Wednesday, 4th August 2004.

Emily: Dress!

I went for my second dress fitting on Monday, complete with my new shoes and bra. It is almost done! I felt very bridal. I have one more fitting in a fortnight then that's it, apart from any small alterations. It is a lovely dress, but I can't say much about it because it's a secret from James. The main thing that needs doing now is the order of service, because James' parents are putting them together and they go away in September. We are pretty much in a position to do it, though it would help if we knew what Annie was going to sing while we sign the register. But I guess the congregation can live without knowing! There is still a lot of stuff to sort out, we have a list at home, which just keeps getting longer.


Monday, 9th August 2004.

Emily: Exactly 2 months today!!
*bounce bounce bounce*
And we're going to get the marriage license at lunch time :)


Wednesday, 11th August 2004.

James: Last meeting with the minister on Monday evening.

Before we'd gone, my parents warned me about being serious - my mother, who is a steward at the church, had apparently attended a wedding a few days before where the groom was dressed in an immaculate suit, lavender tie, dark waistcoat (or something)...and red socks. Ann, who has a tendency to pick up on the little things, was reportedly furious, although she didn't say anything to him - "I had no idea," she confided to my mother, "whether or not he was actually taking it seriously. He seemed to have no concept of just how inappropriate it was."

We pulled up outside the church in the pouring rain, and ran up the drive to where Ann was waiting in the fellowship room. "Ah!" she said, seeing how wet we'd become in the space of the twenty-yard dash. "I was sending out signals to you, saying park in the drive....park in the drive..."
"They got through!" I said, astonished. "When we arrived, Emily was saying 'I think we should park in the drive', and I was the one who was saying 'No, I don't think it's a good idea; people complain....'"

It was a good meeting, lasting over two hours but covering everything we needed. We had a long discussion on anger - where it came from, how we tell when the other person is angry, and how we deal with it. Ann suggested that a lot of anger was based on childhood, and that the way we deal with that points to unresolved issues - and she guessed from our knowing glances that this is a concept with which we are all too familiar. In my case, I think that the anger I feel is primarily concerned with things over which I have no control. I get very angry with the state of the world, and attitudes, and so on - and I think that this stems from the fact that I had a predominantly happy childhood, and had to find other things to get cross about.

How does Emily know when I'm angry? "You go green and burst out of your clothes," she said, elbowing me gently. "Actually, he goes quiet when he's really upset about something, or with me. At other times..."
"...I rant," I finished. "I feel sorry for her, actually, because she has to put up with a lot of moaning. I complain about an awful lot about people, the attitudes of the press, sociological paranoia - and other road users. I am generally not a happy motorist."

Ann told us that it was sometimes good to get angry. "It can be a powerful tool," she said. "But it's how you use that anger. If you allow it to turn inward, then it becomes depression. But if you're letting it out, it's important to let the other person know - as you said that you do, Emily - that it's not *them* you're angry with. It's a question of them being aware that they're not the focus or target of your anger. "In our society, we're told how to feel, or how not to feel, and that's fundamentally wrong. As a child, I found that anger was something I wasn't allowed to deal with in the house - I was sent to my room until I'd stopped being angry. As we get older we learn how to bottle it up, and that's unhealthy, but small children don't have this ability, which is why they have temper tantrums whenever they're feeling angry, regardless of where it is - and it's usually in public.
"Telling someone not to feel angry is ridiculous. Telling them not to cry is stupid. 'Don't you go crying on me!' - I mean, it's a natural reaction. If your friend slipped on a knife and cut himself, you wouldn't say 'Don't you dare bleed!'. But it's dealing with it constructively - so that neither person is hurt - that's the important thing."

We then talked briefly about money, and how it doesn't make you happy, and then realised it was getting late, so Ann said that unless there were other things that we wanted to discuss she won't need to see us again before the wedding rehearsal. I assume that she had decided not to talk about children after we showed obvious signs of agreement about them during our last meeting. In closing, she said she liked the way that she related to each other, and worked out the occasional differences. I said that the ushers would be wearing red socks, and was that all right with her?

Honeymoon stuff is all but done now, but I'll leave that to Emily, who will no doubt share the joy she felt at having to use what will soon be her married name.


Monday, 16th August 2004.

Emily: A lot of stuff has got sorted in the last couple of weeks. The honeymoon is done, except for booking the car. We have booked the flights, flat for the first week and hotels for the second week, all in my married name! I have sent off my passport to get it changed, which was rather exciting as I had to sign my married signature. The dress is finished, and I am going for the final fitting tonight. On Saturday we bought wedding rings, and sorted out clothes for the men and the page boy. Orders of service were printed on Friday, and are now at James' parents waiting to be assembled. The car has been decided on, and delegated to my brother to sort out and decorate. I have trouble believing that it's really true sometimes, that we're really getting married, forever, and having a wedding and everything. Last night I think it seemed more real than it has yet, and I was so happy I cried. I feel like I am the luckiest woman alive.

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