Friday, 1 June 2007

Ashill, the day before my brother's wedding

It's pretty much impossible not to be yourself around your family, even if you're not sure you're really the same person they got used to all that time ago. I'm not thinking of my parents but my aunts and uncles &c, and although they're not here yet there's already a sense of them hanging in the air. (Maybe because they're presumably mostly within a smallish distance from here by now, and they're a pretty pungent bunch of personalities.) My brother asked me to be an understudy for the readings tomorrow, but with a diffident air because one is a poem about marriage, and the other is that man's man, St Paul, on husbands and wives. He specifically alluded to the fact that everyone knows I'm violently against marriage, that notorious instrument of patriarchal oppression, as he apologised for asking. I'd be very sad if I thought he didn't know I'm very pleased for him; I think it's just that in this setting he still sees me as some sort of average of my 7- to 15-year-old selves. They'll all be amazed to see me eating vegetables.

On the plus side it does take some pressure off. No one will expect me to be very sociable tomorrow, or any practical use whatever. If I do succeed in doing something helpful, like maybe boiling a kettle, I will get disproportionate applause. No one would bat an eyelid if I ran crying to my bedroom after my uncle Graham made some sexist remark, and I think I'm pretty unlikely to do that these days, so I've got a lot of leeway to play with.

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