Monday, October 27
an English wedding
I don’t know how many people get to attend their ex boyfriends weddings, especially when the bride has the same name as them, but I can now tell you from experience that it was funny and quite bizzare at times. The mother of the groom gave me a hug and thanked me warmly for coming, the father looked quite surprised to see me there and gave me one of his funny looks that instantly made me feel about 16 and guilty again.
Walking into the reception I found a few old friends that I had not seen since, well, since I had split up with the groom, S, just before moving to Italy. Admiring each others children we grabbed a table together, near the top table, because Phil was the best man and had a speech to give. Phil was S's best friend and when I knew him he lived in the centre of Windsor right next to the castle. We spent many evenings trawling around the local pubs and hanging out of his window laughing at the tourists below. All the memories came flooding back as Phil stood up and started his speech.
He was nervous and clearly not good at talking in public but he battled on and eventually brought up his own wedding.
“S was my best man fifteen years ago,” he said, then hesitated. Fifteen years ago? No way, it can’t have been that long ago, I thought. I started counting back the years, but Phil corrected himself, “No, sorry, ten years ago. Yes, I got married ten years ago.”
Surely that wasn’t right either. Hadn’t I been living in Italy for ten years? I can’t have still been with S ten years ago, it was more like twelve, wasn’t it? I glanced at the groom to find him watching me, obviously amused and knowing exactly what I was trying to figure out. He gave me a small nod and a grin and turned back to listen to Phil. I blushed and hoped nobody had noticed as I raised my glass in a toast with everybody else to Nicky and S. I tried not to giggle.
As the evening progressed I learnt to NOT answer when somebody asked where Nicky and S were, to not turn around every time my name was mentioned and that all the nicely wrapped presents in the corner with my name on them were not for me. It must have been very convenient for S, I mused, getting a new girlfriend with the same name as the old one. No slip of the tongues causing arguments, no embarassing parents mentioning the wrong name. I, myself, get terribly confused, often calling Carlo by S's name and for some reason calling Skye, Celine, my best friend from school or even getting her confused with the cat.
It turns out I wasn’t the only one obsessing about names. A friend of S's came over to me just as I was about to leave and confessed. “I was going to write a card, but I didn’t know how the other Nicky spelt her name, and I thought it would be awful if I wrote it your way and it wasn’t! I left the card at home in the end.”
I turned to put my coat on, but somebody stopped me, waving a book in the air.”Scuse me , have you signed the guestbook?” I hadn’t. I thought for a moment, scrawled a little congratulations note and signed it, ‘love from the other Nicki.xxx’
at 10:21 AM