It’s truly been the summer of love for me and mine. I’ve not been oh so present on here because I fell down a very-prosecco-and-canapé heavy rabbit hole sometime in mid June and have only just emerged, two weddings to go, smelling of confetti and hotel rooms.
It’s that year of life, right? Everyone keeps telling me. The last year before 30 when someone takes the pin out of the FUCK-THIS-IS-NOT-A-DRILL-WE-REALLY-AREN’T-KIDS-ANYMORE grenade and your calendar is suddenly awash with manor houses and chapels.
In amongst the wedding mayhem, as you may have seen, I finally grew a pair, saw the aforementioned grenade flying towards me, and realised that it was time to move in with some kid I’ve been knocking about with for many a moon.
Whilst you think that the moving in with a boy, and spending weekend after weekend watching more and more of the people you love the most love each other officially, would be the reason I was prompted to uncharacteristically write a post about love, you’d be wrong. It went further than that.
Because with every ceremony, every weekend away, every wedding holiday you’re on, you spend time around everyday love. Your best mates and their best halves.
Not misty eyed, well photographed love. Not Instagram ready love. But proper everyday, boring old love.
You see at the end of every aisle, at the bottom of every packing box and in your best friend couples that you sit next to at every wedding meal and during every service.
You spend more time with each other than you have since Year 10 French and you see first hand what loves means to one another.
And it’s isn’t what we always thought it was. It isn’t being carried over thresholds or being showered with diamonds. It isn’t being wined and dined every night of the week and spending endless hours gazing into each others eyes on white, sandy beaches.
It’s carrying her shoes when she ditches them at 1am. It’s the second nature to neaten the knot on his tie. It’s picking up your girlfriend’s handbag when she wanders off to the loo yet again, because you know she looses something of value every single time you’re out. It’s getting back up to turn the bathroom light out because you know he has to sleep in absolute pitch blackness. It’s ordering lunch for the other one whilst they shoot back to the room because they’ve got the runs and not needing to check what they want. It’s having the runs and laughing about it. It’s singing in the car. It’s the stupid accents you normally only do at home that you do in front of other people and absolutely crease up when you do. It’s having one another’s backs. It’s the quiet when the quiet’s needed. It’s the ‘here’s a Coke, you look like you’re hanging’. It’s doing the driving when he’s not seen his mate for an age. It’s turning a blind eye when they behave like absolute knob jockeys because they’ve been apart for 4 months. It’s checking which canapés have garlic in and which don’t whilst he’s at the bar, so you know what he can eat and can’t. It’s the boozy grins across a dance floor. It’s the ‘this is better than last weeks’ out the corner of a mouth. It’s taking the piss out of each others dance moves. It’s waiting with her coat whilst she spends 45 minutes saying goodbye to the same people over and over again.
It’s those bits. Sod the grand gestures, the speeches, the diamonds.
It’s the holiday photos, the big toothed grin selfies, the ‘that will be the gin & tonic that tips her over the edge’. It’s the moving the chair out of her way as she walks towards it because she’s a clumsy cow when she wants to be. It’s putting after sun on their burnt bits. It’s only buying him a single so he makes it to the second course. It’s the recording programmes they think you’ll like, it’s the having a longer bath when you’re watching them. It’s a little stroke of the hair. It’s the popping a blanket on your feet when you fall asleep in front of the TV again.
It’s the everyday, ‘did that meeting go alright?’ or ‘I bought you Malteasers because it didn’t’.
That’s what love is.. and yes, it’s been lovely to see it happen in the wonderful dresses and signing the registers.
But it’s also been really lovely to see it in the back of the hire car, or over the table from me at lunch, or whilst they wander off to the fag shop.
In the eyes of my best mates, as they be everyday in love with their best ones.
(pisstaking realness to resume next week)