Thursday, 30 August 2007

More wedding events: The prize for the most drama-tastic event goes to.... the wedding cakes!

When planning the wedding my cousins received numerous offers from the extremely talented women of our family to make them a wedding cake (any one of these women could have produced a most stunning cake, they are extremely good).

Now, someone uninitiated in the ways of our family would probably have accepted the first generous offer and had that wonderful cake at their wedding.

And we would display the corpses of these people as a warning against such innocent naiveté.

My cousins are wilier than that. They knew that accepting any one cake would be construed as a dire and mortal insult to every other half-way competent cook in the family, one that could only ever be matched by something equally severe, like murdering their first born and eating the corpse in front of them. But even that might not offend them so much as them asking another relative to make them a wedding cake.

To avoid offending any of them my cousins decided to get a caterer to bake a cake (now, on hearing this I instantly headed for the nearest nuclear shelter and set the timer for 10 years when I would emerge to pick up the pieces and set up a small monument on my cousin’s graves... but apparently this worked. I can only assume they sold their souls to a daemonic entity of choice to pull that one off).

Of course, the worthy ladies and their cakes are not so easily put off. The wedding comes round and it turns out that several of these good women have decided to surprise the happy couple with perfect, multi-tiered wedding cakes... Have you ever seen 2 women enter the same room, each burdened with a large wedding cake? *cue high noon music*

Now begins the dance of the cake and a whole new school of etiquette arises.

The Bride and Groom will avoid ALL cakes as much as possible. Any photographs will include ALL cakes or none (though pictures of them before a table of 6 wedding cakes looks quite stunning really). They will not cut ANY cake. They must eat all cakes in equal quantities. The bakers of said cakes WILL measure pieces to the micrometer. Efforts must be taken to hide the order in which cakes were eaten.

A guest eating any cake conveys 2 messages: 1, this cake is the best cake ever and all the rest taste like sawdust marinated in manure and 2, the baker of this cake is a saint before whom all good men should bow while the baker of all the other cakes are vile daemons in human form upon whom with vomit our derision and scorn. Bakers of cake will treat you accordingly.

A guest eating 2 different cakes will get all of the criticism and none of the comment.

Any guest may be ambushed at any time to give a full and complete appraisal of any cake. Failing to criticise an opponent’s cake with sufficient venom or praise her cake with sufficient glowing benedictions will result in you being cast into the nether hells. NOTE: the fact you haven’t eaten any cake is NO defence and no excuse.

Carefully manoeuvre through the crowd as at any moment you can be ambushed by a woman holding a platter full of cake who will demand you eat a piece (cue Jaws theme). There is no excuse to not eating. Being full/having already had a piece/being diabetic/being DEAD are not sufficient excuses. Once consumption is complete please refer to the above point.

The catered cake should be avoided at ALL cost. No-one will cut it, eat it or otherwise have any contact with it. You should not stand too close to the cake, should most certainly not mention it, should not take photographs of it and should avoid even thinking about this cake. Even heaping derision on this cake cannot expunge the sin of having even considered it for a second. I suspect my cousins will surreptitiously call guests to their home during the dead of night and furtively distribute pieces of cake that have been carefully wrapped in brown manilla envelopes.

On the bonus side, we’ll all be eating wedding cake for years to come

Thursday, 23 August 2007

First wedding report: The BAD.

Much craziness was witnessed, participated in and ran from at the wedding, as was expected. Unfortunately more than any amusement snark, one particular incident kind of outweighs them all for me and lowers my faith in humanity again.

I met up with (surprise to surprise - you have to do the round of cousins) one my cousins. I’m quite close to Rache. I grew up with her, when one of us wasn’t travelling we saw each other daily almost. She was one of the first people I came out to and the first to slap me upside the head for not telling more people. When her daughter was born she wanted me to be her godfather (for 2 reasons: 1) she wanted to see if I could enter a church without turning to ash and 2) godparents are obliged to give free, no-notice babysitting. Apparently. So she says).

Having circled the buffet 3 times, talked to 4 elderly relatives and even petted cats I could no longer avoid her and that gleam in her eye that all parents get now and then - y’know the one, the one that says “Argh! I’m going to carve out my womb so I never produce these noise machines again!” so I am ambushed by her and her New (ish) mother-in-law, who I have not yet had the pleasure to meet.

So we talk, inevitably a request for imminent babysitting next week raises its head, to which I acquiesce graciously and carefully remove the shrimp fork from her white-knuckle grip, we remind MiL that I’m little bratleigh’s godfather and that I have babysitted her dozens of time (I mutter “hundreds” and get a jugular piercing glare). All is happy and we move the conversation on, discover MiL is largely non-objectionable despite being death as a post and inclined to leap topics without warning.

Then I realised that Beloved had scarpered to some island of sanity and asked if Rache had seen him so I could slap him upside the head request his return, and new MiL speaks up.

MiL: Who IS Beloved?
R: Sparky’s other half.
Me: *nods*
MiL: *pause* You’re gay?
Me: yes.
MiL: *to Rache in a not-quite-but-meant-to-be-whisper-of-the-hard-of-hearing* Is that safe?
Me: *confused* No, you need to stand back. I may explode and shower the room with rainbows at any moment
Rache: I think we’re all safe here *also confused. Clearly questioning MiL’s sanity and worrying about daughter‘s genetics*
MiL: I mean Bratleigh...
Me: *Confused, bratleigh is at home* You receiving psychic warnings now? I thought we segregated all the elderly women who thought they were psychic near the gin.
MiL: I mean, you know *sickly grin* Babysitting.
Rache: *is lost* no...
Me: *clinging to confusion* Oh, she did not. Tell me you did not just imply what I thought you did?
MiL: *turns to me, a little red faced, attempt at smile* No offence.
Rache: *penny drops. Turns bright red. Clearly planning on extracting spouse’s genetics from child as soon as she can find a big enough plunger*
Me: Oh my gods, you did! *walks away*

Rache chased me down later to apologise (and, sadly, confirm that YES, she was worried about leaving her granddaughter in the evil, pernicious clutches of homosexuals). Which is awkward because I really don’t want Rache to feel awkward or apologetic because her MiL is a bigoted troglodyte. OK, what I REALLY don’t want is to people assume I’m a child predator because I’m gay (and “no offence“? C’mon, woman, you just implied I’m some kind of child abuser or paedophile. In what alternate dimension can this NOT be offensive?) but my cousin not feeling like shit will do for now.

Thankfully it was near the end of the night so only Beloved had to endure my arsey mood. Which is kind of stupid because, I should soooo be above this. I seen worse, I’ve heard worse, I thought I was immune to this kind of rubbish, but every now and then one gets through. Why do I still let this crap get to me?