for the Mother of the Bride to whittle off her winter weight. I have just the frock hanging up so far unworn...

  3. Lots of walks with The Dog as the weather improves and you'll get there :-)