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Being a Bridesmaid

 

Being a bridesmaid. It’s a minefield. You think it’s just a big party where you can wear a gorgeous frock and down prosecco from dawn to dusk with your best mate. Then things start going wrong. Inexplicably, it suddenly becomes your fault when the first dance was delayed, everyone and their Nan is fuming and your mate is huddled on the floor sobbing in 2 grands worth of white dress. Well, that escalated quickly. I’ve been bridesmaid the grand total of 3 times (apparently I’m never getting married) and have developed a system to avoid full meltdown.

The Bride

Otherwise known as your lovely, sane, funny mate who you’ve shared everything with from boy drama to work issues. All of a sudden, once she begins wedding planning, she disappears and is replaced with some lady who won’t shut up about table planning and the right shade of teal. Just breathe. She is spending an extraordinary amount of money on one day. You would want everything to be perfect as well. She will come back. I started sulking before one of the weddings, thinking that was it, once they were married they would turn into one of those couples who do nothing but talk about Tupperware and mortgages. I spend an inexplicable amount of time at their house drinking rum. She is still the mate you love. There’s just a second person to rant with you.

The Groom

To be fair, there aren’t normally any issues with him. He thanks you, gives you a present and you just have remember to smile. Just stay away from his mates. There will be a idiot amongst them, and he’s normally making a beeline for the bridesmaid. Avoid.

The Expense

There’s no way to sugarcoat this. It will cost you a bloody fortune. Even if your dress, shoes and bag are paid for by the happy couple, you will end up crying when logging onto your internet banking. The hen do is the big one. You will spend more than you think you will, between buying rounds, accessories, presents and making sure the bride has a fantastic time without worrying, suddenly you’ve spent 2 weeks wages. Add onto that the cost of hairdressers, spray tans, nails, hotel stays and make-up artists. Start saving as soon as she starts flashing the ring.

The Big Day

The fact it has maid in the name should tip you off. You are going to be running around all day. The only time you’ll probably sit down is when you’re eating the meal. From crawling on the floor fitting seat covers, (oh the glamour) to setting the tables, you’ll start to feel like a knackered 1920’s scullery wench. Keep your temper, the fun bit is about to start. Getting ready. This is half like every other Saturday gossiping and swigging prosecco and half getting frustrated that the hairdresser is a half hour late and your mate is threatening death and dismemberment. After that it’s a blur (sometimes literally, keep tissues in your bag, you will well up) of vows, photos, dances, food, speeches, toilet visits, refereeing arguments and being a general dogsbody. My advice? Have a huge breakfast and keep smiling when someone’s Auntie decides to lecture you on wearing white. You can bitch later.

It’s hard work, you can find yourself on a six month diet, lose entire weekends doing wedding stuff like stuffing invitations and you’ll end up snarling when some idiot in the office asks ‘hows the wedding planning going then?’. It can mess with your head, she’s getting married and I’m not sure where the cheese grater lives. (Joking, melted cheese makes up 29% of my diet.) It’s also an experience you’ll never forget and you’ll both be laughing about it in 10 years time. Take a couple of days after the wedding off and spend the time just on you. If all else fails, keep this in your head, one day she’ll be your bridesmaid. Start planning your revenge.

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Why I Fell in Love with Leia

 

I have a confession to make. I first watched Star Wars in November last year. I’m going to give you time to roll your eyes in disgust, exit my blog and wonder what the fuck is wrong with me.

All good? Nice to see you again. I’ll explain, as a nipper, I wandered round with my head in a book, generally ignoring whatever my brother was watching on the TV. Add to the fact I grew up in the 90’s, and neither of my parents were that fussed on Star Wars, and voila, you have a child that’s never seen it. 20 odd years later, my friends found out, and before I knew it, we were having Star Wars day, complete with ridiculous amounts of snacks, and I was hooked.

Taking a quick break, me and the other Star Wars virgin were asked ‘So, what do you think?’ My response? ‘Why the FUCK have I not watched this before? It’s AWESOME!’

‘What do you think about Luke?’

‘Bit of a fuckboy.’

‘Leia?’

‘She’s AMAZING!’

Yes, I may have been slightly overexcited and mainlining a dangerous amount of junk food. A couple of weeks later, lying drunk in bed, I tried to explain just why I loved her so much. Sober, I’ll try again.

Leia bursts onto the screen, this princess who happens to be a skilled politician, smart, witty and badass enough that she seems to spend every film being chased by assassins. She’s a dab hand with a blaster, hides secrets in a robot, has a retort for every comment and when forced into slavery, ends up literally strangling her oppressor with her chains. Later a General, she’s very much the leader of the Resistance, ordering troops whilst remaining beloved and still rocking a killer hairdo.

She spends 2 films arguing furiously with Han, even going as far as accidentally pulling her brother to prove a point (now that will make family dinners awkward) and yet when it comes down to it, she’s not afraid to let him know exactly how she feels. Even if his response is ‘I know.’ The bastard.

Unusually, even for a film released today, the love story between Leia and Han is one of the least important plot lines. Destroying the Death Star, battling the Empire and general snarkiness takes precedence over any soppy stuff.

In just one day, Leia joined the ranks of Buffy, Hermione Granger, Sansa Stark, Eleven, Harley Quinn and Daenerys Targaryen as my female geek heroes. This Christmas, I’ll definitely have the bauble of her and R2 on my tree.

Of course, Leia would have been nothing without the redoubtable Carrie Fisher. I will always kick myself that I didn’t discover this fascinating, funny, brutally honest woman earlier than I did. So for bringing one of my new favourite characters to life, thank you. The world got a little smaller the day you left. Continue reading “Why I Fell in Love with Leia”