She stood there in the bedroom in her white lace and lemon silk wedding dress. She had specially designed it so that the beautiful fresh lemony colour would show through the white lace. She hadn’t looked forwards to the day at all. No fuss was what she had wanted. Just turn up at the altar in denim jeans with her husband to be and two witnesses. But it had got out of hand. As soon as her mother had got her hands on it, it snowballed. Not that it was going to be a huge fancy affair, but it was going to be a “proper” wedding, with a “proper” congregation, wedding music, bridesmaids, Reception, albeit at her parents’ home, prepared by the family. Nothing was missing, except one thing – two verses out of the hymn that she had chosen. She had only wanted one verse cut out in reality, but the Minister would not allow that, saying that it would draw too much attention to the subject of that verse – children. Kathy had especially wanted that hymn because of its emphasis on the word “Home.” All she had ever wanted was a proper home, but it was not what she had had. Constantly moving around, she had known nothing but a home, if you could call it that, of violence. But now, she had the chance to have what she had longed for – a home full of happiness and love. But NOT children.
Kathy’s mother had brought her up to believe that babies were dirty. If she had, as a small child, gone to look at babies in prams in the street, her mother had pulled her roughly away snapping,
“Babies are dirty.”
So, how could Kathy POSSIBLY have a hymn at her wedding that mentioned children?
Indeed, this repulsion towards children was, it seemed, a family trait, as her Uncle came up to her at the Reception and whispered in her ear,
“And don’t get pushing a pram.”
But it wasn’t only babies that her mother had a revulsion for. She had a revulsion for Kathy herself. She wanted only for Kathy to be an extension of herself. Thus, she chose all her clothes for her, all specially old fashioned. She insisted that Kathy had her hair a certain way. And for the wedding, she had banned Kathy from going to the hairdressers and having her hair done nicely. She had bought the perfume that she thought appropriate – lilac scented. She had knitted a hideous matching cardigan and skirt for Kathy to go away in. She had even bought a nightdress for Kathy to wear on “THE” night.
“I don’t know why you’ve bought that,” Kathy’s father had said. “He’ll only have it straight off.”
“SHUT UP,” Kathy’s mother shouted. “Don’t be so coarse.”
In fact little did Kathy’s mother know, but Kathy had often wanted to just leap into bed with Jim and that be it. No ceremonies. No nothing. Just the uniting of two people who loved each other, that would last for ever. And nighties certainly did not come into it!
The whole thing had got out of hand though, and Kathy stood there in her wedding dress and said, two minutes before the taxi arrived, “I’m not going.”
Her mother got hold of her roughly and said,
“You’re GOING. Now get to that church. You’ve got a good man waiting for you there.”
Well, that was the first time Kathy had ever heard her mother describe Jim as good. He had always been all that was bad, and her mother had gone to great extremes to try and break Kathy and Jim up. So this was a great surprise to Kathy.
In a trice, the taxi was there, and her mother hustled her into the taxi, and git in with her, consigning her father to the other waiting taxi. So Kathy arrived at the church with her mother rather than her father, who was meant to escort her unto the church and give her away.
It had been the story of Kathy’s life, and even her wedding day was not going to break her mother’s hold.