A Groom With A View
I am getting married. This year. To a woman. Things are being set in motion, heads of steam are building, snowballs are rolling, rabbits are running. You get the picture. Sarah and I (or is it me and Sarah? I never know) met when we were old enough to know better, and fell in love anyway.
We were lucky enough to have things in common – kids, mortgages, and crucially, ex spouses. Without sounding like some David Brent middle manager in front of a flip chart, I will save the How the Where and the Why for later. What matters is that when we decided to name the day for the second time round, we wanted to erase our respective memories of our previous nuptials, which could best be described in no particular order as - bewildering, half baked and miserable. In other words the ceremonies where unforgettable for all the wrong reasons.
This time we were both determined that our forthcoming marriage would be the very best it could be. We are getting hitched in a swish boutique hotel in Liverpool city centre. We did a recce on potential venues but as soon as we walked through the doors of what ended up being our place we knew. It felt right. The right décor, the right size and the right feel. We wanted an early evening ceremony followed by drinks and a buffet (don’t let the dreaded B word put you off – there wont be a sweaty mushroom vol-au-vent in sight). Two speeches , one toast and then dancing interspersed with soulful crooning from an X factor hopeful whose dreams turned to dust in Simon’s rented LA mansion (or it might have been Sharon’s Miami pile, I cant remember). The number one thing to us apart from the venue, is that we will have our friends around us when we exchange vows. The people who mean the most to us.
Ok, you’ve been patient. First, the where. A kids footy pitch nine years ago. A frosty February Sunday morning. white breath, linoment magic sponge. The competitive pit bull snarls and violent gesticulations were heard from all over the pitches. The language was blue and the insults raw. But that’s enough about the Soccer Mums, I was there to watch my lad. Sarah’s son was on the same team. I had my hood up and scarf wrapped tight around my face. Looking back, I must have stood next to her many times before. But this match was different. – we were in danger of winning a game. From the screams of joy that greeted the final whistle and the party atmosphere on the touchline you’d think we’d won the Premiership. After hugging my son I looked up to find the manager, the architect of our triumph. Then I saw her.
I don’t believe in destiny, I don’t believe in star signs (but that’s me, typical Piscean) but when I saw Sarah standing there, looking straight at me with her beautiful big smile, I knew straight away that I just had to go over and say hello.
“Hello.” I said.
“Hello.” She replied.
“My son is in this team.”
“Well if he isn’t then I'd wonder why you were stood here amongst all these kids with a scarf around your face, to be honest.”
I hate it when a woman is quicker than me. That was the last of the conversation. And, apart from when I turned around and saw her looking for me as she bundled her muddy son into her car, that was the last I saw of her. My ex took my son to school so the next time I would see Sarah would be the following Sunday. So that was that. But what was seven days in one lifetime? The answer was agony. Waking up, driving to work, sitting in boring meetings, I couldn’t get Sa